Let Your Eyes Boil Your Peas

As I’ve said before, a real author doesn’t just write a first draft and then sit back and wait for fame and fortune. It takes a helluva lot of time, work, and faith to coax a manuscript from first draft to publication. For five years, I’ve continued to work on my 5th novel, Rise Up, Sista—writing, rewriting, sending it out for rounds of editing, taking it to workshops, and proofreading until my brain fried and my eyes crossed. Unfortunately, when it was time to pitch the book to agents and publishers, I got plenty of rejections. Still, I pushed on. Why? Because I believed it was a story worth telling.

Then, on June 15, 2020, I fell down on these weary old knees and thanked the literary gods for finally sending me a real publisher, TouchPoint Press. Next thing I knew, I had a signed contract and was working with yet another editor, a friendly and wise woman who further enlightened me as to what it takes to create a bestseller. (She’s on commission.) I thought we were finished in October, but nine months later, she informed me that there was a problem with the formatting. At the beginning of July, 2021, I received a revised manuscript with her professional track changes, and, wanting to move on, I was within a hair’s breadth of accepting it when intuition told me to check again.

As we say in Dominica, ‘Let your eyes boil your peas.’

So, I started to reread all 95,000 words one more time. O.M.G. There were still typos and missing words! Panic-stricken, I sent the document to the trusty proofreader for my self-publishing imprint, River Ridge Press, Dominica, while I reread it front to back, back to front, and by random chapters. Ten days and about fifty corrections later, I crossed my fingers and pressed SEND.

My point is this: The author should NEVER be the final proof reader (nor should the editor). It must be someone literarily savvy who has never seen the document before. Meanwhile, although I have yet to see a cover, Rise Up, Sista is scheduled for release in September or October of 2021. Ha! Those peas should be well cooked by then.