Welcome to the book tour for Beauty Within by Jae El Foster! Do you know how important an editor is to the writing process? I can always tell when an author doesn't use an editor and when someone has a really good editor on their hands. Today, Jae El Foster talks about the importance of an editor and sings the praises of the one he uses. Find out what he has to say and then check out his latest book. Be sure to leave comments and questions all along the tour and download your own copy after you enter the giveaway!
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Nothing is better than a good editor, and I have a great one. Without editors like Jean Watkins, our books would not see their potential.
The importance of an editor is extreme, and on my first attempt at a fairy tale, I needed an editor more than ever before. An editor’s job extends further than correcting a writer’s punctuation, grammar and spelling. They see things that we as the authors do not see, and they help us correct them, build on them, or eliminate them if needed. Some writers feel that an editor will rewrite their books, but they are so very wrong on that assumption. A good editor will guide your hand as your tweak your story to make it the best piece of fiction that it can be.
Beauty Within was a book that saw several incarnations on its road to publication. It was the first of several books to hold a clue in my Jae El Fandom Hardcore Easter Egg Competition, and that clue had to be worked seamlessly into the story and still point people in the right direction to the second clue (full details are at www.jaeelbooks.com/contests). I’d never held a contest before where I’d had to hide clues in my books, so this was a challenge for me, and my editor helped me make that clue flow along with the rest of the novel – like it should – but stand out enough to be noticed by participants in the competition.
When it comes to misspellings, sentences that don’t flow, and paragraphs that are too complicated, my editor spots what my own eyes do not see, and she helps me rework what needs to be reworked, and sometimes, that is all because of my dyslexia. In Beauty Within, Jean came across a typo – Sirpiece instead of masterpiece. Not only was Sirpiece – which is not a real word – capitalized, but it was used at least three times throughout the book. I don’t know what the word means or why I created it, but I’m thankful my editor questioned it.
There is a French hair stylist named Pierre that is introduced a few chapters into Beauty Within. His role is to provide my protagonist Natalie with a unique hairstyle for a ball. In the original draft, Pierre did not understand a lick of English and spoke only French, so every time he would speak in the book, his words were in French and poorly translated to Natalie via her nemesis Sarah. While I saw the humor in the conversational situation, my editor pointed out that the only people who would understand what was going on and would get it were me and people who spoke French. I hadn’t thought of that when writing the scene, and so Pierre became a Frenchman with a bad English accent that my readers still enjoyed.
Jean and I worked our way through two – maybe three – edits of Beauty Within until all corrections had been made and the story flowed without pause or loss of flow. Yet, on my final read-through, when the book was set for publication, I realized Beauty Within was not finished. It didn’t feel finished. It lacked something – something big – and it had to do with the ending.
The original ending of Beauty Within is still there, but it is no longer the ending to the book. I drafted a whole new ending, adding a few more chapters onto the otherwise ready-to-go manuscript, and dropped it back to Jean.
The new twist in Beauty Within was so unexpected that even she admitted surprise to it. Yet, even as these new chapters did not much affect what we’d already edited and corrected, they had to be fixed from errors and inconsistencies, and the book as a whole had to be reread as well.
My editor has seen the best of my writing and the worst of my writing. She is why Beauty Within evolved into the wonderful fairy tale that it is, and she is why most of my writing is seamless and makes sense. I do not make life easy on her – especially with my first drafts and sudden ‘hey I had a’ thoughts. Yes, she’s a trooper, and if I have one piece of advice for any and every author out there, it is to get out there and find an editor. And when you do, hope that he or she is as good as Jean Watkins.
By the way – you might be able to tell – I did not let Jean edit this Guest Post beforehand.
My thanks to Books to Light Your Fire for hosting me today! Thanks also to Goddess Fish Promotions and DCL Publications for making this possible. Also, to those of you who have swung by to see what’s up, I hope you enjoy what you see. Thanks for stopping by!
Beauty WithinAn enchanted mask. A harrowing castle. A reclusive dark lord. With the helping hand of the village witch, these three ingredients form a spell that will warm your heart as much as it chills it. Madame Howell makes her second appearance in Jae El Foster’s literary universe in this fairy tale that puts a new twist on an old classic. When a village maiden finds herself in a forbidden castle, she discovers that its sole occupant might be less of a monster than he has been made out to be. However, dark secrets and black magic are afoot, and a ‘happily ever after’ could turn disastrous. Will true love conquer all, or will a dark power make their world come crumbling down?
Read an excerpt:
Hanging his head low, he sighed with a deep sadness, and in a bout of self-anger, he jerked his head up to the ceiling and cried out with an agony and a rage that he had never expressed with such intenseness. His scream ran long, and it echoed loudly throughout every hall and chamber of the castle and even into the blackened air outside. When this scream fell silent, he cried out once again, this time falling down to his knees in bitter self-loathing. His hands fell across his face, touching upon the scars that had sealed his doom. Running his fingers from his face to his hair, he grabbed two fistfuls of the golden locks and pulled hard, adding pain to his already crippling misery.
“Lest he who hath created his hell perish in his hell…” he whispered as the tears began to dry from his eyes. Then, with a leap, he rose to his feet and crossed the foyer to the staircase. With slow, steady movements, he began up the stairs, formulating in his thoughts what his next actions would be. His mind was hazy and in a fog, and thinking made his head only hurt more.
The stairs seemed to continue up for an eternity, but he was used to the climb and he made it to the belfry of his castle with practiced ease. There, he rushed past the old brass bell that had not rang in many, many years, and he forced his hands to brace him as he stopped abruptly at the stone encasing that prevented him from falling to his death below.
With tear-stained cheeks, he stared down at the foggy ground, barely able to see the dirt of the hill. He looked over just slightly and gazed at the village of Foliage, which was completely lost in the night and the thick of the fog surrounding it. The wind still blew with massive force, rocking against his chilled body but never once ringing the bell behind him. Had the bell decided to ring, it would have rocked up against him with enough strength that he would have been pushed from the belfry and down to the ground below, shattering every bone in his body.
This thought chilled him more than the powerful wind, and he held himself in his arms as he tried to find the cottage of the mistress with the mask. Even though he could see none of the buildings contained within Foliage, he knew now the exact location of the fair maiden’s home, and he stared in that direction for the longest of time.
“What I would give,” he whispered, releasing fog with his breath, “just to touch you… to hold you… to share but one dance with you.”
Available on Amazon
About Jae El FosterJae El Foster is an author with whom you question going to bed with at night, but you dare to venture beneath the sheets with him anyway. As the venture concludes, you are perhaps romanced by it, or perhaps you are frightened by it. Don’t worry, because you are always satisfied by it. Despite the title or genre of the book, Jae El sets out to please you with climatic and unexpected conclusions that will make you tremble with emotion. Hop aboard the Jae El train and give it a good ride.
Amazon Author’s Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jaefoster
Blog 1: https://www.jaeelbooks.com/blog
Blog 2: https://thoughtsbyjaeelfoster.wordpress.com/
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