Olivia Newport Lake in winter

Photo by Larry Mohr

Over the winter I had a short-term job. I signed on for seven months with an organization producing textbooks. The project was mid-stream, and the commitment was just until the books went to press. I’ve been away for a couple of months now.

Last week the printed books arrived, and I went in to the office to pick up my free copies and say hello.

Things had shifted of course, as the people still working there reconfigured into teams for the next projects. But seeing them all just for a few minutes reminded me of the diversity of gifts among them.

Even though we all bore the title of “editor” in some form, as we worked together, we could count on one person to catch the dangling modifiers and someone else to remember how we crafted a phrase twelve lessons ago when we needed again. Someone else was on alert for errors in maps and images, and several spoke from the perspective of having been classroom teachers. We even started saying WWCD—What would Cheryl do?—when it came to placing commas.

The diversity of gifts and experience made the end product better. We did need all those editors.

And that’s pretty much how it has in during the process of bringing my Avenue of Dreams series to life. Published by Revell, book 1, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is available. Book 2 is in the editorial pipeline, and book 3 is due to the publisher on September 1. I’m planning one more round of self-edits before unclenching my fingers and letting go.

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by the same players for each book so far. Several editors weigh in on the manuscript changes, and the marketing and design teams have been fabulous to work with.

Now that we’re working on book 2, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, I know better what to expect from the process. I see how the diversity of gifts works in my favor—all these people trying to make my books successful.

I am blessed, no question about it.