When I wrote Avery Johnson, one of the main characters throughout the three books of Superstars, I had a vision in my head of this successful and fierce music executive but who also had a big heart. To see this character develop throughout the story is a real point of pride for myself. I wanted to make this character smart, bold and a no nonsense executive but at the same time show he also has a real vulnerable side. He falls in love with the beautiful journalist Bentley Paxton and pursues her and discovers their careers will keep them apart. I wanted to show the reader that even though he was tough in the boardroom he was also a mans man. He treats Bentley with class and does not push her into a relationship, instead letting the course of time and a dose of fate bring them back together.
I wanted to show through Avery, you can be strong and sometimes brutal but not lose touch with who you are. In the real world a guy like Avery would be a woman dream man, rich, successful but also caring and compassionate. Very few flaws. He is a hero but he also has limitations that any man would and how he stands up against an insurmountable enemy with the courage and strength of a gladiator to protect the woman he loves and the children under his care is truly one of the most enjoyable characters I have ever written. Avery is a character that all men who read the books can strive to be like.
The world seems to find itself in a two week funk during the Olympic Games at least for me anyway. It reminds of the two week Christmas period. Normal patterns are out of sync as so much of the world is caught up in what is happening with the Games. I follow the hockey during the Olympics both men and women, cheering for Team Canada and for two weeks I am scheduling my free time around those games. I got up at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday to watch the gold medal final. I will pay the price for that for a few days as Sunday is my normal re-charge day.
Like the Christmas break, the world begins to fall back into its normal patterns once again. Routines are reimplemented and life goes on. As a writer that means getting back into good writing habits and routines. The final cost me a day of writing today because I am exhausted from a busy weekend, late Saturday night and of course the early to rise Sunday.
Oh well, it’s only every four years, right?
I believe this a no-brainer but others do not think that way. I believe that if you care enough about your work and you want others to read it or others to critique and review it then it better be you best work. How can it not be your best work if you do not have it professionally edited? I’m not talking about your super smart teenage daughter in Grade 11 who gets straight A’s in English. I am talking about an accredited professional editor who will scrub and polish your work to its very best. I have an interesting road to find the right editor and I will share it with you.
Book One of the Superstars Trilogy was my first work. I had my fiancée’s daughter who is a university grad edit my work. She did a great job and had lots of well thought and well meaning advice for making changes. As smart as she is, she is not a professional editor. If you want your book to go anywhere you really need to put your best foot forward. I researched editors and chose one with great credentials. I made the mistake of not following up on his references. When I sent my polished manuscript out for reviews I was being attacked for poor grammar??? Of all things I ever thought I would hear about my work was poor grammar. So I went back to the editor and to his credit he realized he had made some mistakes in the manuscript, owned up to them and reimbursed a portion of his fees. I made sure my next editor was very good. It cost me a re-edit on the first book but my new editor did a great job and also did the second book in the Superstars series. A lesson learned but a valuable one.
Do your research and do not scrimp out when it comes to paying for an editor.
Every writer has their own style, methodology and schedule. Mine is ‘write when I can’ methodology, style and schedule. My style, I’m afraid, though realistic for my situation will not get me to where I want to be as a writer. Writing often keeps your mind sharp and in the writing ‘zone’. Being in the writing zone means whenever you sit down to write you almost instantly fall into rhythm. That is consistency. Writing when your schedule allows (for some, unavoidable) takes you out of the zone through inconsistency. The danger in falling out of the zone as a writer, it takes you awhile to recapture the story in your mind, ‘to get back in the zone’. This could affect the storyline in a negative way.
I know this first-hand. It is why I strive for consistency. To stay in the writing zone. Rather than let a week go by and then do a monster session to keep you on schedule, try to break it up into little pieces through the week that will keep you on schedule and more importantly keep ‘you in the zone’.