The Case of the Deceptive Editor
by Lori Beasley Bradley
A few months ago, I sent off my historical fiction manuscript, The Ruby Queen, to an editor who said she would read it. She told me she loved it and that I should submit it to a few companies she works with, assuring me one of them would surely love it. Then she gave me a price for her services, should I want to have it edited if the book did not get picked up.
Later, after the book was rejected, I let this editor know that I’d hired an editor from my critique group, as he was already familiar with the work and lived in my area so we could meet regularly to discuss the editing. His bid was also considerably lower than hers. She urged me to write a romance, as that is what most of the companies she worked for really wanted, and to send it to her first.
I did just that. I am neither a romance reader nor writer, so I did my research. I borrowed a few romances to read so I could get an idea of the story arc and searched out the basic outline of the romance novel. I chose my characters, wrote an outline, and then wrote a 56,000-word story. I finished the first draft and sent it off to her, hopeful.
I received a very terse reply, telling me she couldn’t possibly read my manuscript for at least six months, as she is a professional editor. She told me to get my editing done with my critique group, as they were more help to me than she could be.
Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback. Had she read the first couple of chapters and thought it was crap? Is my writing really that awful? I finally decided that she must have been upset with me because I did not hire her to edit my previous book, The Ruby Queen.
I am going to plug ahead, however, and present Sweet Rewards to my critique group at the Central Phoenix Writers’ Workshop and will probably hire Jacob Shaver from that group to edit this work as well. Then I will submit it to the companies who rejected The Ruby Queen because they wanted a romance with a “Happily Ever After” ending and see what happens.
Rejection is difficult – even more difficult when you are rejected by someone who led you to believe they really liked your work, even encouraging you into another endeavor. I am not a quitter, and although I am a bit uncomfortable with the romance genre, I think I wrote a good story that has potential.
Lori is beginning a new project she is calling The Soiled Dove Sagas. It will be a three-book series about two young women who find themselves taking up prostitution as a way to make a living in the 1870s. Lori’s first book is The Legend of the Swamp Witch. Follow Lori on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.