words about words

There are some people who can never, in good conscience, review an author’s books: the author herself of course, and anyone who worked on the actual text. In my case that’s my editor Marti and proofreader Stacie. But they are the people whose understanding of the book and characters are second only to my own. So in a significant way it is their opinion of the book that matters most to me. Of course I want readers to like it and buy it and tell their friends about it. But to get feedback from the professionals who’ve been deep in the weeds with me on two Lexy Cooper books now? It’s a big damn deal.

And I typically get this feedback while we’re working. I don’t get a phone call or an email–I find these little comments in the margins of the document like love letters. That’s how they feel to me, anyway. Like this one from Marti:


Well, that just gives me a writer-boner. Here’s proof that an emotional scene in my book actually made a real person feel something. Someone who is not looking for an escape or a distraction, someone who is mired in my shitty comma use and is going over the scene for the fourth time!!  That tells me that commas aside, I’m doing something right.

Here’s an example from my proofreader Stacie.


Here’s something from the other side of the spectrum. I made Stacie laugh. This is another kind of huge deal to me–and most writers, I’d bet. When people talk about books or write reviews they’ll mention if the book was funny or not sometimes, but they won’t often remember where in the text it was funny. They don’t remember what made them laugh. So a note like this is a sort of fly-on-the-wall moment where I can see exactly where Stacie snickered.

I would love dearly to be able to spy on a reader, to see where they laugh, where they have to backtrack and figure something out, and what scenes they linger on. This is almost as good.


By the way, my new book Pwned will be available on June 21! And you can sample the first chapter right now exclusively via the Gamertag Radio app for iOS, Android, and Amazon. Bonuses include a 2-minute audio snippet of me talking about my history in the games industry and the Lexy Cooper series. You can also download Lexy wallpaper. Check it out here.

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