All week I felt like a teenager anticipating a first date as I waited for Julie’s presentation at Annie Bloom’s Books, an indie bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Although Julie and I met online in April of 2014, and although she had trusted me (a total stranger at the time) with the words of what would become her debut novel, I didn’t know what to expect. Would she be as charming and gracious in person as she is online?
Oh. My. Goodness. Best first date EVER! My heart kept skipping beats—first when I saw the sign in the window at Annie Bloom’s, and then again when Julie walked through the door, effusing the very essence of the magic she weaves through everything she writes. And when she shared the story of her journey to publication, including how she found me and about our work together, my heart swelled. Just knowing I had a small part in shaping the manuscript that became In Another Life had been thrilling, but Julie made me feel like a rock star that evening.Click To Tweet
My job as a freelance book editor can be pretty lonely sometimes. Now don’t get me wrong—I love my job! But it isn’t the most social thing I’ve ever done for a living. Just like many of the authors I work with, I spend most of my days working on a screen, and that’s not exactly the best way to expand your social circle.
Unless, of course, you’re expanding your social media circle, and that’s how I first met Julie. I stumbled across a blog she’d written titled “Fast and Furious: First Drafts,” which I shared on Facebook and Twitter. Several days later, Julie contacted me by email; she was looking for developmental help for her manuscript.
After we worked together for several months, Julie began querying her manuscript. I felt like a proud midwife when she wrote to let me know she’d signed an agent, and then a publisher, and then that the book was available for preorder, and then—my copy arrived!
In many ways, her book was as familiar as my favorite T-shirt, yet in other ways, I was reading it for the first time. In Another Life had gone through several iterations after my work with Julie, and although it was amazing when I first read it, the final version is even better—so good, in fact, that it went into a second printing on the third day after the release.
As I told Julie while she signed another copy of her book (yes, I’ve purchased several!), of all the novels I’ve edited, I’ve only had dreams about two; In Another Life was the first. When a book gets under your skin like that, you know it’s special. Almost as special as its author—what a rock star!
To learn more about my favorite rock star author, visit Julie’s website at http://juliechristinejohnson.com. Invite her to speak via Skype at your next book club meeting. And if you have the opportunity to meet her in person, don’t miss it—not only is she a wonderful speaker and storyteller, but she also has a great sense of humor!
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.