I sent my First Edits back to my wonderful editor last night! It’s official! Comfort and Joy has a release date of December 14,,2012!
Working on edits reminded me of my first publication, a mainstream short in a print literary journal out of Maine in the late 1990s. (Why yes, I did choose this journal because it was published in Stephen King’s neighborhood!) I submitted via snail mail and waited three months for the response. Within the next month I received galley proofs via FedEx overnight and returned them two days later. I found a few typing errors and corrected them on the hard copy—with a pen! New typing errors showed up in the print edition, but nothing I haven’t seen come out of NY (proof that we’re all only human). That thin literary journal sits on my bookshelf beside some of my favorite signed Firsts, to remind me not to give up.
Those editors didn’t ask for any edits, which was shocking. I expected them to ask me to change something, anything, but they only asked if I wanted to change anything (and for a snail mail list of marketing leads on peel-and-stick labels, which were printed using a dot matrix printer). I suppose the truly shocking thing is that I can go back and read that story and still love it—maybe even more than I did back then.
That first experience wasn’t the norm, just about every other piece I’ve had published has gone through editing passes and come out stronger for them. Comfort and Joy is no exception. The changes have only made me love this story harder. Hopefully my editor will like them too. If not, I’ll have to visit Sam and Charlie’s world again until I have it nailed.
This is such a cool process—I’m literally having the time of my life with this (don’t tell my kid!). I’m glad I got over the fear of letting my erotic M/M fiction go out into the world to seek its fortune. No matter what that fortune ends up looking like I owe my guys a debt of gratitude for sticking with me to the HEAs. They have to work for theirs, so I don’t mind working for mine.