“A serial killer murdering for kicks.
A detective seeking revenge.
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…”
I am very excited to welcome you to my stop on Rachel Amphlett’s Scared to Death blog tour. And what a treat I have in store for you, but more of that in a moment or two! Rachel Amphlett is the best selling author of the Dan Taylor series of novels and, on 6th December 2016, published the first in a brand new series featuring Detective Kay Hunter. I can’t wait to read Scared to Death as it sounds like a book I will thoroughly enjoy, so look out for a review heading your way in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I have a cracking guest post from Rachel to share with you today. As a total bookworm, I am ashamed to say that I know little to nothing about the writing process. Rachel has kindly filled in some of the blanks for me today with her fascinating post about what she loves the editing process. Over to you, Rachel…
What I love about the editing process
In mid-September this year, I printed off a stack of typed-up pages and placed them into a folder.
The paper was still warm, the toner cartridge in the printer was on its last legs, and the first of my nerves were starting to kick in.
This was it.
The first time anyone other than me would read Scared to Death.
It’s always a bit nerve-wracking, handing over the manuscript of a new book for the first time, but I’ve got to the point in my writing journey where I actually quite enjoy it, if I’m honest.
The first step for me in my editing process is to hand it over to two trusted beta readers, who then bombard me with questions such as “Why did this happen? How did that get there? What does that mean?” – all of these make me re-read the story with a reader’s eyes, not my writerly ones.
Scenes that made perfect sense to me in my head while I was writing don’t appear that way to my readers at this stage – there is confusion, bewilderment, and occasionally a guffaw as pages are passed back to me.
And so, once I have all their comments back, it’s back to the office and bum in seat while I work through their queries and spend more time unravelling and rewriting the story.
The next phase for me is to pass the manuscript onto some experts in the policing field, and in this area I’ve been truly blown away by the support I’ve received (you know who you are, and I really can’t thank you enough).
Each expert kindly reserved judgement with regard to any bloopers I’d made in translating their expert advice into my story, didn’t laugh at the questions I posed, and gently led me through the myriad of processes and procedures they dealt with on a daily basis.
I learned so much prior to writing Scared to Death, and that learning curve continued during the editing process as I sought clarifications, re-checked my facts, and polished the words some more.
Although I do receive suggestions from beta readers, the responsibility lies with me as to whether those suggestions reach the final story – at the end of the day, I have to live with Kay Hunter for a long time after Scared to Death, and so it’s important to know that I feel like I own the story and haven’t been bent by other people’s wishes.
Eventually, when I’d exhausted everything and ticked every box, it’s time to hand over the manuscript for the professional edit.
I love getting manuscripts back from editors.
Grammar is not my strongest point, and I’ve learned to accept that there are simply some things I don’t understand and so it’s a relief to know I’ve got an expert on hand to sort all of that out for me.
The first edits come back, and those include the grammar fixes, typos etc, but also some technical points that I then have to go away and check. Added to this are a couple of very minor plot issues that require a tweak, and then it’s back to the editor for another read-through before he signs it off.
After I’ve taken in that second lot of edits, I print out a fresh copy and start reading from the beginning again – often the first proper read-through I’ve done in weeks. Of course, I find more things to check and change.
Finally, my proofreader takes the manuscript away for a week or two and performs more miracles. By that stage of the publishing process, I’m completely word-blind, and so my proofreader kindly points out all the errors that still remain in the manuscript and helps me to polish it to within an inch of its life before publication day.
After typesetting the paperback edition, I order a proof copy of that and read through the whole novel again, this time checking for formatting issues as well, before loading everything up ready for its release.
No rest for me at this point though – given that book two in the Kay Hunter series is already well underway, I’ll be doing all of this again in early 2017.
I can’t wait.
Thanks for this brilliant insight into the editing process, Rachel. I’ve certainly learnt a few things today!
Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett was published in the UK by Saxon Publishing on 6th December 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.
An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.
You can keep in touch with Rachel by signing up to her mailing list via her website (), or via Facebook () and Twitter: (less)