I still haven’t received Monkey Man 2 back for revision. I still don’t have an official title for that book, either, though I did propose two: T.J.’s Story and I’m Not Who You Think I Am, which, coincidentally, was also the title I put on the very first short story I sold to a magazine. But the magazine changed the title of that story (without telling me), so I figure it’s fair game again. Whenever I respond to a fan letter on Do You Know the Monkey Man, I tell the person these are my two titles and ask which one they like best. Almost everyone likes I’m Not Who You Think I Am best. But I don’t know what my editor thinks yet…
I do know she’s read the manuscript, though. And I know she liked it. And I know she presented it “pre-launch” (I wonder when that happened???) and “it was a huge hit with the crowd.”
I also know there won’t be a 6-page, single-spaced editorial letter this time around…we’re skipping that stage and moving straight to line edits with queries (what the heck???) later this week. She says the manuscript is in good shape!
Excuse me??? I have not reread this manuscript since I turned it in, but I don’t remember it being in “good shape.” In fact, I remember it being in pretty bad shape…but it was already late and I’d been working on it so hard that I couldn’t look at it objectively anymore; I needed input from my editor, and well…I was going on this trip to London….so I turned it in.
I am both thrilled and frightened to hear my editor say “it’s in good shape.” I even came right out and asked her, “you wouldn’t tell me it’s in good shape if it’s not, would you?” (She laughed and assured me she wouldn’t lie to me.)
She did, however, give me a few general things to look at as I reread the manuscript (which I plan to do from start to finish tomorrow). One I remembered being a problem…the others were just general suggestions…which sound good to me, so I will likely incorporate those suggestions into the book.
My editor also reminded me that in a sense we had the 6-page editorial letter stage (much more than 6 pages!) back when I wanted to take the book in a whole new direction from what I’d originally proposed (and I tried to take major detours from my original outline TWICE…both times she dragged me kicking and screaming back to my original outline…which, in retrospect, was the right thing to do). So…if the manuscript is really in good shape now, it’s probably because of all that back and forth we did back then.