I had the chance to be a part of an exciting project over the last month, and I get to share the results of that project with you all today: I got to edit the brand new novel, Unwanted, currently available on Smashwords for free!
Now, my reputation as someone who cares about words has led me, over the years, to become the go-to gal for friends and family (and occasionally, fellow bloggers!) when they want an extra pair of eyes to look over a term paper or grad school application or important email. When I was in college I worked as a prof's assistant, marking papers--it was my job to mark up the papers students turned into him with suggestions for improvement, so that his students could have the opportunity to take my advice if they wanted to better their final grade. Until I started teaching at my current school, I had never had so much fun while on the clock as I did marking up those essays, pointing out grammatical and spelling errors as well as logical flaws.
I'm sure many of my readers share the same kind of joy when approaching a mass of imperfect text. I find that these two types of jobs--one, editing, and the other, teaching English to beginner language learners, are rather connected, which explains why I enjoy them both. My personality as English teacher is lighthearted, jolly, easygoing, and encouraging. My personality as an editor, however, is one that sits at home and shouts at the computer, "This story is taking place pre-2000 and this character just picked up her smartphone?! What world is this?" and "It's used to NOT use to for goodness' sake!"
We have so much fun together, me and my computer, and so many feisty conversations, while I'm editing.
I got the chance to work together with the author of Unwanted to help bring her book to life, and I found it to be quite an adventure. Long-form fiction isn't my strong suit as a writer--when I write fiction, it's in the form of quirky short stories or little tales best suited to a children's picture book. At this point in my life, I have no desire to write a novel, but I thought that editing one, getting to be a part of the process, to see a book take shape under my very eyes, was an amazing experience. This isn't a story I could have or would have ever written, even if I were a writer of novels, as it's darker and messier than my own style ever is.
The action of this dramatic novel takes place in South Korea and in the business world. I have no actual experience with either the country or that particular realm of the working world, so playing my role as editor for this tale took more research and questioning than it would have if the setting had been one I had more personal experience with. A twist that added to the interest I took in this task.
I'm excited for Jennifer Park in her debut novel, and plan, if she allows me, to edit her already-in-process second novel as well. She has made a very wise marketing choice, I think, as a brand-new, completely unknown author who plans to write multiple books, to offer her novel initially as a FREE eBook on Smashwords. I'm a fan of the Smashwords platform, as I've published there myself.
I've got a soft spot for indie authors, and clearly, as I've played a role in making this book acceptable for public viewing, I'd love to see it succeed. I know many of my readers are fans of books, and this one carries no high risk, being completely free, so I'd encourage you to read it. The author would love to hear your honest thoughts about the story she's created, so be sure to leave a review, too. Being a writer would be a lonely job if it weren't for the reviews and comments of our readers.
What do you think? Could you stand to add another novel to the lineup in your eReader? Do you share my passion for approaching papers with colorful marking pens? Too bad it's all on the computer these days...I have a purple pen that would be perfect for the job...