Sunday Smatterings

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Happy Sunday! I’m home from frigid New York, where my sojourn in the hotel room yielded a great amount of work and a plot twist, and I’m now cruising toward the finish line of my first big revision. The book has to be sent to my editor and agents tomorrow (😳) but that’s cool. It’s time for the experts to get their claws in this one.

How does this stage of the process work, you ask? Traditionally, my editor will read and give me notes, usually in the form of an editorial letter. Sometimes, this letter is a quick thing, a few changes here and there. Sometimes, it’s quite intense, a multi-page document with structural and storyline changes. I’ve had both, and everything in between. Once I’ve had the chance to absorb her ideas, we get on the phone and hash them out.

The books ALWAYS gets stronger at this point. Always. My editor is incredible; she sees the forest for the trees. I’ve been so bogged down creating the story that I have no altitude on it. I was asked recently if my editor can overrule me — the answer technically is no. This is my book, she’s enhancing it, not rewriting it. That said, we’ve worked together for so long that even if I don’t agree with a suggestion, I know to find a different path. I trust her instincts.

Once we’ve hashed it all out, I hunker down and make the changes. She’ll read it again—with luck, I’ve nailed it and it goes to copyedit. If not, we go through the same process again (and again) until it’s right.

My editor reads the book at least 4-5 times before it actually goes to print and heads into your hands. She’s an invaluable resource. So yay, editor!

I did indulge in a few things in NYC — lunch with my film agent, dinner with my literary agent, Hamilton (yes, again — even better on the second viewing), and a quiet evening with a friend. And it snowed! But I was very focused on the book, and made a lot of progress.

Also, Lent started Wednesday. I have given up my usual—social media, desserts, and alcohol—and am endeavoring to focus on a secret project, a palate cleanser, and deciding what’s next. I’ve already written 87k words this year. While technically my goal is only 200k, I am hoping to refill my well and get some more work in the pipeline, which could bump that number up significantly. And I’m adding in some downtime these six weeks. I think I’m addicted to being busy. I need to learn how to take a breath. 🙏🏻


Catherine has been getting up to some funny antics with our 6th Brit in the FBI novel, THE LAST SECOND. Have you seen all the places our book has popped up with her? From the beach to her birthday, her car to the hot tub, and there’s no telling where it’ll be next. Lucky for you, it releases everywhere on March 26. Have you preordered your copy yet?

There’s a contest, too…

Now, let’s take a look at the latest and greatest links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

A Patron Returned a Book to a Maryland Library Nearly 75 Years After It Was Due. It’s never too late to return a book!

'Daisy Jones & The Six' Is A Female-Fronted Portrait Of The Rock Star Lifestyle Of The '70s. I loved this book! Loved it, loved it. It’s going to be a wonderful movie, too.

You Can Sleep Behind the Shelves of This Tokyo Library. This place looks incredible! Who wouldn’t love to sleep among the books? Much better than the fishes, yes?

Everything Could Change Tomorrow. If life is good, count your blessings, be thankful, enjoy the moment.... Slow down, take a deep breath, savor this season as best you can. If your life is not in a good place, take heart, because change is coming... change is always coming.

French Designer Uses The Spines Of Books To Create Extraordinary Dresses. Absolutely incredible! 

Take That, AP Style! Court of Law Rules The Oxford Comma Necessary. “For anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about over Oxford commas, the circuit judge’s opinion says it all: ‘For want of a comma, we have this case.’” Can I get a hallelujah?

The Link Between Menopause and Alzheimer’s. Fascinating—hope these great studies find something to protect us!

Do We Write Differently on a Screen? And does our audience consume our work differently? I posit that yes, it’s very different — mainly because of the delete key. How many words do I delete in a day? Hundreds. What work is lost in the process?

Tips for Getting the Best Book Recommendations from Your Librarian. Has a librarian affected your life?


What I’m Reading:

Since I’m dealing with the book deadline and the last week of a contest I’m judging, I sadly haven’t had a chance to finish any books I can talk about this week. So now it’s your turn.

What’s been your favorite book of the year so far?

Also, let’s all raise a congratulatory glass to my dear friend Ariel Lawhon, who hit both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller list for the first time this week with her wonderful book I WAS ANASTASIA! Way to go, Ari!


That’s it for now. Take a long walk (but don’t forget to take your allergy medicine first), do a crossword puzzle, send a note to a friend, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Blessings on you.

peace and hugs,
J.T.