Each writer has a style, not only when they write, but also when they edit. Each gets comfortable with a process of sorts that allows them to polish his/her work to a high shine. The process is something you create/establish as you mature and develop your skills as a writer. It happens naturally and surely and the more you use it, the easier it becomes.

For Cecilia and I, our partnership in editing has evolved and progressed into a smooth deep editing process. While we tend to not force, pick or choose who writes what when, writing the chapters and characters pieces based on gut feeling and personal attachment to a scene (which a lot of times are written totally out of order. For example, the last chapter of COUNTERMEASURE was written before chapter three was even outlined.), we tend to have a more organized and methodic editing routine.

Once we have the chapter written and laid out as we want (written by one or the two of us), we take turns reading and doing editing passes until we have a more concise version of the chapter. Being the geek duo we are, we save versions of the file as we progress so we can always revert to the original thought. We have accumulated up to fifteen versions of a single chapter in the past. Once we reach a consensus on the shape of the chapter, the editing goes to audio.

We spend an average of thirteen hours a day on the phone (gotta love VoIP and free long distance). That time is spent discussing plot, story development, and characters but mostly in editing. We read and adjust, rearrange, discard, add as we go. Paragraph by paragraph until we reach a final version of the chapter. That is the version pushed forward for critique and proofreading to our faithful beta readers who have been following our path in this crazy world of publishing since the very beginning. Although they are very good friends, they have no qualms pointing out any issues they find with a scene or chapter so we are sure to receive their most straight forward opinion. If something doesn't jive, we go back to the drawing board and re-write, re-shape, re-work, until it flows as it should.

When the chapter gets a seal of approval from them all, it is added to a master file containing all the previously edited chapters. But the journey doesn't end there.

After the full manuscript is assembled in that fashion, we go back and start the reading process all over again from the beginning. With longer novels like ours, that means a break of at least a month or two between the time the prologue was first read and edited and that final round. The break gives us time to solidify the entire story and a needed distance from it. The second round of deep editing will get rid of most inconsistencies, redundancies, continuity and of course any leftover grammar and spelling errors.

Only after all that has been done, the manuscript is ready to proceed to the hands of our amazing editor Emmanuelle Hertel who does another round of editing, copy-editing and proofreading for all of the above items and some.

As you can see, we do put our love, laughter and tears into the story and into making it good entertainment. We truly hope you can experience it in the resulting novel.