Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Joy of Being Edited

I just spent several days analyzing editor comments and corrections on a manuscript and fixing all those things the editor found that I had overlooked in my writing, revising, and self-editing passes over many, many months.

Editors deserve so much praise for their knowledge of craft and story, the mistakes writers commonly make, and grammar and punctuation. We writers study and learn, but we invariably overlook repeated words or accidentally insert extra spaces as we enter changes. There are so many ways a writer can mess up a story. I know them all.

At any rate, I went through all of my editor’s notes and made the fixes, then sent the manuscript back with my fingers crossed. Hopefully, I’ll get a passing grade this time.

At least until the copy editor has her chance to check those dates, commas, ellipses, and all the other things copy editors look for. 

You may have guess, all this happened because I now have a contract for my second novel of frontier fiction. In Defense of Delia is set in the same fictitious Illinois Village of Sangamon, four years after the events described in Wishing Caswell Dead

The new novel is about Delia Pritchard, who ran away from Sangamon when she was sixteen years old. Thirteen years later, she returns with an outlaw’s reputation and a bullet in her shoulder. Trouble for her and for the town is not far behind. These Sangamon novels are a little like westerns, but they’re set east of the Mississippi. I like to write outside the box.

It will be some time before I have new cover art or a date for publication, so now I'll get back to work on that mystery I'm writing. Tentatively called A Bad Week in Wampo, this humorous cozy's first fifty pages made the finalist list for a Killer Nashville Claymore Award. It did not win, place, or show, but I did receive a very nice finalist badge for my website and posts.

It's nice to have these moments of good news while we're still in the confusion and apprehension stages of a pandemic. Staying busy with projects might be the secret to maintaining our sanity.

Naps don't hurt, either.


Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is now available in a large print edition, ebook and trade paperback. Her short story, “Good Work for a Girl,” appeared in the Five Star Anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West, released in November 2019.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy, and brown tabby Katie Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.


  1. Congratulations again, Pat, on your book deal and being a finalist. You've put a lot of hard work into it all.

  2. You are living the dream Pat. I interact with a lot of new writers who hope to be where you are some day. Congratulations on the soon to be release!

  3. Congrats, Pat. Sorry I'm late with this. Trying to get through my own work. Best to you on your release.


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