Please note that N. Isabelle Blanco is a blog guest, not a Romance Refined client.
Rachel: Thanks so much for stopping by on your blog tour! When you were writing Blood Stained Tranquility, was it a private affair until it was time for submission, or did you seek early feedback as part of your self-editing process?
N. Isabelle Blanco: I actually have an entire team of people (most importantly, my fellow business partner and author, Elena M. Reyes) that are with me during the entire writing process. I can’t write “blind” and need to have opinions on how I’m doing as I go.
Rachel: If I were an author, I think I’d be much the same! How tightly do you hold onto your original plot and character ideas, even if you feel they aren’t coming together?
Rachel: Did any major advice come into play while editing Blood Stained Tranquility that made the published version differ greatly from the original idea/draft?
N. Isabelle Blanco: The biggest change was the change from first person to third person point of view. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make either. My editing team was very clear on why they made the suggestion, and a part of me had already contemplated all the angles beforehand, so I knew right off the bat that they were right.
Rachel: Changing POV can make a crucial difference in a book! Prior to having the Szolite series accepted for publication with The Writer’s Coffee Shop had you worked with a freelance editor to prepare it for submission?
N. Isabelle Blanco: Not really, no. Which, in retrospect, I should have done, but I was very lucky to get offered a publishing contract (a few of them actually) without putting my manuscript through editing. However, I do not advise this. No. My first round of editing before publishing was very rough because of this and it “broke” me of several months. I couldn’t write a single word. So, please, if you’re an aspiring author, remember: always edit. Even the greats have editing done. You will not believe how many people self-publish nowadays without even thinking of running their stories through at least one round of editing.
Rachel: Amen! Did you learn anything from editing this project that you’ll be putting into practice when writing and revising your next manuscript?
N. Isabelle Blanco: I learned everything. I cannot stress how important that is. There is always so much to learn, and every round of edits teaches you more and more. That is the goal as a writer: to evolve. To grow. There is no way, as a human being, to ever know it all, but it’s imperative to keep learning as you go and editing helps with that.
Rachel: Absolutely! Authors shouldn’t expect to also be experts at editing, just as an editor wouldn’t assume they could become a best-selling novelist entirely on their own. (Yes, even editors-turned-writers use editors!)
Do you have any funny errors that editors or readers have pointed out?
N. Isabelle Blanco: Yes. My editors have actually banned me from using the word had for the next ten years or so until I get used to not using it in every sentence. Which is impossible to do! *laugh*
Rachel: My overused crutch word is just. Even editors have issues. *grin*
Thank you so much chatting with me about your behind-the-scenes process that goes into producing fantastic books like the Szolite series.