Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Friend : Jessie Clever

Warm welcome to Jessie Clever! She shares some great editing advice and an enticing excerpt from her new release, To Save a Viscount: Book Four 

Editing in Color

I can still recall a time when I did each round of editing on a manuscript on paper.  It was just what was done, and it was so much easier than reading on a screen.  But with the advent of e-readers and the ease and accessibility of loading one’s manuscript onto an e-reader for editing, it became easier to forgo the paper option and study one’s work on the e-reader.

I will freely admit that I was one of those writers to fall victim to the e-readers ease as an editing tool, and it wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered the benefits of editing in paper.  And not just any paper.  Colored paper.  When editing on paper that is a color other than white, your eye is perplexed by the difference in hue, and you are more likely to spot an error.  For myself, I opt for pastel blue and different colored pens for editing in paper, and it’s a step I no longer skip in releasing a manuscript.

And while I recommend editing in color, I would not let editing on a e-reader fall to the wayside.  Reading your manuscript in various forms is a must when editing as confusing your eye is the best way to find mistakes.

What is your favorite method of editing?

New Release: To Save a Viscount: Book Four of the Spy Series

When an assassin threatens England's spy network, Lady Margaret Folton must find the killer before it's too late.  But when Commodore John Lynwood is accidentally granted a title meant to be used as bait to lure the assassin into the War Office's trap, Margaret must face the tragedy of her past and decide which is more important: the assignment or love?


August 1815

He had grown so accustomed to the sound of gunfire that he did not hear the shot that was meant to kill him.

This would have worried Richard Black, the Duke of Lofton, if he had had time to think on it. But as the situation inherently required immediate action, prolonged and abstract thinking on the subject was neither prudent nor wise. So he refrained. Instead, he wondered who it was that smashed into him at incredible speed, sending him tumbling backwards off the walk along the Thames and into the bitter, black water below.

He had been meeting his contact there along the water at an unholy hour, and darkness had lain all about him. The exchange had gone as planned, and he now held the knowledge that he knew would prove key to his current assignment with the War Office. But as the inky water of the Thames closed over his head, he wondered if he would ever get that information to the necessary people.

And then as the last of the light disappeared, he thought of Jane, his wife. His Jane. He did not think of her in specific instances or certain memories that lay in his mind. He thought of her in pieces. Her smell. Her laugh. The sound her hair made as she brushed it at night. The way she always laid her hand on top of his whenever they should find themselves sitting next to one another. Her amazing talents with chestnut roasters.

He would have laughed if such an action would not speed up the inevitable drowning that suddenly became all too real, flushing thoughts of Jane from his mind. His arms began to push against the water as his feet began to pulse, driving him toward the surface. Only he did not move. Whoever it was that had slammed into him still held him about the waist, dragging him deeper into the water. He began to struggle, the need for air and life and Jane surging through his veins in a way he had never felt before.

And then a hand brushed against his cheek, and slender fingers came to rest across his mouth. He wanted to open his eyes, but he knew it would do no good in the black water. But he let the feeling of his attacker’s hand brush against his skin, the shape of it press into his face, the narrowness of limb and the delicate arch of bone.

It was a woman who held him beneath the water.

And he stopped struggling.

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In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.


  1. Hi Jessie,

    I agree that changing the presentation makes a writer look at it in a different way. I have several methods. I edit a couple of times on the computer in the same format I wrote, then I change the background color, font, and margins. When the resulting changes are complete, I'll print it. After that, I listen to it on TextAloud. Then I load it to my eReader and go through again. After those edits are complete, I send it to my editor.

    The book sounds great! I'll be checking out this series, for sure!

    1. Love the idea of changing the margins and font! I'll have to try that one out. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is great advice, jessie. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for having me on the blog!

  4. Apologies for being late, Jessie! I change the font (several times!) when I'm editing, but I like the idea of changing the background colour too - will definitely try that! I also find that reading each chapter out loud (from an enlarged font) is a good way of spotting typos, missing punctuation etc, and also repeated words and phrases tend to jump out at you when you hear them (far more so than when you read them silently)

  5. I'm even later than Paula--so sorry! I completely relate to your advice about editing in color, although I usually highlight with different colors, instead of printing on colored pages. For me, it makes it easier to track story arcs, character development, etc.