Critters at the Keyboard welcomes Emelle Gamble author of Secret Sister
Emelle will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour AND her Reviews Tour.
Critters asked Emelle to talk about the editing process the book went through.
Secret Sister has seen a long and winding road into publication. I first conceptualized the book years ago with the single thought of “What if everything about you changed in an instant, would your true love still know you?” Wrapping a plot, structure, characterization and ninety thousand words about it has been a long and wonderful process.
It’s been edited by my critique group, twice. By me about fourteen times. I kid you not. And then, after its acquisition by Char Chaffin at Soul Mate Publishing, another 5 or 6 times by the two of us.
Every single time I’ve edited it, I’ve changed something significant. Sometimes it was characterization…an alcoholic fell off the wagon…then he didn’t. A woman had an affair…then she didn’t. A character told someone the truth…then she recanted. I changed tones from sarcastic funny to more serious. I changed hair color, eye color, the years of cars, what people ate for dinner.
These changes, either to make changes I thought would make the book stronger or more compelling, or because a trusted critique partner or editor convinced me to cut or add an element, reminded me that we working writers are always working on our craft. Like a boat builder or an artist or a baker, we learn from the mistakes, take inspiration from a sudden new thought, and try to always make our newest creation better than the last.
The editing process on Secret Sister with my new editor at Soul Mate Publishing was very beneficial to me and the book. I’d rewritten it so many times over the course of a couple of years that I couldn’t see mistakes and weaknesses that were immediately clear to her. Her fresh eyes, and great skills, helped me through those final rewrites to make it a stronger story.
So the editing process I went through with Secret Sister, while strenuous and taxing, made me a stronger writer.
Writing is a craft, good writing is good craft, and good craft comes from repetition and ‘seeing and correcting’ past mistakes. While I know my readers reactions to my work will be varied, editing is the tool most helpful to achieving my goal, which is to entertain and tell a story that touches, in some small way, those generous enough with their time to read my work.
To their friends, Nick and Cathy Chance have the perfect marriage. High school sweethearts who’ve been together for ten years, they’ve weathered challenges and are as committed as they were when they first fell in love. Cathy trusts Nick, Nick’s world revolves around his wife, and the future looks golden.
To everyone who knows them, Cathy Chance and Roxanne Ruiz have a perfect friendship. They connected in grade school and since then have been each other’s confident and trusted advisor. Cathy loves the gorgeous Roxanne like a sister, Roxanne has fun-loving Cathy’s back in every situation, though lately there’s been tension between these two best friends…
And then, on a sunny summer morning, the unthinkable occurs, throwing into doubt the truth of what each of these people really know about themselves and one another.
Will Roxanne’s sacrifice be too little, and too late? Should Nick’s love for his wife be strong enough to risk trusting his heart more than logic? Can Cathy’s devotion to Nick give her enough strength to convince him to see her for who she really is?
Secret Sister proves how strong, how stubborn, and how trustworthy love can be as Nick and Cathy and Roxanne are challenged to overcome the secrets, the lies … and one extraordinary twist of fate that turns their lives upside down.
Please enjoy this excerpt
“May I sit down, Nick?”
I nodded. Roxanne sat at the table in the kitchen. Despite her appearance, she seemed in control. I felt her eyes on me as I poured myself a glass of water.
The kitchen was a mess. For a second I was embarrassed by the dirty dishes, the souredmilk on the counter. Then I got a grip. This wasn’t a social call and Roxanne wasn’t someone I was trying to impress. Every time she walked into the room, she did so with an agenda.
I turned around. “Do you want something to drink?”
She shook her head.
I sat across from her. She was pinching the back of her hand, like Cathy used to do.
“What’s going on? What do you want from me?” I sounded angrier than I thought I was.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re fooling around with your hands exactly like Cathy always did. You never had that habit. Why are you doing stuff like that?”
“What else am I doing?”
“You’re wearing your hair pulled back in a ribbon, and clothes like my wife wore.” I pointed at her blouse. “And you’re acting weird with the cat, like she’s your cat, among other things. It’s freaking my sister out.”
Roxanne fidgeted. “That’s ridiculous,” she said, but her face revealed I’d hit a nerve...
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Emelle Gamble was a writer at an early age, bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection which evolved into bad teen poetry and took her first stab at full length fiction in an adult education writing class when her kids were in bed. As M.L. Gamble, she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin. She has contracted with Soul Mate Publishing for Secret Sister, summer of 2013, and Dating Cary Grant, an early 2014 release.
Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Emelle’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. She most enjoys reading stories that surprise and amaze her, and hopes her readers will enjoy the challenging and exciting journeys her characters take.
Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her husband, Phil, her hero of thirty years, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. These girls, like all good villains, have their reasons for misbehaving. Her daughter, Olivia, and son, Allen, are happily launched on their own and contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.
FaceBook: Author Emelle Gamble