And now a word from my editor.


When it comes to being an indie author I’m pretty lucky. Indie authors generally have to send a fully formatted and edited book to the publisher. They also have to supply their own cover art. If an indie author wants to compete with the traditional publishers who have their own in-house editors and artists, they are going to have to find their own editor and pay for those services. Unfortunately, a lot of indie authors forego these two most important steps in the process to save money, and it shows. This is where I’m lucky. I want to introduce you to my editor.

Denise actually lives in Ames, so that is convenient. She is a native of Story City, IA and an Iowa State University graduate. She holds a BA and an MA in English. For a time she worked as an editor for ISU Press. She then went to Engineering Animation, Inc., as a technical writer, then to Quester IT as Manager of Content Development, and then to Phasient Learning Technologies where she served as a Director of Content Development and retired as VP of operations. Quite a good resume for a guy like me to snag up. The luckiest thing about it though is that Denise is my wife. If you want to keep publishing costs down, marry your editor. I will add that Denise’s sister is a graphic designer for a grocery chain, and also my designer for the covers of all of my books. So you might say, when it comes to in house editors and artists, the big boys got nothing on me.
I asked Denise to talk a bit about our editing process:

For us, editing begins as Rollie is outlining the story in his head, often before he even sits down at the computer to write. He talks about what Max and Skip and the gang are doing, and we talk through ideas of how that might go. So I know the story from the outset.

By the time Rollie publishes one of his books, I have read it at least three times. I start the substantive edit before he finishes his second draft, reading two or three chapters at a time to catch inconsistencies in the storyline, discrepancies with characters and places, any flow issues and grammatical errors that catch my eye. I follow the Chicago Manual of Style and keep a style sheet for consistency both within and across the books. We discuss things like flow and character development, and I might suggest alternate wording or even changes to scenes if it feels necessary. I perform this edit on the computer, right in the chapter files. Small edits I just make, while larger things I either flag for discussion or we hash out as I go. We don’t always agree.

Once the substantive edit is complete and all the changes accepted, I compile the separate chapters into the template to make the book. It took us a while to find a process that works best, but by Where the Hell is Angie? I feel like we have a system that catches most problems. For the first copyedit, I print out the book and we read it side by side at the dining room table: I read each page, marking each change on the page and flagging the page with a post-it flag, then Rollie reads the page and tries to catch anything I miss. When we get through the entire book, I enter the changes in the document and Rollie uploads the book to the printer and orders a proof.

When the proof arrives, we do a final proofread together. For Case of the, we happened to be on a road trip at this stage, and we discovered that me reading the book aloud to Rollie caught errors that my eyes alone didn’t catch. So now we take a vacation at the proofread stage so we can take advantage of long stretches of time together. (Does this practice also make the trip tax deductible? I must remember to ask Eric, our tax preparer!) For this stage, I again make edits in the book and flag pages with post-it flags. By this point, we hope to find only typos and misplaced commas, but this time we found a spot where the two bikers (you’ll have to read Angie to see who I mean) eat lunch twice on the same day, a few chapters apart. Oops!

Max, Skip, Monica, Milton and the rest are old friends by now. I look forward to each new book so we can catch up.

Where the Hell is Angie?

The creative process of writing a novel is just one part of the equation. I always enjoy writing them, but at the end of the last chapter, I know that my work has just begun. It is actually kind of a letdown. I get done writing it and for a moment I think, wow, I actually wrote a book, a three hundred page book, then the realization hits me, I’m nowhere near done, I actually have to work on it. But when it is all re-written, edited, re-edited, the art work for the cover is chosen, the layout is finished, everything is sent to the publisher, checked and checked again, and then I get to see my book for sale, it is all worth it.

The third novel in the G&B Detective Agency series is written, edited, published and available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. It is titled G&B Detective Agency: Where the Hell is Angie? The official publish date was September 5.  It usually takes a little while after it is published for everything to fall into place. What I mean is that when the book is published and goes into distribution, it goes through a week or so where it just roams around out there in the web finding its way. But it has settled in and now it is easily found, easily gotten.  It feels good to get it done and out to readers.

Just to let you all know, book four, Case of the Cold Case, is started. I’m a little more than halfway through the first draft. People ask me if there is another one coming, and so yes, there is. It is looking pretty good. I think everyone will like it. Here’s a teaser: Case of the Cold Case is a bit dark. I felt like Where the Hell is Angie? got a little more intense than the other two, but Cold Case is going to be, without a doubt, darker. That’s all I’m going to say about it for now. You’ll just have to wait.

It is all about me.

Getting my books out there to people and getting them to read my books is harder than writing them. Since the Facebook Community Boost seminar early this summer I’ve been putting some effort toward expanding my base. One thing that I’ve been told is that people now-a-days want to get to know the author better. So I am going to write about myself today. Now most of you probably already know me well enough. I appreciate all the support that I’ve gotten from you all, but I’m asking a favor today. I’m asking if you can share me with people who might not know me as well. I want everyone to read my books, and I need some help.

Let’s get right to it, I’m from Iowa. I was born at Mary Greeley Hospital on June 2, 1950. I grew up just outside of Shipley, Iowa and attended Shipley school through 6th grade, then I went to school in Nevada, the town, not the state. I lived in Council Bluffs after I graduated from high school while I attended school there for a few years, I did a hitch in the Navy, lived in Jacksonville, Florida for a few years, and then came back to Iowa. That’s it in a nutshell.

I believe that education is next. I graduated from Nevada High School in 1968. I went to trade school at Iowa Western Community College and got an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic certification. When I was in the Navy I took correspondence courses through the University of Rhode Island. Then I went to Florida Junior College and graduated with an AA in journalism. I went on to Iowa State University and graduated in 1981 with a BA in English. I might add that in there somewhere I graduated from the Des Moines Police academy. I’ve done a lot of graduating it seems.

Now, a list of jobs I’ve held down, hopefully in order: farm boy, construction worker, ranch hand, airplane mechanic, sailor, campus security officer, auto parts salesman, welder, college student, construction worker again, police officer, airplane mechanic again, probation officer, aquatics center supervisor/lifeguard/lifeguard instructor, and detective novel writer. That’s all of the jobs that I can remember right now.

Next is hobbies. Well, I would have to put writing detective novels at the top of this list. I know that I put it in the list of jobs, but really it is more of a hobby that has gotten out of hand. Ukulele player. Yes, I am a ukulele player and a passable singer. I tell people who ask me about my music that I’m not great as a ukulele player and singer, but I’m good enough. I have a few other hobbies that keep me busy. I like to ride my bicycle and I get out once in a while metal detecting. I used to do some hunting and fishing, but not so much anymore. But most of all I like to write.

So that is about it for me. This is actually a little longer than I wanted it to be. I guess there is more to me than I thought. But the bloggers these days say that if an author wants to get their books out there they have to let people get to know them, so this is who I am.