My last Dutch update was back in September, when Meredith Wild had just hooked me up with her editor, Helen Hardt, but prior to putting Dutch into the hands of her agent, Kimberly Brower. Kimberly – who, in case you’re wondering, fucking rocks – took me on as her client last November, when I happily became one of the authors repped by the Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency.
Kimberly told me to sit tight while she started shopping Dutch, work on writing JUMA, do anything but focus on the process of selling Dutch. Which, for anyone who has been through it, knows it takes forever, moves slower than a sloth, and is really the last thing a writer wants to contemplate. Especially since the holidays were right around the corner and everyone and their mother would be on vacation, closing end-of-the-year deals, and whatnot.
Being the good client I am – here and there, I behave – I did just as she requested. My holiday season was full of writing poetry, working on Juma, enjoying my writing group, going down south to visit my family, and hanging with friends. I did everything but think about Dutch.
During December Kimberly and I hooked up, talked shop, and she let me know Dutch was getting good feedback, folks seemed interested. Then in January, something concrete. Feedback. Positive feedback. A request for edits. From a senior editor. Holy fuck.
Exciting and…wait…they want me to what? Change the first ten chapters of Dutch? Huh? Come again?
But then Kimberly, being Kimberly – as I mentioned above, she fucking rocks – rephrased everything, making said request for edits (somewhat) more palatable and even a bit exciting, all the while assuring me she will never ever ever let anyone mess with my writing style.
God, she’s good.
I made the edits and here are the three things I learned: 1) it was kind of fun. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks to change your baby, but it’s also fun getting back into your characters’ heads at that point in time, bulking them up, adding to the already vast amounts of sex and fuckery; 2) there’s a reason that woman is a successful Senior Editor; because 3) after making her requested changes, Dutch IS AMAZING.
I thought I loved it before – GAH! That was nothing. Now it is The Shit. Her suggested changes take the story over the top, add depth, build more tension, and Grace Jones makes an appearance. Because why not? Grace is the baddest. Also, all of that work only makes me more eager to get Dutch into people’s hands.
Of course, first she’s gotta love it. Senior Editor lady. The woman with all the power. Cross your fingers and toes for me and let’s hope Dutch – Update No. 3 is chock full of good news.