Actually, how is that even possible?

A few weeks ago I wrote about how “we’re all normal, and none of us are,” and how frustrating it is when people try to pigeonhole you (because you’re a woman, or gay, or a Christian, or whatever). I got some great responses to that post, and I promised I had more to say next time.

Sooooo… I kinda lied.

Well, no, it wasn’t actually a lie. I really do have more to say on that. But it turns out it won’t be “next time,” because this is the next full post I’m writing, and today I’m writing about something different. So stay tuned, and I’ll get back to that previous train of thought eventually.

Today, an update on my book.

The last few weeks have been nuts for me! For one thing, we’ve officially moved the publication date for my book from December to November. That means you can get your hands on Torn a month earlier than you expected! I hope you’re as thrilled by that news as I am. (And if you’re not, you should be! What’s wrong with you?)

Yes, my book is now coming out one week after the US presidential election. So you get a week to adjust to the excitement or frustration of seeing your favorite candidate win or lose, and then, there’s my book!

Remember, America: Cast your vote, then go get Torn. These two things should now be permanently linked in your mind. Vote, Torn. Vote, Torn. Just don’t get confused and tear the ballot. Or write me in. I’d be a terrible president.

What really made the last few weeks nuts, though, was that I got my manuscript back from the editor after she made her final pass through it—what they call a “line edit.” Basically, a line edit is where the editor, after telling you that your manuscript is brilliant and powerful and fantastic and entertaining and the best she’s seen in ages, gives you back your brilliant, powerful, fantastic manuscript so covered in a sea of red ink that you need Moses to come part it for you to see your original text underneath.

It is, I tell you, every author’s favorite part of the book-writing process.

Okay, it’s not really that bad, but it’s close. Writing a book and having it edited by someone sharp and thorough is a great way to teach you how much you overuse certain words or phrases that you had no idea you used so much. (“Really? I said ‘how is that even possible’ that many times? How is that even possible?”)*

* Note: I did not actually say “How is that even possible” in my actual manuscript. Though maybe I should have.

The manuscript, also, doesn’t really come covered in red ink. It comes as a Word document (like many evil things, brought to you by the Microsoft corporation) with “Track Changes” turned on so that you can see the hundreds or thousands of changes, suggestions, and comments your editor has made. They show up like little bubbles all over your document, bubbles filled with loathing and despair (which I’m pretty sure is a fragrance from Calvin Klein).

In my case, due to unforeseen circumstances, I got the changes back shortly before the final version was due to the publisher, so I had to cut myself off from the world for a while to meticulously go through them, one by one, rewriting sections and determining when to say, “Oh, yes, that’s a good point; I probably didn’t need to use the word ‘actually’ nine times in that paragraph,” and when to say, “You want to change my punctuation here? NEVER! You can have my semicolon when you pry it from my cold, dead hands! …And even then, you’d better not change it. Seriously, guys.”

Now, a couple of weeks later, I’ve aged like a US president in office (again, please don’t write me in), but there is some good news: at no point in this process did I physically throw my laptop across the room while screaming. (If you’re an author, you’ll understand why this is good news.)

In the end, I’m actually really thrilled, actually, at the actually awesome results, and I actually think this book is actually going to be actually fantastic. Actually, I think it will actually be more fantastic than before the edit. I know what you’re thinking: “How is that even possible?” But it’s true. Actually.