Friday, May 9, 2014

Editors Aren’t Really That Scary by Kelly Hashway

The first time I got an editorial letter, I stocked up on dark chocolate and prepared myself for a lot of gray hairs. But what really happened was I found someone who loved my story and characters as much as I did. Sure, there were plenty of things to improve upon, and I had moments where I read certain comments and thought, “What? Is she crazy? I can’t do that!” But after a good night’s sleep, I realized I could do that and the story would be better for it. I’ve learned to trust that my editors have my best interests at heart. They want my books to be successful, and the comments they make are designed to help that happen.

But my favorite part of working with editors happens to be the comments that make me cry. Not because I don’t agree with the comments or because I don’t know how to make a change, but because they are so dang funny! I’ve had manuscripts come back from copy editing with conversations in the margins between my editor and my copy editor about certain parts of the book. Now my copy editor happens to be a man, and he’s amazing at what he does, but my MCs are teenage girls and well…he’s never been one. Some of his comments on kissing scenes and other “girly” things that might take him out of his element have made my editor and I double over with laughter. I live for these comments because when you are knee-deep in edits and on a deadline, you need to laugh in order to stay sane.

So, editors aren’t that scary. In fact, they are some of the most awesome people I know. They have my back, encourage me to be a better writer, and they make me laugh. I’m very grateful for them.

Kelly Hashway

Touch of Death, Spencer Hill Press, January 2013
Stalked by Death, Spencer Hill Press, August 2013
Face of Death, Spencer Hill Press, January 2014
Into the Fire, Month9Books, April 2014
The Monster Within, Spencer Hill Press, April 2014


Kelly Hashway is a former language arts teacher who now works as a full-time writer, freelance editor, and mother to an adorable little girl. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly writes middle grade books, picture books, and short stories. When she’s not writing or digging her way out from under her enormous To Be Read pile, she’s running and playing with her daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.


  1. Great reminder that editors aren't all bad ;-)

    1. I love mine, which makes me a very lucky author. :)

  2. Great post! And yes, editors are not scary. The editing process is the best part because you already have something to work with and someone helping you make things better.

    1. Yes. Editors love our books as much as we do, and that's just awesome.

  3. Kelly, I loved this post--humanizing editors, tee hee! I have loved some and not but always learn something very useful in the editorial process, speaking of which, I am about to embark on it all over again. I like your sentence about dark chocolate and grey hairs. I can relate!