Among the many things I am involved in, especially this past week in the middle of a lot of chaos is the final draft of my new book Tail of the Dragon which has been in editing and rewrites since June of last year. I have spent the last week going over the pages of notes, remarkably all good. I have developed a good working relationship with my editor, like people who go to war with each other usually do, but this copyeditor is a person whom I’ve never met–which is on purpose, because the intention is that the publisher wants a fresh set of eyes looking at the manuscript before it goes to print.
This is always a nerve-racking experience because in many cases the copyeditor will be brutally honest, which is the point, and pleasant comments are not normal. So it gives me great pleasure to report the note that this copyeditor left for me at the end of the manuscript. I didn’t even see it till I went through the entire document and accepted the changes under the tracking format.
It is as follows first from my editor, then the copyeditor.
Mr. Hoffman: It was very much an honor to work on your book, which I found to be fascinating, thrilling, and insightful. I found myself pouring through the book, wanting to know what would happen next. Your book is wonderful on its own, and on top of that, it reminds me of my own parents; I can’t wait to have them read the book once it is printed. Thank you for the pleasure of being part of such an enjoyable and rewarding process;
I wish you the best of luck!
Let me tell you something–after the week that I’ve had, that message was a very welcome note. I LOVE SMART PEOPLE! I’ll have to admit, because I spend so much time in books, writing them, or thinking about them that I sometimes forget how some people might think of me. I’m not a politician even though I can speak well and can sound like one. I wouldn’t even say I’m an activist, even though I have very passionate thoughts and ideas about what society should be doing. If I had to call myself anything it would be a writer who paints with words what I see deep inside and I form my thoughts upon these pages for characters not yet written. I am most happy in those written realms and it’s nice when someone else appreciates it.
Once I send this manuscript back to the publisher, which I will after another complete reading, it will be in print within months. Which is exciting. This book is a long time in the making and represents a deep plunge for me into a unique work of philosophy that I hope will endure for many years. The comments from this neutral person eases my mind in ways that are impossible to articulate.