Not sure that I was capable of writing a complete novel that others would want to read, I worked solo for several years on a manuscript, hired an editor on the internet, and self- published Beginning Again at Zero in 2016. However, unfortunately I knew nothing about self-editing or marketing. But, I did prove to myself that I had it in me to write an interesting novel.
I set out to write a second one. Just as I was getting started mapping out a plot and structure, I met Karen. She seemed to possess the knowledgeabout the publishing industry that I lacked and to function as a “kick-ass” editor which was just what I needed to write a better novel than my first one.
I retained her as a consultant and editor for the whole production process for my second novel, Accidental Saviors (2018). I sent her drafts of each chapter and we met by telephone to go over her editorial suggestions. She made it clear from the start, however, that it was my book and I was free to accept or reject her suggestions. She served as an encouraging teacher. Each week I was learning more about the craft. Many weeks I sensed that Karen actually had a clearer idea of what I wanted to say in the book than I did myself. I never doubted that she was on my side and wanted me to produce the best novel I could.
I think of Karen as a valued midwife who encouraged, coached and challenged me as the author to give birth to a much-improved work that I was proud to market and distribute according to her guidance.
-Jack Saarela, author of Accidental Saviors