Q: You have been very open about using an editor to help you through the writing process. What role did they play?

A: Most of my professional writing experience was in the field of non-fiction. My first four books, The First and Final Commandment, MisGod’ed, God’ed, and Bearing True Witness were all scholastic works of comparative religion. The Eighth Scroll is my first novel, and the skill set for writing fiction is completely different from that required to write non-fiction. I employed a professional to transform me into a fiction writer, and that is exactly what freelance editor Arlene W. Robinson did. She is a jewel in the literary world, in my opinion. Take her as your developmental editor, and she will literally tear you apart and rebuild you in the mold of market desires. I joke that she is my literary dominatrix, because the beginning was torture. But here’s the rub – you can either hire a cheerleader editor who slaps your back and sings your praises, which does nothing to make you a better writer, or you can face the music, deal with your deficiencies, and hone your writing skills to the level of a professional That is what Arlene Robinson did for me.

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