In 2015, while emailing back and forth to explore whether we had a good author–editor fit, I purchased the first book in J. Evan Johnson’s When it’s . . . book series to find out more about his skill as an author. I read the entire thing in bed that night, unable to put it down, and by the time I turned off the e-reader, it was technically time for me to get up for the day. I already knew that I wanted him as a client, because of our emails and because of the thorough way he went about searching for the right editor, but reading that book cemented it for me: I had to have him as a client. I had to edit that next book, and, preferably, every book he did from that time on.
I edited the second book in that series, When it’s too Dark to See the Light, as well as a novella he subsequently wrote, titled The One Time, Many a Time Incident. He decided he wanted me as his editor for life, and we have a seven-book series to look forward to after the When it’s… series is finished.
J. Evan Johnson’s When it’s… book series nearly complete
June 1, 2016, the last book in the trilogy is scheduled to hit my desk. Before I edit it, I’ll go through it the first time as a reader, just enjoying the story and making comments on it as I go. Many of the questions I ask will be resolved by the time I get to the end of the book, but I keep a record of those questions for my authors, because it gives them a window into what a reader may think and how a reader may react while reading the book. At different points in different books, I have cheered, cried, and even “yelled at” authors from the perspective of a reader (which is, of course, what an editor is first). At the end of When it’s Too Dark to See the Light, I told Evan that he’d better not kill off Jade. He left her on life support at the end of the book, hanging by a proverbial thread, and left readers wanting to shake him by the shoulders and demand to know what was going to happen. Or maybe that was just me he did that to. No, I couldn’t have been the only one who wanted to shake him and find out.
Torture master Suspenseful author that he is, though, he wouldn’t tell me. His editor! So don’t feel bad, Dear Reader. I didn’t get to know how it turns out, either. But I will. <evil laugh> I’ll find out soon, but I promise that I’ll get it ready for publication as soon as possible, because you deserve to find out, too.