Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Looking Back

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I’ve had a very interesting opportunity lately. With the re-issue of books I wrote some years ago, I’m looking back at work I did earlier in my career. Along with gorgeous new covers and snappy descriptions, these editions are read by a copyeditor, who sometimes has queries (see below!). And the files scanned from print pages have to be carefully proofread. So I have to examine each word that I put on paper in the past.

I admit I began with a touch of trepidation. What if I found the stories flawed? I was a different person then, a different writer. Yes, they’re historical romances, so they don’t get dated in objective terms. I didn’t have to worry that my characters had no cell phones or home computers. Regency England is the same, now and then. Love doesn’t get old. But did the stories hold up?

The good news is: I still feel proud of them. They read just fine. And it’s been fun to re-discover characters and situations I didn’t fully remember. I even managed to amuse myself a time or two. The better news is: I can see ways that I have/can become a better writer over time.  That’s something I’m always trying to do, and I’m really pleased to see ways I’ve improved.

I did discover a couple of typos, and a place where I had – for some reason – changed the name of a minor character from one page to the next. These were published for all to see, mind you!

But all in all, the process has been great. So I’m happy to offer more re-issues coming up, beginning with The Bargain in August, one of my favorites. But don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself! Post about something you’ve looked back on, for good or ill, and win a copy of The Marriage Wager, as well as my brand new book The Bride Insists.


11 comments:

  1. Congrats on the release, Jane! I've often wondered what it would be like to go back and work on older books.

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  2. I think looking back at old photographs - what was I thinking lol. Well, it probably was the style of the times but it looks funny now!

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    1. Oh, the hair styles in old pictures!

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  3. I've rewritten a few oldies but goodies. The change in my writing style is dramatic. First I wrote suspense (because that's what my critique group was writing) and when I found my own voice, everything changed for the better. Now I look back at everything from 2007 on and I'm pretty happy.

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  4. I've looked back on some of the men I dated and am grateful that they ended when they did. They weren't bad men. They all treated me well. I like the person I am now and I know that wouldn't be possible if those relationships became more serious.

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    1. Very thoughtful. We are shaped by those experience, aren't we?

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    2. Alyn, you are the winner of the two books! Email me at janeashfordauthor@gmail.com to tell me where you'd like that sent. Congratulations!

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  5. I like to look back at my old yearbooks and see the girl I was and the person I've grown into. It's funny how looking at those pictures, you can remember the thoughts back then in ways but it also makes you think about how you would act/re-act differently. I was shy in school but now that I think back, the worst thing that could have happened was people not liking my thoughts. Not a very good reason to keep to myself!

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    1. Yearbooks are such a source of memories!

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  6. my comment was lost yesterday
    vacation

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  7. I actually looked at old photos from my teen years. (I am now in my mid-20s) So it wasn't too long ago, but long enough that it felt like it was a million years ago since those days. Seeing myself back then makes me realize how precious time is.

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