On December 27th, my friend Elisa Bonnin published her debut novel Arbiter, a YA Fantasy, through Vittoriosa Books. It is available on Amazon.com as a Kindle ebook, and at least for today it’s a free download. (Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can read the book on a variety of devices, like the PC, MAC, Blackberry, Android, etc.)
Check it out at “Arbiter (Young Adult Blockbusters)”.
In her Acknowledgments, Elisa writes “This book could not have come about without the support of my family… my friends, particularly Lauryn, who put up with my insanity, and Joanna, who helped me edit the book and pointed out several truths that were hard to swallow.”
This is the first fiction novel that I’ve ever edited that has been published, and it’s the first time I have ever been acknowledged beyond having my name listed at the front along with the other editors (as has been the case with the anthologies I’ve contributed to). Usually my work as an editor is unacknowledged by default, something that happens behind the scenes and for which I can usually take little credit for the end result. (The best editor, like the film editor, should be invisible, and one would have to be a self-centered jerk to go around saying “Yes, in that passage there, I fixed a typo, and I was the one who said to put a bridge there.”)
In this case, though, I encouraged Elisa to submit the manuscript to a publisher and I edited the book, chapter by chapter, so I had a special attachment to the story. I told her she made me want to become an agent, to make sure work like this got published, even though I had yet to read the final version. That she got published, by an outside publisher, a couple of months after we finished the editing project, is so inspiring! It goes to show that all these fancy rules about the necessary platform and experience and publication credits are not always true.
I hope to do an interview with Elisa shortly, in terms of how she pitched the book (first in a series of five books), what her process of publication was like, and how she is promoting the book. I’ve downloaded the final version, which I’m excited to read in one sitting, and I’ll write a book review. (That may not happen for about two weeks, though, while I catch up on other work projects. In the meantime, I’ve pitched the review to E & K Family Book Review for publication.)