On the first day of February, right on schedule, I received an e-mail from Alex Russell, my editor for the conceptual editing of Benny's Angel. He introduced himself and laid out the timetable for the next part of the production process.
During the first three weeks of February, Alex will edit my entire manuscript, watching for plot formation, story arc, and character consistency, etc. I will not hear from him until February 21, when he will send me the edited manuscript with problem areas and suggestions highlighted. Once I have approved, disapproved, or rewritten these areas, I will return the manuscript to him, and he will combine my edits.
The manuscript will be returned to me in the second week of March. I will review it and, if I am satisfied, sign it off as approved, using a Content Approval Form. Once Alex has received the manuscript back, he will move it on to Tate's Audio and Design Departments.
In addition to giving me my timetable, Alex asked me to return the questionnaire I completed last month. I explain the questionnaire in a previous blog post, Update on Benny's Angel. He also requested that I send in the endorsement I had received for the book, as well as confirm the exact title and the way my name should appear on the cover and title page.
This is all very exciting, while at the same time sobering. Once I approve the final changes, the wording of the manuscript is "set in stone" and cannot be changed. That is why I am seeking God for His wisdom and direction more than ever. As I do this, He gives me a peace and assurance that He is with me now, just as He was present in my secret garden the day Benny's Angel was conceived in my imagination.