She not only fixed grammar and mechanical problems, she offered a fresh eye to the prose. Sometimes I was just stuck for a compelling phrase, and she offered a suggestion that added depth and variety.
She wasn’t afraid to say things like, “This scene is dragging. I am bored here.” or “If this is a life and death situation, you need to ramp it up earlier in the scene so the reader will realize it.”
Within a month of receiving Susan’s edit, I sent the manuscript out again (I’d been rejected close to 100 times) and within six weeks had five publishers express interest in the book. Two of the ones that lost out made a point of asking me to submit to them again, and one even offered to write an advance review of the book and post it on her blog to promote the book.
COUNTERACT is due out in the fall of 2014, and I sent the sequel to Susan before I submitted it to my publisher. I don’t have to. My contract with my publisher says the subsequent volumes in the series may be submitted for consideration in first draft form, but to me using Susan at this point is not an option.
She took my writing to a new level. I did a much better first draft of the sequel because of what I learned from working with her.