Nice Copyediting Things

I’ve had some nice copyediting news recently. Scott Lynch told me in an e-mail that he was “delighted” with my copyedit of The Lies of Locke Lamora and continued with all kinds of wonderful-to-hear things about the job I’d done and my reputation as a copyeditor and so on. I particularly liked this line he said, though:

Your thoroughness is inhuman; it’s your mutant super-power.

The guy has such a way with words. :-)

And in other good copyediting news, one of the novels I copyedited is up for the Philip K. Dick Award! It’s To Crush the Moon, by Wil McCarthy. Wil was nice enough to put me in the acknowledgments for “taming” the book, though truth be told he left me little to do to it. I’ve copyedited that whole series for Wil, though (the first–The Collapsium–was shortlisted for the Nebula), and I’m thrilled to see his work getting that kind of recognition.


I’ve had a pretty fair number of authors put me in the acknowledgments of their books, which is a rare honor for a copyeditor. Sometimes, though, I don’t even know that they have. :-) I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I tried putting my name in the Google Book Search to come up with two such instances. (I know I’m in more acknowledgments than those, actually, but I’m supposing that the Google Book Search doesn’t have every book in it.)

In case you don’t want to click, W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear said the following about me.

In The Athena Factor: “To our copy editor, Deanna Hoak, go the highest praises and appreciation. Deanna catches my goofs.”

And in People of the Raven, they thank me for my “superb copyedit.”

I love Mike and Kathy. They’re great to work with, and their novels are always enjoyable.

Compliments alway brighten my day

Chris Roberson posted an interesting article on Self Publishing, Novellas, and Series Fiction in his journal the other day and had this to say about me in response to a question on quality control:

I’ve been lucky enough to find a spectacular copy editor in the person of Deanna Hoak, who goes far beyond hunting down typos and grammatical errors, going so far as to point out structural problems with plots and scenes, errors of fact, and so on.

I always do love it when authors are happy with my work.

More nice words

I almost forgot to put in here that I got a very nice note from China Miéville after he won the Clarke Award for Iron Council. He was so delighted and surprised about his win, and he noted in part:

You were such a wonderful reader for that book, made such a difference to it–thank you so much again.

It was a lovely thing to hear, because China had shown me Iron Council in draft form, and I got to make more “editorial”-type suggestions than I do when I just copyedit.

Another nice day

Over in his newsgroup today, I offered Wil McCarthy congratulations on the rave review SFRevu gave his To Crush the Moon. He responded with this absolutely lovely compliment:

For those of you who don’t know it, Deanna’s biased, having copyedited the book. If you ever need a good copyeditor, be sure to ask for her by name; I’ve worked with at least a dozen over the past decade or so, and she’s literally the only one I’ve ever trusted to make my text better instead of worse. In fact, I think I said as much in the acknowledgments.

Praise like that always means a lot to me.