thank you!

Editing to Website Design: I’ve Got Superwomen on the Job

As a writer, it would be disingenuous to proclaim my words on a page or in this blog are solely possible by my ingenuity and grit (and the First Amendment). We’d all like to think the brilliance, the magic, comes to life by mere pen scrabbles, or keystrokes of inspiration.

But like an award acceptance speech, I have people to thank. Those who helped bring me to this place of delight from books well-spruced and a wondrous website with blog to promote my works. Plus, Mom always instilled the importance of thank-you notes—on fabulous stationary.

My contributing cast of characters may not be aliens, but they are out-of-this-world wow, as fierce—and fun to work with—as superhero Luna Moth Woman herself. Two women who have brought polish and panache and pleasing pops of color to my written word and the world in which my stories reside.

First, my editor Ali Shaw of Indigo Editing. After she did her super-spiffing of my third novel, Aliens Abound, Ali gave me the promotional push I needed to finally get cracking on marketing. I asked for a recommendation on a website designer, and she sent me to Tina Granzo of City Beautiful Designs, and here I am, posting blogs about my books like a whirling dervish (too bad Ali can’t edit those, too).

I don’t recall how I found Indigo Editing’s Ali to help me hone my nonfiction tome, Raising Questions, back in 2013-14, but help me she did. And I wish I could say I sought out her services for the first novel in my Other Worldly series, Alienable Rights. But alas, I was overly focused on producing a profitable product to please potential powerhouse publishers—as opposed to hiring a practitioner skilled in technical logistics of excellent wordplay.

I’m happy to say Ali came onboard for Feeling Alienated and beyond, and now I understand why many famous authors profusely thank editors for making it all possible. It’s a symbiotic relationship that, when it’s great, can make your books so much better. It’s about understanding and diplomacy, gentle persuasion that perhaps this word choice or placement is something to retool or rethink.

Plus, Ali lets me know when my characters said something witty—or wise. She gets it. That writers are in parched needed of a glass of cool water known as positive feedback while fixing cracks in the glass so a flood of sloppy verbiage doesn’t come gushing forth, drenching the reader with typos or awkward prose.

Although I must say it continues to be disconcerting how very off my own instincts are when it comes to comma placement (given how much I fuss about the drafters of the Second Amendment). Thank goodness Ali knows her stuff, and struts it in a manner that makes me keep coming back with the next novel for more of the same. With a side of happy face emoji.

Next up, website design with fun and flare brought by Tina Granzo of City Beautiful Designs. But first, the utter angst and full-blown phobia over creating a website, which I’d haplessly attempted a year ago. Only to put it off and write two more books because writing was something I could do, and navigating my way through Word Press was not. I wanted to write a blog, but not badly enough to destroy my psyche at the height of pandemic panic by attempting a foreign language my mind could not fathom.

Enter Tina, who is so utterly chill and creative and fun that within a week I reverted to third grade and asked if she would be my best friend. This after a meltdown or two. Over feeling inept and confused and utterly stupid at freaking out over not knowing answers to simple questions like, “What search engine do you use?” or “What’s the password for your old website?”—the one I started and failed so disastrously, which Tina didn’t say but my befuddled brain definitely did.

I needed the A,B,C, click here, right-click there, see-Jane-and-Dick-and-Spot-having-fun kind of directions, painstakingly detailed and exhaustively explained. Tina created many six-minute videos. She made me the most perfect Other Worldly and Luna Moth Woman logos ever, while finding fabulous images to enhance the experience of all who might visit my website.

Tina got to know my books and my favorite colors—and emoji. She held my hand through social media posting as I held my breath and turned blue a time or two. And I really do feel like she’s my best friend. Because she knows my shameful secret fears and built a website for me anyway.

When this quarantine is over, I want to travel to Portland, Oregon to finally meet Ali and Tina in person. I owe them a cocktail, and so much more. And if you’re in need of an editor or website designer with a huge helping of friendly flair, look no further than Indigo Editing: and City Beautiful Designs:


2 thoughts on “Editing to Website Design: I’ve Got Superwomen on the Job”

    1. It takes a village of readers too 🙂
      As I write, for me each novel is like the moving process. I’ve got stuff lying around everywhere (multiple notebooks with scribbled notes and scenes). Towards the end, I have to make sure I’ve packed everything in the right box, it all fits and all odd-shaped gaps are filled without too much excess packing materials, and there aren’t little scraps of paper with potential genius hiding under the couch that still need to be included before my cat chews them up.

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