After publishing over 70 titles, I’m still a little kid when it comes to seeing the final print run in all its glory. There’s nothing like seeing all the hard work of my cover designer become a 3-D viable thing to hold. And hug. Yes, I still hug each new book because it’s about the only time I can stop to take a breath and remember the production phase.
As I hugged Donna Ballman’s book, The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers (fondly known as Quill around these here parts), I flipped through the pages and got to remember all over again how fabulous this book is. Not only does she make this palatable and clear to writers, but she invites all kinds of fabulous ideas that could enhance a story – aspects that the writer might not have ever thought about had it not been for reading Quill. In fact, her book gave me a new idea for a book. Donna, I’m not sure whether to thank you or kill you. Like, I have time to WRITE?
The cover is GORGEOUS and promptly swooned upon tearing open the box. The inside is equally wonderful, which is no small task because this wasn’t a book that was even a slight gleam in her eye.
Donna is a children’s/YA writer. But she has this wonderful day job that attracted me when I first met her on Litopia. “Ssssay,” sez me, “I have this imprint, The Get it Write Series, that deals with writer’s research books and all things writerly. How’dja like to write a writer’s guide to the courtroom? The Great Cosmic Muffin only knows how many writers get things wrong when putting their characters into a court room. This would be one-stop shopping of the civil law system thingy mc-joby.”
Donna was up to it and wrote her little heart out. When we were editing the manuscript, I kept saying, “Donna, dear, you forget that we don’t know all this stuff. You need to make it possible for the beagle to understand it.” It didn’t take long before we developed our own mantra: “Channel the beagle.”
To Donna’s great credit, she channeled the beagle and the result is an inclusive bible of US civil law that is clear, concise, and bloated with fabulous writing ideas.
The channeling was great; the beagle just filed suit against me for unpaid designer doggy chewies, and word on the street is that Donna has a new penchant for margaritas.
My recommendation to all writers is to fire up the blender, rush to your bookstore and snap up a copy of Quill. Otherwise, the beagle may just have to serve you with papers…
edited to add: check out Donna’s website and blog