Monday, March 15, 2010

In praise of Toni Weisskopf

Toni Weisskopf is the Publisher of Baen Books and its most active editor. She is also my editor. At a party once, I heard her talking to a young woman who wanted to be a writer. I wandered over and commented that Toni was good at developing beginning writers. Toni responded, "If by developing you mean, 'Keep your fucking hands off my prose,' then I suppose I am." That comment nicely summarizes the attitude she encounters from me regarding my work. I strive to earn that attitude by delivering only manuscripts that are ready for copy editing and the rest of the production cycle. I've made that point here and on panels at SF conventions.

With Children No More, I again tried to do that, and I thought I had succeeded.

Toni responded with about half a dozen very gently worded questions and suggestions--as well as with a note that she would print the book as it was if I didn't think her comments were appropriate.

Having stated my attitude publicly, I feel honor-bound to announce here (and on future panels) that every single one of Toni's comments was right on target and to acknowledge my debt to her. She spotted two small continuity errors, and her other suggestions were excellent ones that I promptly addressed. The book is better for her input.

Thanks, Toni.

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