How did you come up with the Mona character?

sitting woman with black corset

The Taste of HoneyHow did you come up with the Mona character?

When I finally figured out the title of the story ‘The Taste of Honey’, I knew how I wanted the story to end. Honey was a main character who wanted to live forever in her family and close friends. In her mind, for whatever reason, she firmly believed that her spirit could only continue on through a live roasting on a barbecue spit. Gruesome, I know, but in Honey’s universe, it’s a common practice among the community.

Knowing how the story was to end, I needed to create characters with whom Honey would share her meat. As I thought about how Honey would meet her end, I needed an avenue to get there. So, I hit upon the idea that she goes missing and someone hired to go find her.

BeautyIntroduce the investigator, Mona. Since my universe incorporated pervasive bdsm play, I decided that this character would be a masochist who enjoyed extreme play. So, her first name became Mona. Mona would be a play on the sound ‘moan’, which she would do a lot during her play.

To come up with her surname, I wanted her name to reflect her sexuality. Eventually, I came to the concept of ‘bend her over’.With a hidden message decided, I contracted it to Bendarova. To date, only one person I know has made this relate and called me on it. She smiled as she told me.

That’s how Mona Bendarova came into existence. She’s a smart, masochistic investigator who loves sex. Who’s your favorite character?

Book Editing Question

So, the nagging question that has been on my mind is whether which is better? Pay a professional editor or use a personal contact who is very good at editing but who is not a professional in the field.

So far, I’ve been using the later for several reasons.

  1. Broken-Steele-Front-Cover-6x9-web
    On sale now at Amazon

    We argue about sections of my books and whether they need to be there at all.

  2. How to improve the story by helping to rewrite sections, large and small, while still keeping the intent of the section.
  3. We can work together editing  regardless at any time of day, even well into the night or first thing in the morning. Even before my morning coffee (ah, who am I kidding, not).
  4. By using someone I know and trust, we can discuss the bigger plot lines, intent and direction of the story along with a host of a number of little things that I can’t think of right now.
  5. We can discuss future story lines which I can turn into an outline for another book.
  6. Of course, the usually finding and correcting spelling and grammar errors.

The big question on my mind is this.

Does using a paid professional editor significantly improve the end result which translates in more sales?

What do you think? — I really want to know.

Finished my draft of ‘Broken Steele’

Whew! This morning I finished my draft of my new novel, ‘Broken Steele’, book 2 in the ‘Mona Bendarova Adventures.  Next, I’m on to the arduous task of editing it and preparing it for publication. Yes, it’s true. I am an independent publisher under the brand ‘maggicalExpressions’.

First, I’ll be doing a once over edit looking for obvious errors and inconsistencies, which I am sure exists. Next I’ll be doing a more in-depth with my favorite person in the world, my partner Janet. She is quite good at helping me edit and was a huge help in preparing the last book for publication.  I’ll also be sharing it with one or two others who promise to help me edit it.

Which begs the question. To edit yourself or hire an editor? What do you think?

As an independent publisher who has yet to make his first million (alright, hundred) in royalties, I’d like to know. From research I’ve found all over the web, the recommendation is to not self edit but hire an editor.

Since I don’t have the money to do that, I have to resort to my own means to edit my books, and for that matter, design the book covers and everything else necessary to publish.

The second question that comes to mind is, if you hire an editor, how long does it take to get the book back and ready to publish? For that matter, does an editor format the book as well, or that still my responsibility?

What do you think?