Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Editorial Interview with Susan Shaw

Doing things a little differently today, and bringing you guys an editing focused interview with Tunnel Vision author Susan Shaw!

How did your revision process change from critique partner notes to editor notes?

I don’t have a critique partner. When I finish a manuscript, I ask a few close friends to read it and give me general feedback. If their suggestions on what to change make sense to me, I go back into the story and revise. When my editor makes suggestions, I revise. Not a whole lot of difference. The main thing either way is that I try to put my ego aside and listen.

Fess up. How long was your first editorial letter and how did you react?

The first time I saw an editorial letter, I think it was four pages single-spaced. Pretty scary. I think I could hardly read it the first time. But that letter and those from other editors have all been so positive that their comments and suggestions haven’t been so hard to take. And now I know first letters can be that long.

What is your favorite thing about working with your editor?

Alexandra is so positive and cheery, I can always picture a big smile on the other end of the telephone when I call her. She was very supportive of what I was trying to do and always took the time to listen to my concerns.

What format do you use for the revisions--paper, or all electronic?

I work at the computer, but I do on occasion print out what I write. But when I sent my revisions to Alexandra, I sent them electronically.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing that look into your editing process, and congrats on the release!

Susan Shaw, a life-long Pennsylvanian, graduated from Radnor High School and earned her B. S. in music education from Temple University. She and her husband live in Wayne, where they raised three children.

Susan Shaw is the author of Black-eyed Suzie (Boyds Mills Press, 2002), The Boy From The Basement (Dutton Books, 2004), Safe (Dutton Books, 2007), and One Of The Survivors (Simon and Schuster, 2009). Tunnel Vision will be released from Simon and Schuster this August.

Shaw’s books have been chosen for many awards and appear on many reading lists. They include The Texas Lone Star Reading List, The Texas Tayshas Reading List, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, The New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers. Safe is a Carolyn W. Field Honor Book.

Contact Susan Shaw at for information on library or school presentations.


  1. Great post! Great interview!
    Thanks, Kari!

  2. Awesome post! I'm a writer too, and I remember what it was like, getting that first editorial letter is like a bucket of cold water over your head. But it gets easier the more you do it, and now I welcome those editorial letters because it means by editor believes in me and in my ability to take his advice and make the book better.