That Extra Pair of Eyes

Every writer needs an extra pair of eyes, but the reality is we only have two!

Here’s a shout-out to two women who have kept faith with me at different stages of the writing of An Honest House:

Lesley, my writing coach, mentor and first editor.   

Lesley Photo

Lesley Marcovich believes everyone has a story to tell. She runs a writers’ group, biography workshops, and is the creator of

I’ve been blessed to find this woman. Strong on storytelling structure, she divines the things I’m scared to write about, and tells me – gently but firmly – that I have to do it. On my rougher days, she even traveled for meetings on  my verandah.




Katherine lives in Gibraltar and provides valuable services to authors around the world. She’ll:

  • Edit your book.
  • Provide a pre-publication review of your manuscript, AND provide critical feedback.

I was blessed with great editors and generous, smart, first-draft readers. As the book neared completion, I wondered: how could I get the kind of review that usually comes only after the book is released?

Katherine Desk

(Photo of Katherine’s desk)

And that’s where Katherine came in.  Her review and report — she writes a thorough report — were excellent. Katherine – a former journalist – asked great questions, made key observations.

Back I went to the manuscript — polishing, polishing.

Congrats to Katherine for her keen eyes, skillful suggestions and empathy for anxious authors. Other authors tell me she’s also a wonderfully professional editor, which makes total sense to me. But even if you already have your own editor, I’d still recommend Katherine, as an extra pair of eyes.





Filed under A Good Home, Author Cynthia Reyes, Book Editor, Book Previewers, Book Reviews, Books, Editors, Manuscript

53 responses to “That Extra Pair of Eyes

  1. It’s great to have good friends, support and help for your book. Kudos to both you and Katherine. 🙂

    • Thanks, Brad. Katherine is a straight-shooter who alternately makes me want to do better and to crack up with laughter. Lesley, though a different personality, has also figured out how to work with me. I sympathize with them both for having me as a client, but they both seemed to thrive under the pressure!

  2. How fortunate you are in your choice of friends!

  3. How interesting, the quality and variety of consultants in this world never ceases to amaze me. Seems you were lucky to find some great ones and your verandah looks lovely and inviting.

    • I was definitely lucky, Amy. Remember that I move slowly, don’t always think clearly, and when I feel well, I need the person who is editing me to get cracking right away. I also need a mentor to keep me on track. And, after all the effort it takes from me to write a book like this, I want it to be not just good, but very good. I am blessed to have such caring and skilled professionals who understand that and are still willing to work with me.

  4. Cynthia, I’m more than impressed with the quality of your memoir. Your use of all the senses makes me feel like I’m right in the story with you. “An Honest House” is a perfect example of how having a team behind you makes for an awesome read.
    I love the verandah picture too!
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  5. So glad for you, Cynthia. Congratulations! 🙂

  6. Congratulations on the publication of your book. I appreciate your point that, if you are going to expose yourself, the book must be worth it.

  7. Don Chen

    Hi Cynthia,

    You did it again only this time the title seems more personal. But on the other hand it cannot be any more personal than the first of your “Trilogy”:)

    Well wishes for the reception of your new book, and as a fan of your I will get a copy of “an honest home” as the title make me examine the degree of honesty in our own home. You certainly brought out a lot of power in selecting the title.

    When we come to Toronto this summer we can all catch up with you all,


    Don Chen Germany


    • Don Chen! How wonderful to hear from you! It’s been ages. Thanks very much for this response, and thanks for reading my first book. I hope you will give me your reaction when you read this one. I can hardly wait. I look forward to seeing you when next you are in Canada. Thank you, Don.

  8. It’s always nice to have help with any job but I’d think it would be especially welcome when writing a book.

    • Ain’t that the God’s truth! To mix my cliche’s: you hit the nail right on the head, Allen. and notice how restrained I’ve been lately? I’m saying nothing about your own future book. I know you’ll tell me when to start nagging you and it’s not time yet. (Big smile)

  9. You have been blessed with a great support team. The most wonderful thing about our digital age is the way we can access help and advice from all over the world. Even just 20 years ago you in Canada would probably never have considered using someone who lives in Gibraltar to edit your book.
    I love your verandah photo with those lovely dogs!

  10. You do have a wonderful team working with you. All the best to you, and your support team!

    That is a beautiful, inviting veranda, and two beautiful dogs!

  11. Nobody accomplishes something big entirely on their own, though some of us like to pretend that we do. Kudos for recognizing the people who helped you.

    • Thanks, Jason. Writing a book and getting it published are usually a team endeavour. Even for people who self publish, I’m convinced that every good writer needs a good editor.

  12. Blessings on all of you for all your excellent work. One of the 20th century’s most famous authors, Daphne du Maurier, benefited from strong editorial input. So, too, did Jane Austen. Editors are a writer’s best friend. I am glad you have such good friends.

  13. Great post – great to show your gratitude and introduce such interesting women. Always useful to know what to do when I finally write my book but even if I never do, I’m glad to have learned more about the world.

  14. I found good editors and “extra eyes” to be absolutely a blessing, too, when I was writing for publication. I didn’t always like them but I kew they were saving me from myself! Nice of you to give credit where it is due!

  15. You have great women by your side who make you great.

  16. You have a great support team, Cynthia! Congratulations again!

  17. Katherine has now edited all five of my books … and I mean properly! 😉 She’s brilliant. And working with her has been such a gas. I’m greatly looking forward to working with her on the next one, too!



  18. Kudos to Katherine! She sounds like a keeper. Whatever would we do without our editors?

  19. Thank you so much Cynthia for your generous comments. I enjoyed working with you. It makes it so much easier when a) there is a decent book to start with and b) we can establish a good working relationship.

  20. I, too, depend on wonderful people who read and re-read my writing. We are all interconnected as everything we do depends to a greater or lesser extent on contributions from others.

  21. Thanks for the great recommendations. By the way, I’d sit on your verandah and share writing/editing tips any day. 🙂

  22. Reblogged this on roughseasinthemed and commented:
    I’ll be honest. I could not provide a reasonable beta-read for free. There is no incentive to ploughing through something, analysing it, and compiling a coherent report, for nothing. To some authors, paid-for beta-reads are anathema. No one should have to pay for a beta-read goes the thinking. But if you read some of the dire stories of people who haven’t paid and have waited for months for nothing or a one-liner you can see why editors have added beta-reading to their portfolios.

    I’ve been surprised that two of my recent beta-read authors have been award-winning media professionals. Surely these are the sort of authors who don’t need beta-readers? Or, do they want a view from someone with a similar professional background?

    Thank you, Cynthia for that glowing endorsement. Much appreciated. There’s a little bit of me that goes zzzzzing when a colleague from my industry applauds my work.

  23. Great endorsement Ms. Gib. Loved reading about how all that works.

  24. Pingback: Beta-reads? Yea or nay? | roughseasinthemed

  25. I can’t imagine where I’d be – or rather what state my work would be – without my critique partners, and earlier my critique group. This works especially well for picture books because of length, but novels are more of a challenge. As I embark on this novel, it has crossed my mind to pay a children’s book editor to help me when I get to the point where I need it. We need a good, sharp set of eyes!

  26. Pingback: The Last Resort: Self-publish | Disperser Tracks

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