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

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 www.biographytimeliner.com.

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.



53 thoughts on “That Extra Pair of Eyes”

    1. 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!

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. Thank you, Wendy. That is very high praise and I truly appreciate it.

      I told my editors: “There’s no use revealing so much of my private life, unless this book is of the highest quality. So keep pushing me!” They did.

  3. 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.

  4. 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


    1. 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.

    1. 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)

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

    1. Lavinia, I always, always like hearing from you. A smile comes to my face. And I will refrain from asking about the May newsletter (nudge, nudge) or your music, the vineyard, the feline companions and life on the farm. I’m the model of restraint, as you may have observed. Speaking of your music, where may I buy your CD’s?

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!



  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

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