I don’t know about other writers, but for me the most stressful time in my writing life is the time between the submission of a manuscript and the response from my editor. I know she’s reading it, and I’m dying to know what she thinks, but I can’t do anything but wait to hear from her.

I always think of a million little things that might be wrong with the manuscript during this time. I used to worry myself into a nail-biting mess, but I’ve gotten more confident, partly because I’m lucky enough to work with an editor who truly loves my work and “gets” the kind of books I want to write. In return, I’ve learned to give her the kind of stories she’s looking for. That’s the advantage of sticking with the same publishing house through the course of six (now seven) novels.

Today I finally got the call about The Cowboy Code. This book is a little different from other books I’ve written. For one thing, it’s the first in a proposed series, so it’s a little more complex than my other stories. Writing a series is a challenge because each book needs a story arc that makes it a satisfying read, but it also needs to contribute to the series arc, which keeps readers coming back for more.

Luckily, my editor “loved, loved, loved” the book. That makes me feel good – and in addition, it means I don’t have to make too many changes to the manuscript. That means I can spend just two weeks revisiting Ridge’s story, and then I can get back to the new book, which is about his little brother Brady. (I feel like I’m leading a very complicated, two-timing love life!)

In spite of the things that have happened in the past year–health problems including a cancer diagnosis, a long course of chemo and radiation, the loss of my big dog Taz, and sundry other mishaps–I still feel like I lead a charmed life. I’m so lucky to be able to spend my time at home with my husband and my animals, doing what I love. Now that I’m feeling better, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

(Photo note: The picture above is of the old Jail/Quilt Shop in Clearmont, Wyoming – one of many old buildings I “stole” for the town of Wynott in “The Cowboy Code.”