Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing And Now a Word from the Editor

Writer or Author


When people ask me what I do, my answer sometimes depends on how and why they ask the question. If it’s a random, we-just-met-at-an-event kind of query, I choose my answer based on how involved I want to get in the conversation. I know how bitchy that sounds, but sometimes, you just don’t want to have a long conversation with someone you know for certain is going to immediately chortle when you tell them you’re a romance writer. So those folks get “I’m a freelance copy editor.” Then the conversation can steer toward “Oh, I bet that’s interesting,” rather than a smirking “Really? Like 50 Shades? Heh, heh.” Yeesh…

Sometimes they ask, “What do you do for a living?” That’s easy, I’m a freelance copy editor for a living. I don’t earn enough from book sales to consider it a living, although I’m closer now than I was a few years ago. I can’t give up the editing gigs just yet, and even if I could, I’m not sure I’d would. I love editing almost as much as I love writing.

Then there’s the dilemma of telling someone I’m a writer versus telling them I’m an author. I’ve always differentiated writer from author–my delineation being whether or not I was published. A writer writes. An author writes and sells books, but she also markets and promotes and suffers mightily over rankings on Amazon and making lists such as the USA Today or NY Times bestseller list. So, based on that criteria, either one works for me at this point. However, before I started this article, I looked up both words and guess what! Webster doesn’t differentiate between a writer and an author.

A writer is “one who writes.” An author is “one who originates or creates; a writer of a literary work, such as a book.” So am I the only writer who didn’t consider herself an author until her first book was published? And what was it about being indie published that made me doubt my own authority as an author? (See what I did there? A little word play, tee hee.) Why did I not truly feel like an author until I had a 4-book deal with a traditional publisher? If all I ever wrote were articles on this blog, would I be any less an author than the writers who write and sell millions of books? That’s my question for the universe today–how do you define yourself–writer or author? Does it even matter?

As always, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.


I’m Working…and Musing…


cam at disney…and for that I am grateful. It feels like often, I moan about having to do editing gigs, but really, it’s okay. It’s good to work and I love my job. I know how fortunate I am to have this kind of job–one where I can stay home and do the work in my jammies with my window open to the lovely breeze outside. I’m also getting more and more fiction work, which is so terrific! I love editing fiction! Seriously, after 25 years of working on computer titles, fiction is a very welcome change.

I sometimes wonder how much longer I’ll be able to be a copyeditor. I hope for a long while yet. I’m the only one of our lake friends who’s still working–everyone else is retired. Well, except for our resident artist who is still painting, but I’m guessing she’ll be doing that until she takes her last breath. She’s about painting the way I am about writing.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]Oh, speaking of writing–big news! All the Women of Willow Bay books will soon be available in print!! YAY!! So, if you’ve been dying for a print copy of Once More From the Top or Sex and the Widow Miles or The Summer of Second Chances, they’re coming! Just got my new full covers finished up yesterday and they look pretty amazing, I think. The background on the back cover is a great shot of Lake Michigan that I took on one of my trips ups there. All three books have the same back cover–just different blurbs and tag lines. I think it works. Here’s one–what do you think? Pretty, huh?

I missed a couple days of gratitude, so here we go–five things I’m grateful for today:

  1. The sunshine and cool breezes and the cool temps at night that make sleeping a sensual pleasure.
  2.  I’m wearing a sweater that used to be Kate’s today–it’s almost like a hug from her.
  3.  Spent time with PJ yesterday and discovered I’m not the only one who’s somewhat at a loss in life right now–we talked about how the sadness sometimes jumps up and grabs us, shed a few tears together, had a nice lunch, and made plans for Labor Day. So glad we still have each other.
  4.  Coffee.
  5.  Getting picture texts from Grandboy’s trip to Disneyland (see above!). How fun!!

Nan in Search of Clarity–Day 10


familyIt’s National Siblings Day. All day, I’ve ached with missing Kate, but I have PJ and my brother, Bud, so I’m not feeling at all sibling-less–just less-siblinged, I guess. That’s all of four plus an assortment of kids, spouses, partners, etc.

When we were kids, our dad left us–I actually remember that day clearly even though I was only 6 years old at the time. But I’m not going to think about him, except to say that I think it may have made us closer as kids to only have Mom. She was so busy when he first left, going to school and working full time to keep food on our table, that it fell to PJ, who was about 12 and Kate who was 10 to be surrogate parents to Bud and I. They were the “big kids” and Bud and I were the “little kids.”

PJ cooked and cleaned and Kate was her trusty assistant. One time, a couple of years after Dad left, Mom decided that it was time for Bud and I to stop sharing a room. So she moved me into a twin bed in PJ and Kate’s bedroom in our tiny ranch house. I remember being sad that I had to leave the bunk beds, but still kinda pleased that I got to share a room with the “big kids.” The girls made room in their closet for my rather paltry wardrobe and gave me the bottom drawer of the dresser for clothes that didn’t hang. My Barbie doll and other toys found a home in the corner by my new bed because I learned very quickly that PJ hated tripping on “little girl toys” when she came into the bedroom.

670px-Make-a-Hospital-Corner-Step-6Bed-making was kinda haphazard in our house. Bud’s rarely got made because he went back and forth between the upper and lower bunks after I got evicted and he never saw the point, I guess. PJ and Kate made theirs when the mood struck, but once Mom taught us how to do “hospital corners,” Kate got more vigilant. One day, Kate tried to teach me. Now, I’m 8 years old and my little hands can barely shake out a sheet, and yet, she sat there for the better part of an hour patiently showing me how to fold the triangles and do the tucking. Then she showed me how to bounce a quarter off the super-tight sheets, which I thought was the rockingest thing ever. She even gave me her quarter when I mastered it, so I could show off to Mom when she got home from work that night. Kate let me take all the bed-making  glory that day…

Know what? I still make my bed with hospital corners.

A Word From the Editor…


copyeditorMost of you know that I make my living as a freelance copyeditor. I hope one day that the writing will bring in enough income that I can do it full-time, but right now, it’s important I maintain my editing clients. I’m okay with that because at this point in my career, I can be pickier about the projects I take on. I’m getting more into fiction editing, which I adore, and I have several nonfiction clients whose work is always a treat. All in all, things are good on the editing front.

One of my clients is a huge computer title publisher and I’m just crazy about them. The folks there are kind and fun to work with and they respect my opinions and work. Usually, my name might appear in the front of a book as the copyeditor, but this particular client has a little bio and contact info for all the people who work on a book. Having my contact info out there has occasionally produced some interesting emails over the years. Like the one from the guy (whose first language was clearly not English) who wrote to ask me why one of the code listings in a certain computer application title wasn’t working for him. Um… so sorry, dude, I have no idea. I’m the line editor, not the tech editor. I sent him on to someone who could help him.

I once got a note from the author of a title I’d copyedited, telling me how much he appreciated my work. He told me I’d made him sound really smart. I had to smile at that one because he obviously was really smart—hell, he’d written an entire book on a topic I couldn’t even being to comprehend. His issue was explaining it to laymen and that’s where I came in. Together, along with the tech editor, the development editor, and the project editor, we produced a book that was understandable and very readable. He was happy and how nice of him to tell me!

I confess I am sort of a hands-off editor, which means I try hard to maintain my author’s voice as much as I can while at the same time sticking to the basic rules of grammar. I  even do this with my nonfiction clients. I think that’s because I’m a writer myself and I know how important it is to writers to have an editor respect my words. So when a project editor contacted me once to tell me that my copyedit made her a better editor–that she was honing her skills by watching my work, I was truly honored. It’s often difficult to keep an author’s voice when you’re editing within a series where maintaining a certain style of book is important.

I also get pinged by folks looking for a copyeditor or at least that’s what they say they’re looking for. Sometimes what they really want is a ghostwriter or a coauthor or a proofreader (a different job entirely from copyediting) or just someone to tell them they’re brilliant. Sometimes I take them on, sometimes I don’t, but it’s always intriguing. Last week I got a note from a guy whose project was way out of my area–it was just not a good fit. I wrote him back and kindly turned him down, but offered him the website for the Editorial Freelancers Association–a national network of publishing professionals. They have a link where you can post your project to a JobList that goes out to everyone in the organization,. I’m hoping he’ll find someone to work with him. The nice part was he wrote me back and thanked me for responding and for not giving him a hard time about his ideas.

The moral of the story is really my basic philosophy about my editing business. Always be gracious, always be kind, even when you have to say no to a potential client. And always try to offer alternatives. People remember who was nice to them and who shut them down cold. Being nice is simply good business.