Can you talk a little about your editing process? After you get through the first draft-- You go through it, you look at the acknowledgements in a lot of your books, and other books, there's this huge team of people that have been pouring over this thing.
Yeah, so editing for me. Here's my drafting process. First draft I just write-- I write it straight through. I don't stop, I try not to let myself stop. If there is something major I need to change I just change it in the chapter and keep going forward. And then I can change it back later, like two chapters later if I think "No that was the wrong thing". So there will be a new character sometimes in my book that will just pop up for three chapters and everyone acts like they've always been there and then they vanish and no one talks about them not being there anymore. That's just so I can keep momentum and see what works. Draft number 2 I fix all of those things. Draft number 3, polishing draft. Line by line trying to cut 10%, get rid of the passive voice, make descriptions more active, and make sure that I'm finding the right words and things like that. Really Draft 4 is where it turns into true drafting, and by that point I've given it to my editor and my alpha readers which are basically my assistants, my good friends, my wife, people like that. They read it, they come back with comments for me and I've been thinking about the book, working in my writing group with it and I make a goal-based document, where it's like "Here are the major issues. Here are the medium level issues. Here are the little things I need to fix." And I start on page one, read through with this open on the screen next to the book when I'm working on it and I try to like-- It's almost like a bug report for programming, I'm trying to clear things off the list. Major things I have to re-write the whole way through so I can't clear them off until the end. Medium issues are things I can put in two or three times to fix through a couple of chapters where they are wrong and then clear it. Little things are just fix this one little thing and it's easy to clear off the list. I do that, I don't get to everything. I move around things on this list, like I maybe [???] I move it down the list.
Then I send the book out to beta readers, who are gathered by my assistant, he handles this, Peter Ahlstrom. Then they do a thing with us on a Google Doc, where it's chapter by chapter there is a document for each chapter and they all put their comments and interact with each other. It's like having a very large focus group, with like 15 people who are all reading the book at the same time and working on it. Once that is done and I've heard back from my editor on the new draft I will then make another draft. I will do this as many times as necessary to make the book good. Last draft is proofreading and those people are also drawn from fandom, usually, my assistant picks them off forums and things like that and people we've used before. And they are just looking for-- At that point we can't change anything really bigger than a line or two. They are looking for continuity and things like that. But my process is that goal-based "I want to fix this let's see if I can do a draft where I fix this." And I'll do a couple more polishing drafts as I go along.