Everybody knows when they go on road trips, if they are venturing into unknown territory, they need directions.  Most people today rely on GPS.  GPS is great, and I love it!  Why would I, or anyone else, need a map?  Because a map shows the big picture that a GPS can’t.  And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing in putting together my book, thanks to my editor.

When I started this project, my original intent was to paint twelve Biblical women at their defining moments.  In between painting times, I wrote each woman’s narrative and some applications taken from their lives for living today.  This required researching their stories, where they lived, or where they traveled.  Some of these women covered some amazing amounts of mileage!  Some of them lived in obscure locations.  Sarah was one of those women who traveled an extraordinary amount of miles.  She also lived in places most of us never heard of.  I loved the research, and wrote all about these things for each woman whose history was known.  I figured I had covered all the bases.

No, I did not.  Enter my son, John Ebersole.  He is my editor extraordinaire.  He was reading over Sarah’s narrative.  He contacted me,  “Mom, have you ever considered including a map for Sarah?”

“No.”  Why would I need to do that?  I had written all about where everything was in my narratives.

“Well, if most of your readers are like me, and aren’t familiar with all these places, and they try to follow where Sarah was going, they will get so confused!”

Holy cow!  I had never considered this before.  It was easy for me.  I had done the research.  I knew where all the places were and how far away they were from other points in the stories.  But then, I also remembered how I’d had to do a lot of research to find that stuff out.  Most readers will read the stories, but not take the time to look all of that stuff up.  I immediately saw the validity of his question.  How many people actually know where Haran or Gerar, Shunem or Shushan, or Kemet were located?  I realized that most  readers would need a map to see where these places were to understand where many of these women went, or where they lived.  I determined then and there that I would be drawing some maps for several of these women.

I have my son and editor to thank for this illuminating idea!  Just another reason to appreciate his work!  I am self-publishing, and have no established relationship with a long-term editor who knows me through and through.  I wonder if this would’ve happened with an unknown editor who would’ve been randomly assigned to me by the publishing house?  Sure, that editor would check spelling and grammar, sentence structure, redundancy, over-all flow of the writing, and adherence to the main theme of the book.  I knew I would never communicate with this person to discuss ideas or issues.  Certainly, I would never meet this person.  I would pay him or her 20-30 cents per word for the job, and that would be it.  But an illustrative idea such as a map?  I doubt it.

It’s an editor’s job to make a book better.  Come to find out, I do have a long-standing relationship with my editor, who knows me through and through!  He really is making my book better!  From writing tips, guiding me through the process of staying on target, suggesting excellent books on writing to read, proofreading, corrections and more corrections, encouragement, and now this map idea.  That’s truly a road map for success!  Thanks, John!