My Editor Trai Cartwright

July 29, 2014

My longtime and only editor Trai Cartwright wrote the following about my newest novel Concerning Georgia Stekker:

“There is no one in the literary world like Geogia Stekker. She’s a tragic anti-heroine we can’t help but fall in love with, even as she works to detach us from our wallets. Beautiful, smart, cunning, and broken — Georgia is Evelyn Marshall’s most divine creation yet.”
— Trai Cartwright, MFA, Editor, Professor of Fiction Writing

How I met Trai.  I had written five novels, and a group of short stories, and had met with almost no publishing success. So, I thought to swivel in a new direction:  a screenplay.

About the time I finished the screenplay,  my girlfriend Darlene Quinn mentioned that a screenplay editor would be attending a writers conference and accepting scripts for analysis. So I signed up to attend and submitted the required 50 pages in advance.

At our meeting, I discovered that Trai completely understood what kind of a writer I was. She knew how to talk to me.  I have been with her ever since.

She told me that I was a romantic writer (not a romance writer), that I wrote in the voice of the 1950’s, and she respected the quality of my writing.

I told her that the screenplay came from a short story I wrote and  later developed into a novel, and finally into a screenplay.  I asked her to edit the novel before proceeding with the screenplay. Over the next few years, I asked her to edit all five novels. In 2012 with the small independent publisher Piper Press, I published The Provider. In 2013 The Way They See. And in 2014 Concerning Georgia Stekker.

So what else did Trai do for me with these novels? For instance, in The Provider, she suggested I change it to come from the woman’s point of view. Major improvement.  In others, she  advised me about the character she felt was most sympathetic, and so on. In other words, we  talked about characters and strategies.

It is understood that after an editor analyzes a novel, the writer sets to work on improving the novel knowing that editing is not a one-time process. It  would be too expensive to submit each subsequent editing for evaluation, even though in Trai’s case the fee is extremely moderate.  A final copy editing is a good idea with a copy editor.  Trai’s expertise lies in content and in her relationship with the writer to bring out the best in that writer.