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  • Writer's pictureKelly Romo

Behind DEAD DRIFT: How Many Editors Does it Take to Write a Thriller?

The world may never know...For me, writing is not done in isolation. These amazing people helped me create an accurate and polished novel. I am forever grateful.

Craig Lesley

Craig was one of my advisors at Pacific University's MFA program. He has remained a friend and mentor ever since. I was honored to have him edit my novel that was set on his home turf in rural Oregon. He is also a fly fisherman who spent a lot of time on the Deschutes River.

Craig is the author of four novels and a memoir, along with numerous other works. Along with his wife, Katheryn Stavrakis, he has also edited two anthologies of short fiction. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, he has received three Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Awards, the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award for Best Novel, and an Oregon Book Award. He has also been the recipient of several national fellowships and holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Whitman College.

Diane Peters

Diane is a former coworker whose editing is invaluable to me. She has been my beta reader for all three of my novels.

Reading has been Diane's passion since childhood. Her favorites were Nancy Drew, Five Little Peppers, and Louisa May Alcott's books. She currently reads women's fiction, science fiction, romance, mystery, and paranormal and urban fantasy. She taught reading for thirty-seven years, among other classes.

Diane loves introducing people and children to new authors. She discovers new authors and books through her twelve years of being in a book club. She even invited me to their meetings when they discussed my books, WHISTLING WOMEN and WHEN SORROW TAKES WING. Diane loves to pass on her passion for books. Now, she gets to find books for her grandkids, who love being read to.

Serina Savage

Serina is a beautiful soul who came into my life several years ago. While writing DEAD DRIFT, I wondered why my main character, Emmy, would stay in Lodell. After learning more about Serina and her experiences growing up in Foster Care, I knew I wanted Emmy and Amber to be foster children.

Serina not only shared stories of her experiences with me, but she also did a content edit for accuracy and point of view. She is an amazing woman who has overcome much in her lifetime.

Mark Overholtzer

Mark is a pilot and retired Air Force Colonel. He not only helped me with my flying scenes for the historical fiction novel I am working on, but he also helped immensely with DEAD DRIFT. Mark is a thorough copyeditor who can spot a misspelled word or grammatical error at 30,000 feet.

Mark also keeps me grounded when I need it--and he puts up with all my crazy ideas.

Mica Fish

I met Mica in the Rainbow Tavern in Maupin, Oregon. I could tell she was a whitewater rafting guide, so I approached her and asked if she would be willing to talk to me about her experiences. She agreed, and we talked many times.

Many of the scenes in DEAD DRIFT were based on our conversations. She took me down the river on a whitewater trip, and she is the guide who invited me to the rodeo I wrote about in my "If It Smells Like Bull..." blog post. Once I finished DEAD DRIFT, she also agreed to do a content edit for me. Mica helped me at the beginning and at the end of this novel.

Mica is now the owner of Hot Yoga Northwest in Vancouver, Washington. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

Corey Talbott

Who would have guessed that the brother of my cousin's wife was a guide and fly fisherman on the river where I set my novel? Once I found out, I called Corey. He agreed to do a content edit for me, helping me with my scenes from a male river guide's perspective. Corey is also a writer who loves the history of the Deschutes River and Maupin.

Corey contributed greatly to the atmosphere of the whitewater guides on the Deschutes--as well as the history and fishing of the area.

Jayson Janes

Jayson is a Sergeant for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Department. I had some questions I couldn't find online, so I emailed the Sheriff's Department asking if someone would be willing to meet with me. Jayson called, and we set up an appointment.

Come to find out, Jayson is also a fly fisherman who recently started tying his own flies. Once I finished my novel, Jayson read through my scenes related to law enforcement and gave me the thumbs up.


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Kelly Romo

Welcome to my blog. I am an author, educator, outdoorswoman, and mom. I write historical fiction and thrillers. 

I hope you will follow my blog and check out my novels.

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