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"I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."

Anyone who knows me -- family, friends, teachers, students, fellow writers -- knows that my love affair with Truman Capote and Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Christmas Memory is perhaps a bit more than a love affair, one that defies definition.

The night before I was scheduled to sign off on what I believed to be the final edits for my debut YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, I did something that I hadn't done since my college days at WVU and WVIT -- I pulled an all-nighter. I haven't pulled one since. That was in the spring of 2016. I don't plan to pull one ever again. And yet, had I not chosen to read the manuscript just "one more time," I wouldn't have discovered myriad points that needed corrected.

As the sun peeked through an early, foggy Appalachian morning that spring, I grabbed my manuscript and spent the next ten hours with my IT consultant extraordinaire, Brian Hoskinson, and we set to work. It was an arduous task, but one that reaped and is still reaping tremendous gifts. And had it not been for the "scissors," I think the outcome would have been lackluster, at best. And that, for a writer, is never an option.

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