Wow, indeed. I had just written a novel for Scholastic’s I Am Canada series that was 35,000 words long so, in a sense, Hadley was asking me to cut a novel out of my novel. I thought she’d given me an impossible task, but she pointed out scenes that could be omitted and offered suggestions for restructuring parts of the story that, in turn, enabled me to collapse certain elements and events. I lost track of how many drafts I wrote, but Hadley responded thoroughly to every one of them, continuing to make suggestions for tightening. I didn’t cut 40,000 words, but I came very close.