Most authors I talk to dread editing. Many don’t even realize that’s part of the process until they’ve finished the first draft. What brought you to become an editor?
I enjoy the part that all those other authors hate. I like editing my own work – tweaking something just so to make it work, polishing, filling the holes – and I’ve found that I enjoy doing it for others too. It started with a fellow author who only wanted a reader, but she needed editing, so I offered. Now here I am doing it as a career.
Was there a certain point in your life where it just struck you that you have a flare for editing?
In college. In my creative writing classes, we were required to read and help edit other classmates’ work. I was good at it, my teachers told me as much, and I enjoyed it.
What is your favorite part about editing?
Seeing the plot holes filled so the plot all comes together in a way it didn’t otherwise. That and helping the author figure out how to fix something that they didn’t otherwise know how to fix.
On the business end, how long has Cover to Cover been operating?
I’ve been editing for three years now. Two of those years I was smart enough to charge for it. I used the first year to gather a few loyal clients.
What genres are you passionate about when it comes to editing?
I vastly prefer fantasy (in all its variety), sci-fi, and historical fiction.
Do you have any advise to authors on finding an editor and self editing?
When you’re editing for yourself, you should focus on the things you know you can fix. That would be tense (making sure you’re in the past or present all throughout), fixing plot holes you find, making sure you’re consistent with your character’s looks, and any grammar you know you know how to do.
When looking for an editor, you should look for one who will do everything you want, first. Most editors only do grammar or developmental stuff, so you need to find one who will cover everything or just the thing you’re looking for. Ask them how much they charge, what formatting they use on the manuscript (double-spaced, what size font, that sort of thing), how long they usually take, and how many passes they’re willing to do for that one price. If you’re happy with all of that, ask for a free sample, which a respectable editor will provide. If you like their editing style, they do everything you want, they fit your budget, and you get along with each other (it’s hard to work with someone who has a personality that clashes with yours), then ask how soon they can get you on their schedule.
You have a book coming out in November. What is the title and the blurb?
I do! It’s Kindling, book one in the Obsidian Embers Trilogy. Here is the blurb:
When Zahir, a desert nomad with a dark past, entered Ashet, he wasn’t expecting to be hauled off to prison.
When Absalom deserted the military, he never thought an army would form around him to fight the most powerful women in the country.
Marietta believed she’d die in a cell in the Black Caves. She never expected freedom or to join with other broken souls to end the torture and experimentation for good.
Desdemona seized the throne of the Order of Obsidian Embers ready to implement her vision of a safer world. She never imagined such opposition. Not that it would stop her.
With magical warfare, mad rulers, and old scores to settle, how can anyone know hero from villain? And if the people who have been fighting for years can’t tell the difference, how can Zahir choose the right side?”
And finally! What is your favorite book and why?
Ha! I so don’t have a favorite book. My favorite genre is fantasy, and my favorite authors in that genre are R.A. Salvatore (his Drizzt books specifically), Joe Abercrombie (everything the man has written), and Brent Weeks (The Night Angel books and The Lightbringer series are both great.) More than one there… I love those authors and their books because they write a type of fantasy that is a perfect mix of real feeling characters in hard situations and the magic and magnificence that I love in fantasy.
Thank you very much for your time. I know I’ve used you and you’ve rocked, so hopefully this will catch the eye of some other authors who need an editor.