Monday, October 6, 2008

Meet the Editors: Helen

Helen is one of our Aussie editors. No, I don't know why she sometimes writes about herself in third person - must be reading too many books.

Helen Woodall

What is your background and experience in editing?
Helen spent more years than she cares to count as assistant editor and then editor for a company with a stable of newspapers, magazines and books. She then worked for an Australia-wide newspaper as Managing Editor before realizing that if she worked for ECPI she could actually get paid for doing what she loves most – reading fiction.

How would you describe your editing style?
Australians are characterized as laid back, relaxed, easy going. Helen considers she reflects her nationality in her editing style – giving authors the freedom to use their own voice and follow their own desires about what they write and how they write it, as long as they obey the EC style guide. Her authors write for every ECPI line – Cotillion, Cerridwen Press, Elloras Cave, Exotika, and The Lotus Circle – and in every length from 10K Quickies to 120K Super Plus Novels and Helen thinks this is A Good Thing because it gives her great variety in what she edits.

What is your favorite thing about editing?
I get to paid to read fiction. And between EC, CP, and TLC there is something for every taste.

What are your pet peeves in books or submissions?
Authors who don't read the submission guidelines. No, we don't accept books of 400,000 words!
Authors who get geography and history hopelessly wrong – Google is your friend – use it.
Would-be authors who submit the same book four times with four different titles and without fixing any of the errors in it.

For personal reading, what are your favorite genres and all-time favorite books?
Historicals and mysteries/crime.
Georgette Heyer, Jean M Auel, Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme books, Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher books, Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who books But I will read just about anything at all.

18 comments:

Anny Cook said...

Go, Helen! Yay!

Anita Birt said...

Nice to read about Helen Woodall, my editor. She has been fair and tough with my five books she edited for Cerridwen Press. A pleasure to work with her.

JacquƩline Roth said...

Helen is the best. It's been a wonderful experience working with her. She reminds her authors through it all to remember to have fun.

Heidi said...

By her own admission Helen may be laidback, but it's clear to me that with all the submissions she receives and all the books she edits, she's on the job nearly 24/7. As an editor she's quick, intuitive, creative, an excellent problem solver, a wiz with grammar and syntax and I love her to death. She most definitely encourages her authors to express themselves in their own words. Thank you Helen!

Vicky B said...

Helen is exactly what she said, laid back and easy to work with. Which is why we all love her! I've worked with others and she is definitely the best.

STORIDIVA said...

Okay! I'm biased, Helen is MY editor. (Gee I make it sound likes she's mine alone huh?). I can tell you this, she is a GREAT editor, not only because she has accepted my work, but because she HELPS me WITH MY work. I do even want to imagine how she might want to pull her hair out when she has to correct a lot of what we do. But she does it with grace, style and patience. I am grateful to her forever for ALL her help.

Regina Carlysle said...

I loooove my editor! Yes, that's YOU, Helen. Your great sense of humor makes the editing a fun process and you never mess with my voice. Whatever you do, it works for me.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Helen also manages to ride herd on a diverse and sometimes impossible group of authors. (Okay, I KNOW I can be impossible, and I can't be the only one.) She deserves a medal!

Amarinda Jones said...

Where would any of us be without Helen? Go the mighty hawks!

Dalton Diaz said...

I have been so lucky to land Helen as an editor for my first published book. She's amazing!

Elaine Lowe said...

Hi Helen! You are incredible to work with, thank you so much for putting up with my run on sentences.

jean hart stewart said...

Like all the others who have commented, I feel incredibly lucky to have Helen as my editor. Can't imagine how she does all she does, and does it so well. She's a funny, exacting, lovable superwoman. My thanks go out to her on every level. Jean

Kit Catlyn said...

Helen's the best!

Desire Holt said...

Helen, we froggies are so lucky to have you. You have helped me grow so much in my writing.

Heather Hiestand said...

Ditto! Always a pleasure to learn more about my favorite editor.

Heather Hiestand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
solange ayre said...

Chiming in to say that Helen's a great editor. I can't believe how quickly she responds to individual questions even though she has so many froggies to take care of.

Joanna Waugh said...

I just wanted to add my voice to all those praising Helen. She is the best!