What is your background and experience in editing?
It took two retrenchments within a year and a midlife crisis a few years back to get me to open my eyes and look at what other skills I had that I could market. A love of English and a lifelong love of reading turned me to editing. I went back to college and gained a Diploma in Professional Editing and Proofreading, then started searching for the perfect venue for my “talents”. A short stint doing academic editing made me realize I needed something a bit more stimulating to keep me awake at my “job”
How would you describe your editing style?
All editors have their strength, and I think mine is the emotional and motivational arcs in the story. And while I can pick a story to death with punctuation and grammar as well as the next editor, I tend to nail my authors if they’re short-changing on the emotional goodies. I want to fall in love with their characters. I want the readers to feel the same. So if you aren’t giving me that connection, trust me, you’ll hear about it. I’m honest with my authors—if a scene isn’t working, I can be a bit blunt, although I’m working on that
What is your favorite thing about editing?
What, I can only pick one? Obviously reading. And I get first peek at the books of some of the best authors in the genre! Lucky me :-) But I really love the whole editor/author relationship. There’s a level of trust that builds along the way—and it’s a two-way street. I absolutely want their story to be the best, and if I have to needle, motivate, bully, cosset—heavens, send hugs if necessary—to help make that happen, then I’m there for them. There’s incredible satisfaction in seeing them achieve their dreams on a career level. That’s the payoff for me—seeing them grow into the author they dream of being and knowing I’ve helped them achieve that in some small way.
What are your pet peeves in books or submissions?
TSTL heroines. Trust me, you don’t want to go there. Clichéd storylines or phrases (do NOT give me that “dance as old as time” phrase or I’ll spit rubber bullets at you. ;-) Sloppy punctuation and grammar. For new authors, that submission is your one big chance to impress me. If I have to wade through a messy manuscript to find the story, that says to me that you’re not serious and you really don’t care, so why should I? For that first submission, if you want it to stand a chance, you owe it to yourself to pay for a professional proofreader. Just do it.
For personal reading, what are your favorite genres and all-time favorite books?
I’m very eclectic in my reading tastes. Mystery, romance, historicals, bios... Anything, really, except for horror. I’m easily scared and I like to sleep easy at night.
Favorite authors (I generally read their whole backlist once I’m hooked):
Karen Marie Moning
Jean M. Auel
Lisa Marie Rice...
The list really is endless. And lastly my authors. I have what I consider some of the best talent in the erotic romance genre overall—not just at Ellora’s Cave. And they’d be auto-buys for me even if I weren’t their editor. So how lucky am I? ;-)