Monday, October 20, 2008

Meet the Editors: Gwen

Gwen is one of our final copy editors. The final copy editor is not involved in the book content editing done between author and editor. After the author and book editor think the book is "done", it goes to the final copy editor, who is a fresh set of eyes, and the final eyes on the book. She checks sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, conformance to our Style Guide - but it's a lot more than just proofreading. The copy editor also checks the content - factual accuracy, consistency, timelines, and a lot more.

Gwen Peake
What is your background and experience in editing?
I started editing my first year of college. I always received high marks in English and friends of mine began asking me to proofread their papers for them before handing them in to their professors. After a few of them started getting better grades, I became inundated with editing requests. After doing this pro bono for a semester, I started charging people and using the money I earned to support my shoe addiction. Not the best investment, but my closet looks nice!

How would you describe your editing style?
I read each book at least twice. The first time, I focus on continuity, punctuation and grammar errors, etc. The second time I focus more on the content of the story itself.

What is your favorite thing about editing?
Honestly, it makes me feel smart. :-) I also enjoy using the talent I have to help make an already good manuscript even better.

What are your pet peeves in books or submissions?
I really loathe excessive use of semicolons. It irks me to no end.

For personal reading, what are your favorite genres and all-time favorite books?
I love reading contemporary fiction and autobiographies. My favorite book of all time is Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. It was the first book I remember owning. It’s such a cute little story. Other favorites are Cheaters by Eric Jerome Dickey and Dreamlovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee by Dodd Darin.

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