Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet the Editor: Grace Bradley

Want to know more about the life of an editor? We're reviving our popular "Meet the Editor" topic, and introducing you to more EC editors. Today, Grace Bradley interviews herself.

What is your background and experience in editing?

I have been an editor at Ellora’s Cave for two years. Prior to that I was doing the stay-at-home-mom thing and enjoying freelance editing on the side. I hold a degree in psychology, which I utilize on a daily basis. Plausible character motivation? Check. Walking author back from the ledge? Check.

How would you describe your editing style?

I try to make the editing process as painless as possible, while also urging my authors to delve deeper into their plot and characters. I leave a running commentary of my observations as a reader, not only as an editor, as I go through the book. My goal is for the author to see how their work is impacting me as a reader as I go along. I also explain grammar errors, and expect my authors to make note of them and improve moving forward. Whenever possible, I like to incorporate humor in my editing comments. I think edits should be fun, not dreaded. And I point out things I really like or that make me laugh (or cry). A little bit of praise goes a long way when an author is being shown all the things that are not working in their book.

What is your favorite thing about editing?

My authors. It is truly an honor to play such a vital role in their careers, and I’m humbled that they trust me with something so important to them.

As for the job itself, I’ll say what most editors will say: I can’t believe I get paid to read. A recent discussion at the dinner table revolved around careers—specifically what my children wanted to be when they grow up. They both said they wanted to get paid to do something they love…just like their mom. It was a very proud moment for me.

What are your pet peeves in books and submissions?

My number-one pet peeve from the slush pile is a messy manuscript. If the author does not care enough to present their best work, I will assume what they have submitted is their best work and it will be a No. If they’re sloppy at this stage, the most important one in the process, how will they be if the book is contracted?

For established authors, my pet peeve is not learning from past mistakes and not following established guidelines. I respect my authors’ time by working as hard as I can to get their projects complete in a timely manner, and I expect them to respect my time by improving as they move forward and observing the correct submission/editing procedures.

For personal reading, what are your favorite genres and all-time favorite books?

When I’m not reading for work, I choose non-fiction, primarily health-related, and magazines. A very short list of some of the books that have “stuck” with me is:

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Native Son by Richard Wright
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
Love Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark


Unknown said...

Summer Sisters has stayed with me too.
I believe authors appreciate their editor more when he or she can incorporate the positives with the negatives. I know I do. :)

Kele Moon said...

Great interview!!! It is awesome you've ended up doing something you love!



Ann Mayburn said...

Now I'm wondering if your psycho analyzing me while you edit my MS.-lol- Great self-interview, and I love the part about being a role model to your kids, that really is beyond cool. :)

Michelle Miles said...

Great interview, Grace! I enjoyed it :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! I love this interview, and concur. You do a FAB job making edits both painless and funny. MWAH!

Cara Carnes said...

LOL, Ann, I thought the same thing. I can almost hear it now. Hehe
Great interview, Grace! I'm thrilled you're my editor.

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Hi, Grace. I enjoyed getting to know you better through this interview. Thanks.

Erica Anderson said...

You are totally a dream editor, Grace. Looking forward to when I have something new to send you!

Shana Gray said...

How nice to get to know you a little more Grace :) You do an amazing job with edits and have the perfect touch getting the message across.

Dawn Montgomery said...

Loves Music, Loves to Dance was the first murder mystery I ever read. It definitely stuck with me over the years. I have a pretty beat up copy :D

Kaily Hart said...

I personally love those little comments you leave when you edit :). Humorous, informative and thought provoking. It's all godd!

Marie Harte said...

Doing something you love and getting paid for it...priceless. :) I'm SO glad to have you as my editor, Grace. And no, she didn't pay me to say that. Really.
:) Marie