Editing in the New Year



Share a drink. Light your firecrackers. Kiss your loved one… cause it’s all up hill from there.

Beth, here. Hosting our New Year on the blog, Through Heart-Shaped Glasses, and we are ready to take over the writing world with success. [okay, yes. Our world is relative, but still. It’s time to start a new year, and we are doing it with vigor.] As you know, we love books around here. We write them. We critique them. We read them…

We want to talk about them.

And we’ll share them, too.

So, come on in and sit a while. It’s time to meet a few editors who also love books, love stories. Today I’ve got Julie Naughton answering my questions, as well as a feature for her associate, Shannon Combs. Maybe this year, YOU can get that ms whipped into shape and sent off to an editor you met through Heart-Shaped Glasses. <3


Lemons Editing Group

(Beth: just going to say it. I love that their acronym spells LEG)

10678705_704185259666624_3264590522941045976_nWhen life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! But first you’ve got to squeeze them and zest them and add just the right amount of sugar… Just when you’ve got the mixture absolutely perfect, some bossy know-it-all comes along and tells you it tastes bad.

That’s the experience a lot of authors expect when they approach an editor – their hard-won words being heartlessly picked over, criticized and judged.

That doesn’t have to be the case. The reason we’re in the business of editing is that we LOVE books. We live for them. We are to manuscripts what crazy cat ladies are to kittens – we want to play with them, nurture them and watch them grow into gorgeous, quirky, unique beings. We love books, so we love writers, and we want you to succeed.

That’s why approaching an editor doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. We’ll work with you to make sure your prose sizzles and your characters jump off the page. We’ll nurse you through writer’s block and discouraging reviews. And when you gain readers, reviewers and sales, we’ll celebrate right along with you.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring an editor but have questions or concerns or don’t know what to expect, drop us a line at LifeGivesYouLemons.edits@gmail.com and let us know what we can do to help you.


Julie Naughton

How would you define success as an editor? Being able to make a living doing something I love. Which I can, and I’m immensely grateful for that.

What kinds of editing (or what part of editing) do you most (and least) enjoy? Why? I love content editing and helping authors to make their work the very best it can possibly be. Erotic romance is by far my favorite genre (especially stories with Rubenesque heroines and BDSM themes), but if it has words, I will happily edit it.

When someone gives you something to edit, what do you do? I first read through the entire thing, make broad notes to myself, then go back and start editing line by line.

What made you choose editing? I’ve always known that I wanted to make a living doing something with words. I double-majored in journalism and English (with a concentration in creative writing) in college. I am a newspaper reporter by day, so I get my writing in at the day job and then edit by night. When I discovered erotic romance, I knew I’d found my niche — after spending large amounts of my day-job salary purchasing it, I decided to try editing it. I also review romance, self-help, general fiction and general non-fiction for Publishers Weekly, have written several romance and new-adult roundup pieces for PW, and have been a quarterfinal judge in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) contest for the past four years.

What really gets your engine revving in a book? [in other words] What do you like to see in the submissions you get at Lemons Editing Group? I love BDSM themes and Rubenesque heroines. But really, the main thing that gets me going in any book is a coherent plot. If a plot is too far-fetched it will drag me out of the story in about three seconds flat, even if the prose is decent.

What is one of your writing pet peeves? Using the possessive as the plural. IT MAKES ME BATSHIT CRAZY. Just sayin’. Using that rather than who to refer to people is also likely to get me going, and not in a good way.

Do you have a favorite author? If so, who is it and how have they influenced your career? That’s a really, really hard question to answer because I’ve had the great good fortune to work with some incredibly talented authors. One of my first editing projects at my old publisher was doing a co-edit on Mari Carr’s book Screaming Orgasm — I was totally having a fangirl moment. Editing Lolita Lopez’s Grabbed books and Jan Springer’s menage series was a blast. I’ve also loved discovering really terrific writers from the slush pile — authors such as Lea Griffith, Kirstie Abbot, Elizabeth Finn and L.J. Fine. That’s incredibly rewarding.

Just for fun:
Leather or lace? Lace
Black or red? Black
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton? Egyptian cotton
Ocean or mountains? Ocean
City life or country life? Country life
Hunky heroes or average Joe? Average Joe
Party life or quiet dinner for two? Quiet dinner for two
Dogs or cats? Cats (even though I’m allergic to them!)

Julie Naughton2Types of editing offered: content, line, ghostwriting
Editing strengths: contemporary erotic romance; expertise in non-fiction, romance, general fiction, journalism and self-help as well
Editing Weaknesses: historical (pre-1900; very comfortable with 20th Century history)
Any special editing skills: (IE historical knowledge, tech savvy, Brit
to English spellings, professional knowledge of specific industries): professional expertise of publishing, fashion, beauty industries, legal matters and military operations (particularly the USMC); freelance writer for Publishers Weekly for 7-plus years; decent at Brit to English spellings due to editing multiple British authors at EC. Also have a freakish sense for spelling and most types of grammar (excluding lie/lay.)
Any genres or types of books you do NOT want to work on?: No, but I’m not at all confident with historicals. Regencies TERRIFY me and I’m not really into shifters and vampires. My favorites/strengths are contemporary erotic romance, particularly with BDSM, Rubenesque, military and multiple partner themes. But I’ve never met a manuscript I couldn’t be persuaded to edit.
Part time/Full time?: Part time for now, but working toward full time.
Anything else beneficial: Double majored in journalism and English (concentration on creative writing) in college. Have been a journalist for 23-plus years. First published nationally at 18 🙂 I’m told (by Kelli Collins, former EC editor-in-chief) that I’m really good with authors. Heck, I know how strongly I feel about my own writing, so I strive to bring that sensitivity to working with others. 🙂


Shannon Combs

shannon CombsTypes of editing offered: developmental, content, copy/line, proofreading, ghostwriting
Editing strengths: Character development & behavior, timelines, consistency, pointing out ways to create more powerful sentences
Editing Weaknesses: Historical/Regency
Any special editing skills: Tech savvy, Brit to English spellings/terminology
Any genres or types of books you do NOT want to work on?: Inspirational
Part time/Full time?: Full time
Anything else beneficial: Tactful with authors and good at communicating what is needed and why.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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