We’re continuing our New Year featuring some more great editors. Today, from Lemon Editing Group, I’ve got Rebecca Hill, answering a few questions, and Mary Harris. Come on over, bring your most polished manuscript, and hear what Rebecca has to say about editing.
And keep in mind:
When 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.firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what we can do to help you.
How would you define success as an editor?
Developing a friendship with the author, which means she can ask me for whatever she needs, and making the book pretty and shiny and flawless without interfering with the author’s unique writing voice. The former helps with the latter! And it doesn’t prevent me from telling hard truths when they’re needed.
What kinds of editing (or what part of editing) do you most (and least) enjoy? Why?
I love editing on a line level – making sure turns of phrase are elegant or authentic (not always the same thing!)
When someone gives you something to edit, what do you do?
READ. I read the whole thing at least once, often more. I want to know what level of editing is needed, but more importantly I want to try to get into the author’s head and make myself familiar with the characters and the setting. I want to settle into the world of the story.
What made you choose editing?
When I was little, my mum asked me what my dream job would be, in a fantasy world, and I replied “Being paid to read.” I read eclectically, extensively and tirelessly. It was really a no-brainer.
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?
Passion. Playfulness. If an author has fun writing, it shines through, and I enjoy reading and editing.
What is one of your writing pet peeves?
I’m a slave to the grammar goblins, and can be a horrible nit-picker. I try to rein it back!
Do you have a favorite author? If so, who is it and how have they influenced your career?
Oh…dozens, if not hundreds. Anyone who has something new to say or a charming way of saying old things! Please get in touch and tell me yours!
Just for fun:
Leather or lace? Both
Black or red? Both!
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton? Cotton
Ocean or mountains? Mountains
City life or country life? Country life
Hunky heroes or average Joe? Nerds!
Party life or quiet dinner for two? Dinner for two
Dogs or cats? Mad cat lady all the way
Rebecca Hill has an MA in publishing studies and has worked as a fiction editor for over a decade, across a variety of genres. She has provided training to dozens of other editors who have gone on to successful in-house and freelance careers. She prides herself on providing a thorough editorial service that nevertheless shows respect for the author’s individual writing voice, and is keen to help make your publication dreams a reality. When Rebecca isn’t editing, she’s writing, in her children’s, YA or romance author personas. She regularly ghost-writes for NY Times bestselling authors.
Editor name: Mary Harris
Types of editing offered: Developmental, copy or line edits, proofreading
Editing strengths: seeing what the story lacks; verb tenses, teaching author to change from passive to active, teaching author to get rid of gerunds and adverbs, I (or I make my author) do research to verify trade names’ spelling and punctuation because readers will jump on that shit!
Editing Weaknesses: I can see a great story in just about every submission! Need to hone my discerning skills a bit
Any special editing skills: (IE historical knowledge, tech savvy, Brit
to English spellings, professional knowledge of specific industries) not tech savvy.
Any genres or types of books you do NOT want to work on?: the usual no-nos: child involvement, bestiality (unless it’s the werepoodles)
Part time/Full time?: I am a full-time editor.
Anything else beneficial: I work well with authors to develop their stories and their styles