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Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Fantastic Editor is Priceless

Being an author isn't all about the author. There are many people who go into the production of a book such as the cover artist, book designer, beta readers, and editor. Today's post is about an editor whom I met on goodreads. We didn't meet on an editor/ author basis. It happened as we started talking.  Eye of The Storm needed a thorough proofread and that's when I learned she was an editor/proofreader. I was thrilled with the quality of her work and her eye for detail. It's my great honor to introduce to you Dawn Lewis an awesome editor!

Elle: How long have you been in the profession?

Dawn: Officially, since June of this year (2014). I was sent my first manuscript (one chapter of a novel) in February, after pointing out to an author several major errors that his previous 2 editors had missed. He asked me if I would help… I said “OK”… and off we went!

Unofficially, I’ve been proofing and editing since I first learned to read! Some mistakes just jump right off the page at me without me looking for them.

Elle: Can you give any examples of works you have edited or proof read?

Dawn: I’ve only been an “active” editor for a short time, so it’s pretty easy to list everything! My first job was “Io Deceneus: Journal of a Time Traveler” by Florian Armas. I went on to work on “Origins: Season One” by Nathaniel Dean James, then 2 novels by Jonathan Dunne (“Balloon Animals” and “Living Dead Lovers”), then came “Salvation” by A.M.C. My latest job was “The Eye of the Storm: Eilida’s Tragedy” by Elle Klass. I’ve loved working on all of these books – your readers really should check them out!

Elle: What is your favorite type of music and do you listen while working?

Dawn: I don’t listen to music very often at all! When I do, I’ll choose either country, big band or 80s pop.
I never listen to anything while I’m working. If I hear song lyrics, or even someone speaking, I tend to end up typing what I’m hearing so I don’t take that risk!

Elle: If you were a box of cereal what would it be and why?

Dawn: I would have to be Crunchy Nut Cornflakes! I’m a bit crunchy (especially in the morning!) but can be softened with milk (of kindness, of course!), I’m also a bit “nutty” and I can be sweet!

Elle: What is your favorite and least favorite part of your job?

Dawn: My favourite (I’m English, so I use the “u”!) part is actually doing the work. My brain clicks into a different gear, I get tunnel vision, and nothing exists but the words on the screen. Knowing you’re advising authors is a big responsibility – like looking after someone else’s child!

My least favourite part is finishing. Once the manuscript is sent back, there’s a sense of loss, a “what do I do now?” feeling. There’s usually a couple of sleepless nights afterwards too – hoping the author has followed your advice, that you’ve made it clear why certain changes should be made. In the end though, it’s not my book, and the choices come down to the author.

Elle: What services do you offer and do you have a website? 

Dawn: My website is just a blog for now. You can find it here: http://bookmarksediting.blogspot.co.uk/
I offer a full proof read and edit in one. It involves checking spelling, syntax, grammar, plot development, readability – basically, everything you would expect from a proof reader and editor you can get from me for one basic price.

Charging by the word makes it easier for the author to know how much they can expect to pay – meaning there are never any hidden costs. I’ve heard of some companies charging separately for proofing and editing – and even charging authors whose first language isn’t English more than the standard rate!

Elle: Do you have any specific genres you edit?

Dawn: I will pretty much edit any kind of fiction. It all depends on the book itself. If I don’t feel I can do justice to the book, then I’ll advise the author on an alternative. That hasn’t happened yet though, as I very rarely find a book that I can’t get on with. 

Elle: Do you have any hobbies?

Dawn: Reading is a big part of my life. I love to go book hunting in second hand stores – the older and more tattered the book, the happier I am!

I also enjoy crafting – mostly knitting and crochet – although I’m trying to learn to sew too!

Elle: Do you have a favorite book or author?

Dawn: Whatever I’m working on is usually my favourite book at the time! It becomes so much a part of my life that it’s always on my mind.
I love to read Robin Hobb, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, Alex Kava… the list goes on and on!
Thanks to having a Kindle, I’ve been able to read more by new and indie authors, so my list is growing all the time – I’d have to say that you (Elle Klass) rank up there in the top of those, along with Florian Armas, Nathaniel Dean James, Jonathan Dunne and A.M.C.

I really could talk about books and authors forever!

Elle: If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?

Dawn: Oh, that’s a hard one… Do I have electricity? If so, my first item would be my Kindle! If not, I’d have to take along my “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (it’s in one book, so counts as one item, right?!). My second item would be my crafting bag. Third would have to be a big, squishy pillow.

And a yes, the Lord of The Rings trilogy all combined into one book counts as a single item :-).

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