Today, I have Christine visiting in her editor role but she also writes erotic romance and will be appearing on my blog in that guise on June 26th - but today, she we start with the editor questions. Welcome, Christine!
What is the best part about your job?
Reading a brilliant new book and helping the author bring it to publication worldwide. Also encouraging authors who often have low self-esteem to realise that there is value in what they have to say. It is remarkable how many capable authors have written books which have never been published. Some may have been almost published by a major house but then dropped. Many authors are unaware that they can now take charge of their own publishing business and be international professionals who can earn significant money. The traditionally encouraged image of the starving author crouching over the last drop of ink in a freezing garrett no longer applies.
Reading an awful attempt at a book by an earnest person who has never really read any books. But they feel like they should write a book because everyone says so.
I am also not keen on editing yet I am very fussy about the quality of books I publish. So every line of every book is read aloud and triple checked.
Does a synopsis feature in your decision to accept a manuscript? Or is it the pages?
A synopsis is not so important to me. A feature of many books I have noticed is that the author takes several chapters to get into their stride. Consequently the beginnings of many books are weaker than the end. If a chapter within a book shows me the writer has promise – then I will be interested in publishing the book and assisting the author to improve the book where it might need improvement.
What would you love to see more of? Sub-genre? Characters?
Authentic passion/emotion expressed capably on the page - many authors shy away from deep emotions in their work, yet readers love work they can connect to at a visceral level. There are so many authors "Having a go" at writing romance and erotica – the result is often intellectual Thinks – it should be like this – and consequently the writing never touches one' s heart.
I also would like to see more believable female characters acting as authentic woman and yet being heroines at the same time.
What is an acceptable turnaround time for you to get back to an author with a decision on a full manuscript?
It depends what the author is looking for. Do they desire me to do an entire publishing package? Do they simply need help to publish their own book? Are they looking for someone to copy-edit their work? Do they want a critique of the work? Generally, I can look over a work and decide if I want to put time into it within a day.
What is the best thing about being an editor?
Seeing a new work published and an author empowered. Reading reviews from delighted readers.
Trying to convey to an ignorant person how they might rewrite or refocus their writing in order to produce a work someone would like to pay to read. I think I'm going to stop doing this! It is wasting my time!
Do you believe any sub-genre ever loses popularity? Or should a writer always write what they love?
There will always be readers, even for the most unlikely books. If an author feels no passion for their work, then a reader cannot engage with it. Loving what you are writing about is the primary requirement for any book which could have any hope of success. Committment to being authentically yourself on paper – to as Tolstoy put it – to write in your own blood. If you were indeed using your own blood for ink – what would you write? Would you use fewer words to say what you want to say? Would there be more emotion, more meaning in your words than in those you write in mere ink?
What is on your ‘to do’ list today?
Making book covers for a series of books and short stories about man on man combat bondage – 'Games Without Names' by Jim Stewart. Due to be published soon as a collection and series of short stories by Quintessence Publications.
Working on the final edit of our first Adventure Romance book with my co-author A J Burton. 'Atlantea Soulmates – The Secret Empire' is due to be published later this year by Longship Publications. We have written two out of a series of four – set in a Steampunk Atlantis and ancient Crete.
What does your workspace look like?
A warm sunny room with yellow walls that looks out on a beautiful garden. I now use a stand up computer station and this has improved my comfort when working.
Christine Leov Lealand – Publishing Editor at Quintessence Publications and Longship Publications – imprints which focus on erotic romance, adventure romance and BDSM erotica.
Thanks for being here, Christine - okay, over to you guys! Questions? Comments?