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Q&A: Author Jeremy Tankard on the author/editor relationship

What do authors think about editors? What do authors think makes the difference between a good editor and a great editor?

Jeremy-Tankard-3Previously, BoldFace asked author Nina Munteanu about her experience working with editors. This time we posed the same questions to Jeremy Tankard, an award-winning Vancouver-based children’s author and illustrator. His books include Grumpy Bird and It’s a Tiger! and he recently illustrated Here Comes Destructosaurus!

Q&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Overall, what’s your experience like as an author who’s been edited?

Nothing but positive, so far! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the biggest names in children’s publishing. They bring a LOT of experience and award-winning books to the table, so I’m all ears when they open their mouths to comment on my work. I haven’t been led astray, so far.

What is it like as an author to work, say, months, or even years, on a book, then have an editor read it critically and suggest (sometimes major) changes?

It can be a strange experience, sometimes: you think you know what you’ve done, but then someone can give you whole new ways of seeing it. I think, sometimes, as a writer, you can get much too close to your work. I rely heavily on my editor having a fresh and more distant perspective on things. She can see the big picture, whereas I’ve got hung up on details. Occasionally, editors have suggested major changes or rewrites, and those are certainly frustrating (or at least not what I want to hear at the time). However, I have a great deal of trust in their experience; so, while sometimes I’m not told what I want to hear, I know that they’re probably right. I know that they make suggestions because they believe it will make my book better—and I want it to be the best that it can be. (more…)

Q&A: Author Nina Munteanu on the author/editor relationship

What do authors think about editors? What do authors think makes the difference between a good editor and a great editor?

nina-and-siko-jan2014In May, BoldFace asked award-winning author Elizabeth Berg about her experience working with editors. This time we posed the same questions to Nina Munteanu, a Halifax-based writing instructor and author of The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now! and the short story collection Natural Selection.

Q&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Overall, what’s your experience like as an author who’s been edited?

It’s been exceptional! That is, when I was being edited by professional editors. At various times in my career, I’ve had my works edited by individuals who ranged in their level of understanding of “story” and editing within the genre: colleagues, other writers, and novice editors. At times, it was disastrous. What this experience showed me was the importance of matching editor with writer. This is why in the industry we often refer to this linkage as a “marriage.” In some very important ways it is just like a marriage: a synergistic partnership of mutual respect, a shared vision, and enthusiasm with the ultimate goal of taking something and making it better. As a writer, I entrust my sacred creation to an individual who I pray will respect and uphold my voice and my vision, yet not shy away from suggesting those improvements that go beyond simple copy edits. When this happens, what you always get is something greater than what it was before. A well-matched editor and writer will together enhance a project into something beautiful. It is truly a wonderful thing to behold and experience.

What is it like as an author to work, say, months, or even years, on a book, then have an editor read it critically and suggest (sometimes major) changes?

Except for my very first book, I’ve not had an editor suggest major changes to my works…yet. However, the changes that they have suggested have always resulted in obvious improvement. I welcome the input of a good editor. In a typical edit, I find that I am in total agreement with 95 per cent of their suggestions and edits. And the remaining 5 per cent, they usually concede. (more…)

Q&A: Author Elizabeth Berg on the author/editor relationship

author Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg

What do authors think about editors? What do authors think makes the difference between a good editor and a great editor?

In March, BoldFace asked author Andrew J. Borkowski about his experience working with editors. This time we posed the same questions to Chicago-based, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg, whose books have been translated into 27 languages. Her latest book, The Bird Lover (about French writer George Sand), will be available in spring 2015.

 Q&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

 Overall, what’s your experience like as an author who’s been edited?

On the whole, it’s been helpful and very supportive. I’ve found editing much more flexible for books than for magazine pieces, where space and advertising are concerns.
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Q&A: Author Andrew J. Borkowski on the author/editor relationship

What do authors think about editors? What do authors think makes the difference between a good editor and a great editor?

In January, BoldFace asked author Andrew Pyper about his experience working with editors. This time we posed the same questions to Andrew J. Borkowski, a Toronto-based writer, editor, journalist, musician, and author of the short story collection Copernicus Avenue, which won the 2012 Toronto Book Award.

Q&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Overall, what’s been your experience as an author who’s been edited?

copernicus_avenue_frame

Extremely positive. The editors and readers I’ve had at publishers, literary magazines, and agencies have been as diligent, thoughtful, and as committed to the craft as I expect myself to be.

What is it like as an author to work months, or even years, on a book and to then have an editor read it critically and suggest (sometimes major) changes?

Having worked as an editor for many years before my first book was published, I tend to be a pretty ruthless editor of my own work, at least when it comes to working the surface of the prose. That said, I go into the process hungry to know what rings true in my work and what doesn’t.

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