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By the Book: Copy editor and writer Laura Godfrey’s book highlights

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. FosterLaura Godfrey

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job, Laura, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

Well, I currently have two jobs. My full-time job is as a newspaper copy editor and page designer at Pagemasters North America (owned by The Canadian Press) where I work on the Toronto Star desk drawing pages, editing for print and online, and writing headlines and other display copy. I work at this job five evenings a week—newspaper editors work odd hours preparing the paper for the printer—which actually works out well, because it gives me time to do freelance work during the day.

My freelance job is as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, the New York–based magazine about the book publishing industry. I get to write about everything from literary awards to Indigo’s quarterly reports to new Canadian children’s books—I’m excited about Hark! A Vagrant creator Kate Beaton’s first picture book, The Princess and the Pony, which comes out at the end of June.

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By the Book: AGO editor of publications Claire Crighton’s book highlights

ClaireCrightonInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guide, and what their alternate-universe career would be.

Tell us about your current job, Claire, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I’m currently the Editor of Publications and Exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where I manage all the curatorial text the gallery produces. As one half of the AGO’s publishing department, I’m involved in every catalogue from beginning to end. I work with curators and authors to develop ideas. I edit and copy edit catalogue content. I collaborate with image researchers and book designers. And I attend to all the nitty-gritty details, like making sure we’re listing the correct dimensions for a work of art.

On the exhibition side, I consult with the gallery’s in-house curators, interpretive planners, and designers to create the material you see on the walls when you walk through an AGO exhibition. It’s fantastic to work with so many creative people and on such a wide variety of projects. I can be thinking about Michelangelo one day and Suzy Lake the next. It’s also a treat to work at the AGO. If I feel like taking a break, I can wander through the gallery’s incredible collections, which is a pretty great perk.

Here’s a quirk: I love a good road trip. Some of my favourites have been the Blue Ridge Parkway, the American South and the stunning Pacific Coast Highway—but I only got my driver’s license last fall. I’ve earned my keep as a passenger through solid navigational skills and great taste in podcasts—and by befriending some very generous travelling companions. Now that I’m licensed, I’m hoping to make up for lost time in the driver’s seat. I think the east coast of Canada might be next.

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By the Book: Freelance editor, writer, and media consultant Tina Anson Mine’s reading highlights

 Tina Anson MineInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job as a freelancer, Tina, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I primarily edit books these days, though the first phase of my editing career was in magazines. For the last year, I’ve focused mainly on the substantive editing of cookbooks and health-and-nutrition books. I’ve also worked on a couple of health-oriented recipe books that have an element of crafting to them, such as a handmade soap book and a homemade herbal remedies book. The latter two combined some of my favourite skills, because I adore both words and crafts.

It’s probably not a little-known fact about me—because I yap about it all the time to my family, friends, and fellow crafters—but I love to knit and quilt. What’s quirky is my taste in projects. At the moment, I’m knitting a replica of the wicked Cowichan-style cardigan that Jeff Bridges wore in The Big Lebowski. My biggest coup, however, was a punctuation-themed quilt that a fellow editor and I made for another editor’s little boy. And I’m not afraid to toot my own horn: it was spectacular!

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By the Book: HarperCollins Canada’s managing editor Noelle Zitzer’s reading highlights

Noelle ZitzerInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guide, and what their alternate-universe career would be.

Tell us about your current job, Noelle, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I’ve had the pleasure of being HarperCollins Canada’s managing editor for 11 years, where I oversee the publication of books of all sorts: cookbooks, literary and commercial fiction, mystery, history, biography, memoir, business, lifestyle, current affairs, popular science, and books for children. The breadth of the program is what attracted me to HarperCollins. There’s something on our list for every kind of reader.

I often describe my position as a bit like an air-traffic controller’s: I coordinate the “flight paths” of our edited manuscripts—sending them to freelance copy editors, proofreaders, and indexers, and redirecting them, in turn, to authors, in-house editors, or the production team. It’s my job to ensure that manuscripts travel smoothly through the final stages, meet professional standards, and arrive on time.

I’m not often described as a “quirky” person, but I’ve gone swimming with sharks, if that counts. It happened in the British Virgin Islands, where my husband and I were married. On our last day, while snorkelling, I became surrounded by a school of fish that completely obscured my view—until they suddenly vanished and left me staring at a black-tipped reef shark instead! I actually shrugged off the first encounter, but when I saw that unmistakable silhouette glide by a second time, I scrambled hastily to shore. The shark was about five or six feet long.

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By the Book: In-house editor Joe Cotterchio-Milligan’s book highlights

JoeInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job, Joe, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I currently work in-house as a senior editor for Carswell. I edit, typeset, and also research material for loose-leafs and books on a variety of legal topics.

A quirky fact? Umm…I don’t put much stock in it, but I’ve been told I have a photographic, or eidetic, memory. It’s either that or my reading habits, below.

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

As other interviewees have mentioned, this is an impossible question to answer. My reading usually follows its own path. That is, I’ll read something that alludes to, or is influenced by, another work, and I’ll then seek those works out. Recently, I read Zadie Smith’s NW. That led me to reread David Foster Wallace and Nietzsche. Then, after the disappointing finale of HBO’s True Detective and having read Nietzsche, I read Thomas Ligotti’s The Conspiracy Against the Human Race and reread Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I’ll pick up almost anything to satisfy curiosity or to quench the need for understanding. (more…)

By the Book: Freelance editor and author Charis Cotter’s book highlights

Charis CotterInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job, Charis, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I juggle my work as a freelance editor with writing children’s books, doing storytelling and writing workshops in schools, and reviewing children’s books. This fall, I’ve been focusing on promoting my new novel, The Swallow: A Ghost Story, and that morphed into telling ghost stories on radio, on TV, and in schools. Ghosts are my thing—Newfoundland ghosts, in particular. I encourage students to collect traditional ghost stories from their families, and we use them to work on storytelling and writing. It’s very rewarding, but I really appreciate the relative quiet calm of editing and writing when the dust settles.

Quirky? Not a lot of people know that I like to memorize and recite poetry out loud while I am walking the wild coastline near my house on Conception Bay, Newfoundland. I prefer poems by my favourite rhyming poets—Shakespeare, Yeats, Wordsworth, and Longfellow, to name a few. It helps to distract me from thinking about how hard it is to get up the next rocky hill. I love learning a poem this way. I really get inside it by saying it over and over, and by the time I’ve memorized it, I understand it. The rhythms of walking and reciting poetry go very well together. I highly recommend it. As long as you don’t meet other people on your walks. That can be embarrassing.

What is your all-time favourite book and why? (more…)

By the Book: In-house editor and freelance writer James Harbeck’s book highlights

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guide, and what their alternate-universe career would be.

Tell us about your current job, James, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I’m senior editor at MediResource Inc., which is the leading Canadian provider of consumer-oriented health content on the Web. I’ve been there nearly 15 years. I’m in charge of making sure that our content is clean and readable and well presented, and our processes are efficient. I’ve put a lot of effort over the years into making sure we don’t have to fix the same things over and over again.

Hmm. Quirky. I don’t know if it’s quirky enough that I grew up on an Indian reserve (I’m not Indian; my parents worked for them). I’m not sure if it’s little-known enough that I can do undertone singing. Or quirky enough that I once played a Yorkshire-born British Columbia labour leader in a CBC radio drama. Since I’ve had a half million views on my video “Phonetic description of annoying sounds teenagers make,” I guess it’s not little-known. Um, a former girlfriend was the hundredth in line to the British throne… . How’s that? (Another former girlfriend knew Merce Cunningham and John Cage, and my wife knows Kurt Browning and Toller Cranston. But that’s all reflected glory, I suppose.)

What is your all-time favourite book and why?
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By the Book: Freelance editor and author Janice Weaver’s reading highlights

WeaverQ&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series, “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guide, and what their alternate-universe career would be.

Tell us about your current job, Janice, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

For many years now (too many to mention!), I have worked as a Toronto-based freelance trade editor. I do all kinds of editorial work—structural editing, copy editing, and proofreading, as well as project management—on fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, and I teach a copy editing course in the Ryerson publishing program. In my spare time, I also write non-fiction books for younger readers.

A quirky fact, eh? Don’t travel with me! Something bad always happens when I travel—one airline went bankrupt, my pocket was picked, a hurricane struck. Probably the wildest one was in New Orleans, where a bolt of lightning travelled down the chimney and came out the fireplace four feet from where I was having my morning coffee. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life!

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

Well, like any book lover, I’d say this is an impossible question to answer. It’s kind of like asking a parent to name his or her favourite child! There are many, many writers whose work I greatly admire, of course, but I read different authors at different times for different reasons.

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