Pastures NewWednesday, August 26, 2009 12:32
(syb note: I didn’t want it to get lost in the western posts)
This is just me, Lynne. I’m not speaking for anyone else, or on anyone else’s behalf.
Just before the weekend I lost someone who helped me build up my career at Samhain, but hopefully I haven’t lost a friend. Angela James was my editor, and she edited my Triple Countess and Secrets series for me (both unfinished). Then came Richard and Rose.
When an author finds an editor she gets along with, it’s a match made in heaven, and my relationship with Angela James was like that. Although Angie wasn’t a history expert, she loved my Richard and Rose series, and read it when it was with another publisher. So when the series was once again free she signed it to Samhain.
I was beginning to think this series is jinxed, or was, before Angie. The first book I had published was “Yorkshire,” the first in the series. First book, first page, first historical error. Richard said “hello” to Rose. Not in 1751 he wouldn’t. that word was invented for the telephone, and Richard and Rose were long before that. If he’d yelled it at her, he might have been nearer to its original meaning, “Halloo!” something shouted on the hunting field when someone saw the fox. Not exactly the sentiment I wanted to convey.
My love affair with the eighteenth century is the longest of my life. I fell in love with the era when I was nine years old, when we did a school project on coffee and tea, but we all make mistakes, however hard we try.
Angie isn’t an expert in the eighteenth century, but despite her other commitments, she did a thorough job. If she didn’t know something, she looked it up or she queried it. I didn’t get away with a thing, neither did I want to. After I’d edited the first book we worked together on, “Last Chance, My Love,” I ended up with a week with two Tuesdays in it (I concentrated the action and lost most of a week). At first, my timelines were a little – unusual, but Angie encouraged me to track them and keep them straight. I work hard at that now.
Then I had a total of six editors for the first four books, already written, now reissued at Samhain. There are two already written and contracted, and I want to write one more before I give the series a rest. I’ve had to do hard rewrites and I’m waiting to hear from my new editor for the release dates and details.
I’ve worked with a number of editors, and hand on heart, the ones I work with now are the best. They have supportive companies behind them, and they all do a thorough edit. I’ve heard of publishers whose editors don’t do edits at all, usually because they haven’t the time, but there’s no way I’d ever want to work with one of those. One day I might have to, but I hope not. An editor makes your work the best it can be, she polishes, shows you how you can improve, and deals with the funky stuff like formatting. She tries to bring out the author’s voice, instead of adding her own.
Angie had a large list of authors she edited, and we are all very different, in style and genre. I’m going to miss her, but one thing publishing definitely isn’t is static. She has moved on to new challenges and while I wish her the best, I will miss her input.
And I’m moving on to a new challenge, too, as is Samhain. It’s a thriving publishing house, one which I’m very proud to be part of. It supports its authors, has a strong roster of editors, cover artists and other staff, all of whom have helped to make Samhain one of the three biggest companies in epublishing. With the epublishing market in a heavy growth period, the years ahead are going to be very interesting.
Very interesting indeed.