With us today for our final installment of what different Editors from other publishing houses do is the lovely Dawn Lyons, Editor at Rebel Ink Press.
On behalf of Naughty Nights Press, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions.
Thank you for having me today. It’s a pleasure to be able to share a bit about me and Rebel Ink Press.
I’ve been an editor to some degree for about twenty years. I started, believe it or not, in high school as the editor of my school’s yearbook three years running and went from there. I worked in newspaper text while making my way through college to gain a degree in English and most recently I’ve taken on the mantle of editing novels and short stories with Rebel Ink Press.
Could you please describe your job as editor?
The most important thing I can say about my job as an editor is that I’m a teacher first and foremost. It’s not only my job to polish a manuscript until it shines, it’s my job to develop writers and help them hone their craft. Over the years a lot of writer's have believed me to be harsh, but in my opinion sugar coating it doesn’t get the job done. As for the technicalities of the job, they vary from script to script depending on the writer’s abilities. Some scripts require serious tear down technically while others require focus on story and character development. My job starts the minute the script hits my desk and doesn’t stop until it’s safely in the hands of our senior editor for finalization.
Do you do a fully comprehensive edit, line by line edit, and a plot and continuity edit, or only one of these?
Every editor at Rebel Ink Press does a full, comprehensive edit. Without all the components working together a story isn’t complete. That includes line by line technical editing, plot validation, fact checking and consistency. We can’t have Charles removing his pants in one line and two lines later he’s fully dressed. We are very critical and very careful. In the editor’s course we’re required to take we’re taught that every single word is important and should be looked at carefully. We don’t edit sentences. We don’t edit paragraphs. We edit every single word.
Are you completely honest and blunt with an author if there are problems with the manuscript?
I am the most honest and blunt editor you’ll find. I lay it out plain and simple. I do warn my writers I’m that way beforehand so it may take a bit of the sting and shock factor out, however, as I stated above, sugar coating doesn’t cut it.
Are there any other jobs that you do above and beyond editing? For instance do you help the author pick a title for their book or help the author when they are having problems with their story line, etc?
I’m strictly an editor, however, we do check titles before we send anything out to make sure it’s not overused, so yes, if there’s an issue with that one of the editor’s will guide the writer in making a sound decision. Part of my job is to make sure the story line holds water and as such I do a fair amount of advising on that. But a writer’s work is ultimately theirs. I can advise all day long but that doesn’t mean they will take that advice.
How do you keep abreast of what is currently trending genre wise?
I read consistently and constantly as well as watch market reports via news outlets. I get several writer’s and publisher’s periodicals each month as well.
Do you find it easier if you have basic knowledge of the genre you are editing or do you feel it doesn't matter?
If you’re reading with an editor’s eye genre should never be an issue. I’ll admit some genres hold special circumstances that require varying degrees of research, but the technicalities of writing are universal.
Have you or would you, ever approach an author due to the quality of their work, and ask them to submit to your publisher?
Recruiting isn’t my job, so no. If an author asks, I’ll answer questions, but trying to skim writers from other good presses is unethical and we don’t practice that art at Rebel Ink Press.
Thank you Dawn for being with us today, it has been a delight in reading your answers, not to mention finding out what it is your job as Editor entails.
Posted by Penny Peterssen
Personal Executive Assistant
Director of Marketing and Research
Naughty Nights Press (NNP) Team