Thursday, June 23, 2011
This post is actually about my editor. I've gone through another one. It's enough to give a girl a complex, but in reality, four of the editors I had at one house were because the publisher had a lot of moving around happening. All four came and went in the span of a month and a half. I SWEAR it wasn't because of me. I hadn't turned anything in during that time.
But the one I lost, I'd had through two publishing houses. I loved her. I still do. She's my champion and my best friend. After working closely with her for years, it's kind of like having the rug pulled out from under you, because now I don't have her as my editor anywhere. Is it a sound business decision? Absolutely. It's never a good idea to have even the whiff of favoritism. She didn't and wouldn't, but you can understand how it would appear.
So here's another aspect of the writing world. Turn-over. When I first started off writing, I was so focused on getting my work out there and Yay-I-Have-A-Real-Live-Scary-Editor, that I never stopped to consider I'd be moved from one editor to another as a matter of course. It happens in every house, all the time. At first you think maybe you've done something wrong, but you get used to it. There are just those editors who stick, you know? The ones you never forget because they had a serious impact on you.
My editor Helen, at Ellora's Cave was my first and she baby fed me into confidence. Michele at Total-E-Bound I only had for a very few books, but she called me on my crap and terrified the poo out of me. And then there's Christine who loved everything I wrote and put comment boxes in the margin filled with laughs or smiley faces or just to snark on me for hilarious typos. Even if she didn't like it, she never told me my work sucked. She just said, "It's not my favorite of your books."
I'm probably going to drive my new editor crazy. One of the last things Christine said to me about editing yesterday was that the reason she gets me so well is because neither one of us are linear thinkers. We don't plot and don't do well with plotting, plus she knows how my brain works (shut up).
Do you know how in the south it's rude to ask a point blank question? Regina, I know you feel me. To those of you who don't, it works a little like this. Say you notice that the neighborhood dogs got into your garbage. (You're thinking: then I'd pick it up. No no no no no!) What you do is, you casually walk to the nearest male, find something to engross you, like pour coffee, and say, "Looks like the dogs were out last night." Then walk away. Just walk away. The proper male response is to go outside and clean up the garbage. YES, from that very little info. It's non-linear information.
Now Christine is good at reading my round about, highlighting it, and saying, "you mean this?" which will say in two words what took me a paragraph. I miss her already.
My new editor is very, like VERY, linear and plotty. I'm beginning to feel sorry for her.
RIP, Christine. Thank goodness I still get to talk to you about life stuff. I'm going to miss your sass.