Wednesday Wrap-Up with Editor Stacy Holmes


Monster or Mentor?

I’ve asked editor Stacy D. Holmes to visit today and share some little known knowledge with us today. I love what she has to say! Welcome, Stacy.

EDITOR

One word that can cause chills to run down the spine of a writer.  The thought of the “all powerful editor” holding your precious manuscript in their hands to shred to pieces or, hopefully, see a spark of life, has led to many sleepless nights for those awaiting their fate in the publishing industry.

Does this sound like you? 

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret that might give you just a little more sleep tonight.  We are not “all powerful” (I still can’t fly or make the dirty dishes disappear with a snap of my fingers), and it is definitely not our goal to shred your dreams. We are not faceless monsters, or even remotely inhuman for that matter—in fact, we are all too human, only proven if you could see how we struggle with having to tell an author that their manuscript is not ready for publication, that they aren’t quite as far along in their dream as they hoped.

EDITOR 

Instead of picturing the top floor of a brutishly tall office building, clean, crisp skirts and suits behind goliath desks, outboxes piled high with manuscripts riddled with big red slashes, picture your favourite teacher from school, or the coach who made a difference in the way you played and enjoyed your favourite sport.

At least, that is the way I hope my authors look at me.  Not as some be all and end all of their manuscript, but as a coach who stands beside them, works with them, shows them where they can improve and encourages them to make their story the very best it can be.  And, like with any sport, practice furthers your development and effort brings accomplishment.

MENTOR 

Whether you are submitting to a publisher or using an independent editor, think of them as a mentor, someone waiting for you to submit, ready to assist you, excited to help you achieve your dreams. 

Changing the way you think about editors can help get you a bit more sleep at night, because there is honestly no monster on the other end of the SEND button.  Let’s be honest, if not for writers, there would be no need for editors.  YOU are that important to us. 

Now, that’s not to say you should be disrespectful or too casual in your correspondence to editors.  As with a teacher or coach, there comes a certain respectability with the position, but most editors should also earn your respect by their actions and guidance whether through an encouraging rejection letter or during the editing process. 

From this Mentor: Remember, there are often bumps in the road to your dreams.  Don’t let fear of the unknown be one of them.  Embrace the unknown and conquer the fear by asking questions and finding the answers, because answers can light up a whole new path you never even knew was there. 

Biography: Stacy D. Holmes

StacyDHolmes15 years in the publishing industry have taught me many things—the most important being that dreams may not come easy, but they do come true.

My many hats include freelance editor, senior editor for The Wild Rose Press Inc. since 2007, published author in both long and short romantic fiction, administrative assistant and newsletter coordinator—together with wife and mother.

Feel free to visit my website at www.stacydholmes.com, and join me on my blog at www.stacydholmes.blogspot.com Tuesdays for tips, tales and thoughts on the publishing industry and Thursdays for Q&A—no question is too little, too silly or should be too embarrassing to ask—knowledge is the key that opens many doors. So, go ahead and ask me: QandA@stacydholmes.com.

I SO agree with you, Stacy. I’ve said so myself and am glad other editors will come out and enforce this. It’s so important that writers know where they stand and who we (editors) really are. 

If you’ve read any of TWRP’s Honky Tonk Heart series- Those Violet Eyes, Sing to Me Cowboy, and so many more- why not let Stacy know what a great job she’s done bringing those wonderful stories to us? Yes, she’s that editor! 

Stacy has invited you to visit her blog and ask questions and I truly hope you will do that, but for today you can ask her anything right here! Come up to the mic and ask your questions. What’s on your mind? 

Thank you for coming to the Ranch today in the spur of a moment, Stacy. 

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About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters, five granddaughters, and wife to a wonderfully supportive man. I began writing warm you to the bones romance as a teen, and the addiction has now morphed into a life of its own. I became a published author in May 2011! I create art and jewelry with polymer clay and beads to relax and sew for fun. See my craft and sewing projects at http://fancifulallure.wordpress.com

Posted on 02/13/2013, in Branding, Editing, Pen of the Dreamer, Publishers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Thanks Jenny. And yes, all editors, like everyone, have various strengths.

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  2. Hi Stacy
    You are the kind of editor I’m happy to work with. I hate to disillusion you, but not all are like you. I have worked with editors who have no proper understanding of English grammar!

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  3. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really awesome editors! I respect the job they have to do to make our babies ready for the world!! Thanks for the great post!

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  4. Interesting interview, thank you.

    You mentioned questions, so I thought I’d ask.

    I’m told [by those who know] that there’s a fine balance between writer and editor, and expectations–who will do the tinkering and who will do the heavy lifting? On which side of the scale do you balance?

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    • Did I mention I’m a Libra? The scales LOL. And that’s right, there is a fine balance and it is learned as much with experience as anything else. When edting, as it is not my story, it isn’t my job to do the heavy lifting, but rather to suggest where the heavy lifting needs to be done. At the same time, I never leave an author to do it alone. My desk is always open for further explanations, brainstorming and discussing the route they wish to go–or which boxes could go where LOL. Same with tinkering, if there are little details here or there that could be tightened to give the story an extra oomph, then I note them for the author to make the final decision. It’s team work and that’s what I like best.

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  5. I’ve worked with three editors at TWRP and been so blessed with the relationships I’ve established. It truly is a give and take process to produce the best possible results. So, Stacy, Kathy, and Ally – thank you bunches! I’m also discovering my CP, Margo, is an excellent editor. Editors can take all different shapes and forms, but none of them are scary! LOL

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  6. Hi Stacy and Calisa

    What an interesting post. As one of the authors with The Wild Rose Press I really appreciate the lengths editors go to, to polish and hone the manuscripts, and help the authors they work with!
    Thanks for sharing from the ‘other side’ so to speak.

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  7. Great reminder that we all struggle, but for the same goal – to put out good work. I love my editor, the patience, knowledge, and experience she shares to strengthen my voice on the page. I just wish I could learn everything at once, but keep reminding myself it’s a process. As long as I keep learning and apply that knowledge, the journey is so worth it. Thanks, Stacey and Calisa!

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  8. I only have one published story but I loved my editor and the whole editing process. For me, editing was easier than actually writing my story. I could see my mistakes by my editor and it will only make me a stronger writer in the end.

    Marika/Harlie

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    • Exactly Marika! It’s not our job to change your story, but to bring out all it can be and catch those things that you as the author are sometimes to close to notice.

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  9. Nice one, lady editors! Good to know that editors aren’t waiting for you to make a mistake so they can cross your manuscript off their list and move on to the next onw :). Lovely to meet you, Stacey and editors surely rock 🙂

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  10. Thanks for the post! It’s nice to be reminded that Editors are people doing the best job they can.
    thanks you for sharing the links to Stacy’s site. I can always benefit from the wisdom of a good editor.

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  11. Hi, Stace and Calisa
    great post!! thanks for thinking of this, Calisa.
    Stace, you summed up my feelings exactly, particularly about that author who uses a cavalier approach to the editor-author relationship as in: “….ooohhhh my book is soooooo funny, wait till you read chapter 7–it’s a hoot. . .”
    keep up the good work.
    Kathy Cottrell

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  12. It’s so nice to ‘meet’ you, Stacy! And I’ll admit I was one of those who thought editors were Different from me – at least before I was published. I love my editor now – she’s tough and while she doesn’t fly or magically make dishes disappear she does make my writing so much better!

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  13. Hi Stacy (**waves madly**). For me, it takes a while to build trust with an editor. I think I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my writing. I always fear an editor will make me change so much that it will become her/his story, and my voice will be lost in the shuffle. Once I accept the editor is only trying to make my mess shine, then I relax and the editing process becomes a collaberation effort. Great post.

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    • Control freak? You? I don’t believe it! LOL 🙂 Your books are awesome, Vonnie.

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    • That’s a very good point Vonnie. Like any other relationship, you do need to feel each other out and respect each other’s work, both author and editor. Once you find that compatibility, it is a great partnership….and I’m thankful ours works! **waves back**

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  14. Great post! Then again, TWRP has great editors. I know my books are better because of Lill and Allison. Thanks, ladies!

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  15. Anyone who has Stacy has their editor is a lucky author. She is one of the best!

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  16. Thank you so much for having me over today Calisa!

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  17. My hats off to editors. As Stacy said, it can’t be easy saying “no” to so many people, and yet as a reader I appreciate them filtering out some of the stuff that should NOT be published. I have a lot of respective for my editor (TWRP Editor, Eilidh MacKenzie), and want to learn and absorb everything she has to offer. Thank you Stacy…and Eilidh.

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  18. Interesting post and wonderful to “meet” you Stacy. I’ve always considered having an editor to work with is another opportunity for me to learn…and I’ve learned some great things so far and can see the improvement from my first book to my third 🙂

    So, to all you editors out there….THANK YOU!

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