Monday, February 4, 2013

Interview with T.J. Loveless

I'd like to welcome author and editor T.J. Loveless to my blog. She's a good friend, who has supported me on a lot of occasions. I've read some of her writing and she's excellent at creating stories. Her blog posts are often humorous and enjoyable to read!

I'm also featured on her blog today, doing a guest post:

And on February 18th, you can visit her blog again to enter a contest she is hosting where you could win a free copy of my novel, a mug, and a mousepad!

Here's the interview...

1. Name three random things about yourself.

Trying to think of things I haven't said yet! LOL  1.) I am an extrovert now, but until the age of 10, I was painfully shy.  2.) I have a secret penchant for cartoons. Including Spongebob.  3.) I would be more than 80% gray, at the age of 40, if I didn't color regularly.

2. What made you want to be an editor?

I discovered as a Critique Partner and Beta Reader that I love to watch, and be a part of, the birth of a book. I adore watching the story, and getting a peek into someone else. I wanted to be a part of the publishing process, to point to a book on the shelf and say, "I helped with that!"  Plus I get to help others break all the rules. Must be the rebel in me...

3. What's your favorite thing about being an editor?

After I've sent the book to the author for revisions, I have to say my favorite thing is when I receive it for a beta read. To see their voices no longer cluttered amid redundancy, repeated phrases, etc. To watch the strength of the book make it stand on its own, the author's vision of the book now loud and clear.

4. What is the most common mistake you see writers making?

Redundant phrases. Granted, we all write in passive, etc, but redundancy is the biggest mistake. Adds to the word count and can be frustrating to read over and over. Repeated thoughts and actions from earlier in the MS, sometimes causing timeline issues. Or the MC and second character walking and phrases such as "we both"  ...

5. Is it hard to balance being a writer and an editor?

It can be, for me. When I'm assigned a book, I dive in headfirst. I'll spend fifty or more hours on it, even the very well written. It's hard to balance strengthening the writing and ensuring the voice isn't lost. I am obsessive, so I end up analyzing every word, phrase, dialogue, etc. I've been told I'm a pretty tough editor, but no complaints about the end result.

The writing side of me is losing at the moment. It is very hard to go from editor mode and switch into The Writer's Zone. I tried writing after editing, found myself editing the WIP in rough draft - something I promised myself I wouldn't do. It can take two days for me to get out of Editor and into Writer. So now I am prioritizing the days off, ensuring I can switch gears. It seems to be working. I wrote 10k words over 10 hours the other day. With no current assignments, I might be able to continue and finish Going Thru Hell.

6. What writing projects are you working on right now?

I am finishing Going Thru Hell, a full length novel about a mother's choices and starting a short story about a psychiatrist to creatures of fantasy. Researching and asking a lot of questions about self publishing. I'm going to dive in with the short stories, simply because I don't think I could find a publisher for 30k - 40k length novels.  And enter the query trenches with Going Thru Hell by mid February.

I'm also starting a monthly spotlight of self published authors, complete with giveaways and guest blogs, in an effort to dispel the myths and stereotypes. I think its time to show the options available, either as a writer OR a reader.

7. What things have you had to give up in order to have more time for writing and editing?

Sanity and sleep. I take pride in my editing and writing, and can get a little obsessive when a project is in front of me. I also have a husband and teenager, and the balancing act can be intimidating at times. 

I also lost a few friends when I announced my new position...they tried to use it as a way to circumvent the process. It hurt. I'm not an Acquisitions Editor - I'm a Copy/Content Editor for starters. And if I have to trudge through the muck and mire to be published, it is part of the journey. I resented others trying to use me to fly over the mud for their own work.  I ended up not saying another word, although I'm very proud of what I do.


Where to find T.J. Loveless online...


Joyce Alton / @joycealton said...

I'm trying to picture you as an introvert as a child. Nah. =)

Switching between the internal editor and breezy writer is hard. It takes me weeks, too. Glad I'm not alone.

SC Author said...

WOW. You sound like the ultimate editor/writer in one. 10k in one day?! That's amazing! Great interview.

T.J. said...

Joyce - My grandmother used to say, "It's just a phase..." because I never had a brain-mouth filter LOL

And it IS hard to switch gears. You are most definitely not alone.

SC - I can do that about once a month LOL Then I'm brain dead and back to normal - which is about 3k - 4k a night. And thanks :)

T.J. said...

Thank you, E.B., for hosting me!! Can't wait for the contest :)

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