Monday, April 6, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Kara Leigh Miller

I am so excited for this new weekly feature here on Kick Start Your Heart Romance. As both an author and editor, I'm involved in the editing process a LOT! As an author, I know what's been asked of me, and as an editor, I know what I've asked of other authors. (Hint: I'm not an easy editor. lol. I really do push my authors to work hard, but I digress...) 

This new Monday feature will focus on authors who are brave enough to step forward and confess the real truth of what happens in the dark and often scary editing cave. But, I can't ask authors to put themselves in the hot seat if I'm not willing to do the same, so, here I am, confessing the truth about my own editing cave. 

1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
I've worked with a variety of different editors at various small presses, and I've worked with my agent, Dawn Dowdle of The Blue Ridge Literary Agency in an editorial capacity. And, of course, I'm an editor myself so I have that experience as well. 

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
My editor at the former Entranced Publishing, Emily Ward, was phenomenal. We got along from the very first email we shared, and it only got better from there. We just clicked on every level. 

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
While working with Emily on my contemporary YA, The Georgia Corbins, she told me to add a lot of words to the book and to really flesh out Ali's character -- her friends, her hobbies, her life at home with her parents. It was overwhelming at first, but the end result was definitely something I was super proud of. 

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
A different editor (who shall remain nameless because I still adore her despite our disagreements and I refuse to speak ill of her for any reason) for a different book had suggested I (a) remove the romance from the book all together, or (b) make it serve more of a purpose, such as a means to an end sort of situation. Talk about a shock. lol. She made some strong arguments for her edits, but at the end of the day, it just didn't jive with the overall vision I had for the book / series. This happened a while ago, and now that I've had some distance from all of it, I can see the merit in her editorial suggestion. However, I still don't agree, but I can concede to the fact the romance does need a little work to make it stronger and more feasible for the overall series arc. 

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
Seeing that first editorial email land in my inbox is always terrifying. Without fail, my heart races and my stomach knots. I seriously hold my breath when I open it and start reading. Also without fail, my typical gut-reaction is anger. lol. There, it's out in the open. I admit it. Upon finishing that first email, I usually get angry. How dare they ask me to do all this stuff?!?! But then I close the email and walk away and don't come back to it for at least 24 hours. When I do, my head is clearer and I'm a lot less emotional. 

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess. 
I much rather prefer being the one giving the edits instead of getting them. Ha! Okay, that's really not much of a confession is it? So, I'll leave you all with this -- I've pushed my authors to really stretch themselves, to give just a little more when they think they don't have anything left. I'm proud to say, they all have come through and produced books they're thrilled with, but as an author, I often fear I won't be able to push myself and achieve what my authors have. I have a major case of performance anxiety ;)

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And if you're interested in confessing all of your editing cave secrets, send me at email for more details! karaleighmiller(at)gmail(dot)com