Monday, May 4, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Katie O'Connor

Welcome back to yet another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. Today in the confessional -- adult romance author and fellow agency mate, Katie O'Connor!

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?
Okay let’s get this thing rocking!
To being with, I’m a pretty tough cookie. That doesn’t mean I am insensitive or unhurtable, it just means that I try and take criticism as advice and try to react accordingly. I know I’m on the up-curve of learning how to write. I have a lot yet to discover and try to keep an open mind regarding suggestions.
In terms of editing, I work with two main critique partners, a freelance editor and recently an editor through my agent.
I’ll be honest; it does hurt when someone suggests changes to my baby. After all, we all know that my writing is perfect.  (Joking … mostly.) This is my child that they are slashing. And yes, I do mean slashing. My grammar and punctuation skills are somewhat lacking.
My critique partners typically catch plot errors as the story unfolds which helps keep me in line as I write the first draft.  For self-published works I use a freelance editor who has no qualms at all about telling me where I erred, and I appreciate his input. A lot.  I try to remember what he tells me and not make the same mistakes over and over again.
I’m still puttering away with the first round of edits from my agent (Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.) So far her comments have been spot on and very helpful.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
My ego is big, but not big enough to think that I don’t need help. Sometimes it’s just tweaking, but on occasion my work needs a major overhaul (usually in the early stages.) I like to think that my relationships with all of my editors are good ones. I appreciate their feedback, even if it hurts sometimes. I am comfortable that they will find the flaws in plot and character and help improve the end product. As a group, they are making my writing better, stronger and are helping me make my characters come alive for my readers.

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
I’m not sure there was a best edit. Having him notice that my character’s last name had changed mid-story was very helpful. (If stupid on my part.)

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
For my first published erotica story, there is a spicy scene that takes place on a wingback chair. This particular editor (who I no longer work with) suggested that perhaps the scene wasn’t accurate or feasible. I disagreed. It was feasible and not dangerous and is actually quite fun! So, in the end the scene stayed.

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
I’m always disappointed in myself that I made so many errors. But I quickly get over it and dig in and make corrections.

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess.
I hate edits and re-writes. There, I’ve said it.
Are they necessary? Absolutely.
Do I like them? Hellz no!

Will I continue to do them? Yes. Though I am hopeful that as my writing skills progress, I will need fewer corrections.


Katie O’Connor lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, quilter, and author. And she is a huge fan of lacrosse. Those tight, toned lacrosse boys feature in a number of her stories. (And in her fantasies, but we won’t go there.)
Over the years, Katie has been a waitress, cashier, chambermaid, and a lab and x-ray technician. She’s been an office manager, a retail shop manager, and day-home provider. Before taking up writing full time, she owned and operated a longarm quilting studio where she designed and sold quilting patterns.
It took a long time for Katie to discover that her passion is story telling.
She has been writing for years. She says “Writing has good days and bad days. But even when I hate it, I love being an author. Something drives me to create stories and write them down. It is impossible for me NOT to write. I think my head would explode if I kept all those ideas trapped inside. I even dream story lines.”
She’s tried her hand at writing poetry, science fiction, adventure stories, erotica and romance novels. But her passion is, and always has been love stories with a happily ever after.
One day she is going to write a mixed genre novel. It is going to be an erotic, shape shifter, vampire, steampunk, sci-fi, murder mystery, western, historical, thriller, romantic adventure. It will be her biography.
I post things of an adult nature. biography.
Katie believes in love, commitment and above all, she believes in hope.

 Be sure to visit Katie on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads