So lucky me, I get to spend the weekend with Melanie Jeffs, who edited my latest book 121 Express. Melanie arrived from Victoria yesterday. This is her first visit to Montreal so she's eager to get a feeling for the city. Today, we went for lunch to Santropol, a restaurant on St. Urbain St., where on a wonderful warm day like today, you get to sit outside. And while we were there -- now I'm coming to the subject of today's blog entry -- I asked Melanie whether she had some tips to share with you, dear readers.
When you're ready to start looking for a publisher, Melanie says it's wise to research what's out there: "Look for a company publishing close to something you want your book to be in the end." So far, all of the books published in Orca's Soundings and Currents series have been told from the first person point-of-view, so I asked Melanie why that is. Here's what she had to say: "First person is our favourite narrative perspective since it gives a sense of immediacy."
I also asked Melanie what's the best part about being an editor. That was an easy question for her! "It's giving feedback, pinpointing some issue, and then getting the manuscript back with changes that enrich the story in ways you never imagined."
That's exactly why I am such a fan of terrific editors like Melanie (and the other fiction editors I have had the privilege of working with -- Andrew Wooldridge at Orca, Hadley Dyer at James Lorimer, and Sarah Harvey at Orca). They steer us writers exactly where we need to go.
Other news: tomorrow night, we're having a not-so-little dinner party. One of our guests is Andrew Adams -- he's the teacher in my book 121 Express... only he's not just a fictional character... he's a real teacher and I liked him too much to change his name! He's eager to meet Melanie and vice versa. Should have lots to tell you about by Monday!! Have a happy, safe weekend. Don't forget the sunscreen!!
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I never thought about the narrative pronouns being used in a story -- ie first person point of view versus third person. Now that I think of it, the idea makes sense, and I've noticed that I tend to write in the 3rd person when I feeling like taking a step back from my life.
I like how Melanie notes that the "changes [...] enrich the story in ways which you never imagined" -- I though editors asked for changes and the manuscript came back in the manner that they envirionned it, and not in a surprisingly much better way. It must be fun, though, to read a manuscript from its first submission by the author to the final product!
Random question, but is there a reason why you have 3 editors at Orca and only one at James Lorimer? Is it related to the amount of books published by each?