I’ll boldy state that I made a mistake when I published Dawn of Rebellion. I didn’t have it professionally edited. It was an amateur attempt at putting a book out there. But, we live and we learn. It has since gone through multiple versions before landing with a publisher.
Patrick Hodges read one of those early versions and had the guts to tell me the story is great, but it needs edited. So he did. And he did a fantastic job. Since then, he has edited each of my books.
Get to know Dawn’s editor!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Phoenix, and currently reside in Glendale, Arizona. I have been married to my lovely wife Vaneza for fifteen years, and she is my biggest supporter. We have no children (unless you count fur kids, in which case we have three, two that bark and one that meows). By day, I work as a medical biller, and am a staunch fan of the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. I love to read, mostly Young Adult, and I ONLY read indie authors, because they need my support, and because some of them are awesome!
How did you get into editing?
I read a lot of indie books, especially from authors that I have come to know. If I notice typos, I figured it’s my duty to inform the author so they can take steps to correct it. Before I knew it, authors were asking me to go over their current projects, asking me to edit them before they were published.
How does being an author yourself help with your editing?
It helps a lot. It’s tough to tell authors how something should be written without being a writer yourself. I’ve learned so much from editing others just what it means to be an editor, as well as a writer.
How long does it usually take you to fully edit a book?
Depends on the length, usually. Having a full-time job and a wife that likes me to pay attention to her on occasion, the amount of time I can devote to editing on a daily basis varies. Sandwich that around doing my own writing, and the consistency of life to always intervene, and, well, you get the picture. I try to always have my projects finished in 2-3 weeks.
All authors have bad habits. One of an editor’s jobs is to fix them. What are some of the most common bad habits you see?
A lot of authors, I’ve found, don’t use hyphens in two-word phrases that need them, choosing instead to write them as separate words or just one word. Every author and editor has different theories about how to properly use colons, semicolons, emdashes and ellipses, but a lot of authors have problems using these appropriately. But the biggest problem I’ve found is that writers don’t use commas correctly, preferring instead to use run-on sentences that make a lot more sense when commas are inserted.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Finding the time. I may have to take a year off to catch up on sleep at some point.
What do you enjoy most about jumping into another writer’s world?
The same as any reader, I guess. Getting a taste of someone else’s creativity and imagination is a treat whether you’re editing someone’s work or merely reading it. There’s nothing better than burying yourself in someone else’s world, and the better-written it is, the better the experience.
Favorite genre to edit? Why?
I’ve read, and edited, almost every fictional genre. If I had a favorite to edit, it would probably be Young Adult books, because that is what I read the most (and write).
Do you edit your own book? If not, what makes that more difficult?
Most editors and pundits will tell you that you should never edit your own stuff, and there is some truth to that, because you can never look at your own stuff with an unbiased eye. That being said, I do edit my own work purely on a copy-editing scale – I am good about catching my own typographical errors and such. However, as far as content goes, I have an amazing team of betas that have been of such help to me, pointing out inconsistencies, plot holes, and whatnot. This is probably the best substitution for paying a qualified editor (who can often be hella expensive).
Dawn of Rebellion is turning three this year. Describe the series in your own words and how it made you feel.
I’ve read many books and many series since becoming a writer and editor. Very few have packed such an emotional wallop, or was such a roller-coaster, as the Dawn of Rebellion series. I love stories that keep me on the edge of my seat, making me turn page after page. This series did that for me.