“The first thing I learned in New York was to respect old women’s flinty elbows.”
I’m not really going to share 2018 reasons I love editing, but I will share my number one reason: the authors.
I called Shelly Frome, author of cozy mysteries and emeritus drama professor, last Friday to talk about his latest book that I have the privilege of working with him to edit. We had corresponded a few times via email, and the gist I got from was that Shelly was done with editors. He had experienced a painful developmental editing process and was not looking forward to copy edits with me. He suggested we talk over the phone.
My initial reaction to phone conversations is, unfortunately, fear and trembling. I talk fast, especially when I’m nervous, and I don’t understand people over the phone as well as I do face to face, when I can see their body language. But I really wanted Shelly to know I was on his team, so I agreed to the call.
Thus ensued the most entertaining phone conversations, certainly of my editing career, and perhaps of my life in general. Shelly’s dry, quick wit in describing his experience living in the South (“Bless your heart”) as a writer and his culture shock at arriving in NYC as a starving actor (see the flinty elbows quote) had me relaxed, relieved, and laughing. The unique imagery I had seen in his writing shone in his speech as well–not to mention his accents for his Southern tour guide in England and the NYC old ladies were spot on.
Thank you to all my authors for being the part of my job that I love the most (and for helping me grow out of silly fears like talking on the phone *eye roll*).