Julie Klassen, Part 2
You are an editor at your “day job”. How did it feel when you were first on the other side of the editor’s red pen :-)?
Vulnerable! I worried about weaknesses and errors in the draft, since as an editor, I was supposed to know better. But fortunately, the editors who worked on the book really liked it–and it’s always easier to take criticism when sugared with genuine praise. From the editors’ suggestions, I learned a lot about both writing and editing, and I think the experience will make me a better and more supportive editor in the future.
Tell us a little about how you came to be an editor.
My background is in advertising, and it was in this position that I first worked in publishing. But I was given some great career advice right after college: if someone asks you to do something “above and beyond” your current position, don’t say “that isn’t my job”—do it! So, when I was asked by a co-worker to review an audio book abridgement (done out of house) and found it lacking, I took a stab at abridging the book myself. This led to my becoming the in-house abridger. Later, when my sons were born and I was looking for a way to work primarily from home, my abridging skill was recalled and I was offered a job in editorial. I have been an editor for nearly eight years, and it has been a great fit with my interests and abilities.
Sounds like taking that career advice really paid off! Do you edit yourself as you write, or do you get it all out there and go back and edit?
A lot of what I write initially I know will need to be trashed or at least revamped, but I try to just keep writing all the “fodder” I can. Once all the raw material is there, I know I can go back and fix it. I am, after all, an editor.
Since you are at an editor at the publishing house where you book is published, were there any extra steps you had to go through (or any fewer steps)?