WG: Welcome and thanks for stepping into my spotlight this month. To start off, please tell us a bit about yourself.
DG: I started off as a Special Educator and then moved to full time mom and school volunteer. When my kids started college and my husband began traveling for work I went looking for something to keep myself busy. I am a voracious reader and began offering to beta read for various authors. I often picked up on the small discrepancies of a story, either in the characters or storyline and wondered if there was a way to help authors combat that issue. I unofficially began cataloging and organizing facts and details for a couple of authors and one thing led to another…
WG: Okay, so what is a Worldkeeper? It sounds like such a unique job.
DG: Your WorldKeeper is a company I officially started last year after several authors were intrigued by the work I'd done for their writer friends and expressed an interest in having me help them with the continuity in their series.
WG: What services do you provide?
DG: Continuity and Timeline. I take all the facts and details of a story, the minutiae if you will, and organize it in such a way the author is easily able to find the information needed when writing the next book in their series. For example, I chart the well-known physical characteristics of characters but also descriptions of places, directions to them, timing between events, etc. Anything that is mentioned in the book finds a space on my charts. This allows the author to maintain continuity throughout their series and keep all their facts straight and at their fingertips.
WG: Can you tell us why you decided to pursue this career and what steps you took to get you where you are today?
DG: Back in 2011 I was chatting with USA Today bestselling author Ann Charles about organizing her Deadwood series. I offered to dissect her books and create a chart and spreadsheets with all the facts and details in them. Over the years I've refined the process and when other authors expressed an interest in having me work with their series I decided to form a company and make the job official.
WG: What does your typical day look like?
DG: The nice thing about this job is I can work when I want and take my work with me wherever I go. I usually hit the gym in the morning and then swing by Starbucks afterwards. When I get home I work on whichever book I'm currently charting. I usually read the book, work my way through it two or three times listing all the details, then create a chapter by chapter timeline and lastly double check the facts and details, cleaning up the forms as needed. If I've other plans during the day I work in the evenings. Flexibility is a wonderful perk to the job.
WG: Are you actively seeking new clients?
DG: Yes. I attend conferences throughout the year to publicize, and I have also given presentations on continuity at the Chanticleer Authors Conference.
WG: What is your favorite part of your job?
DG: Besides reading the books? I like to organize the information I find. It's like a scavenger hunt to catch every little detail and figure out a way of listing it for the author to be able to find it quickly when needed.
WG: Your least favorite?
DG: Double checking all my facts-making sure I have included everything, put all the details where they need to go and having the overall look of the information be consistent.
WG: Do you have any tools or resources that you use on a regular basis?
DG: I use Microsoft OneNote. I have worked in Excel also, but OneNote affords more options for the author and ease for me.
WG: If you weren't a Worldkeeper, what would you be?
DG: Wow, good question. I'm really not sure what I'd be. It took me several years to decide this would be a viable job and would fulfill a need in the publishing industry. I suppose I'd concentrate on beta reading and maybe helping with author publicity if I weren't doing this.
WG: What do you see as the main strength you personally bring to the table?
DG: My attention to detail and being organized. It's easy to miss a small detail or fact in a story and it's very satisfying to find them all and create an easy way to access them. I also deliver on schedule, another aspect of being organized.
WG: What type of author do you generally work with? Traditionally published, indie, and/or hybrid?
DG: I have worked with traditionally published, indie and hybrid authors. My service is best for those who write series or connected books, and that crosses all types of genres and publishing choices.
WG: How much should an author expect to pay for your services?
DG: I charge by the word, the more words a book has, the more time it takes to organize them. It didn't make sense to charge the same price for a book with 20k words as a book with 80k words. I do offer a discount if an author comes to me with a backlist.
WG: How does an author know if they need a Worldkeeper?
DG: If the author writes a series and finds they are spending more and more of their time trying to remember what they wrote in their first books or if they find they are changing details of their characters, places, etc. without meaning to then my organizational sheets will help them.
WG: What sort of misconceptions/ unrealistic expectations have you encountered from authors about what you do?
DG: Probably the largest misconception is how much time it takes to break down a book and create the organizational tool for the author to use. I read each book multiple times and I am very thorough in noting each detail. It takes a great deal of time to work my way through a book without missing anything.
WG: Do you have a dream client that you'd love to work with?
DG: Probably Donna Andrews or Patricia Briggs. Donna Andrews is writing her 20th book in the Meg Langslow series and she has such quirky characters I think it would be fascinating to keep track of all of them. Patricia Briggs writes the Mercedes Thompson and Alpha and Omega series which are companions of each other. Their world is intricate and changing and would be interesting to work in.
WG: I love to collect quotes, all kinds of quotes - inspirational, quirky, motivational, profound, etc. Do you have a personal favorite you'd like to share? (Feel free to expound (or not) on what it means to you and/or why you selected this particular quote)
DG: "Fast is fine but accuracy is everything." Xenophon, 430-354 BC
WG: What do you do to relax and have fun?
DG: I read and play with my cats. My husband competes in Ironman triathlons, and I like to travel to the various races with him.
WG: What do you enjoy reading?
DG: I read a bit of everything. I love mysteries and urban fantasy/paranormal stories but have lots of nonfiction, romance, western and science fiction on my shelves also.
WG: What are your favorite movies and/or TV shows? Why?
DG: I like action-adventure movies with comedic elements. I like to laugh and walk away from a movie feeling like I was entertained. For television I like Quantico, The Big Bang Theory and The Voice.
WG: If you could be any fictional character for a week, who would you be and why?
DG: I have to say, this probably differs from week to week based on what I'm reading. Right now I think I'd like to be Honey Beaulieu in Hot Work In Fry Pan Gulch. Jacquie Rogers has written a smart, strong female character, Honey, who is a bounty hunter in the 1860s. She isn't one to wait around for others to tell her what to do, but goes after what she wants. I like that in a character, and her traveling around the west would be fun to do also.
WG: Is there a website you can point us to where folks can go to learn more about you?
DG: Yes, my website is http://www.yourworldkeeper.com
WG: And finally, thanks again for taking some time to 'stop by' this month!
DG: Thank you so much for inviting me! I loved visiting with you.
You can also find me on the following:
Google Plus: +DianeGarland12