Jackson D'Lynne (Eve Hart),
WG: Welcome and thanks for stepping into my spotlight this month. To start off, please tell us a bit about yourself.
JD: Thanks for having me! I began my editing career as a reader. As a child, and then teen, I read everything I could get my hands on. In the 5th grade, I decided I would write books as well. So, I've been reading and writing for decades. But it wasn't until I graduated from college in 2004 that I pursued writing and editing as a job. I started my own copywriting company that year and have been doing that since.
WG: Can you tell us why you decided to pursue a career as an editor and what steps you took to get you where you are today?
JD: I edit because I have to, it's a sickness, lol. My poor husband - he once handwrote me a love letter, and I spent my time reading it, correcting his spelling and grammar, LOL! Also, I love that I can help authors shape and reshape their stories into something readers will devour.
To become an editor, I honed my skills through writing and reading. Seriously. If you want to see what bad editing looks like, read college thesis papers. In the beginning, I made my living editing college papers, website content, articles, brochures, and eventually books. Now, I write books as Jackson D'Lynne, and edit books as Eve Hart (one can't have just a single identity these days, lol).
While I don't have a degree in English or similar field, I make up for lack of "formal" training by attending workshops, taking online courses, and just doing the work. Experience is the biggest asset I bring to the game.
WG: What type(s) of editing do you offer?
JD: I offer developmental editing, line/content edits, proofreading, and even blurb writing.
WG: Do you have specific genres that you enjoy working on the most?
JD: I love them all, but I am especially partial to romance and thrillers.
WG: Are there any genres that you will generally turn away?
JD: No. Like I said, I love helping authors shape and reshape their stories, and that means ALL authors.
WG: Are you actively seeking new clients?
JD: Yes, I am.
WG: What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?
JD: I LOVED working on Invisible by Allie Harrison because, as I was working on it, I could see the story playing out on the big screen.
WG: When did you realize that you'd "made it"?
JD: Have I? I don't know if I'd qualify as someone who has "made it." Maybe once I'm in demand and so busy I'm turning people away-maybe then I'll have "made it."
WG: Have you ever considered penning a novel yourself?
JD: I have! I write paranormal, time-travel romance!
WG: How would you describe your editorial style?
JD: I edit as a reader would read the book. Sure, I edit grammar, flow, spelling, and syntax like a line/content editor, but I also read through it as a reader would, finding and marking things that read awkwardly, that don't make sense, or that are inconsistent with the story or the characters. Also, I check for POV hopping, which is something that drives me crazy.
WG: What do you see as the main strength you personally bring to the table as an editor?
JD: I think that being an author AND a reader are my strengths. As an author, I understand what another author is looking for, and what areas they may need to hone in their writing. As a reader, I know what the reader expects from the story, and I make notations throughout the manuscript with that insight.
WG: If you could work with any author, who would it be and why?
JD: Dean Koontz or Kresley Cole. Why? So I could READ the books while editing them. Also, it would be life-altering to help one of them shape their books.
WG: What advice do you have for someone who would like to get into freelance editing?
JD: Don't just hang out your shingle because you can spell or just graduated with your degree in English or American Literature. The book learning doesn't prepare you for the actual work. Take some time to learn the business, take the developmental and content editing workshops to learn how the pros do it. Never stop learning the craft!
WG: Do you have any tools or resources that you use on a regular basis?
JD: I use my Chicago Style Manual daily. Also, I use my thesaurus.
WG: If you weren't an editor, what would you be?
JD: A full-time author.
WG: What piece of advice or 'pearl of wisdom' would you like to offer authors who are looking for an editor?
JD: Don't just settle because the price is right. Find an editor you gel with, someone who understands your writing style, can edit the manuscript accordingly, and who will work with you rather than condescend to you.
WG: What sort of misconceptions/ unrealistic expectations have you encountered from authors about what a freelance editor's role is that you would like to correct?
JD: The biggest one is that we aren't worth the price. Believe me, poorly edited books are the bane of any author's career. If you wrote it, someone else needs to edit it. Period. If you don't pay for editing, you'll regret it within days of publishing. Readers can be brutal, and if they're only seeing the glaring errors in your book, they aren't seeing the story you worked so hard to create.
WG: Which describes you best - Word Nerd or Grammar Police?
JD: I am proud to say I have earned both merit badges.
WG: If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be and why?
JD: The period. I like to believe that poor editing and bad story writing end with me, lol.
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?
JD: "A writer is a world trapped within a person." (I read that on a hoodie and thought it the perfect definition of the storyteller.)
WG: What do you do to relax and have fun?
JD: I read, and enjoy adult paint-by-number and coloring books!
WG: What do you enjoy reading?
JD: I love paranormal romance (Kresley Cole is my absolute favorite) and a good thriller/suspense story.
WG: What are your favorite movies and/or TV shows? Why?
JD: My favorite movie is Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley. I love that movie because it is a romance novel playing out before my eyes. It makes me sigh contentedly every time. I enjoy lots of TV shows across the spectrum, but my favorites are Supernatural and Game of Thrones.
WG: Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on your life? In what way?
JD: The Bible. I'm not going to preach, but I will say that I am a fundamentalist and believe that every word in the book is Truth. Love all, show kindness and compassion, and speak truth. I base my life on those principles.
WG: Before we close, is there anything else you'd like to mention about yourself?
JD: I've worked hard to get where I am, and I will work harder to become the very best.
WG: Is there a website you can point us to where folks can go to learn more about you?
JD: You can visit my author services/reader engagement website: www.hartsromancepulse.com/author-services.html.
WG: And finally, thanks again for taking some time to 'stop by' this month!
JD: Thank you for having me! It was fun!