Hello Kathy, I’m so glad you could join us today to talk about your new book and your writing journey. First, can you tell us a bit about your book?
Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is the follow-up book to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. It contains a wealth of suggestions from best-selling authors who have studied editing techniques and implemented them in their books.
Successful writers spend a lot more time editing than they do writing. They know that first drafts need extensive revisions to ensure their stories or messages come across clearly and effectively.
This book will help aspiring, beginning, and intermediate writers polish their manuscripts and get them ready for publication. These tips can help established authors edit other writers’ manuscripts, either in a critique group setting or as editorial freelancers.
And is this the first book you have published?
In addition to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, I wrote the Capitalization Dictionary and I’m the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series.
How long has it taken you to get published?
I started about 25 years ago with magazine articles, short stories, and play scripts. I had my first traditionally published book in 2009 and did a couple of short self-published books in 2011. Proofreading Secrets was published in 2014. It’s definitely a journey!
What draws you to writing books for authors?
I’ve been a freelance editor for more than twenty years. In my work with writers, I created flyers on various writing techniques that I sent as an attachment to my edits whenever a client was clearly struggling with a particular area. These flyers became the basis for my chapters.
I’ve been serving on faculty for writers’ conferences across the country for about fifteen years. This has enabled me to meet numerous best-selling authors, professional editors, acquisitions editors, literary agents, and other industry professionals. When I told them I was putting together a book about editing and asked if they’d be willing to provide their favorite tips, many were eager to help.
Are there any authors who’ve influenced you in your writing? Do you have any favourite authors?
Of course, the authors who have contributed to my Proofreading Secrets, Editing Secrets, and the Fiction Lover’s devotionals hold a special place in my heart. I love reading books by Liz Curtis Higgs, Francine Rivers, and Susan Meissner. My latest favorite is Charles Martin. His books are incredibly well written and the characters so vivid I want them to be real so they can be my friends.
What advice would you give to other writers trying to break into the Christian market?
God has a reason for calling you to write … and for calling you to write what he has specifically drawn you to. Trust in his plan and his timing to get what he wants you to write into the hands of the readers he had in mind when he started you on this journey.
From a practical perspective, I have two main suggestions:
Hire an established freelance editor to help you polish your writing before you send it to an agent or publisher (or before you self-publish)
Attend one or more Christian writers’ conferences where you can learn the craft, discover how the publishing industry works, network with others in the industry, and meet kindred spirits who may become lifelong friends and encouragers.
What hobbies do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading, of course! And taking trips to the sequoias with my husband. We’re on a quest to find all of the biggest trees in the world—which are all sequoias and all within about a four- to six-hour drive from our home. We’ve seen almost all of the top 60 so far, plus hundreds of other spectacular trees, each one unique and fascinating.
Do you have any quirky, must-have rituals before you get to writing? (candle burning, café latte, coffee shop only, etc.)
Because I direct two writers’ conferences and own a network for Christian editors, my schedule is always crazy! My own writing typically takes a backseat to my other responsibilities. But I carve out time for things I feel strongly that God wants me to work on. When I’m not traveling or busy with visiting relatives, I try to make Wednesday my Writing day—at least a few hours of it.
If you could have dinner with three famous authors, alive or dead, who would they be?
I am very much looking forward to having dinner with Charles Martin and his wife at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference! Having just read his The Dead Don’t Dance and its sequel, Maggie, I can’t wait to spend time with the man who created those stories and the woman who inspired them.
I have had the wonderful privilege of having dinner with many other famous authors (living now) at numerous writers’ conferences across the country over the years. So, for my other two choices, I’d choose JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis. Or better yet, the apostle Paul and Dr. Luke.
Where can your readers find you on social media?
And finally, how long do we have to wait for your next book?
It’s available now for pre-order. Release date is June 8. You can pre-order it here: amzn.to/2KvN8zb
Leave a comment and one lucky person will be chosen to receive their choice of either of Kathy’s books: Proofreading Secret of Bestselling Authors, or her new Editing Secrets of Bestselling Authors, when it releases on June 8th.
Have you used a professional editor on your WIP before submitting it to an agent or publisher? What was your experience like? How did you find your freelance editor? Join the discussion and win one of Kathy’s books…
Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, and Capitalization Dictionary and editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a professional freelance editor. She directs the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She owns Christian Editor Network, parent company to The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, Christian Editor Connection, The PEN Institute, and PENCON, which she founded. For more, visit www.KathyIde.com.