Back with a Bang (And Lisa Ricard Claro)

Wait a minute.

Wait just a dang minute. Is it January 19th already?

Well, before we get all “Sunrise, Sunset”, let’s join my very special guest today, Lisa Ricard Claro (who, I might add, is well worth the wait we’ve had here).

Lisa Ricard Claro-300x481If you’re a regular reader at the blog, then you know Lisa. She comments all the time, and I suspect many of you have followed her, just because you’ve enjoyed her wit and warmth. You also know that she released the first novel in her Fireflies romance trilogy last year (and you may even know that her second book is due to release  in a few weeks). But did you know that she’s parlayed her writing skills into yet another writing venture, as an editor?

Yep, Lisa’s got a new gig: Ricard Writing and Editing! And she’s here today to give us the scoop. (And a surprise!)

1. How and why did Lisa the Writer decide to add a Lisa the Editor hat?

Hi, Cathy. Thanks for inviting me to be here.

My editorial business grew organically. Other authors requested my services as a copy, line, and developmental editor, and as a writer of back cover blurbs, queries, bios, etc. Eventually, it became apparent that I had developed a viable business. More than that, I love doing it, love helping other authors.

2. Editing is  so challenging, though. What’s the hardest part about your work as an editor?

My type-A personality is my biggest foe. I perform my editing work at a snail’s pace because I’m a perfectionist and don’t want to miss any detail. My speed doesn’t affect my clients, because I meet deadlines and don’t charge by the hour, but by the page. It sure makes for sore eyes at the end of the day, though!

3. I’ll bet! But there has to be a favorite part of editing work, right?

I love helping people! I’m honored when an author entrusts his/her work to me. As an author myself, I understand what a gift that is. Helping others succeed is fulfilling in ways that nothing else can match. And honestly, I love doing it.

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4. So who are the writers who need your services? What do you tell a writer who has a critique group or partner about spending money for editing services?

All writers will benefit from the skills of a good editor. Authors are too close to their work to view it with the objectivity required to search and destroy those things that weaken it. Also, authors submitting work to agents/editors want to be sure they’re sending polished manuscripts.

Industry fees vary widely, so it isn’t surprising that authors balk. It’s tempting to trust your critique partner(s) to set you straight. But do those trusted associates know the correct use of em dashes to denote action in the middle of dialogue or why the incomplete sentence you think is brilliant slows the pace of that third paragraph in chapter three? Beware, especially, of critique groups where everyone has a differing opinion.

Example: A client asked for a comprehensive edit on her novel. I sensed she wasn’t ready for that full service and suggested a ten page test (recommended for new

clients). After completion of this, she opted to trash the whole manuscript and return to her original version of the book. She had made so many changes based on the opinions of people in her critique group that she had subjugated the theme of her novel. She benefitted from one pair of eyes that cut through the layers to see the story she wanted to tell.

5. Excellent answer, Lisa! Now here’s the next next tough question: do you have another hat in store for 2016? Lisa the Publisher? Lisa the RWA President? Lisa the Sommelier? 

Have you been reading my diary?

Publisher may happen. I’d like to self-publish a Fireflies novella for Christmas, but that’s just a gleam in my eye. As to RWA president—you are an optimist! I’d be honored to hold that position, but it’s nowhere on the horizon.

No new hats for 2016. I don’t have room for any. My novel, Love to Believe, book #2 in the Fireflies series, releases January 30th, and book #3 releases July 30th. I’ve been contracted to write a first grade book for an educational market, and I’m in the middle of my current WIP, a romantic mystery. As for the editorial business, I’ve got jobs in the queue and am, of course, open to new clients.

The only new thing is a workshop proposal for the Georgia Romance Writers conference in October. No word on approval yet. Since launching my editorial business, I’ve learned that a lot of authors are unaware of the different types of editors and editing. I know of one author who paid hundreds of dollars to an editor only to discover that the service she received was primarily copy editing. She assumed “editing” meant the whole enchilada—copy, line, and developmental. She was wrong. The workshop I’ve proposed will arm authors with the knowledge required to hire the right editor for the service they need. I believe it will be valuable to most. Maybe that’s a question for your readers: Does this sound like a worthwhile workshop?

If your readers have other questions, they might find the FAQ on my editorial website to be helpful, or they may send me an email. I’ll answer questions in the comments here on your blog, too, Cathy.

Thanks for having me here!

Thanks for dropping in, Lisa! I need a little of whatever you’re having to get my work done!

And now for the surprise: she’s giving a 10% discount until the end of February for any of you who mention you read about her business here at the blog (and that’s on top of her regular discount for military). Wheee!

I’d say best of luck to my wonderful friend in her new business, but you don’t need luck when you have mad skills. So get that writing done, and then go take a look at Lisa Ricard Claro’s to find what kind of editing you need. And be sure and tell her that Cathy C. Hall sent you!

Was It Fast? I Thought It Was Fast.

Holy firecrackers! Half the year is gone already! (Imagine me running around, bumping into walls) It’s just…well, that was fast, wasn’t it? Kinda puts me in mind of Jodie Foster (at the end of this clip from Maverick):

BUT this year, I’m using my Super Duper Writing Notes Idea and boy, it’s been working like a charm! (If you’ve forgotten exactly what the Super Duper Writing Notes Idea is, you can read this post on getting organized.)

And I had this thought–sort of Part Two of the Super Duper Writing Notes Idea–that at the end of each month, I’d share some of the really good tips from the month, all in one handy post for you. But…uh…I’m not so sure that I followed through on that. Still, it’s never too late to implement a good idea, so herewith a few of the great tips (courtesy of my Writing Notes, June, 2015):

1. Over at the Creative Penn, “29 Books Every Writer Should Read” (So 29 is a lot, right? Maybe just pick a few that appeal to you, but it was a great comprehensive list.)

2. Melissa Stewart’s blog, Celebrate Science, a blog for teachers, parents, and those writers interested in tackling non-fiction (specifically science) offered “21st Century Nonfiction Conference” (A handout of books, by category, that you can use as mentor texts, or just take a look at, if you’re interested in giving non-fiction a try.)

3. Anne R. Allen with Ruth Harris (and really, they have SO much good stuff at this blog all the time!) share “Edits, Editors, Editing: The Secret Weapon of Every Successful Writer.” It’s just packed with info, so you’re going to need a bit of time to get through it all, but editing? That’s a skill you can take to the writing bank.

So, a good slate of tips and such and not too overwhelming, I think, to start off your July writing. ‘Cause this summer is zipping by fast. (I thought it was fast. Was it fast? I thought it was really fast.)

Ask an Editor (Or Four Writers)

ImageIt seems to me that the more I write, the more I realize what I don’t know about writing.

Usually, it’s right before I fall asleep, when some burning, writing question pops into my head. I still fall asleep, mind you. But I wake the next day, determined to find answers. (And looking a little worse for wear, I might add.)

The Muffin answered a writer’s question this week, and as it happened, I was one of the writers who made a suggestion. You might have this very same question and find the answer you’re looking for among the four writers who weighed in. But it occurred to me that even if you don’t, you might have another writing question that’s causing you nightmares.

If you can’t find the answer amongst all those issues over at WOW!Women-on-writing.com, you might want to ask the editor. Maybe your question will show up over at the Muffin.

Then frabjous day! You’ll be a writer in the know!

(And you can get some much-needed beauty rest. Or maybe that’s just me.)