Romance By Catherine: Editor Interview with Lori LeBonde

Friday, August 7, 2009

Editor Interview with Lori LeBonde

For my very special day... Oh... what day you ask? Well, Kilt Worthy is hot off the press and ready for you to purchase and download. Yeah me!

Anyway... I wanted to invite my editor over at The Wild Rose Press to join us. So please take the time to read and learn exactly what is going on in Lori's brain. I bet there is a whole lot of hanky panky going on!

Thank you Lori for joining me today. Tell us something about yourself and the publisher you work for.

The Wild Rose Press (TWRP) is a warm-hearted and professional - what a great combination -publisher of fine romance in both electronic and traditionally printed formats. In mid-2008, after studying the company from afar for six months and liking what I saw, I applied to be an editor. The second-most exciting day that year was when I was hired; the most exciting day was when I learned I'd be working in the Scarlet Rose line, which publishes erotic romances, including Catherine Bybee's Kilt Worthy. At first I was simply thrilled to know I'd get paid to read erotic romance (hot damn!) and work with authors who appreciate the same things I do, but I soon realized how lucky I am to learn the erotic romance e-publishing world from Scarlet’s incredibly talented senior editor, Diana Carlile.

I'm not as new to editing as I am to TWRP, however. My first grade teacher wrote on my report card that I wanted to be a nurse, a hair stylist and an editor when I grew up. Cathy would agree I’m no nurse, and anyone who sees my picture knows I'm not a hair stylist, but the editor idea took hold. I wrote and edited my way through high school and college, graduated with degrees in Communications and French Lit, and somehow landed a managing editor position at a small publishing company. Later, I spent too many years in corporate marketing where I did everything from writing annual reports, brochures, ads and media relations campaigns to organizing 250 aging shareholders on expensive bus trips to strategic planning for the company and my department. Through it all, I emphasized written communications, and regularly mentored other writers -- and non-writers -- on my staff and elsewhere in the company.

In 2006, I realized I could work an insane number of hours for myself instead of for those shareholder and corporate types, and achieve more balance in my life. Most importantly, I could focus full-time on authors who want to build their credibility with every word. The decision was easy, and every day I smile when I think where I used to be and where I am now.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you like least?

READING nourishes my soul. TWRP romances nourish my heart, while the erotic aspect nourishes...other body parts! LOL Seriously, authors, editors, publishers -- we all love books and the written word. It's what binds us together. I absolutely believe I have the best job in the world.

The hardest part, however, is saying no to an author who submitted a promising manuscript, but for whatever reason it's not a good fit with TWRP. Those rejection letters really bite, and are likely as painful to me as to the authors who receive them. I continue to think about those authors for weeks -- months -- afterward, and wonder how they're doing. I really mean it when I say keep in touch! :-)

What are you looking for in a new author?

A fresh voice, new ideas, memorable characters, a workable premise -- those are all true. But I get really jazzed when I discover a writer who wants to learn how to make her work more publishable, who completely “gets” that edits and revisions can be as important to the story as its original writing, and who blows me away with the caliber (quality, seamlessness, creativity) of her edits. Then, I know I've found someone (or rather, she's found us!) who will go a long way in this business.

Where do you see e-publishing going in the next 3 - 5 years?

E-publishing will continue its phenomenal rise as more readers discover and experience reading ebooks and as publishers of more genres embrace the concept. Huge online companies, such as Google and Amazon, will continue to innovate delivery systems to readers of all generations.

Print books, in my opinion, will never go away, at least not until there's a worldwide method of creating and affordably distributing an alternate method of cozily putting a good story in a reader's hands while she curls up in front of the fireplace on a chilly night, or swings lazily in a hammock on a warm summer day. (Add a DH close by -- who's wise enough to let her read uninterrupted for long periods of time -- and you have my idea of paradise on a budget! LOL)

If there was one thing about the publishing world that you could change... what would that be?

Free books for everyone! Seriously, that is my wish.

What is your biggest pet-peeve when you're reviewing a manuscript?

There's not one predominant pet peeve I grind my teeth over, but I do sigh over a couple of smaller ones.

The first is when an author races through her edits and returns the manuscript to me without sleeping on the recommendations I made or the changes she subsequently made. I've received revised manuscripts in worse shape than when I sent them out - ouch! This does nothing to move up the release date, impress me with the author's skills, or tempt me to move that author's manuscript to the top of the pile (not that I would do that anyway, but...!). I don't expect or want edits to be done overnight. If a suggested change is that easy, the author would have done it that way to start with, right?!

My other pet peeve is much smaller, and distilled to one word: proofread. Yeah, I know it's my job to catch mistakes, and I promise I will. I also know that by the time you're ready to send it back to me (or submit it in the first place), you've been over it so many times you'd rather run naked down the street when all your neighbors are outside watching (wait, that might be a bad example for you Scarlet authors who include exhibitionism or voyeurism in your work)! But no matter what, authors still need to proofread.

I tell authors, impress me with your level of professionalism, your attention to detail, your commitment to the craft -- in addition to your ability to write a sex scene so erotic I forget I'm editing and simply read it for pleasure. And believe me, that happens A LOT! We have fantastically talented authors in the naughty Scarlet corner of The Wild Rose Press's extensive garden.

And speaking of talent, I learned a lot from you, Cathy, as we edited Kilt Worthy. *Grin* Thank you for your wit, humor and energy. And for inviting me today! All the best on your big release day. :-)

Lori LeBonde

LOL... of course I never, ever, send edits back to soon! Especially when Lori warns me that she doesn't want to see them for al least a week! hehe

Thanks for joining me today, Lori. Kilt Worthy holds a special place in my heart because of your support and help along the road to publication. Thank you!


Milaya Marks said...

Free books for everyone - that sounds perfect! Thanks for such a nice peek behind the scenes at The Wild Rose Press, Lori. And good luck with your release Catherine!

Kaye Manro said...

Nice interview Catherine. Thanks to Lori for showing us her editor's world.

Congrats on your debut Kilt Worthy!

Rachel E. Moniz said...

Happy Release Day, Catherine!!!!
Great interview!

Catherine Bybee said...

Lori is a hoot. I'd love free books too.

Emma Lai said...

Lots of good energy for your Release Day, Catherine! Love the interview...especially since I'll be working with Lori on my own edits soon! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Release Day, Catherine! I wish you many sales! Great interview with Lori. She is the best.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled just now when I read Cathy's comment about a lot of hanky panky going on in my mind...she probably wrote that just about the time DH and I settled into our tent for the night. Wow! You sure you weren't in the campsite next door, Cathy?! LOL Oh, wait, if you had been, you'd undoubtedly have had a covey of cub scouters with you. Haha So, I'm glad you weren't!

Thanks, everyone, for commenting on the interview. I'm so used to hanging out behind the scenes. Being out front feels...revealing. Grin.

I really do have the best job in the world. Look at these great authors I get to work with.

Now, go read Kilt Worthy, everyone! It'll be WORTH your TIME.

(And, hey, maybe I can sneak in one more peek at that tasty video Cathy has of the kilted lads on horseback, before my DH finishes checking us out of the campground. Yum!)


Catherine Bybee said...

Yeah... I can get back onto blogger. What a bummer to be off it all day because of hackers.

Hi Emma and Lynne. Lori seems to have her own fan club.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cari Quinn said...

Hi Lori and Catherine! *waves*

Great time for Catherine to have her editor here! As someone who recently submitted her first Scarlet, I really enjoyed this post.

Happy release day, Catherine...and I loved your answers, Lori. :)

Catherine Bybee said...

Hey, Cari.

Asking my editors to visit my blog on release day is designed for authors wanting to know more about what is swimming in the editors head. It's a nice bit of information.
Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

And poor you, Cathy, you've had to hear what's going on in my head for months! LOL

Thanks for asking me to blog with you today. It's great to see authors supporting each other.

All the best with Kilt Worthy!


Helen Hardt said...

First, Cathy, mega-congrats on the release! Looking forward to seeing you at my blog Monday ;). Having your editor visit on release day is a genius idea.

Lori, nice to meet you! I'm a fellow Scarlet Rose. Diana is my editor. I loved your answers! By the way, I majored in French in college, too.


Catherine Bybee said...

Not sure about genius, Helen but I do like to think outside the box! Unlike my hero's. LOL ooops, my mind is in the gutter again! hehe

Heather Hiestand said...

Congratulations, Catherine. Good luck with your release!

Anh Leod

Kelly Moran said...

helpful info here. i just submitted to them actually.
great blog! i'm following you now. you should pop over/follow mine. i have all things books...
nice seeing you.

Catherine Bybee said...

He Heather and Kelly... Thanks for stopping by. TWRP is a wonderful publisher always ready to help and encourage all authors. Published or not.