L.L. Diamond

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It’s time for a new Ask the Author!

This month’s victim guest is Rose Fairbanks

Rose is the author of The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter,
and the just recently published Letters from the Heart

promo rose

Blurb from Amazon.com – “Resolved to forget Elizabeth Bennet during a winter in London, Fitzwilliam Darcy writes a letter in bitterness of spirit. Frustrated by her growing obsession with the arrogant man, Elizabeth commits her thoughts to paper. But angry people are not always wise, and secret thoughts do not always remain secret. Compelled to face their selfishness and fears, their actions encourage those dearest to them to change as well.” 
Hi Rose and welcome to your first Ask the Author! Thanks for offering to be one of our victims and for offering the giveaway of your new book, Letters from the Heart!

 

We received some great questions so without further ado, let’s get to it!

 

How many times have you read Pride and Prejudice?!
(sophieandmomma)

Oh, dear. Well, it was a few times in high school and then at least once a year in college. Then after college I just continually went in a little circuit of Austen books but didn’t do it fairly and read P&P more than the others, especially once I had a nook. Austen’s Complete Works was the only book I had on there for well over a year. Then once I found JAFF I would reread it between every book or two for the first few months. Now as a writer I’m constantly rereading scenes. My guess would be between 50 and 75 reads.

 

What author of Jane Austen´s fan fiction do you prefer and why? (Apart from your own work ☺)
(Ana MR)

It’s impossible to pick just one! I found Sharon Lathan’s books first. Then Abigail Reynolds’. Looking at my Kindle and Nook books I’ve got nearly everything by Linda Wells, Kara Louise and Wendi Sotis and reread them often. I also love both published stories by our lovely host, Leslie. I also love being a beta reader for Sarah Johnson and Zoe Burton. I get to read their stuff before anyone else! 😛

 

What draws your inspiration to write?
(Dung Vu)

Most of my story ideas come from wondering how the story would be different if something else happened in a particular scene. Somewhere along the way I usually consider a personality trait to highlight as well.

 

Are there specific scenarios that you have not seen written that you felt compelled to share to readers?
(Dung Vu)

 

Hmm…I don’t think any of my overall scenarios are entirely unique. I’m not sure that’s possible anymore. JAFF has been around for a number of years, there’s loads of it published, even more for free online and the writing isn’t slowing down anytime soon it looks like. But I think everyone brings something different to the table. My first two stories were from a shared prompt. Anyone could have began a story with a similar idea. The next two long ones both stem from the idea of a forced marriage but I specifically wanted them to not be full of despair and I think they turned out very different from each other.

 

How do you manage to keep the essence of the characters as you write your book?(sophieandmomma)

 

I do compulsively read Canon scenes while writing. I’m constantly trying to get more in their head. I look at Elizabeth’s statement to Darcy when he asks her to dance a reel at Netherfield and she says she delights in overthrowing the schemes of people who would mock her taste and wonder if this is something she’s come in contact with a lot. How does that affect how she meets with others? And is that so different than Darcy considering others only want to use him?

 

I also have excellent betas who are very protective of the characters. I’m writing a story right now where Bingley leaves Netherfield on his own volition. So I asked two friends who are Bingley fans to read it for me, to be sure I’m not too crazy with him. If I tried to write alone I’d never finish anything!

 

How do you keep your books fresh? By that I mean not incorporating ideas from other authors ?
(Carol Hoyt)

 

As I said above, I’m not so sure anything is entirely unique. If I know my idea comes close to a certain topic in a book I’ve read then I avoid rereading that one so it doesn’t consciously spill over. And I freak out and ask my betas a lot. In the last story I wrote, I reread two different old favorites and their premises weren’t close to mine at all but there were events that were and I had to talk to my betas and have them compare the scenes and how they worked for the story. There are times when it is really difficult to be intentionally different, though. Wickham typically presents a problem. There seems to only be a few variations of what he does and how he’s dealt with. I have certain favorite things to do with him but then I worry about repeating myself too much!

 

What motivates you to keep writing? Sales? Reviews? Stories that are just begging to be written? A pushy family member?
(Joy Dawn King)

 

I was writing long before I ever thought about publishing. I started writing fan fiction after only a month or two of reading but never thought I’d share those stories. I never finished them and looking at them now they’re terrible. But I had ideas that needed to get out. I really like asking the question “what if…” As for publishing them, I think they’re good. When I was only a reader I was so obsessed I read a lot of bad things and would have been happy to see another book out that didn’t have horrible errors or terrible story telling. And I didn’t know about the forums, but even now I reread purchased books more- even when they’re also online- because the formatting is more convenient. I feel like those readers should get a chance to read something good too.

 

What has been your biggest surprise since publishing?
(Joy Dawn King)

 

Publishing is a roller coaster of emotions. I started with my novellas before my novel (coming this Spring) because I didn’t know if I could really handle the reviews or even the hard work of having it all come together. I had posted stories online so I thought I was prepared for reviews. It’s a little different, for example you don’t reply back to reviews and they’re total strangers. It’s not a community. The other unexpected thing was all the steps of the book cover. I had thought it was as simple as picking a picture or two I liked! But they both are beautiful and worth the extra time and all my graphic designer’s effort.

 

Out of 100% – how much is writing? how much is reading? how much is watching? How much is research? Did I forget anything?
(Joy Dawn King)

 

Actual writing is probably only 30% of my time, especially as I have gotten better about plotting ahead of time. By the time I sit down at the computer a lot can come out at once. I do reread scenes from the original with nearly every writing or plotting session. Research also takes up a good bit of time. More so because I intensely enjoy it than the fact that my stories are that detail oriented. I don’t actually watch the media too often and it’s nearly entirely for pleasure. I did use the train station kiss from the North and South TV series for inspiration in Letters from the Heart so I watched that scene several times.

 

You forgot the bane of my existence: editing! I have awesome editors. The easy part is clicking “accept all” to their suggestions for sentence structure or corrections in grammar and punctuation (I will never understand commas). The harder part is when they need more or less information or find something I’ve grown attached to as superfluous. But pruning is necessary and the story is always better for it.

 

In your dream JK Rowling moment, what is the one thing that you would love to have happen because of your writing?

I need to stop before I become as ridiculous as Mr. Collins. Ok – maybe too late.
(Joy Dawn King)

 

I’m actually uncomfortable with praise, but seek validation. I don’t necessarily need it from the world at large, but if I think well of the person then I would love it if I was deemed insightful and told that my story made someone smile.

 

I need to know. NEED to know. Where the heck do you find the time and energy, woman!? Wife, mother, blogger, reviewer, and self-published author (which is a full time job in and of itself.) I’m amazed … and frankly jealous. LOL ☺ You must have the blood of a four-year old coursing through your veins. You go girl!
(Cat Gardiner)

 

I don’t sleep very much! I have an awesome husband who lets me spend the majority of his days off doing JAFF things and I work on it nearly every evening too. During the day, if the inspiration is striking and I have a few minutes I’m writing something down. But honestly? I’m not so sure I do any of these things particularly well. I don’t review near as much as I’d like to (despite the fact that I am still reading when many authors have to choose between the two), nor do I have routine blog posts. My goal in 2015 is to do better with both. I like to do lists and break them down into small tasks with goal dates.

 

Are there any specific challenges being an author or publishing your books that you wanted to share?
(Dung Vu)

 

Self-publishing doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. I’ve got good editors and resources for things like covers and formatting or any other concern. It can be really intimidating opening your book up to the world at large and there are a lot of different factors in people’s tastes. What gets me through those moments is knowing that I and many others really liked the book and put a lot of effort into making it a good and worthwhile read. You can’t suit everybody. And if one person loves it, another person will hate it. In the end, make yourself happy with it. And with self-publishing I don’t have a “well, I wanted to do *this* but the editor said no” moment.

 

What specifically was your inspiration for Letters from the Heart? Were you looking to write a sort of forced marriage scenario or was it something else?

 

The very first draft was a writing prompt from an online forum. There were several “wacky holidays” and one was “letter writing day.” It also had a word count limit. So the premise of Darcy and Elizabeth writing letters to each other came from there. Logic followed that if they’d ever become known it could be a forced marriage scenario but that was a very small concern in the first drafts. In the online drafts, Elizabeth does not refuse Darcy and it all wrapped up very quickly. When I edited it for publication I spent a lot more time with the characters and felt like if I wasn’t just telling myself it had to be a short story with only a certain amount of words, then the characters would work things out differently.

 

As a book reviewer, you’ve been critiquing books for quite a while now. How does that affect your writing? Does reading a well-written book give you inspiration? For example, if you read an author who excels at humor or descriptions, do you find yourself attempting to improve your skills in those areas?

 

There are some things that don’t come naturally to me very well, humor is one of them. I struggle with showing a witty Elizabeth and fear what appears witty to me doesn’t for others. But I try to consider other things, like narration style. My favorite JAFF is first person narration, Elizabeth’s point of view. I’d really like to do that one day. Another favorite is third person, but we only get Darcy’s point of view. I’ve tried that a few times and have failed at it. One of these days I’ll get it right. I’m also more critical of storytelling in general. I’ve recently read a book with several “go no-where” tangents and it annoyed me to no end. They made me ask more questions and they were never answered by the author. I actually struggle to make my stories long enough because I prefer to write without adding unnecessary things. That’s something I worried about in Letters from the Heart. Thankfully, I was able to link the other characters to Darcy and Elizabeth rather well, I think.

 

Do you have any current projects in the works? If so, what can you tell us about them.

 

I’m in the middle of editing a full length novel for publication this spring. No Cause to Repine begins when Darcy calls on the Parsonage alone. He trips over the rug and lands on Elizabeth just when several people are shown into the room. Between Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine the situation is made into a more compromising event than it was. Forced into an engagement with unequal affections and soon met with an unexpected obstacle, Darcy and Elizabeth must together find a path that leads to no regrets.

 

I am also part of a boxed set of novellas which will release April 1. I haven’t settled on a title yet! Elizabeth overhears part of Darcy’s conversation with Caroline as the two were walking outside of Netherfield. Left with the realization that Darcy admires her, Elizabeth determines to quit antagonizing him, or so she tries. Believing if she spurns his attentions the proud man will leave Netherfield—and likely take his friend too—she bears with his presence for Jane’s sake.

 

I have a number of other pieces that will eventually be published and several others that I am currently writing and will one day finish up on my blog: http://rosefairbanks.com

 

 

So, now the giveaway!

 

Rose has graciously offered an ebook of Letters from the Heart! 

Everyone who submitted a question has their name submitted one time in the draw. Now, everyone who comments on the finished interview gets their name entered–for those who have already submitted a question, that means your name goes in twice if you comment! Those who only comment get their name entered once, so COMMENT! Any chance is better than none!

Final comments to be entered into the drawing Wednesday, 21 January.

Winner will be announced Friday, 23 January.

Thanks so much to Rose for being our guest and please leave her a comment
to let her know
you enjoyed learning more about her!

 

28 thoughts on “Rose Fairbanks Ask the Author Interview is in!

  1. deborahanne2 says:

    I already have the eBook, so please do not enter me. I have it on my TBR and ambplannjng to read it soon. It was a lot of fun getting to know more about you Rose. Keep on writing. I enjoy your stories.

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      Thanks for reading and all your support!

      Like

  2. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway, I won it before Christmas. I just started reading it and I’m enjoying it enormously. I knew I would, Sophie from laughing with Lizzie told me it’s a delightful read and she was right! The playful narrative, the wonderfully language and the ever so clever plot! Can’t wait to see what happens next!

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      I’m glad you’re getting a chance to read! I hope you keep enjoying it!

      Like

  3. jdawnking says:

    I pushed “Post Comment” and it disappeared so I hope I don’t do this twice. I apologize if I do.

    Thank you so much for your candor, Rose. Like Cat, I am amazed at all that you have to juggle. It is no secret at all that I am a fan of yours as you write exactly what I like to read. Please do not enter me as, like the others that have already commented, I have this on my Kindle. However, should you desire to adjust your offering to a signed print copy – I’m all over it.

    Leslie, this is a wonderful blog post.

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      Thanks for all your support! It really is a wonderful thing Leslie is doing!

      Like

  4. Denisia Ott-Ilies says:

    That was nice of you giving complex answers to curious ones. May I ask you one more question? If yes: whose your favourite JAFF writer and its book? Thank you.

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      I really can’t pick a favorite writer! I think we all have inconsistencies and if I get too focused on what a writer *usually* does then I might be too bitterly disappointed if they change it for some reason. I certainly have a few stories up my sleeve which seem unusual compared to the others. I do have a favorite JAFF book, though. The Journey by Jan Hahn. It wasn’t the first one I read by any means but it grabbed me right away. And it’s the only one that I haven’t sat awake at night and wondered about a fan fiction version of the book itself. I couldn’t think of altering it in anyway. Everything that happened needed to happen. My critical eye wonders about the propriety of a few things (and not them being forced to sleep together after being abducted) so I’m not sure it’s flawless, but story wise it’s perfection, to me.

      Like

  5. Dung says:

    Thank you for sharing your process and answering our questions. I love hearing about an author’s thought process. Looking forward to reading your novel as well as your novellas you are working on. It would be interesting how Elizabeth would act to Darcy for Jane’s sake…

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      Thanks! I have a short story on the blog called “The Happiest Creature in the World” in which Elizabeth makes another snap decision for Jane’s sake. This is an example of a similar premise–What would Elizabeth do for Jane?–but the execution is vastly different.

      Like

  6. loved the train station kiss from North and South – also looking forward at some point to reading this

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      Yes, I love that scene! And the whole series. Confession: I still haven’t read the book. I started it months ago but found I need time to focus on it and that can be difficult with kids and the never ending plot bunnies in my mind. Hopefully soon I can pick it up again!

      Like

      1. Rose Fairbanks says:

        Oh, and I hope you enjoy the book when you get to it!

        Like

  7. suzanlauder says:

    I want to clarify a common mistaken view that keeps being circulated among authors that makes authors fear editors, and is possibly why so many self-published stories retain all kinds of easy-to-fix mistakes that show in the more critical reviews. Many here work well with editors, and it’s obvious in your novels, so don’t for an instant think I’m referring to you! But we’ve all read “those” books that make us cringe because it makes our entire genre look bad. I want to say “Do not fear the editor!” and more importantly, “Do not fear the traditional publisher’s editor!”

    Rose mentioned if you self-publish, an advantage is that you can say “no” to the editor, which implies that if someone else paid her editor, she couldn’t. That’s a common belief, which is not often true. It’s probably an urban myth started by a disgruntled writer who had lots of time to air their sour grapes, i.e., no kids, blog, school, aging parents, needy boss, laundry, etc! **smiles** Rose didn’t say it this particular way, but we’ve all heard authors painting all editors and publishers as if they intend to ruin your novel, and it’s the same as painting all JAFF authors by the experience of those poorly-edited novels.

    I only have one experience, and largely because Rafe Carlson (a self-published author, who is naturally a better writer than I’ll ever be, even if I work hard the rest of my life!) asked me all the right questions about my reasons for not submitting Alias Thomas Bennet to Meryton Presshe’d never allow a double negative. I replied that I’d go along with her, but she should be able to hear me grumbling as I said it!

    There was one error in the entire book, not to say that’s normal. But I’m proud of us. I never made one change that I was not happy with, and it didn’t cost me anything.

    Sorry, Rose and Leslie, for hijacking the thread. You both know I admire your work so much. It’s good to say it again, though. You are both awesome writers, and I admire your talent. Just like Rafe, you all make it look so easy, when I work so hard on my stories!

    I look forward to reading “Letters from the Heart” and seeing “No Cause to Repine” and “Newbie” published. I’m one of Leslie’s betas on “Newbie” which is now called “An Unwavering Trust;” an awesome title! You all should be jealous of me! Did you know Leslie is not partial to semicolons or colons in her work? The good editor/beta tries hard to avoid suggesting them. **smiles**

    Like

    1. Rose Fairbanks says:

      I’m glad you had such a good experience with your publisher, Suzan. I have talked to authors since elementary school, though, and most of them really feel beholden if not ordered to make sometimes drastic story telling changes when they go through a publishing house and sometimes live with regrets over it. That is what I wanted to avoid. I do 100% suggest every author have real editing done.

      I want to be clear here. I see a difference between receiving editing and going through a publishing house. All stories should be edited. Since I am the publisher, I have absolute final say on what is chosen and I don’t feel beholden to anyone but me. I also have to do all my own promotion, find a layout designer, cover art, and a graphic designer for the cover. It is worth it to me to feel that I 100% agree with the final story. I simply don’t think I’d feel that way if I had also turned over all those other elements to strangers. I think I would feel compelled to agree and in some cases never be given a choice. Additionally, I have offered to pay my editors thus far and they have declined, but I have only used editors I trusted and felt were competent.

      For a more detailed answer I give my writing and editing experiences below:

      I wrote the first draft of The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter in a virtual hole. Part of this was because it was a quickie challenge piece and limited to a certain month. I also wrote it quickly, there was a word limit. But I also had not allowed my writing to go through peer editing in a long time (since college fiction writing). I was also new to the forum/fandom and did not have any contacts. When I went to publish it I sought out people unfamiliar with the story to talk over plot points and the story arc and a separate person to also do copy edits. I am lazy and haven’t taken the time to learn all of the grammar and punctuation rules but I know several people without a similar affliction. Private copy editing is also affordable. You really should do something more than running it through spell check on Word before submitting a book to be published. Now, I did have an editor comment that she thought I should explain more in some situations. You will see the most common complaint about this book I have is that it could be longer, some have felt it was rushed. I go back and forth on this. I did add a little, but Jane Austen herself skipped weeks and months and I felt I made a good foundation for it essentially being love at first sight that in a novella I did not need to repeat that idea with long spans of torturous thoughts in the weeks they were apart. However, I have had bad reviews for that. In the end, I can only say I did what I felt was right. I could have avoided some of those lower reviews if I listened to the editor, but I don’t think I would have been as happy with the story. I did *try* it and it felt wrong. If I went through a traditional publishing house, this may have not been an optional choice for me.

      For Letters from the Heart I again wrote the first draft in a hole. When I decided to post it on a different forum, and added to the story, I had betas run through the plot and do copy editing. When I decided to publish I doubled the length of the story. It was absolutely essential to get several new eyes to look at it. I was really nervous about putting something out there that hadn’t been seen by more than a few people. Again, I had an editor suggest fleshing things out and I found in this case I really agreed with her. I also chose to cut some things that just did not serve the primary plot. There was a letter Darcy sent to his solicitor and we had a few paragraphs of the solicitor’s point of view that did nothing for the plot and it was odd to have his point of view when the rest of the story I remain in only a few different points of view, it is not third person omniscient where we know everyone’s thoughts on everything. I had an editor say he missed that part from the original, the other editors never knew of that part. In the end, I felt it was right to cut.

      I am editing No Cause to Repine before sending it to a paid editor. I will keep some of the editors I’ve used in the past as well, but they also are helping me on other stories and have their own lives. The work this story needs is going to take quite a bit of time. I wrote it differently than the first two. I had feedback every step of the way…except the final product. We edited it a few chapters at a time and I didn’t outline as well as I do now. There are things that I introduce in the first few chapters that go no where. The pacing is off. I wrote shorter chapters at the beginning and it took 10 chapters to get to the third day of the story. I worry that I give out too much or not enough information about the villains. I worry there could be a few plot holes, a few unnecessary parts, a few underrated parts, and arc issues. Perhaps some of Wickham’s thoughts we should get at different points in the story. I can and do spot some of these things myself, but nothing can replace someone experienced in finding these flaws. We’ll see what she says. I will appreciate and value her input but in the end enjoy that I do not feel like if I disagree and the book flops it will affect her and her livelihood, she will already be paid. Nor is she connected to my actual ability to publish.

      My stories since No Cause to Repine have been written differently. They were not written with only one chapter at a time in the sights and have had several edits as a completed manuscript. I hope the editing for them will be less strenuous than I am currently doing but they will be edited again before publication.

      All in all, I never suggest a writer take an unseen manuscript and just copy and paste into Kindle. It does take longer, it may even take several more rounds, you may hear that you need to cut a part or that your word choice doesn’t work. All of this is fixable and in the end the story will be much, much better for it.

      Like

      1. suzanlauder says:

        Really great advice, Rose. I think traditional publishing has changed a lot since elementary school, especially with the plethora of smaller houses out there, where relationships are much closer because they only publish a handful of books each year. On the other hand, publishers say there’s a glut of manuscripts in the marketplace, giving them more choice of who to publish, and I suppose that’s an opportunity to treat their authors badly; however, in a competitive market, it’s against their best interests to do so. I know two big-deal authors (five and seven figure advances!) personally and they love Random House, and that’s pretty much as big-time as it gets.

        Yes, you get control when you’re hiring your own staff. But in any industry, the best quality control has a certain amount of autonomy, even from senior executives. Without the right pressure, some authors may be as bad as the mean editor and publisher, and never consider options other than their original paradigm.

        I hope you don’t mind if I expand on the topic for the benefit of all authors, in hope the knowledge of the many options they have, with what you just described, and what I’d like to say, can be taken into consideration for the best decision for each person.

        I know there have been lots of times where I resented my betas’ interference, even cried about their criticism, yet after thinking about it, I realized they were right. Sarah Johnson and I were just talking about cutting entire chapters, and she beat me on the larger number of words cut! Painful but necessary sometimes! It was much easier with my editor, partly because those betas contributed so much to the quality of the manuscript I submitted, and partly because of Gail’s excellent communication skills and genuine love and caring for the novel.

        As a beta, I’ve had to be the meanie. (Lucky for me Leslie has Lisa and Kristi first!) Josurinu is an author I beta’d for, who was sometimes disheartened at the need for improvement, then turned around and made the scene blow me away: her rewrites always came out with greater quality than I could have imagined.

        With a traditional publisher, the author is still the one doing the re-write, and it’s still the author’s voice, but enhanced by an impartial observer. And let’s face it, they aren’t going to ask you to make it worse. It’s in their best interests that it sells, particularly with the new structures of editors getting a portion of royalties rather than per-word fees.

        As Rose said, Word does the most basic of grammar and punctuation, but you can have hundreds of errors that it would never catch, and unless you really know your stuff, it’s easy to make mistakes. I look at the AHA version of Alias Thomas Bennet and the “corrections” a well-intentioned beta made that were not correct, but I went with then since I didn’t know any better, and I cringe! After working in detail with a professional editor, I see more, though I tend not to incorporate it in my first draft. (You’ll notice I’m lazy with commas in everyday communication and have long run-on sentences, even though I do know better!)

        For those unfamiliar, the definitions of editing vary by opinion and the way an editing house divides the work, and there can be one person doing it all, or two, or five, or even more separate editors. I tend to think of three groupings because that’s how I work with betas: developmental, line, and copy editing. There are crossovers with all of them.

        Developmental editing is what we call the plot beta at AHA. It’s the big picture: outline, general plot and flow, subplots, order of scenes, setting and location, conflict, characters, roles, time of year, narrator or point of view, how many points of view (Side note: I keep reading that new authors are supposed to stick to one. How do you do that?). They help make overall decisions like what is introduced when, who gets lines, you name it. They don’t get into too much detail, including grammar or punctuation. This stage starts anywhere from brainstorming before anything is on paper, through a loose story, and transforms it to a good working draft. Some authors do this step themselves, or work with a friend, who acts as a sounding board, but not an editor. As a reader, I’ve seen great stories that could benefit from better ground work, so this type of editing is just as important as any other. Some people call this substantive editing, or call the combination of developmental and the bigger picture items of line editing substantive editing.

        Most would agree line editing takes a story that’s in good shape and looks at the middle ground: less focus on the big picture like the outline and general plot and flow, and similarly less focus on grammar and punctuation, but more about consistency and readability: sentence structure, prose, word usage, cliches, plot holes, continuity, redundancy, time line, anachronisms, point of view, characterization, body language, and similar details, and what I call “dust bunnies,” which are unnecessary words and phrases that bog down the story, even if no one notices them.

        Copy editing is proofreading, mostly for grammar, punctuation, and typos, as well as more dust bunnies, continuity and consistency. They also catch what the others missed. Often they work with the final layout so issues related to the look of the document can be corrected for both print and e-book, which have separate issues. We had a visually ugly patch of three types of italics in Alias Thomas Bennet that wasn’t evident until in layout form, and I wrote a couple of sentences to break it up and improve the appearance. This is where you evaluate your footnotes, which work differently in print or e-book. At MP, the copy editor is also the layout editor, as she’s a graphic artist.

        As you can see from Rose’s comparisons of her work, more or less of a type of editing may be required with each novel. Most editors are better at one end or the other of the work, but many do it all.

        I, too have an unpublished finished novel with bigger needs than line or copy editing. Studio 54 needs a review at the more detailed end of development before I rewrite it for publishing. I want to know if there are unnecessary side plots, where it’s dead boring, if it would benefit from one point of view only, do the current POV changed work. Does anyone have someone to recommend?

        When I was initially going to self-publish ATB, I was about to do what Rose said in her last paragraph: after my best edits and trusting Word, throw it onto Kindle. I was a bit reluctant only because I knew I had an awkward scene and didn’t know why. It turned out to be mixed point-of-view problem, where Darcy was alone and ruminating, but sometimes the narrator was telling the story, and sometimes it was as if Darcy was thinking, so to speak. Otherwise, I thought the novel was in great shape. Huge surprise when I started working with Gail!

        Many authors are better than me at their own editing because of their background and education, and many are worse. What’s important no matter what your level of experience is that you recognize you limitations, then get professional help where you don’t have expertise, and that goes for all areas of preparation of your novel. An editor may cost your first month’s royalties, but it’s better than a bunch of two- and three-star reviews.

        I think one of the main things I learned from reading Rose’s post above is that we should always be ready to learn to be better. The three star review is an opportunity for the next novel. Accept advice and adapt it to your needs, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of others, both seasoned and new, then pass on tips, too.

        Try googling “ten common writing mistakes” and similar phrases, then fix them in your writing—these often include some of the dust bunnies I spoke of. Buy a used grammar and punctuation book that is less about terminology and more about application (I haven’t found any single Internet grammar site that’s comprehensive enough or laid out well). Use http://www.thesaurus.com for alternate choices for weak words, and for Regency, http://www.writelikeausten.com. Learn rules of thumb: aim for the suggested one adverb per 250-300 words, for example.

        Of course, writing is creative, and we should all feel free to follow our own style. But many of the best writers edit themselves first. As josurinu put it, then someone else brushes away the lint, applies the makeup, and secures the final pin.

        Thanks, Rose, for sharing some personal experiences. It is less scary to know others struggle and change their approaches over time, too.

        Like

      2. Rose Fairbanks says:

        This is getting quite a bit off topic from my interview question. I will say when it comes down to it publishing, and even reviews, is very taste specific and that had as much as anything to do with my choice to self-publish. I felt I could better represent my tastes and interests with self-publishing than if I went through a publishing house. And while we’re being informational, there is only one that primarily produces JAFF and is accepting manuscripts at all. It is not as though I rejected the opportunity to publish with countless houses. Nor do I think we should hold that publishing house up as the JAFF industry standard of a well produced work- you can find good editors outside of this publishing house and again, taste is everything. Even Jane Austen was turned down by several publishing houses- and still is today. People actually have tested her manuscripts and changed the author name and submitted them and they’ve been rejected. So the fact that I, or anyone, has chosen to not even submit to a publishing house can really have no bearing on if it’s a quality product, as that is a personal taste choice. The essential part is editing.

        That being said, as I’ve enjoyed self-publishing and found my editing needs and have successful promotional experiences I will continue to self-publish even my non-JAFF.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. suzanlauder says:

        There is only one house that primarily publishes JAFF and is interested in new authors all the time, but there are a good dozen who publish JAFF. Which you submit to is a matter of a match between your material and their interests.

        I agree, the discussion was on editing. I was merely offering the same as you, a few pros and cons, and I agree with everything you’ve said. I just took a different approach with my novel, which matched my own level of comfort.

        My English prof friends read Austen with a red pen.

        Like

    2. And I’m using more semi-colons than I used to. LOL! Beta/edit on Suzan! I can take it!

      Like

  8. Ana MR says:

    For me as a reader, it is also quite difficult to choose my favourite author. The first book that I read was ‘The man who loved Pride and Prejudice’ by Abigail Reynolds and I simply loved it. However, as you say, there are too many of you writing great books and it is hard to pick one.
    One author that surprised me, not for his writing but because he is the only man that I know who has written fan fiction is John Caldwell, I absolutely enjoyed ‘Mr Darcy came to dinner’.
    DO you know more men writing about fanfiction of Jane Austen? I will be interested on reading them and look at their ideas.

    Like

    1. You should give C.P. Odom a read. “A Most Civil Proposal” is one I’ve read and enjoyed.

      Like

      1. Ana MR says:

        Thank you, I will!

        Like

    2. Rose Fairbanks says:

      You should try Pemberley Ranch too! It’s not set in Regency England, instead it’s post Civil War US but I really enjoyed it! There’s a new Darcy point of view trilogy out by Stanley Hurd. I’ve not tried them yet but plan to soon. My husband helps me with plots sometimes. I joke that he should write, a lot of things can be fixed with a good editor, and he’d be really famous for being one of the few male JAFF writers. One of my betas/editors is male and it really helps to have the male opinion at times!

      Like

      1. Ana MR says:

        Thank you for the info. I have just read the plot of Pemberley and it looks very good! I will try as well with Stanley Hurd 🙂

        Like

  9. Tresha B says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! Can not wait to read.

    Like

  10. Regina Silvia says:

    Interesting concept — having other writers and readers participate in the interview! Enjoyed the questions AND the answers, too. Really looking forward to No Cause to Repine; I’m going through an “arranged marriage” phase in my reading right now, so that will fit in nicely. Good luck with the book, Rose.

    Like

  11. ladysusanpdx says:

    This was such a good interview, giving readers an
    writer’s perspective and bringing us into the process.
    Thank you also for the giveaway!

    Like

  12. Thanks everyone for your comments! If you read and enjoyed Rose’s interview, please leave a comment and let her know! Chances to enter the giveaway are now closed.

    Like

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