1 June 2018 - DENNIS DE ROSE - GUEST EDITOR


DENNIS DE ROSE
 - GUEST EDITOR -

G'day folks,

I don't often have the chance to interview editors to find out how they really tick. Well, today is one of those days. This gentleman has edited swags of books so he is worth listening to.

Welcome, Dennis ...


1.   TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR EDITING JOURNEY.

               I never really counted how many manuscripts I have edited but I’m sure it has to be close to 60 in these last nine plus years. I prefer fiction and have edited: short stories, poetry, historical fiction, romances, adventure, mystery, general, fantasy, philosophical, YA, children’s and others. Nonfiction is something I tend to shy away from unless it’s something I can relate to or find very interesting. I’ve edited a dream diary, an autobiography, a piece on a political ideology and an addiction manual. I also co-authored a book with Julius entitled Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist, a manual geared toward helping writers over their hurdles. Ghost of Atlanta was the second full-length book I edited and it also won a Gold medal for best fiction in the genre. I have since edited all of Julius’ books and I plan to edit his next one, Stormy Winds.

2.   WERE YOU A GOOD READER AS A KID?

I was a slow reader, reading one word at a time but not because I did not know the words. I still read one word at a time but I don’t miss anything, and that’s a good thing.

3.   WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A BOOK EDITOR?

            I never wanted to be an editor. It just happened. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to help writers by reviewing their books, but I didn’t want to purchase books. I contacted a wonderful lady, Deborah Gaynor, from Kentucky. She had a reviewing service (Readers Favorite) she had started a few years earlier. She accepted me as a reviewer and I began reading an adventure novel. (I edited the next book he wrote and it won a gold medal for best fiction in the category.) When I sent my review to Deborah, she realized it was well written. Apparently, most of the reviews she received needed tweaking. She asked me to do that for her and I accepted the challenge. I tweaked 1000 reviews for her and she agreed to put me on her website as her editor. The first thing I edited in Jan. of 2009 was a children’s story about a horse. I wanted to edit the story for free but the author insisted on paying me. I accepted five dollars as payment and that is how this adventure began.

4.   WHY A BOOK EDITOR?

Because I love books, love to read and I enjoy fixing things to make them better than they are. I became a counsellor in a prison to help men fix themselves.




5.   WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN EDITOR?

I enjoy helping writers to become better writers, knowing I was able to make their book or books shine like a new penny.

6.   WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Having to tell a writer that their manuscript is so poorly written I can’t even understand the first sentence.

7.   WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME AN EDITOR?

                I was a very handsome boy as you can see and I actually won a baby contest. I grew up surrounded by a loving family and I thank God for that every day. I married a gal from Holland and we have three great kids and now four wonderful bright grandchildren. We worked hard together. And now we are happily retired. I dedicated 35 plus years to the New York State Department of Corrections as a counsellor and made many wonderful friends along the way.

           

8.   WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST BOOKS YOU HAVE EDITED? WHY?

                    I cannot pick a best book but my relationship with the writer has a lot to do with how much I like the subject matter. I recently finished editing Wish You Were Here, Badfinger: A Rock Fantasy written by Joyce Isaacson. At first I was a bit put off by what I was getting into. During the course of the edit and our back-and-forth communication, I changed my mind and now I love the book.

9.   WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?

I am reading a book entitled Complicity written by L. Dalton White, an Indy who lives in Germany. It makes me feel good knowing that we hit it off while talking over the phone and via email. I read and review books by Indy writers only because I believe they put their hearts into their work. I have seen it time and time again.

10.        WHAT INSPIRES YOU AS AN EDITOR?

I love what I do knowing I am doing my best still to help others succeed. My family inspires me because they appreciate what I do and they know why I do it, what drives me. The memory of my Mom and my Dad because I know how happy I made them after I edited my first book and it won a gold award for best fiction. I will always try my best to DO THE RIGHT THING!




11.        WHAT GENRE’ DO YOU PREFER TO EDIT? WHY?

I prefer fiction in any genre, but I love: adventure, mystery and fantasy. I                  will no longer edit poetry, or any nonfiction that I am not familiar with.

12.        DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

            a) Take your time. Do not rush the process. I believe the slow turtle wins the race.
           b) Have your manuscript read by several readers, not just family, and listen to what they have to say.
          c) Join writers groups on Face Book and LinkedIn. Let those writers help you to write better.
          d) Go online and read tons of writing how to’s and spend a few dollars for a few good writing manuals. You might be able to pick up a used copy of A Pocket Style Manual 6th ed. written by Hacker and Sommers for as little as 50 cents at your library’s used bookstore.

13.        DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED TIME TO EDIT?

            Since I edit part-time, about 3 to 4 hours a day, sometimes less, time is no longer a factor. I retired 5 years ago and my wife lives to shop, so I do a lot of editing when she is not around. As I work on this she is out and about, probably at Sam’s Club or another favourite place, Kohl’s. But I really can’t edit early in the morning. I need to be alert and fit as a fiddle.

14.        DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO WORK?

               I have a small office upstairs equipped with everything I need, a nice big computer screen, good lighting, my manuals and a good radio/CD player. What more could I want?

15.        WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN EDITING A MANUSCRIPT?

It’s difficult to pinpoint my greatest joy because there’s much more to editing than just editing a book. I want to be involved in your whole process, from beginning to end. But if I had to pick one thing it would be holding a finished book in my hand knowing that together we crafted something that we can both say is 99.99% perfect as we give each other a big hug while sharing time over a cup of good coffee.




16.        WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ALL TIME AUTHOR/BEST EXPERIENCE?  WHY?

               It is difficult for me to pinpoint a best experience because I learn from each writer and hopefully make a new friend/client. It is much easier to recall bad experiences because there have been few over the last nine plus years. I really can’t pick a favourite author, although there are certainly some I like more than others.

17.        WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A WRITER?

For me, the greatest is… I’m really enjoying our time together. What say we continue this for the rest of our lives. And that has happened more than once.

18.        WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT/EXPERIENCE FROM A WRITER?

                 I have had two worst experiences and it’s tough to decide which one takes the cake… I don’t believe in contracts. I am old-school, so I believe each party should DO THE RIGHT THINGOne client still owes me quite a bit of money after almost eight years. Another berated me for doing a lousy job after his book won a gold medal for best fiction in his genre (if you can figure that one out you’re better than me.).

19.        DO SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS FRUSTRATE YOU?

               a) When the writer refuses to communicate with me via telephone.
               b) We might not be a good fit after we’ve already started working together and I don’t find out until we are heavily into the manuscript..
               c) The manuscript is so poorly written that I can’t even understand the first sentence and I have to tell the writer.
               d) The writer cannot afford to pay me even after we set up a payment plan and he or she has assured me they would make regular payments.
               

20.        WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU AS AN EDITOR?

1) My 12th grade English teacher told me I’d never be able to write a poem (I’ve written three so far with a fourth ruminating in my brainpan.)
2) My career as a counsellor in a prison helped me to realize the value of paying attention to details.
3) My love for reading has always pushed me to question everything, just ask my relatives.

21.        OTHER THAN EDITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

               When I am not editing, I am busy promoting myself, creating an all-purpose website, reading and reviewing books, talking to other writers and keeping in touch with my writers/friends. I am retired now so I have a lot of free time. I believe volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to give back so I volunteer at our local library bookstore two days a week. I also love spending time with family and friends, especially camping and traveling. Why not see the world and make a few friends along the way.




22.        DO YOU ALSO WRITE?

               Actually I enjoy writing. I have written several articles in LinkedIn. You can find them here….https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-de-rose-15262917/  I’m also thinking about writing articles for an Israel based blog, Re:Fiction. I just finished writing a piece of flash fiction entitled A Cup of Joe (The Bridge). I am having a tough time finding people that want to read it. It’s just shy of 1000 words. I published it in Inkitt. Here is the link if you care to take a peek… https://www.inkitt.com/stories/other/212643 I also co-authored a book entitled Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist. I wrote three poems, two have been published and I just co-wrote a song that has been jumping around in my brain for many years. It needed to be set free… Gentleman Cowboy. Mike Barnett helped me. He has an FB site, Mike’s Music. You can listen to him about three nights a week.


23.        ARE SOME MANUSCRIPTS DIFFICULT TO REVIEW? WHY?
                If the writer is close-minded, an editor’s job becomes nearly impossible. It’s tough to make any progress if a writer won’t accept changes or constructive criticism.
               Have you ever read a book that was so poorly written that you couldn’t make heads or tails of it? Imagine what it’s like for an editor. I have had to tell writers to go back to the drawing board (and usually they take my advice).
               He keeps changing his mind! Mr. Undecided Writer has written a book but he keeps altering the text. Now I have to edit the same thing over and over again as I pull my hair out of my head.


24.       WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

About five years ago, I wrote down some funny things my grandson Mikey did while we were camping. I would like to publish The Diary of a Six-Year-Old someday. I think it would be a hit but let’s keep that to ourselves. It’s a secret so SSSHHH! Of course there’s more, I would like to live to be 103. Why, you might ask?




25.        ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

Feel free to email me at DDEROSE@HVC.RR.COM or call me at 01-845-239-4513 and let’s chat a bit. My time is your time. I am here to help you. Check me out here… https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-de-rose-15262917/

Thank you so much, Clancy, for giving me this opportunity to toot my own horn. Sadly, most people are willing to take and never give back. You and I have much in common. I take my hat off to you, Sir.






Clancy's comment: Thank you, Dennis. It's been a pleasure. Funny you should mention that idea with your grandson. I'd like to interview kids like Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter did. Kids say amazing things. Good luck, Dennis.

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