Saturday, April 07, 2007

BOM: Questions and Answers

Deborah asked:

Since such a big deal was made about Cahira and her descendants having to disguise themselves as guys, did you ever intend on Kathleen having to do it herself?

I thought about it, but it was really hard to come up with a "role" that is denied to women in the twenty-first century. Plus, Kathleen seemed destined to be the historian who discovered her true self by reading about her ancestors. Because she learned about them, she was free to embrace the role of womanhood she discovered in Ireland.

Kristine asked:
You mentioned that you worked with a freelance editor on one of these books. Do you often work with freelancers? Do a lot of the publishers you work with hire them? Just curious since that is what I want to get into!

Most of my publishers have an acquisitions editor on staff and then they often hire a freelancer to do the substantive and line editing. All depends upon the house, but yes, I have worked with several excellent freelance editors. Once you find an editor with whom you "click," you like to hang onto them!

Kerry wrote: I have been teaching my students the need for revising, re-reading, and editing. Last week I looked like the man in the comic as I graded descriptive essays. I can agree that editing is subjective, and I try to tell my students that they can change what I've suggested (in content only), or create a new sentence on their own. Angie, do you have any writing suggestions for my students? They are 9th and 10th graders.

Wow. I can (and do) teach hours and hours on the subject of good writing, so it's hard to condense it down to something pithy. But I can pass on this: 1) Tell your students they can pay themselves a quarter for every word they can cut, 2) avoid adverbs whenever possible, and 3) avoid "was" and "were" whenever possible. Use active verbs!

Rachel asked: Do you find your research by going to the library, or online? Do you buy books? Do you travel to larger libraries?

These days I buy books. Tons of them. I do a lot of "trivial" research online, but I don't put complete faith in online resources because they are far from dependable. I enjoy traveling to locations when possible, and I do interviews when appropriate. (Hard to interview dead people, though.)

Dana wrote: Did you "have" to travel to Prague to research this series? Hmmm... tough author's life...

LOL. That would have been a nice trip, but I did all my research on Hus via books. :-) The less-exciting way.

Thanks for coming along on another BOM adventure!



Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to contact you from your contact page. Wondering if you'd be available for a phone conference call with our reading club to discuss Uncharted on Monday, April 30 at 7pm you can reach me via my e-mail address.
Thank you. April DeMuth

Angela said...

Yea! The comment box is now working, so feel free to drop another comment, April, and let me know how to reach you.