What's better than our typical looking back that being able to additionally highlight someone that I admire, who I've been fortunate to meet, who helps keep my husband's writings clearer... I'm talking about Emoe57, editor and person extraordinaire Here from the April 2008 GayAuthors.org old newsletter, the Gay Authors GAzette, is a member interview that was done with Emoe57. Enjoy!
The GAzette will try to feature an interview on each edition, so this month we have interviewed an Editor, Emoe57.
GA: EMoe57, our sincere thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.
EMoe57: I'm honored to be asked!
GA: So, let's get started then. What is the secret behind the screen name, EMoe57?
EMoe57: I didn't know it was a secret... EMoe is derived from my name (first initial and beginning of my last name) and the year I was born. When I first tiptoed out of the closet back in 1977, I was in the Marine Corp. I dropped the 'E' on my first name and went by Rick. I thought it would make it harder for people to trace me. Silly, I know. When I came out on the Internet back in the '90s, I needed to create a handle and decided to give 'E' the prominent position to make up for hiding it back then. This was what I came up with and it has served me well.
GA: That is quite an interesting tale. I'm curious though, how did you find GA?
EMoe57: When I started browsing the Internet, I discovered Nifty.org with it's vast collection of stories of all stripes, but many of them left much to be desired as 'stories'. From Nifty, I found Comicality’s Shack Out Back. When Comicality moved over to GA, I came along for the ride and discovered I was HOME!
GA: Yes, GA is like a home for quite a few of us. Has GA affected you or your life in any way?
EMoe57: It got me to come out - as an editor of gay stories on the Internet to my family. I was already out to them as gay, but that is a whole other story Also, I already have my ticket and hotel reservations for the big meet-up in Dallas in June. Definitely wouldn’t be doing that without GA.
GA: That's great. I'm sure you'll have a nice time there. Now, everybody here knows that you're an editor. How did you get into editing?
EMoe57: For some reason, when I read, the goofs jump out at me - online or the printed page, doesn't matter. In conversation with other people, I’ve found their brain tends to auto-correct for them. I guess that means I’m defective DK was kind enough to accept me with no real experience editing and we worked out a routine that seems to function well for the other authors I work with. My regulars are DK, JHaze, BW & CJames. I've done some one-off work for others as well.
GA: Wow! That is quite a list. Some very famous authors you have there. What is it like working with the King of Evil Cliffhangers?
EMoe57: As I pointed out earlier, I usually don't know where the stories are going or how they are getting there, so it is as much a surprise to me when I read a chapter as it is when they get posted. I may be a chapter or three ahead of what is online, but I don't know the conclusion any more than you do. Will Joe Clump finally profess his undying love for - oh wait, you don't know about that yet. Well, never mind...
GA: And you really did not have any background in editing?
EMoe57: I was good in English and Writing courses in school but I never took Editing 101Perhaps because I enjoy reading so much.
GA: Well, then I am glad you discovered this side to yourself. How do you go about your editing? Do you use features like Track Changes or you have some unique method?
EMoe57: Track Changes ROCKS! Most changes are obvious goofs (Homonyms & wrong names), but sometimes, an author gets stuck with a word that appears over & over in a chapter and I try to change those and tell them why I made the change. Early on, I would inject my comments into the story to substantiate why – but those kept ending up posted with the story, so I don’t do that any more.
After I’ve read it, I set it aside for a few days when time allows, then I go back and read it again. You’d be surprised how much more I pick up with that second pass. Another trick I use to help with consistency: when I receive a new chapter, I read the previous chapter first to help root the storyline in my head. And if a story has more than a dozen names (people, places, etc), a separate running description list is invaluable.
I’m the first to tell you that I don’t catch everything, and my changes have been wrong on occasion. Most stories I’m involved in are series and I’ll only get the first couple of chapters. I have no idea where the story is going, so I can’t be much help with the flow. I do work hard to ensure that any changes I make still sound like the author wrote them. And all my authors know that any changes I send back are only my suggestion – what they use is their decision. I read a post where an editor whined about his author not using all the changes. Hello! It is their story to do with as they please. I’m just grateful to ALL the authors out there who are willing to share themselves via the written word.
GA: Do you have any pet peeves (errors) when reading stories that you have not edited? Some common errors that authors make that makes you smack your forehead?
EMoe57: For God sake people - SPELL CHECK! It isn't always the right word suggested, but it will at least get even the wrong word spelled correctly. If it gets too bad, I stop reading and find something else. I did that a lot on Nifty, but not so much on GA.
I hear authors hate Word’s ‘check as you go’ feature because it interrupts their train of thought. No biggie – it can be turned off. Just hit F7 at the end – after you save, of course. Then, if you like what you’ve got – send it on to your editor. And every author needs an editor. Lord knows I can’t edit anything I’ve written – just ask the people I work with…
GA: True, very true. There are some errors that an author cannot catch on his own. Your hobbies besides editing?
EMoe57: Reading and old-style video games like Pac Man plus every Saturday night, I get together with a big group of friends and have a pot luck dinner and play our version of Uno Attack/Spin.
GA: That sounds like fun. Your 5 favorite movies, stories (from GA or elsewhere), song, books....etc?
EMoe57: I’m a big SciFi fan so the Star trek movies and original Star Wars trilogy, Lord of the Rings trilogy. I seldom watch a movie more than once – even when I loved it – and I’ve seen all of these more than once.
As for stories, when I find an author I like, I tend to read all their stuff so I’m just going to list authors. Since I enjoy reading the authors I edit, I’m going to exclude them from the list: Driver9’s writing is superb and Grasshopper is right up there with him. Graeme; DeweyWriter; Jack Scribe; Draginacht; Brew Maxwell; Christopher Lydon (I bought his Falcon Banner books); Mike Arran; Tim Mead; Journeyman had me crying every chapter; I miss Jet. Oops, I ran over
As for printed books, I just finished reading James Swain’s Tony Valentine series. I don’t listen to music unless I’m in the car going somewhere. Then, it’s the local smooth jazz station.
GA: Wow! That is quite a list.
EMoe57: I was concerned about space since I was getting a little long-winded here.
GA: EMoe57, it has been a pleasure talking to you. Thanks a ton for taking the time to share something about you with us.
EMoe57: Thank YOU for helping GA grow!