Scribal Love Welcomes Jean Watkins
So tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been an editor?
I’m just me. Lol I am a mother of two who wears many caps. I began editing in 2006 when Pam and Stuart decided to give me a chance to try it.
What do you like about your job?
I love helping authors tell their story better. It has to be pretty well told on their own, I just tweak it to help the flow. It is my number one priority for the author’s voice to shine.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Me personally, I’m not interested in writing. I love reading stories spun by others. I enjoy “traveling” to new places and “meeting” new people. What really irks me is when the details don’t match, people switching “then” for “than”, stuff like that…it’s like nails on a chalkboard and jerks me out of a story. When Pam was starting DCL, she asked a mutual friend of ours on a loop if she would be willing to edit for them. I got nosy and emailed Pam off on the side to ask what exactly an editor did. She told, we talked, Stuart sent a pamphlet he was working on for me to try out and been here ever since.
What do you and DCL look for in a manuscript?
First of all, it has to be a story; it has to flow like a movie in my mind. If it has a few stops and stutters, I can deal with that because I usually have a suggestion or two to make to the author to help it flow better. If it is just a bunch of random scenes chunked together (and yes I have seen some like this unfortunately), then I can’t do anything with it. I have seen synopses that sound pretty good, but the stories fell flat. But then I have seen where the synopses aren’t all that, but the story telling is great. I try to be fair and I look at the overall picture with what the authors submit to us and not judge them based on one or the other.
How would you describe the house style at DCL? (i.e. is it face paced, sweet and romantic or just depends?)
On my side of the window, it’s fast paced…I’m always doing something. From other’s pov that are not behind the scenes like I am, they may not see us that way.
Do you have any favorite genres?
I grew up reading the Hardy Boys series, a few Nancy Drew, but the boys were always more exciting to me. Lol I love my mysteries, horror, romance, sci-fi, erotica, comedy, young adult, inspirational…I have a wide range and it just depends on my mood.
What are some of your latest projects?
Currently, I’m working on getting our older books cleaned up and converted for Kindle, trying to keep up with edits, do new releases. Then I will begin learning to do EPUB files so I can tackle Nook next.
Are there any hints or tips you could give a prospective author looking to submit with DCL?
First and foremost, if you don’t have someone reading your work like a critique partner, read it out loud! This will help you to notice that your complete thought didn’t make it to the page or that you missed a crucial bit of information that will make everything tie in.
And…keep trying! Keep working on your craft no matter how the rejections pile up. You may be “ahead of your time” or you may just simply need a few books under your belt to perfect your story telling. None of us started the race running; we all had to crawl first.
Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote today?
I think DCL has a little something for everyone. We have Vampires, Mysteries, Sweet Romance, Regency, Contemporary, Native Americans, Steamy Romances, Sci-Fi, eclectic stories, Time Travel and so many others currently available with several new authors on the way.
(I would name drop, but I don’t want to leave anyone out!)
Thanks for dropping by!
Thanks for inviting me, Claire!