“I’d known since girlhood that I wanted to be a book editor. By high school, I’d pore over the acknowledgments section of novels I loved, daydreaming that someday a brilliant talent might see me as the person who ‘made her book possible’ or ‘enhanced every page with editorial wisdom and insight.’ Could I be the Maxwell Perkins to some future Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe?” ~
Unlike Bridie Clark, the author of Because She Can, I was not intent on becoming a book editor “since girlhood”. My labor of love, editing, found a life in me approximately 20 years ago. I have had the fortune to work with a large number of authors who were gracious in their responses with reference to my editorial work. I am still enjoying that fortune. I appreciate every one of those writers for the trust and confidence they have in me. Will “I be the Maxwell Perkins to some future Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe?” This question has never entered my mind (nothing against the cited author). I absolutely love what I do as an editor in and for my discipline. My awareness and knowledge of and extensive experience with the challenges that arise for “my” dear authors as well as myself throughout the writing and editing processes do not and cannot change this fact.
Allow me to wear my other hat at this point . . .
In the likes of Bridie Clark, since middle school, I was acutely aware of the two passions I had – which became my life’s pursuits: teaching and creative writing. I have been fortunate to dedicate 40 plus years to the academia with a heavy focus on teaching as opposed to researching. I have only stopped teaching actively after my official retirement 2 years ago. As for my obsession with creative writing, it is an unending quest and it will remain so. Besides, my own writings and self-editing techniques also help me gain a critical insight into all that which “my” authors” go through. Therein lies the beauty of what I have the opportunity to do; namely, living two loves all at once from my desk: my love for writing and my love for editing.