We recently had fellow publisher and editor Weasel of Weasel Press (weaselpress.com) interview our own editor Hypetaph to help introduce some of our staff to you! Enjoy below.
Weasel: Alright so, to start off, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for THP!
Hype: Well, I'm Hypetaph! I'm one of the head editors for Thurston Howl Publications, so I get to read great books and help the author refine anything as needed: inconsistencies, chances to develop, et cetera. Help writers make the most of their stories!
Weasel: That's great! Writers always need an editor to kick their ass and help make the best of their work. What got you interested in editing? How did you become a member of the Thurston Howl team?
Hype: Well, I've always been particularly critical, as silly as that seems. Any time I read a book, odds are I'll find an issue with it, Howl will vouch for that. Howl and I met each other by total accident actually: we both happened to be working with the same professor, who then introduced us. After that, I submitted a piece to Furries Among Us, and Howl and I ran through the editing process together. I guess if I had to put an exact time on when I decided I wanted to be an editor, it would be then: going through the steps and back-and-forthing on what did work, didn't work—I felt like helping writers understand why things needed to be changed instead of JUST criticizing them was something I could genuinely find myself enjoying, and I do. Once I graduated, I immediately applied as an editor, and boom—here I am.
Weasel: What's your process when you edit? Do you print out the material and mark it up like a grade school teacher? or post tons of comments through Word?
Hype: I wish! If only I had the paper and ink for that. I use Google Docs, honestly. Questions, criticisms, and compliments everywhere. I particularly like Docs because I can just pull up Hangouts and the author and I can discuss concerns as they appear, instead of the "2 to 5 business day" formality of emails. Makes the entire process much more friendly and enjoyable.
Weasel: Sounds like an easy system. I'm sure the authors are happier to handle the work that way rather than waiting for an email to trickle in. What project have you enjoyed working on the most?
Hype: Oh, gosh, that's not a fair question! Every project has positives and negatives I suppose, but if I had to choose a favorite it would be my most recent: a novel titled Skeleton Crew. The author was more than friendly, and very understanding when it came to revision. His book was exceptional too, and it's always easiest to work on a book that you like. Not sure what else to say for this one; I've enjoyed every project of mine so far!
Weasel: What's your approach when discussing edits with an author?
Hype: Hmm. Very casual. Most of the time I'll highlight a section and ask a question. That lets me know if it's that scene that needs to be changed, if some context needs to be added elsewhere, et cetera. Asking questions encourages the author to talk out what may not have been properly communicated in the text, which makes revising it much easier.
Weasel: Sounds like you have a good system to make the best product! What advice would you give beginning authors?
Hype: Well, a good standard piece of advice: read. Read, read, read. Beyond that, don't be afraid of criticism. Friends, editors, beta-readers—they are aaaaall there to help you. Better to have a book criticized while you can still edit it rather than after it's been published.
Weasel: We could all read a bit more. What types of works do you like reading most? What are your top 3 favorite books you've read?
Hype: Fantasy anything, but especially if it has flare of political underhandedness. Those subtle motivations pushing characters always excite me because they force them to make choices that aren't always easy. Hmm...top three books. Ooh, that's tough!
1) Edge Chronicles, book six: Vox.
The Edge Chronicles was for me what Harry Potter was to many others. My first REAL burst in an enthusiasm for reading. Of the books, choosing between the third, fourth, and sixth was hard as a favorite, but Vox was just mindblowing as an adolescent reader. If it's allowed, I'd put all three in this spot, ha.
2) Peyton Place.
This book does small-town drama in all the right ways, with characters you love, hate, empathize with, and everything between.
3) The Poisonwood Bible.
Despite its faults, this book truly inspired my decision to pursue English in college. It is well-written and engaging, unique in narration, and generally remembered as enjoyable for high school me to have had the pleasure of analyzing.
Weasel: They seem like fun reads. I'll have to check them out when I can. I want to thank you for taking part in this interview. It's been a pleasure chatting, and a pleasure to meet you!
Hype: Ahhh no, thank you—the pleasure is mine!
And from Howl here, thanks to Weasel for agreeing to conduct this interview. And thanks to Hype for sharing with all of our readers!