Today, I so pleased to welcome A.J. Granger to the blog to tell us about what it was like going from being a book editor to being a book author. Over to Annalie:
From editor to author: Things I thought I knew but really didn’t
A. J. Grainger, children’s books editor and the author of Captive, on the ten things she thought she knew about writing and publishing because she was an editor but now she is an author has discovered she really didn’t…
1. Being an author makes you paranoid. Having someone read your book feels a little like standing on a stage, in front of a room full of people who are all staring at you. Oh, and you’re naked.
2. Edits can be annoying, even when you know the editor is right (especially when you know the editor is right).
3. Writing is hard work. It involves many long hours on your own desperately willing your brain to come up with a plot point, convincing character, or even just the right word.
4. Getting to know other authors is vital. Everyone needs a support network. It doesn’t matter how supportive your partner/best friend is; chances are they won’t want to hear about your plot woes over dinner every single night. Other authors love talking about plotting, characters and setting. Plus, they can give you great advice on what to expect at events, on publication day etc. As an editor, I thought already knew all of this. I really didn’t − and my author friends have been brilliantly supportive and encouraging.
5. Having a good agent is equally vital. You want someone you get on with, who understands you and is willing to champion you and your writing.
6. The book jacket is important. Imagine someone wrapping your baby − your precious − in a lime-green tracksuit with orange tassels! Ugh. Yuck! No way! Take. It. Off. This. Instant.
7. Twitter and Facebook are brilliant. Suddenly you have all your friends in your study with you, offering advice or just making you laugh.
8. Twitter and Facebook are terrible. Suddenly you have all your friends in your study with you, offering you advice or just making you laugh … and, oops, you’ve just lost an hour’s writing time.
9. Nothing beats seeing your name on the cover for the first time except …
10. … Holding the book with your name on the cover for the first time.
A. J. Grainger lives in London, where she works as a children’s books editor. She feels incredibly lucky to be able to do two jobs that mean she gets to talk about books all day. Captive, A. J.’s first novel, was named ‘One to Watch’ by The Bookseller. She is currently working on a second book and learning even more things she thought she knew and didn’t about being a writer. Find out more about A. J. and her writing on Twitter (@_AJGrainger) and Facebook or by visiting her website, www.ajgrainger.com.
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