We’re introducing you to people who are part of the Betterwrite world.

Janie, what’s your connection with Betterwrite?
I’m an Associate Editor with the Betterwrite team and recently copy-edited In the Face of Adversity by Martin Perks, a compelling novel depicting the tragedies and downfall of his main character, Billy.

Tell us about your work.
I copy-edit indie fiction and academic books, two very different aspects of copy-editing, but equally rewarding. I’ve just completed Geographies of Postsecularity for a multi-author academic team (and, yes, I had to google the meaning when I was first approached to take on the work).
I’m also an indie author. My first novel, The Widow’s Tale, is set in fourteenth-century Yorkshire and portrays the protagonist’s descent into madness as she confronts blocked memories of her sister’s mysterious death.

What work are you doing at the moment?
A novel entitled The Disappeared which is set in the present day. Eva Turner is on the run. She has left the devastating events of her life in London behind, but someone is coming after her. And someone from the long-distant past is following in their footsteps.

What do you like about your work?
I enjoy working in collaboration with other team members at Betterwrite to enable indie authors to realise the potential of their work. It’s like taking a rough diamond, cutting, shaping and polishing it to make it sparkle. I love words and how they all fit together to create a story.

What don’t you like?
Never having enough time.

Have you got a personal bugbear?

What has pleased you in your work?
Positive feedback from authors, managing editors, colleagues and readers.

What doesn’t please you?
My occasional air-headedness.

What amuses you?
My occasional air-headedness. I’ve always been able to laugh at myself, and if you can’t acknowledge your own mistakes, you’re not going to learn from them.

Whose writing do you enjoy?
Hilary Mantel. Ruth Rendell. Minette Walters. Sarah Waters. Stephen King. I could go on!

Favourite title?
This is a difficult one. It’s often the book I’ve just read or listened to on Audible –The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye – especially when it lives on in my mind long after I’ve finished it.

What do you like about this author’s writing?
She paints the landscape, colours and people of India. And it’s a fabulous story.

Give us a quote.
‘I really do literally put myself into a character’s shoes’ (Ruth Rendell).

What’s your favourite word in English?
Dork. (Actually, I think it’s American.)

Any other quotes that are special to you?
‘Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy’ (Saadi, thirteenth-century Persian Sufi poet).

Favourite saying?
Tell it like it is.

Apart from your work, what plans or ambitions have you got?
To live a long and fruitful life (sounding like a Miss World contestant now).

How will you do that?
By living life to the full.

What have you learned about life?
At times it is not easy, but everything passes.

What have you learned about people?
To accept them for who they are.

Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I was a wild child.

Finish with a story, true or false, with beginning, middle and end, up to 30, 60 or 120 words.

There once was a five-year-old girl who was a bit naughty. If she was told to do something, she did the opposite. One day she and her sisters went to the big country show with her grandparents. And she got lost among the crowds because she was being naughty.

A policeman asked her if she was who she was, and she shook her head because she was terrified of his pointy hat. Then she heard a voice from the sky talking about her and she thought it was God and that she was dead. When the showground was emptying at the end of the day, she was found.

And she blocked that day from her memory for thirty years. (119)

Posted in EDITOR'S Q & A.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *