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Snipers, Ninja, and Yellow Snow

19 June 2012

Today I’m happy to welcome Rhonda Helms to the blog! Rhonda is my editor at Carina Press, a multi-published author, and a hell of a great person. She’s that person who makes me look like I can actually tell a cohesive story, and if you like any bit of the 47 Echo series, it’s due in no small part to her — in addition to being the series’ superstar editor, she’s also the first person at Carina Press who said, “yeah, let’s take a look at that.”

It’s a great interview, folks, as you’re about to find out:

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Shawn: Tell us your secret origin story. Who are you? Where do you come from?

Straight outta… Ohio?

Rhonda: I came from a cabbage patch. Hm–guess no one’s buying that. Actually, my folks moved around a lot so I’ve lived in a number of states. They all contributed to my crazy accent. lol. Right now, though, I call northeast Ohio home. πŸ˜€

Shawn: How’d you get to be an editor at Carina Press?

Rhonda: I worked my booty off! lol. I’ve done editing before (for Siren Publishing). When I saw the post looking for editors, I had a good feeling that was the place for me. It’s been awesome so far.

Shawn: Let’s get specific — what was your favorite part of editing SUPERCRITICAL? Your least favorite?

Rhonda: My favorite part had to be delving into the continuing adventures of Nick. He’s such a wise-ass. Love that guy and his friendship with Christopher. Least favorite…hmm, I’m not sure, actually. I hoped my feedback wasn’t too harsh for you, dude. I always worry about that with my authors. You seem to take my feedback very well, though. Thank you! πŸ˜€

Shawn: On a scale of 1 to Oh Good God Why?, how easy am I to work with as an author?

Rhonda: I’d say you’re a beer. Which is somewhere right below negative-12. πŸ˜€ You are seriously awesome to work with. Also, I may be drinking a beer as I answer these questions, so forgive me for any typos that slip through. haha

Shawn: What mistakes do you keep seeing all the time?

Rhonda: I don’t think the blog is big enough for me to post all of these, lol. I see a lot of punctuation errors (not a huge deal, to be honest, so long as it’s not INSANE and getting in the way of me enjoying the story). POV head-hopping, slow openers, info dump. I see TONS of that. Characters acting oddly or not being strongly written.

Shawn: What’s the oddest mistake you’ve seen repeated?

Rhonda: This is a faboo question. Um, I see lots of wandering body parts. E.g., his eyes jumped to her. As we all know, eyes can’t REALLY jump. Our copy editors are especially diligent in calling us out when these slip by, lol. So I have to stay on it and hound my authors to fix ’em.

Shawn: Do you think being a multi-published author yourself helps you as an editor, or does it make the job tougher?

Rhonda: I think it’s helped a LOT. I understand what authors go through and try to keep mine in the loop…transparency is important. The only way it’s made it tougher is when it comes to rejections. *sigh* I know how hard they are. I also know that just because I reject something doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It just means it’s not right for me. I’ve seen stories I’ve rejected get picked up elsewhere and go on to do fabulously. It makes me happy that author didn’t give up!

Shawn: Oh, no. As it always seems to around Question 8, the world has ended in a flash of nuclear fire. Details are sketchy about what caused the apocalypse, but I suspect Oprah announcing the return of the book club was just too much for someone. In any event, the world is now a vast, anarchist wasteland that inexplicably looks exactly like the Australian documentary The Road Warrior. How do you plan to survive this hockey-masked, mohawked, dune-buggied landscape? What items do you seek out, and who do you team up with?

Rhonda: Well, I for one am sad to see the world went to crap. I plan to find Chuck Norris and beg to hold his water. I’m pretty sure he’ll survive. If for some reason he’s kicked the bucket though, I will be the chick with the sniper rifle hiding in a corner, just picking mean people off one by one. Yes, I’m that person everyone hates in the 1st person shooter online games. hah

Shawn: What’s your favorite type of story to read? To edit?

Rhonda: Favorite to read? I devour romance, stories with lots of strong plots, horror…the list goes on. I love lots of stuff and read all over the place. Coincidentally enough, same for my editing.

Shawn: What’s the holy grail — the story you’ve been looking for but you haven’t seen yet?

Rhonda: I want a ninja romance. No kidding you. I’ve been dying for one since I started. *SIIIIGH* I have a mild obsession with ninja and with samurai. I want a Japanese historical. Or hell, even a contemporary with a kick-ass ninja who falls in love.

Shawn: Anything you want to add?

Rhonda: Beer 1 plus Beer 2 = happy Rhonda? That’s my kinda math. Oh, you mean to the convo. Um, don’t eat yellow snow. πŸ˜€

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