Our theme for this week is what are the first three questions we would ask our favorite author if we were able to meet with them. My all-time favorite author is Jane Austen and I would have a very different set of questions for her than for my favorite contemporary authors. The first one for her would be: How in the world do you revise with pen and ink and handwritten manuscripts. I handwrite a lot of my first drafts, but I can also print them out and make revisions, a much easier process.
If I were to meet one of my favorite contemporary authors, my questions would center on their editing processes. (Assuming I would be able to do more than stare at them in awe.) I am in the middle of the editing process with two different manuscripts with two publishing houses. They have completely different editing styles. Because of the style of one house, I have hit the ‘I hate this manuscript and never want to see it again’ stage much earlier in the process. (Working on that manuscript is why this post is going up so late.) I would ask the author if they ever hated a book and how they continued to work on it during that process. My next question would be related to marketing of the same book if it had been radically altered from their original tone and style.
My questions might be different at another point in this process, but those are the writer/mentor questions I’m struggling with now.