Guest Post by Jessa Russo

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Latest News |

Guest Post by Jessa Russo

Divide e-book coverHi, everyone! Today we have fabulous YA author Jessa Russo stopping by for the DIVIDE blog tour to talk about how being a copyeditor has informed her writing. Check it out:

Has being a content editor with a history in acquisitions changed you as a writer?

I was asked this question on Twitter recently, and thought it would be perfect for today’s blog stop. To give you a little background, I have been an editor for independent publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, for about two years now. Before that, I was in acquisitions for CQP, as well as tackling the occasional proofreading job, and before that even, I was published with CQP. I eventually republished the trilogy I had with CQP via self-publishing, and though I had my reasons for requesting out of that contract, we parted ways amicably, obviously, as I am still employed there and have many friends within the company in both employees and authors alike.

Anyway, more on topic, yes. The answer is absolutely yes.

I can say that editing has given me a tremendous advantage as far as my writing is concerned. Not necessarily an advantage over others, really, but more an advantage over who I am as a writer, helping me blossom into who I hope to become.

See, it is nearly impossible to see your own mistakes while reading your writing. Honestly, it’s remarkable just how tricky our mind can be, seeing a missing word because we know it should be there, but not because it actually is. Or skimming over a typo because our mind remembers what we meant to say, ignoring what was actually said.

You wouldn’t believe how often my mind wants to say “bare with me” instead of “bear with me” . . . Um.

That could be awkward.

I’ve sent emails with that in them, even though I know that’s incorrect. My mind is like, “Yeah! Let’s get NEKKID!”

*shakes head*

Anyway, the magic of editing is that the more we catch things in our peers’ work—whether in simply critiquing as many of us do, or in a day job as an editor—we become more likely to spot mistakes in our own projects. I can self-edit a hundred times more successfully now than I could when I began writing back in 2009, and I hope to say that has increased in a few years, as I aim to continually grow and hone my craft. That’s not to say I will ever be completely successful in self-editing, because I believe that’s an impossible thing to manage. For anyone—even the most gifted and experienced authors.

But I can at least clean my manuscript up for my critique partners and editors in such a way now that it blows doors off those first few books I wrote, and the painstakingly large amount of effort that went into critiquing/editing those monsters.

And, editing professionally has changed more than just my writing skills or my ability to self-edit; it’s given me glimpses into voice and world-building, and the beauty and uniqueness of each author’s style and flow in a way that just reading an already polished manuscript can’t. My approach to an editing job two years ago is so much different than how I approach a job now. I’m much more capable of seeking out an author’s distinct voice and helping to polish their voice, rather than accidentally trying to insert my voice into their manuscript.

That’s a really neat thing, and the part of the process I love the most: helping an author find their voice.

Thanks so much for joining us, Jessa! If you haven’t checked out Jessa latest YA release, DIVIDE, take a look at the blurb below:

From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.
After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.
As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 
Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 
Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her. 
Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Buy Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads

Jessa Russo’s Links:
Author Bio
Jessa Russo believes in fairytales, ghosts, anJake Ryan. She insists mimosas were created for Sundays, and that’s not up for discussion.  She’s obsessed with the great city of New Orleans—where she’s collected too many beads to count, eventually married her sweetheart, and visited graveyards they don’t include on maps.She’s loud, painfully honest, and passionate about living life to the fullest, because she’s seen how abruptly it can be taken away. What began as a desire for reading and writing young adult paranormal has bled into stories of all kinds. From fantasy to pre-dystopian to erotic contemporary, Jessa’s stories always include romance, though she’s given up on pigeonholing her work into a category or genre box.
Jessa was born and raised in Southern California, and remains there to this day with her husband (a classic car fanatic), their daughter (a Tim Burton superfan), and a Great Dane who thinks he’s the same size as his Chihuahua sister.