Interview with Rae of A New Look On Books


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Hello! Hi! Welcome! It is lovely to be speaking with not only a fellow editor but also a fellow librarian, I swear we need to form a league of some fantastical description. For those readers who may not have explored your website before, could you give us a little overview of who you are, what you do and why you do it?

First off, I think you should get started forming that league because I would totally join!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Rae – my incognito name that has stuck since I began my bookish journey.

I’m a book loving, fangirl that started blogging three years ago and recently launched my own freelance editing business. My TBR is too long, there are too many stories in my head begging to be written, and on a daily basis, I obsess over creating the perfect #bookstagram photo.

I do what I do because work is supposed to be enjoyable, work should not be work. After exploring a number of side careers this past year, I finally found me and that me is covered in books. I love to read and want to help readers find a story they can lose themselves in while I help writers create their stories to come to life on the page.

Your book-loving origins are clear, but what about the editing side? When did you realize you wanted to not only be a writer, but also an editor?

For the longest time I wanted to be just a writer. It was only after reconnecting with an old elementary principle, who might I add is a writer and owns his own publishing company, that I found my niche for editing. While I struggle to share my own work and accept critique, I found my editorial voice in every university workshop I attend and through various internships and volunteering experiences I explored. I decided I wanted to be an editor after I edited my first fiction piece, a test to see where my skills were at, and my editing journey began.

What are the biggest pros and cons to being an editor, especially one who offers freelance packages?

The pros of being an editor are in the experiences I’ve gained and the people I met along the way. Each signing, meeting, and festival I attend brings me so much closer to the people I meet online and into a community I feel I belong to.

The only con so far, once I continue to battle with, is facing the imposter and worrying that I don’t have enough experience to make it.

Have you ever been hired to edit a book you didn’t like? If so, how do you divide your emotional response from your professional one?

I have faced different manuscripts both editing and for reviewing that I struggled to read. I strive in separating my own personal feelings in order to find the story while sustaining the author’s voice and overall goals for the story. While I make sure I do comment on any issues I see, whether it is structural or character based, in the end I always finish a piece and make sure I do the best that I can.

On your website I see you offer guest spots, why do you think it is important to share space in this way?

I love reading other bookish interviews and posts and make it a point to share anything of interest on my media sites. From there I wanted to give authors and others in the book community an opportunity to share their stories, their books, and their thoughts with my followers as well.

Collab work is something I’m always interested in and love when someone reacts out with an idea.

As we both run small independent businesses, I’m interested to know how you balance your work with your job and personal life? Do you have a routine or process you follow that helps keep things in check?

What personal life? Ha! Kidding… sort of. Prior to my accident, I often noticed I lived and breathed my business and struggled with trying to find out how to manage it all. Now, however, I’m working on a better balance to juggle my part-time job at the library with my personal life and business responsibilities in the forms of post-it note lists and a big calendar. I should probably own stock in post-it notes at this point. 😊

What are you reading now and if you had to pick three favourite books, what would they be and why?

I’m currently reading and working on a review for A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan. All I can really say for this book is… yasssss! Stay tuned for the review that will be posted at the end of the month.

Next up on my TBR list is Keeper of Bees by Meg Kassel – which is for another blog tour review in September. I enjoyed and am looking forward to returning to Kassel’s world.

Asking a book lover to pick their favourite book(s) is like sentencing them to book prison. I’ll try to stop myself at four without feeling like I cheated on my favorite characters and book boyfriends. Phew, here we go.

Book one is actually a series, am I cheating?, called The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I continue to enjoy the twists of the TOG world and am anxiously awaiting the release of the final book, Kingdom of Ash, in October. Kickass heroines, angst-y males, and strong plots for the win!

Book two is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo… bring on the originality, grey areas of the various main characters, and full-blown angst! If I could just find a Kaz in real life. Hmm…

Book three is an adult fiction book called A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I found this series by mistake years ago and continue to reread it whenever I need an uplift. I adore the characters and cannot get enough of the world Harkness created.

Finally is a newer debut I connected with last year called To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I get a Little Mermaid retelling with a twist and nearly cried at its beauty. I NEED more.

Okay… reining in the fangirl to continue with this interview. Please ignore the squealing and mumbling that may slip through.

Is there a book out in the world that you wish you could take the editing hatchet to?

I’m sorry in advance, but my answer is Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. In fact, I’d take a go at the entire series. I just… remember reading it and wondering why. My best friend is probably rolling her eyes right now because she adored the series. Anyway, I didn’t have a lot of problems with it until the last book and the fight scene that I never got but desperately wanted. That being said, I started writing after reading so that’s something.

What do you feel is the most important thing about working in the predominantly online literary community?

Honestly for me it’s screen time and managing my online presence. Going for hours and just staring at a screen really strains my eyes and stresses me out. Constantly watching my follower counts and likes is nerve-wracking! Am I posting enough? Too much? Do people like what they see when they read my reviews, posts, etc.?

While I adore the people I meet, the chats I participate in, and the books I come across, I have accepted the need to limit my screen time and take value in what I create to share with my followers because I can only do so much. Some posts are a hit and miss and that’s okay. I share what I love and do the best I can. Who I am online is only a reflection of who I am as real person.

Then off the screen, I appreciate handwriting notes and plotting the many things I want to get involved with both online and offline.

Don’t get me wrong though those Twitter scrolling binges are epic!

Do you find because you are an editor, that you are harsher on yourself as a writer?

YES! I even find that I have a hard time now turning off the ‘editor’ when I’m trying to read for pleasure. The struggle is SO real. #editorprobs

I’m actually afraid to start writing again, something I plan to do soon, because of being too hard on myself. Any tips are appreciated!

What is your ideal writing space? And does it differ from your editing space?

In terms of a literal, physical space, both of my spaces are combined right now into my current office space… which consists of fanart, quotes, a calendar, and a white board full of notes and other rambling nonsense. The inspiration and semi-clutter oddly reflect me as a person and works for right now.

Finally, is there anything you think we need to see more of in the literary world?

I feel like my answer to this is pending, due to the fact that there are so many interesting books being released this year and in 2019. I have a secret list of demands, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store and how many more books I’ll be adding to my TBR list.

Thank you so much for having me! It was a blast answering these questions. 😊