Honorary Chick Corinne DeMaagd

corinneI am privileged and honored to introduce today’s Honorary Chick–Corinne DeMaagd. She happens to be one of my favorite people in the world as well as a freaking fantastic editor. I’m not the only one who has publicly stated how much her ninja editing skills have honed my writing craft. As editor for Lyrical Press/Kensington, we have worked together on four projects, and each time I’ve learned something new to add to my repertoire of “do’s and don’ts.” However, she’s not simply my editor, but also my friend (and even my counselor a time or two). I can’t say enough about this amazing lady. Without further ado, here’s a seriously kickass chick–Corinne DeMaagd…

Tell us a little about yourself and why/how you took the path of editor.

Academically, I have a BA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. Oh, it’s a hot spot for creatives all right. Ha! Not really, I just went where a friend did. I sucked back then. I should have reached higher. I made up for it with a MPHIL (UK equivalent of an MFA) in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling in Scotland. Between then and now I held down loads of different jobs in the publishing industry from DTP to editing to project management. Then I started having kids and stepped out of the office. I was doing some freelance editing in Australia (where I lived) and the author I was working with challenged me to write a book, too. I met her challenge and got my story published with Lyrical, a small press at the time. While in the author loop, I noticed they were looking for editors, so I took their editing test and voila! I was on board. My learning curve in those first years was higher than high but I had, and still have, some awesome supportive colleagues. Now, I have a great roster of authors. They are my joy. Honestly. Between them and the indie authors I work with, I am more than busy.

What are the top three mistakes authors make in writing and submitting their work?

  1. Follow the submission guidelines. Or if a direct sub call, whatever the editor requests. Often, in Submittable, we get subs without a synopsis, or manuscripts under or over the acceptable word count. Cover letters and manuscripts missing author information. If you follow the directions, this immediately shows you are professional and courteous. If you can’t take the time to read, understand, and follow our submission guidelines, than there is a good chance you’re not an author we want to work with.
  2. So that’s the first step above. That will get you in and an editor reading your work. The next stopper is poor craft and construction. Take classes, work with writing groups and critique partners, and practice! Don’t send in your first draft. Work hard, clean it up, be proud of what you send us!
  3. If one editor declines, don’t try to send to another editor of the same press/publisher. That’s sneaky and dodgy. Yes, editors all have different preferences, and we may even shift a book over to another editor if we think it might suit them better, but if not, take the rejection with dignity and move ahead. Something is a better fit for you out there.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Things: My boys, my books, my very big glass of wine. Springtime in Michigan. Hallelujah!

Pet Peeves: People who are late. I’m a working mother with two boys, chaos everywhere, and I can still make things on time.

Addictions: Many. I have that type of personality. Which is a bugger, really.

Kick Ass Superpower: Uhh… I wouldn’t say commas. LOL I’m always asking Miss Penny for advice. Commas are fickle creatures. Perhaps my superpower is I can edit in insane conditions. I work from home so no screaming, fighting, tantrums, cartoons, telly noise, snack demands, kids crawling on lap, nappie changes, dog barking, vomiting or otherwise can distract me from your words.

Your best book boyfriend: Argh, this one is way too hard. I’ve read too many good books and have found way too many sexy heroes, many of them in the books of my authors.

  • For the night: Jack Reacher (but not after the Tom Cruise portrayal. I was absolutely in lust with the man until the movie came out)
  • For a dirty weekend: Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables? LMAO. Hey, he might have it in him.
  • To have and to hold: Mr. Darcy, of course.

18 thoughts on “Honorary Chick Corinne DeMaagd

  1. No wonder you’re so freaking amazing! I loved learned about your background. And I SO agree with your “to have and to hold. ” Darcy…*swoony sigh.* Thank you for sharing and being with us today, Corinne. 🙂

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  2. Thanks so much for having me Miss Juliette! And for such lovely words. I adore you as much. For your followers, I’d be happy to take any queries from them today. Whether questions about the industry or their own books. I might even want them to send on to me for a read! 🙂
    If they want to see more of me (who wouldn’t? lol) they can check out my projects at http://www.cmdediting.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI,
    Thanks for stopping by. I have a few questions. How old were you when you realized you were awesome? 😉
    Also, what is your favorite part of editing? The finished product, breaking down a new book to put it back together, or being a first reader?
    And
    Does editing affect how your work or write as an author? Do you have to switch off your internal editor to be creative?
    Have a great Thursday and rest of the week and weekend:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL. Kristi, um…I’m still waiting for that day? I’m less than awesome right now as my 3-year old not so patiently waits to go on his bike ride to the park. The swings are calling!
    My favorite part of editing is seeing it all come together. There is nothing so satisfying as seeing a book evolve to the shining beauty it is before it goes out the door.
    And yes, my editing is the bane of my writing. But at the same time, my writing is better for it too. Okay, that seems contradictory so let me break it down. I’ve learned loads from editing and from all my authors. Seriously. But I can’t write fast. And I lose a bit of fluidity because I can’t turn off my editor brain. Sometimes I’ll rewrite a sentence three times before it sounds perfect to me. And then my own editor asks me to change. LOL Ha! So I’m training myself to let go for the first drafts. And then I dig in after that. But still, a writer can’t see what an editor does. I can honestly say my own editor is awesome. (as my little one sings the Awesome song from the Lego movie. Damn cute)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Having any superpower would be amazing, but yours sounds like something that should be bottled and sold! Having the ability to focus like that would be priceless. I totally need that! But seriously, as an editor you’re the best. I’ve really enjoyed working with you and now that I know about that superpower, I’m hoping some of it will rub off on me. :~)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the great interview! I’ve heard such wonderful things about your editing instincts and gifted insights for revision. My question is, what are your top must haves when considering a new manuscript? Another thanks for the heads up on the non-Tom Cruise Jack Reacher, I need to check that out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie! I loved Jack Reacher in the Lee Child books, he’s the gigantic burly man that can do about anything. But he’s got his faults, too. BUT, when Tom Cruise played him in the movie, I was a bit bummed. He just didn’t do it for me and I heard they had to raise Tommy up all the time for the film so it looked like he was taller than everyone else (Reacher in the books is 6’4).
      As for manuscripts, I definitely look at flow of text that the author knows how to manipulate words and sentence structure to a point. But the biggest grabber for me is that the story is somehow a bit different. Even an old trope with a delightful new twist. Or different settings, an original concept, or a strong voice that drives the story.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Jennifer! The million dollar question, which all publishers seem to struggle with. I enjoy all genres, although Kensington is mostly acquiring thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, and mysteries right now (both romance and non-romance). BUT, I still forge ahead and other genres get through, too. NA, YA, historical and contemporary for sure. Trends are so unpredictable, and even then, often don’t come to fruition. I always tell writers to write what they enjoy because that passion will most certainly transfer to the page. But if you pursue a genre that is trending, for example, to try to keep up, to get published, then it reflects in your writing. There are always houses out there that will acquire books that aren’t “trending” — and wait a beat, and they will be again. I have an author that is a bestseller at the moment with her shifter stories, and according to the big houses, that is so yesterday. Apparently not. I was surprised when Kensington made a call for horror, something I wouldn’t have expected but if you look at your local video store, you’ll see how popular it is. I personally think high fantasy will have a comeback, but fantasy readers are always there – fantasy is more of a long-haul investment (it doesn’t really go in or out). I called sports romance and NA, so let’s see if I am right with this one. (watch me flop LOL)

      Liked by 4 people

        • Then you should follow that muse. If it calls to you, there is a reason. Especially if you enjoy what you do, which is very important. If writing is a chore, if it feels more like work than creating, then perhaps take a step back. Doesn’t mean writing a good story isn’t hard work, and like anything, there is natural ability and there is practice needed, but if it’s an outlet for you to express yourself, then definitely stick with the fun, and ya never know. I saw a YouTube video today that had loads of hits about proof of an alien. People are fascinated.And I’m aging myself here, but remember V from the 80s? HUGE.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. Great advice Corinne. I think you’re right about Gilbert, hidden depths and all that. I think we might get tossed out of Canada for even suggesting such a thing, but you’ve got me thinking now! I’m guessing your Miss Penny is the same Miss Penny as mine—Comma Guru and Wrangler of Unruly Writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. Anne of Green Gables is still one of my favorites! Ach sure, Gilbert could heat it up under the sheets (or above or without) And yes, my Miss Penny is your Penny Barber. She is a guru to all, just not to authors.She is a wise woman, and I have so much regard for her. I started calling her Miss Penny (Like Miss Moneypenny from 007) my first day on board with Lyrical and it stuck. I remember reading your historical submission, Sweet Bea, and loved it. Both Penny and I requested, but you are very lucky you got her!

      Liked by 3 people

      • So funny, I sometimes call her Miss P, and she’s been a great teacher, and a cool voice of reason in this crazy publishing journey. You just made my day with your Sweet Bea comment, thank you

        Liked by 1 person

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