Interview with The Editor Afloat

Posted on September 17, 2013


Please meet the wonder Karen Olin, aka “The Editor Afloat”.  This wonderful lady did an amazing job editing Crashing Back Down! Please enjoy getting to know her! 🙂

How long have you been editing? It started in 4th grade, believe it or not! I got to help correct spelling
quizzes and essays for the 3rd graders. My mother was also a poet and I would proofread all of her work
before she printed them in her beautiful calligraphy.
Do you just edit novels? And if not, what other services do you offer? I edit everything from one-page
résumés to full-length novels. I do menus, web site content, newsletter articles, short stories, poetry,
and blog entries as well.
How does your pricing work? I charge per page on poems, résumés and web sites. The rest of it is
usually per word with a $10 minimum.
What are you currently working on? “Saving Cassie” by L A Remenicky
What inspired you to venture into the editing world? I feel I have a talent (or maybe it’s a curse!) for
spotting errors in script. I thought instead of letting it drive me crazy, I would put the ability to good
use to help others.
Do you have a specific writing style that you prefer to work with? Not really. Like the books I read, I
find fascinating subjects in many genres.
Are there any assignments you will not take, or any reason? I won’t work on anything I find hateful or
inciting or just plain disgusting and I don’t do fact-checking. If you want to write a novel based on
history, for example, that’s fine, just be sure you have your dates, events and names correct or at least in
a plausible frame. I don’t do legal or medical manuscripts either unless they are purely fictional and the
author is relatively certain they have enough of their facts correct to appeal to the readers who would
know about their subject matter. Sci-Fi is wide open. 🙂
What is your favorite genre to read for pleasure? I have a pretty eclectic collection of books in my
personal library: Biographies, westerns, romance, drama, mysteries, how-to books. I love anything with
What books have most influenced your life? The Bible absolutely and many biographies and histories I
have read have left a lasting impression on me.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”? I admire Tom Clancy’s ability to
write longer-than-average novels while keeping all his characters straight, the ‘intel’ believable, and still
have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next twist or turn.
What book are you reading now? I am re-reading Black Belt Patriotism by Chuck Norris. It’s a good
one to keep you fired up about things like the September 11 tragedy and I also love the work he does
with kids.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. There’s really not just one, I
have a wonderful group of friends who are always asking and encouraging me to keep up with my
creative works.
Do you see editing as a career or a hobby? And if editing is your hobby, what is your “day job”? I could
edit as a career. It’s such a challenge, some days my brain aches but it’s fun and rewarding at the same
time. I work a few hours each day at the barn where my horse lives, I work part-time at a local garden
nursery and I am taking classes to learn how to program apps for Android-based devices. If I had any
spare time, I think I’d sleep!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I mentioned Tom
Clancy already; there are so many I enjoy. James Herriot, John Grisham, Stephen Ambrose, Louis
L’Amour, Jane Feather, Lilian Jackson Braun, Dr. Laura Schlessinger – these are just some of the
authors I can see on my bookshelf at the moment. They each bring something to life in their chosen
What, do you find, is the hardest part of the editing process? Making sure that I have 100% focus on
my task at all times. Some days there are too many interruptions or distractions and I have to wait for a
quieter time to work.
Do you have any advice for new writers? I can think of so many cliché sayings but I guess if I had to
pick one it would be Walt Disney’s, “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue
them.” Nothing new but sometimes we need a reminder to keep on believing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to the audience? If you believe you have a talent for
writing or creating, you should try it. The whole publishing journey can be long, discouraging and
expensive but don’t give up; your book might just be the next best seller!
What character from your vast editing projects became your favorite and why? Not so much a character
at this time but a poem. When Jeff Weiner published his Poems of Life, he included a poem that he
wrote about my kitties who were traveling around the country with me at the time. I was very touched
and still grin ear-to-ear whenever I read it.

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