|Leslie L. McKee, Editor and Reviewer|
1 What is your name/business: Leslie L. McKee (NOTE: For my FB page and blog, I include: “Editor and Reviewer” after my name, but I edit under Leslie L. McKee)
When did you start editing professionally? I began editing and proofreading professionally in 2012 for a small e-book publishing house. Prior to that, I worked with an independent author. My work in the literary field, in general, began in 2005, which is when I started reviewing books for RT Bookreviews Magazine.
Why did you want to be an editor? In some ways, I fell into the field. Or, more appropriately, it was God-directed. I have always been a book lover. I began reading at an early age, and I haven’t stopped! Reviewing books fell into my lap in 2005. While reviewing one book for an indie author, I noticed a few major errors in the final copy I was reading. I pointed them out, and I was hired to edit the author’s next book. Prior to that, editing really hadn’t been on my radar. I attended a convention for RT Bookreviews Magazine, and I was able to meet and speak with editors and owners from various publishing houses. One of them decided to take a chance on me, and that was when my editing career began.
That was a blessing for sure, Leslie. What is your specialty/focus? While I have worked on some nonfiction books, my specialty is fiction. I work with all genres.
What’s your favorite part of this type of work? I’m very detail-oriented and I love to read, so I’m ecstatic that I found a career where I could put both to use! I enjoy providing quality services to help authors on their literary journey. I want to help them create books which will allow them to shine while spreading their message and creating books readers will love.
A fine goal for sure. What’s your biggest challenge? Learning to say no to some projects. I love what I do, and I want to help as many people as I can. However, I need to allow time in my schedule for other activities, as well.
What’s surprised you the most during your career? How detailed and extensive the publication process is, and the fact that errors always seem to sneak into the work.
Oh, those sneaky errors! What advice would you give a new editor? Never stop reading and learning. Budget your time wisely.
If you could do one thing differently in your career, what would it be? I’m not sure I would do anything differently. I believe everything happens for a reason. Certain circumstances occurred which allowed me to pursue editing. I’m not sure I would have been as prepared had things happened differently.
1 I agree everything happens for a reason. What’s your favorite kind of work? Why? I’m not sure that I have a favorite. I really enjoy the entire process of editing a book. As an editor and reviewer, I love being able to help get books out there so readers have a quality selection of books to choose from … books which will entertain, educate, and inspire them.
1 What is your workspace like? My office is in the corner of the music room in our house. I have an L-shaped desk, filled with books, projects, my laptop, and minions everywhere! There’s a sliding glass door to the left of my desk and a window to the right. I love spending time in this room, as I am able to enjoy nature while I work.
1 I like my window view of a mountain, so I do understand. What is your go-to snack when working? It varies. In the morning, I generally have a cup of tea or cocoa and either celery with peanut butter or cheese and crackers. In the afternoon, I usually have water and an apple or yogurt. I occasionally throw in some licorice or chocolate. Other than that, I don’t munch a lot while I’m working at my desk.
Hmmm, your food sounds good! What editing resource would you recommend? I’d recommend The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), particularly if you work with fiction. There is an online subscription available, which is much easier to use when traveling then the thick manual itself. If it is not possible for you to purchase this, I would recommend Polishing the PUGS by Kathy Ide, which focuses on the most commonly used CMOS rules.
If you could recommend one writing resource, what would it be? Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King. It’s a valuable resource for beginning and veteran authors.
What is your favorite Bible verse written out and include Bible version? "Do not anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Phil 4:6-7 (ESV)
1 A wonderful verse for sure. And what is your One Word for the Year? TRUST
1 What is your Verse for the Year? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
I love this verse, Leslie. Is there anything else you’d like to add? I am extremely blessed to be able to do what I love on a daily basis! Thank you for having me on your blog.
My blog: http://lmckeeediting.blogspot.com/
My website: http://lmckeeediting.wix.com/lmckeeediting
Thank you, Leslie, for being here today.
Until next time . . . let us read, write, edit, and grow in the craft of writing.