Alison Dasho – Carina Press
Our guest of honor is Alison Dasho. It’s so nice to have you here! Hope you’re ready to party!
Boo! Trick or Treat?
What costume are you wearing?
What age did you Trick-or-Treat to and what candy was it that motivated you?
I Trick-or-Treated from about age 4 to around 14, I think. My favorite candy of all time is Spree (not the chewy kind, gross), and I also love Sour Patch Kids, too.
How do you feel about “fun-sized?”
I’ll take all sizes, thank you!
Wait! You can’t come in yet! Tell us about who you represent/edit?
I’m lucky to have really outstanding authors with Carina Press: J.L. Hilton, Veronica Scott, R.L. Naquin, Michelle Garren Flye, Annie Nicholas, Diane Dooley, Darcy Daniel, Marie Force, Shawna Thomas (who I got to borrow from her regular editor for one book), and I have two authors who will have series with Carina in the next year, Lorenda Christensen and Jael Wye.
My authors write everything from sci fi to sci fi romance to romantic suspense to contemporary small town set romance all the way to epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal historical Egyptian romance.
What is your favorite Holiday and why? Have you edited any books about that Holiday?
Thanksgiving, probably, because I get to hang out with my sisters and eat all day long! We have a very rigid set of food traditions for Thanksgiving, starting with a spread that must include Swedish meatballs during the Macy’s parade and ending with delicious pumpkin pie after dinner. For most of the day, we can’t stop laughing (I have two of the funniest sisters on the planet), and we start dinner off by talking about what we’re thankful for. We end dinner with a discussion about what the year’s Christmas tree theme will be—Mom has so many ornaments that we have to stick to a theme so the tree doesn’t get overloaded. We’ve done silver & gold, rainbow, toys, movies (complete with film strip garland), fruits & nuts, birds, etc, etc, etc. The Thanksgiving vote can be contentious, complete with lobbying and attempted vote rigging. It’s a blast.
And now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever edited a Thanksgiving-set book. Authors, that’s a hole in my list!
How much do you read/edit at night? Do you have any creepy rituals?
I actually try hard to not edit too late at night—if I’m on a deadline and I’m behind, I’ll edit as long as it takes, but I prefer to edit while the sun is up. So my typical day is coffee/RSS feed reading in the morning, sending out emails, editing (either dev or line, depending on the project), editing, and more editing. Once dinnertime rolls around, I like to put headphones in and listen to submissions while I’m cooking. I know if a story can hold my attention while I’m chopping onions, it’s worth a closer look.
I also make it a point to read for fun just before bed—it can feel really indulgent, and I sometimes feel guilty about reading for fun on weekends, but there are so many books I want to read and I can’t work all the time. Lately I’ve been relaxing with a thriller just before bed (The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover), and before that I finally read Life of Pi.
What is your favorite “monster” and do you like monsters to be heroes or villains?
Hm, favorite monster. Grendel, I think. Though I have a very special place in my heart for Maurice, the closet monster from R.L. Naquin’s series. He’s such a caring guy, and I would love it if I could try one of his amazing muffins some day.
Alright, I guess you can come in.
What do you like doing besides editing? Is it dangerous?
Knitting! And learning to cook. And watching episodes of ST:TNG (and DS9 and Voyager and even Enterprise) with my husband. None of those seem particularly dangerous—though knitting needles are pointy. And I used to play roller derby, that could be a bit bruising. ( www.madrollindolls.com )
How would you describe your editing style?
Questions—I ask lots and lots of questions. I come from a theater background (that was my major), and so character motivation is a huge factor for me. If I don’t understand why a heroine does something, I’ll ask why. So I guess authors might think my editing style is a lot like life with a four-year-old. “Why?”
I also love making story maps—scene-by-scene breakdowns of the main actions, revelations, obstacles, and tactics. And I sometimes nerdily color-code them.
I’m also a firm believer in the editing process being collaborative. So I may suggest some ways to answer the questions I pose. (“Why did the heroine leave the house without her keys?” Maybe she got interrupted while she was packing by a phone call, and so her normal routine was derailed…) But I never expect that authors will take my suggestions and run with them—I see my developmental edit letter as the start of a conversation, where I say “This isn’t working, here are some ways to maybe address that,” and the author says, “Okay, I hear that it’s not working, how about this solution instead?” and we go back and forth like that until the book is even more amazing than it already was!
What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Growing up, I had a huge, huge crush on Matthew Broderick—and I still do. And I got to meet him! ( http://heydeadguy.typepad.com/heydeadguy/2010/02/the-truth-is-out-there.html )
Tell us about one of your favorite characters from your author’s books.
Belloc: A sensitive, kind, devoted man who is a talented musician and who loves to play Mysteria, a MMORPG run on the Asteria servers. Also he’s an alien—and he’s a deep, gorgeous, sapphire blue. Oh, and he’s royalty.
How much do you edit in a day? Day or Night? Everyday?
This varies, depending on the project. Some days I’ll read a whole manuscript and take developmental notes, then spend four or five days wrestling those notes into a readable letter. Other days, if I’m line editing, I’ll only make it through 20-40 pages. Though if the line edits are light, I can get through 150-200 in a day. It’s all dependent upon what the manuscript needs!
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers who want to submit?
Make sure the manuscript is as good as you can possibly make it before you submit. Remember that editors are people, too, and please resist the urge to be rude if we send you a rejection.
Also, read. Read everything, read often, and read both to analyze the work of others and to be entertained.
Last question: Where can our partygoers find you and your work?
Website: www.alisonedits.com (though a partial list of books I’ve edited can be found on goodreads, here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3141359-alison-dasho-janssen?utf8=%E2%9C%93&utf8=%E2%9C%93&shelf=edited&sort=date_added&order=d
Company Preferred Buylink: http://ebooks.carinapress.com/E622AF87-C98D-4A03-B546-07536E506024/10/134/en/Default.htm
Thank you so much for coming! (Please post giveaway and prize here if available.)
I’ll treat two commenters to a copy of J.L. Hilton’s new release, STELLARNET PRINCE, as well as a copy of the first book in the series, STELLARNET REBEL