Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today I’m welcoming Elizabeth Hyder to the blog. She has served as editor for Storm Moon Press’ latest anthology, Weight of a Gun. She’s going to answer some questions so that we can learn more about this book. Sit back and enjoy!
Barb – Describe what an editor’s role is when it comes to an anthology like Weight of a Gun.
Elizabeth – I’m not sure how many other editors feel like this, but every time there was a submission in my inbox it felt like a special present that someone had made just for me. It was like Christmas in summer! We got a lot of submissions, good submissions, for the anthology; reading them wasn’t tedious for me. Looking back on it, that was the easy part: reading the stories and then choosing which ones were appropriate for the anthology.
The hard part was editing. I’d never edited fiction before in a professional context, and I tended to be pretty hands-off when I’d done beta reading for people. Editing that first story was insanely nerve-wrecking. I actually edited the first one and then waited to hear back from Storm Moon Press before I did more! The most difficult part with the edits was tightening up the writing without changing the author’s voice. In the end, I learned that editing is a mixed bag of easy parts and hard parts, with the overall experience somewhere in the middle.
The best part was getting the submissions, though. I still go back and read some of the ones that didn’t end up being appropriate for the anthology. They really were good stories; how could I not love them?
Barb – Do you typically edit a book more than once, and can you explain why?
Elizabeth – I always edit more than once. Having come from a family full of professional writers, I learned when I was young that editing is essential to ensure quality and to make sure that what gets printed is the best that it can be. I always go through a piece twice, because of this, usually at least a few days (or weeks, if I can get it) between the revisions so I can forget things a little before I look at them again.
I really can’t imagine just going over something once and calling it ready to be put out there for a large audience. There are times when I get absolutely sick of looking at a piece and have to put it away for a while, but that’s why I attempt to do things ahead of time: so I have a buffer for when the shit hits the fan.
Having someone else, a second pair of eyes, look over a piece is always something I try to do, too, because I know I am never going to be able to catch all the mistakes. Redundancy and editing go hand in hand for me.
Barb – Do you prefer editing or writing? Or are they equally enjoyable?
Elizabeth – It depends on what I’ve been doing a lot of at the time. The more I edit, the more I want to write; the more I write, the more I want to edit. So pretty much I want to be doing whatever I’m not doing! I enjoy both equally, though.
Barb – Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing/editing history.
Elizabeth – Like most writers, I’ve been writing since forever. My first big “oh, goodness, I can write sex” thing came when I discovered fanfiction. But writing fanfiction always felt like being stuffed in a box, for me, though I met and befriended many wonderful, inspiring people through fandom communities. It was those people who really taught me the finer points of fiction writing—including offering up criticisms for my own writing, which was and is by no means perfect—and I’m still friends with a lot of them, still trying to learn and grow alongside them.
My first major editing experience happened when I got involved with three other writers and we formed a cadre of sorts; I edited their fiction and they edited mine. We pointed out each other’s strengths and made suggestions for improving our weaknesses. I learned a lot from those three, but the most important lesson was that deadlines are important for productivity.
Editing fiction in a professional context started when Storm Moon Press mentioned that they would be willing to hear pitches for anthology ideas and I realized that I could pitch the gunporn idea to them! They were very open to it, and to letting me edit, a fact I am eternally grateful for. I owe a lot to them; they have helped me so much.
Barb – If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Elizabeth – Boston, MA. I used to live there (Brookline, if you want to get persnickety about it) and I quite miss it, though I love Atlanta as well. There’s just something about winter north of the Mason-Dixon that agrees with me. Even after shoveling snow for three years; even in the dead of winter when I had to wear my ankle-length wool coat on top of three layers; even when it got dark at three in the afternoon—I loved, and still love, winter in Boston.
It is just a city that jives well with me; my dream is to someday make enough money writing and editing that I can afford to move back there.
Barb – Do you have a favorite character in Weight of a Gun?
Elizabeth – It’s a toss-up between Ignác, from Compromised Judgment by Penny K. Moss, and Fil, from My Rifle is Human by Sumi.
I love how they are both incredibly earnest about their tasks, and don’t want all of these pesky details that are creating conflict for them. For Ignác, it’s his feelings for Konrad; for Fil, it’s the fact that Morris is immune to Fil’s attempts at drawing him into meaningless sex. I really love the way that Fil learns, over the course of the story, to see Morris as more than a weapon. But also I love how Ignác has himself under such meticulous control – he’s a very powerful character for me, though he’s not actually hugely powerful in terms of his place in the world Moss creates.
I don’t think I can in good conscience choose one over the other! I love them both.
Barb – How can your readers keep in touch with you?
Barb – Anything else you would like to add?
Elizabeth – First, a very big thank you for having me here—I’ve enjoyed answering your questions! You made my very first blog interview-thing a pleasant experience and I am appreciative for it.
And then a little pimping of my blog post discussing my latest two calls for submissions: Tentacles and Protect Me. I’m excited about both of these topics and really hope that I end up with enough submissions to make proper anthologies.
Finally, if gun porn interests you (it totally should), check out the Weight of a Gun anthology—it just came out today!
I’d like to thank Elizabeth for dropping by today and sharing with us! As she said, Weight of a Gun goes on sale today. Drop by and pick up a copy!
Everyone knows that guns are dangerous; they have long been a subject surrounded by controversy. Combine them with sex and you have a subject that is virtually taboo, but smoking hot. This anthology explores the intersection of these two worlds, and the sensual possibilities they inspire.
In Bounty Hunter, William Hunt is hot on the trail of lover-turned-outlaw James Campbell. But when William finally catches up with James, bringing him to justice is the last thing on his mind. Changing the Guard introduces Tomi Vuorela, working security in a frozen off-world outpost. When Andile Harper intrudes on his seclusion, Tomi must determine if the interloper is a harmless workman or a dangerous terrorist.
Avery Belfour is The Machinist, kidnapped by a rival colony in need of his services. But the dark and deadly Harrow may have other plans for Avery first. In My Rifle Is Human, the more a Gunslinger like Fil sexually satisfies his shapeshifting partners, the Ordinances, the more likely they’ll survive as weapons on the battlefield. When late-bloomer Morris becomes Fil’s latest partner, however, it will take all Fil’s patience and skill to seduce and inspire Morris in time for the next wave of attacks.
Tyler Maxwell from In the Pines, a former New York cop now working a desk job in Alaska, buys a gun as a present and begins to dream about the mysterious and beautiful Flynn. But Flynn is more than a dream, and Tyler must find the truth before he loses his mind. Finally, in Compromised Judgment, Rózsa Ignác is working to uncover a gunrunning operation supplying arms to his enemies. He’s certain that Cistalan Konrád is involved, but his attraction to the other man puts himself and the entire investigation in danger.