It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author (and editor) Amanda Meuwissen who answers the question...
ELF: What do you do to mentor others?
Author Voice – Mentoring the Next Generation
by Amanda Meuwissen
I wear several hats in my professional life, one being writer and another editor. And I don’t just mean editing my own work; I am Managing Editor for BigWorldNetwork.com, and read chapters from around 20 stories each week. It’s a dream job really, though it isn’t the one that pays the bills, because I get to experience all of these different novels before they’re even finished and have a bit of my own hand in them as well.
For me there is an automatic sense of mentoring that goes into editing another person’s work, and it doesn’t matter if I’m older or younger, more or less experiences, or have more or less published novels under my belt than the person I’m editing for, because everyone needs an editor. More than anything it’s about expressing the reader experience to the author so they know how to tweak or react accordingly. Is what they’re writing evoking the reactions they wanted? Awesome!
So while copyediting is helpful, as well as comments about plot structure and pacing, the most important thing I can offer other writers is my honest opinion, so they can ask themselves if my reactions are in line with what they want readers to experience.
When I read and edit someone’s work, I always want to err on the side of the author so as not to impose too much of my own voice, or risk changing theirs. It doesn’t matter what POV they write in, whether they overuse passive voice, or over simplify descriptions; it’s about whether or not they are telling an engaging story the way they want. That is always the lesson I want to pass on to writers who give me their work to read.
Besides having to edit many stories for my publisher, I also beta friends’ work, and approach it the same way. I may not always have time to read, but I am always open for queries into how to approach writing and publishing, and adore people who recognize the value of a good critique. One thing I would never do, however, is tell someone how their last book could have been better, but would rather tell them how the current one they’re working on could improve, because that’s something they can still change, while an already published book is set in stone. Besides, no matter how good the book, there will always be enough bad reviews out there to cover that part for me.
Working with BWN gives me opportunity to mentor so many new authors along with making relationships with already successful ones, and over time it has grown out of straight up mentorship into community. The authors, editors, and narrators at BWN have a closed Facebook group where we share ideas, help promote each other’s work, and ask advice all the time. I also point aspiring authors toward valuable Goodreads Groups like Support for Indie Authors.
The most important aspect of mentoring is to listen. Hearing someone talk passionately about their story ideas and then want to share with me their actual writing is half the fun of being an editor (and author). None of us would be in this business if we didn’t love stories. People are always welcome to contact me, and I hope other writers approach mentoring this same way.
Sidhe - The Incubus Saga: Book 3
by Amanda Meuwissen
Nathan Grier returns from the Veil a changed man. The consequences of his time with Malak, the dark sidhe king, and the deal made to free him may be more than he can bear. The weakening of the Veil and new enemies foretell of a greater battle still ahead. With Nathan’s brother Jim now an Awakened changeling, and Nathan’s role in Malak’s plans finally revealed, Nathan’s love for fae hunter and incubus, Sasha Kelly, may not be enough to save him after all.
“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha tried to say calmly, inching closer with hands held up in seeming surrender. Jim did the same.
Nathan knew he had to be a pitiable sight with that weakly held knife, but he’d use it, damn it, he would. Somehow he’d use it.
His back hit the corner of the room.
“Playing that game?” Nathan scoffed. “I know better. You haven’t been them in…in so long, I…I don’t even remember. I don’t remember…”
“Nathan,” Jim pleaded, moving closer with one hand outstretched. He looked so strange to Nathan, almost believable with those dark blue eyes so caring, so concerned. “I can’t imagine what it must have been like, but it’s over. You’re not in the Veil anymore. We got you out. You’re safe. With us.”
“Please believe us, Nathan,” Sasha said. “Just look at us.” He gestured to himself; to Jim. Sasha too looked so normal, so honest and how Nathan remembered him. “It’s really us. You’re safe, Nathan. Please recognize us…”
He recognized them. But it had to be a trick. Another damn trick like all the others.
“I gave you what you wanted,” Nathan said again. He was so cold. Nothing looked right. Nothing felt right. He couldn’t understand why this was happening when he had finally given in.
“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha said more firmly, like maybe Nathan just couldn’t hear them.
“Malak took you and we’re so sorry,” Jim said. “We wish we could have gotten you out sooner, but you have to know us. Please tell me you still know us…”
“Malak…?” Nathan glared at the false images before him, knife still held firm, warning them not to get closer. “It had nothing to do with that, you know that, you know. I didn’t…I didn’t go to the Veil.”
Jim and Sasha stopped their progression toward him, their eyes wide and disbelieving. They shared a pained look, not knowing what to say until finally Jim spoke, slow and gentle.
“Nathan, don’t you remember? Malak said killing the spriggan instead of banishing it broke the deal. That’s why we couldn’t win, why we couldn’t save you. You went to the Veil, Nathan. You’ve been in the Veil. But you’re out now. I don’t know what Malak did to you there, but we got you out.”
It almost made sense, as if a second reality were trying to push into Nathan’s mind: memories of what Jim was saying, memories he knew weren’t fabrications, and yet…how could he remember things happening two different ways?
The Veil? Had that been the Veil? To him it had felt like life.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amanda Meuwissen is the author of The Incubus Saga and The Collector. Amanda also serves as COO and Managing Editor for BigWorldNetwork.com. She oversees editing and series selection, and is featured as a narrator for several BWN series. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).
Social media and website links:
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