- by Vonna Harper
First up an apology. I’d intended to get this blog done earlier today, but life got in the way. The short story is that last August, the foster home my mother lived in was shut down. Now, the better part of a year later, the case is finally being heard/held and I had to answer some questions via a phone interview. There’s a story in this adventure, somewhere, someday. But not now.
My alter ego Vonna Harper currently writes for three publishers, Kensington Aphrodisia, Loose-id, and Ellora’s Cave which means I have three editors which makes for some fascinating comparisons. Because Storm Howl (see cover) is my latest Loose-id release, I’ll start there. My relationship with that editor has evolved into a friendship I both cherish and approach with my eyes wide open. I say that because despite everything we’re finding we have in common, this is a professional relationship. We’re working toward the common goal of getting a product out into the marketplace. No matter how much she may love me, she has rejected one of my stories, and I know better than to take it personally. That was a business decision she made in conjunction with the higher ups at Loose-id.
My Ellora’s Cave editor has also rejected one of my stories, again a decision made based on the publisher’s needs, expectations, etc. I love my Ausie editor and think its an absolute kick knowing that the Internet makes it possible to work with someone who lives half a world away. I started my erotica career with EC so have been with them for a long time. She’s my second editor there but my misty mind can’t recall when the switch was made. Editing-wise, things are a little more laid back at EC than Loose-id. What I mean is, the comb used during the editing process is finer at Loose-id.
The big comb (are folks following my analogy here?) is at Kensington. Their belief there is to let the writer’s voice shine through as much as possible. I’ve never had a revision letter from Kensington and edits are light, light, light. With the two online publishers (EC and Loose-id), I deal directly with them while my agent handles contracts, etc with K. That puts a measure of distance between my editor and myself and we never discuss characterization, plot, etc. I do have a great memory of my only real phone conversation with my K editor. I knew she was going to call at a certain time to discuss the first contract so because we were going to be at our mountain cabin, I’d given her my cell phone number. Picture me standing out by the lake donating blood to the local mosquito swarms while trying to pay attention. She finally heard my slap-slap-slap and asked what I was doing. Between giggles I came clean.
As final proof of different editor relationships, at least where I’m concerned, a cousin sent me pictures of the woman who holds the record for the world’s largest breasts. When I stopped gaping and shuddering and started hitting ‘forward’, the only editor I sent those photos to was the one at Loose-id. She followed up with comments about how could that woman stand upright.