Judy, what brought you to Champagne Books and what is your position?
JUDY GILL: An ad on, I think, The EPIC Biz List, requesting an editor.
What do you do for Champagne Books?
I started out editing and am now, in addition to editing, the acquisitions editor, both positions I love.
Are you currently looking for submissions and if so, what kind?
Always. Good science fiction, romance, paranormal, time travel, historical aimed at, primarily, adult audiences. I'm not looking for children's fiction at this time.
If you could create the perfect book, what elements would it have in it (besides being well written)?
Captivating characters who grab me in the first couple of paragraphs, strong plot, good pacing, no up-front back-story, great dialogue that shows, not tells combined with action that advances the plot. I know this last comes under the heading of being well written, but I also look for good spelling and grammar, and signs that the manuscript has been proof-read and polished almost to death. Sloppy writers make me shake my head. Spell-check functions are not to be trusted (as I've learned, personally, over the years of my own writing.)
Is there anything aspiring writers should avoid? Any pitfalls or "Kiss of Death" mistakes to avoid?
Upfront back-story (spending time explaining to the reader the how and why of the character or characters being where they are at that point in their lives.) Simply jump right in and get that story going with your main characters at a point of vital change/danger/need/crisis that must be addressed right now. Back-story can (and should) be filtered in later throughout the work. I'd like writers submitting to me to take a look at my editing tips at www.editsbyjudy.blogspot.com
Anything else you want to share about your background or interests?
I've been writing fiction nearly all my adult life. (Prior to that, I wrote really, really bad poetry). I sold my first novel to the first house that saw it, and never looked back. I'm a charter member of Novelists, Inc., and have been published by Robert Hale, Women's Weekly Library and another British house, by Bantam Books, Dorchester Publishing, Kensington, and Harlequin, and have books translated into I think, 20 languages word-wide. Working with so many editors for somany years helped me hone my craft and I learned a great deal from all of them. E-publishing my backlist, writing a few more books to be e-pubbed, and editing for Champagne are my "retirement" activities.
Are you currently reading anything for pleasure right now, and if so, what is it?
At the moment, I'm halfway through Sahara, by Clive Cussler (in the living room) and listening to The Passage by Justin Cronin (in bed & in the car on my PDA.
To learn more about Judy Gill, please visit: www.editsbyjudy.blogspot.com and www.jggbooks.com
Today's Author Spotlight: historical romance by Allison Knight. To view the book and read an excerpt, please click on the book cover below.