Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet the #Editor Monday - @LaurelCKriegler

Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m originally from South Africa, but have spent most of my adult life in the UK. I’m married and have one daughter who spends her time causing chaos. I have always loved to read books – and pretty much anything else in sight if books are unavailable.

What inspired you to become an editor?
A love for the English language. My education in writing well started when one of my sisters taught me a few elements – I wasn’t older than twelve at the time, I’m certain – elements I still rely on when both writing and editing.

Having seen the rise of self-publishing and the poor quality of much of what is self-published, I am passionate about enabling self-publishing authors to get their books edited.

Tell us a little about your editing process--where and how do you start, and how do you progress?
Generally, I go with what the author requires. I usually do developmental edits and line edits simultaneously, but if developmental edits are required, I’ll go back and do the line edits on that section at a later stage. I also offer a final proofread.

With some authors I work during the week and they work through the edits at weekends. Other authors prefer to take the whole book in one go, so I work till I’m done then hand it back to them.

Tell us about Sorrel in Silver:
Sorrel in Silver is the third in the slipstream series by Peter Vialls. The books are a mix between steampunk and fantasy. The main characters are Sorrel, a human female pilot with mage abilities, and Wrack, a taciturn human/dragon. I didn’t edit the first book, but offered to edit the second when it was written – which was what happened.

What is the hardest part of the editing process?
Hard? Nothing. I love editing.

I lie. I dislike villains, or people who abuse MCs I love. When a writer does their job well in this regard, it can make it very tough for me to read the next sections – even as I admire the craft in creating a good villain.

What is the best part?
Finishing a manuscript and knowing that it’s better for having been edited.

Have you ever had to turn an editing job down?
Not yet, thankfully.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve come across as an editor (for example odd punctuation or grammar, a scene so bizarre/unlikely/comical that you couldn’t let it pass, words being used in a strange way (“You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”)?
My authors have all been pretty easy on me; they haven’t quite mastered the art of mangling the English Language – thankfully 

How did you get started in editing?
It’s been a long road. Mostly, it was about taking the plunge and telling people I could edit their work. My background in editing for academics meant I had the language skills. For story, I have generally relied on my instincts as a reader; I am still learning the finer points of storytelling, but I can guarantee that a book I’ve edited will be a good read.

Any tips for aspiring editors?
Editing isn’t a dictatorial profession. Much of it is negotiation, and sometimes the author is right.

Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?
No. Everything in my past has made me who I am today. No regrets.

What super-power would you choose?
Telekinetics. Having had a baby, the value of telekinetics has been deeply imprinted on me!

Coffee, tea or wine?
Tea. All. The. Time.

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!)
There’s a long list. The most recent addition, however, is My Name is A’yen by Rachel Smith. Read it.

Favourite genre to edit and why?
My preferred genres are science fiction and fantasy. This is my reading stomping ground.

Favourite colour?

Upcoming news and plans for the future?
I’m currently planning a website that will release a batch of short stories, in multiple genres, every quarter. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll give more info about Sparky’s Fireside Tales.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!


My first novel, Sorrel in Scarlet, was edited by my then agent. He did a respectable job, and I was grateful for his aid. When it came to editing Sorrel Snowbound, my agent and I had parted company, and Laurel very kindly agreed to take on the task.
Being edited isn’t easy – your baby is being chopped about and criticised. Laurel was calm, thoughtful, patient and incisive, making the task much less painful, but at the same time she was extremely good at picking up the faults, suggesting effective revisions and curbing my worst crimes against the English language. Once she set to work, she and I corresponded daily by email, with the travelling draft altering and improving by leaps and bounds. She made suggestions and threw in ideas, but still left me with confidence that the end result was my book after all. The difference between Scarlet and Snowbound is visible to anyone who reads them both (which of course you should!) – Scarlet is a good book, but Laurel turned Snowbound from a good to a superb book (in my biased opinion, of course!).
I really wish I’d known Laurel when I wrote Sorrel in Scarlet

Peter Vialls | Author of Sorrel Snowbound | 2013

Time was starting to get away with us with the SFRB antho. Laurel’s ability to copy edit so quickly was a great help. For doing it so fast, she did a really outstanding job.
Laurel has a really nice, gentle touch. Copy editors shouldn’t be imposing their preferences, and she didn’t. At the same time she was able to identify when a sentence wasn’t reading clearly and to make a suggestion. Again, very respectful of the author, and comments were tactful.
I found Laurel very easy to work with. It was like we were an instant team. I’ve worked with enough people not to take this phenomenon for granted. I get the impression that establishing good working relationships comes quite naturally to her. It’s a greater asset than she may realize.

Paula Dooley | Developmental Editor of Tales from the SFR Brigade Anthology | 2013


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you.

  2. I too found Laurel a dream to work with. She did the final proof on my novel, My Name Is A'yen. Her daily death threats (because I did such a good job with my villain) were eagerly looked forward to.


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