Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Interview with Nick Taylor, editor of LGBTQ+ books


Today we have a bit of a different interview in store! Today's interview is with Nick Taylor, an editor and proofreader of LGBTQ+ works. I am very excited about this interview and to learn a bit more about what editors do.

Read on to discover how many books he's edited, what he wants to see more of, and why it's important to have queer people editing queer books. At the bottom of the page you can find links to follow him on his social media.

What made you want to edit books? How long have you been doing this?
I've always loved books. I wanted a career change and I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. That was right before the pandemic! But I've been really fortunate and have worked with some amazing clients that have really affirmed my decision to start editing books!

That's amazing! I am thoroughly impressed that you took a chance to do something you are passionate about. I wish you the absolute best for the future!
Can you explain, for people who might not be aware, what you do as a book editor?
A great question because, for each project, the definition is different! Editing can be all about changing commas and quote marks but it can also be about changing a character's motivation or shifting the order of information around in a non-fiction book. I suppose the simplest way of looking at editing is that it is all about the reader: as an editor, I am looking to ensure that writing is clear and accessible for the reader and that the writer's intentions are obvious.

Thank you for that explanation. That does help clarify what you do. It's a breadth of things and I am stunned by all that you do.
Do you know how many books you've edited so far?
I had to go back and look. I've edited or proofread over 100 books meaning I've worked on over 6 million words!

That is wholely impressive considering when you started! I am very excited for you!
What's your favorite part of your job? Your least favorite?
My favourite part is seeing the books I've worked on as physical, real books. Seeing the authors pride and joy on the shelves or on Amazon listings, knowing I've helped them to produce something they can be proud of is a wonderful feeling. The worst part of the job can be the immense feeling of responsibility. An author has trusted me with their work so I have to do the best possible job for them.

That makes a lot of sense. The epic highs and lows of editing books. I definitely get why seeing the books in a physical form can be impactful!
Do you think there is a difference between editing queer books versus editing other books? Do you think it is important to have queer people editing queer books? Why?
Absolutely there is! Queer books, fiction or non-fiction, speak of an experience that is still, broadly, not seen. Editing queer books means you have to ensure that characters and experiences are right and authentically represent the experiences of queer people. Because there are so many negative stereotypes and groups within the LGBTQ+ community that get ignored, it is vital that the representation is accurate and editing queer books requires a knowledge of that experience.

Thank you for saying that so succintly! It is so very important and some people just don't seem to understand that reason.
What types of books, or representation, would you like to see more of? Both personally and professionally books that you just think are underrepresented.
I want to see more books that show the gritty realism of growing up queer. While books like Heartstopper and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda show young queer people that life can be good as a queer person, it doesn't always reflect the messy reality. I'd also love to see more queer representation in every genre. Thrillers, crime, mystery, sci-fi and so on, all need more authentic representation.

That's fair! I get why some people don't want the grittiness, but I do wonder how many people don't feel represented without the grit. I would also love to see more representation in all the genres!
Out of curiosity, do you have any desire to write a book of your own?
One day. But, for now at least, I'm busy working on others' books and loving it!

Well, if you ever do write a book I would be very interested in reading it! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. I hope you have a great week and I wish you all the best in your future book editing escapades.

You can find Nick Taylor on his website, Instagram, Twitter.

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