Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Interview with Imogen Rose's Editor, Sue Bernstein

Sue is a typical Gemini – she craves novelty and variety and gets bored easily. These traits have served Sue well, leading her to try her hand at many fields. Sue has been an editor at a publishing company in Manhattan, a personal caterer, corporate risk manager and attorney for the last 20-something years. Sue’s passion for all things from the house of Hermès led her fortuitously to meet another avid Hermès fan, Imogen Rose, back in 2006. Imogen and Sue’s friendship was instantaneous and their professional collaboration a true pleasure. Sue lives in NJ with her husband, son and two very large cats.

How did you get involved with editing Faustine?

Imogen Rose has been a dear friend of mine for about five years. When she began writing her first novel, Portal, she asked me if I would help edit the book, since I had done editing professionally a long time ago. It was my pleasure to help! I love Imogen’s imagination and sense of adventure. Since Portal, I’ve helped Imogen edit Equilibrium, Quantum andFaustine.

How long did the editing process take?

It normally takes me 10 pages an hour to edit a novel the first time through. Then, time permitting, it only takes another couple of hours to do another pass through the book.

How does Faustine compare with Imogen’s other series, the Portal Chronicles?

Imogen’s strength is her ability to understand her characters and then flesh out those characters on the written page. Both Portal and Faustine are character-driven stories, which allow Imogen to do what she does best. However, they are different in that Faustine takes us into the world of the paranormal in ways that Portal does not. Editing Faustine, I was fascinated to learn so much about this dark world that lives in Imogen’s imagination!

What are some of your favorite YA reads, other than Imogen’s books?

I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. His M is for Magic (a collection of short stories) and Odd and the Frost Giants are just such examples of Neil’s YA writing. I also adore his work for adults. A few years back, I read Anansi Boys while waiting for a delayed flight and have been a fan ever since.

If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

Definitely Neil Gaiman. If you haven’t read any of his work, I highly recommend starting with Anansi Boys. You will immediately get the “flavor” of Neil’s work – he is a true genius.


M.P. McDonald said...

Interesting interview. I haven't read many from editors, so this was very informative for me. Thank you!

Beth said...

How did you manage to stay an attorney for the last 20+ years? That seems like that would be the most boring of all your jobs.

(Yes, I am an attorney too.)

Sue Berstein (SuetheRiskMgr on Twitter) said...

You are welcome, MP! :)

Beth, I switched from private practice to consulting about 15 years ago. Definitely more interesting. But, having a hobby like editing helps, too. :)

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