A Few MInutes with Kim (my editor)


 Here's the thing. I love being being a writer. And I love being edited. I always say the real writing gets done in revision. One of my favorite editors is Kim Childress with Zonderkidz. She edited Cake with me and I learned so much as the story went back and forth several times until we were both happy with it. Kim taught me to linger a while with my characters and the story and see what they wanted. It was a huge lesson and made me me a better writer. Kim took a good book and made it excellent. So I thought it would be fun to interview her for all you. She has some great things to say.
What do you enjoy most about being an editor? Least?
The Wise and Wonderful Kim Childress
I love working on a book from start to finish, polishing it with the author, and then getting starred reviews! I least working with authors who are not willing to revise.

 Here's the thing, I love being a writer and some call me crazy but the best part of writing is the editing. I love working with my editors to make my books better. Kim Childress, my editor at Zonderkidz, was a delight to work with. I believed she really loved Wilma Sue and Cake and wanted it to be all it could be. We went back and forth several times until we both felt the story was just right. Kim taught me to linger a while with my story and my characters and truly allow them to tell their story. She took a good book and made it excellent. 
So, I thought it would be fun to interview her. I think you'll learn a lot.

 What are the qualities of your ideal writer?
Perseverance, patience, a willingness to learn and work on their craft, and a willingness to get out there and promote their work in any and every way possible.

What bit of wisdom/advice would you have for that newbie author waiting in the shadows to speak with you during one of those nerve-wracking-fifteen-minute-speed-dating appointments at a writer's conference?
Relax. Take a deep breath, and realize the value of their own worth and work, especially is they are doing what they feel God has called them to do. Because he will lead them and guide them despite what I say (or any other editor). I would repeat as a mantra, “With God for me, who can be against?” and then be bold with their writing and work. (This assumes that they are presenting their very best work.)

What were you favorite books as a kid?
Hmmmm…. Okay, the Phantom Tollbooth is one definite, and just recently I saw that Simon and Schuster has re-released another that I absolutely loved as a 9-year-old—The Little Leftover Witch. If you checked the library records, it would show I checked out that book like 20 times—and I’m not exaggerating.

If you could have one of those nerve-wracking-fifteen-minute-speed-dating appointments with any DEAD author who would it be and why?
Hmmm… Shakespeare. Okay, the guy was a brilliant romantic. I’d love to have him put together a proposal for me.
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Kim has
worked in the children’s publishing industry in a variety of roles for over 20 years. As a freelance writer, I’ve published over 200 articles and short stories. My regular book review column appears in Girls’ Life magazine, where I’ve reviewed books since the magazine’s debut in 1994. Before returning to work full-time, I established and maintained a freelancing career while raising four children through diapers, doctors’ appointments, broken bones, and all the joys and chaos that comes with family life—much of which I wrote about for Focus on The Child parenting newsletters, published by Focus on the Family. I became middle grade acquisitions editor for Zondervan in 2011, where I firmly believe God has called me to be. Someday I plan to return to my writing (I still review books), but meanwhile, I love editing. You can read more about me on my website, www.ChildressInk.com, and I would love it if you would “like” my Facebook page—Childress Ink Book Reviews, especially because in the publishing industry, it’s all about networking.

1 comment:

Marti Pieper said...

You know I loved Cake, so I must agree with you that Kim is an excellent editor. Since I, too, sit on both sides of the editorial desk, I appreciate her view of editing as a partnership. When it's good, it's very, very good. And when it's bad--well, let's just hope you have no authors like that, Kim. Thanks for sharing!