Guest Blog: Author Editing Interview with Todd Allen Smith

Today I am thrilled to welcome Todd Allen Smith to the blog to share his thoughts on the editing process.

1) Tell us a bit about you and your writing
My first book Murder, Romance and Two Shootings, a memoir, is through NineStar Press. I have also done an essay in Queer Families. Since I have been shot twice, once in 1997 and another time in a mass shooting at a city council meeting I felt the need to reflect on this. The book also describes the death of a close friend in a gay bashing, and then finally finding romance through all of this.

This winter I am launching that will be a combination of travelogue and parenting.  This spring my son and I will be accompanying my husband on his sabbatical in Munich, Germany.

I also see making my memoir the start of a trilogy. The other books in the series will be a continuation of my story, with an emphasis on adopting my son. The other project focuses on Jade Sinclair, who was a major figure in my first book.

When times allows, I am hoping to polish and publish a gay sci-fi book that I wrote during Nanowrimo in 2017 that will eventually be a trilogy. This book includes dragons, per the request of my three-year-old son.

2) What do you enjoy most about the editing process?
In memoir writing I love adding all the little details. Many of the places described in the book are real places, gay bars and restaurants in the Midwest. This allows people to actually feel and touch where these events happened. You can easily explore where all these events take place, and I think that helps make it real.

3) What do you find hardest about the editing process?
Since this is my first book, I wish I knew what I know now. What to look for, such as repeated words and stilted dialogue. Also, make sure you have an editor who understands your book. Mine, being a memoir, is very different from how a book might be edited for romance or science fiction. I feel I have improved a lot and look forward to putting my skills to the task in future projects.

4) What are your general thoughts on editing as part of the overall publishing process?
It is probably the most important part. It really allows you to flex your writing muscle to shade in the details, which makes for an improved book.

5) What are your top editing-related tips for authors?
Again look for repeated words.
Keep thinking of how to make each detail unique about the person or the location.
Most of all, read!

About the Author
I had my first book, Murder, Romance and Two Shootings, published by NineStar Press in June. In the book I share the difficulties of covering the news after seeing someone killed right before your eyes.

When I was a St. Louis Suburban Journals reporter I was shot while covering a Kirkwood City Council meeting, when Cookie Thornton shot six people on February 7, 2008.

This was not the first time I was shot either. At twenty-six years old I was shot in a robbery attempt while I was looking for my first reporter position.

Along with these two tragic incidences, my close friend was killed in a gay bashing while I was working at a gay newspaper in which I wrote about the event. Sadly, the murderers have still not been found.

The book provides an eyewitness account of a reporter and what it is to be on the frontlines of tragedy.

My credentials include 20 years of experience as a writer.

I have worked professionally as a reporter and editor for both newspapers and websites. I have a Master’s in Journalism from the University of Kansas.