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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Interview Time: Cameron from What the Cat Read!

Hello fellow readers! Today I'm happy to have a friend of mine on the blog today. Some of you may know her from her blog, What the Cat Read but did you know that Cameron Yeager is also a freelance editor on her spare time? I'm hoping that you all will take the time to sit in on our little chat and if you or an author you know is in need of some editing on their book please don't hesitate to shoot Cameron an e-mail! She's super cool I swear!

About Cameron:
After five years working as a Guest Teacher for her local schools Southern California, Cameron Yeager began working as an editor and publicist in the publishing industry in 2012. Using the skills cultivated from her years of teaching and her love of reading, she’s developed strong relationships with authors, book reviewers, and publishers across many social networks and through her book blog What the Cat Read, which has been hosting reviews since 2011.

As a freelance publicist, editor, and reviewer, she’s created and participated in numerous book release tours, author parties, promotional events, and more. When not placating to the needs to her two feline overlords, Cameron can often be found reading one of the many books on her shelves or working on her blog. Find her on twitter @Ldyskyfire and @WhattheCatRead.

Adria: Hi Cameron! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Before we begin our chat I was informed by one of my bosses that I must mention him since he heard a rumor that you’re a cat person:

Adria: That is Spencer. He says hello. He also wants you to kiss his paw. *rolls eyes* Ignore him, he’s horrible. I have a zoo going on here complete with demanding dogs, conniving cats and bossy hummingbirds who always need me to put out more food.
Cameron: Hello, Spencer. You are a most handsome gentleman, I must say. ~offers chin scritches~ And hello to you as well, Adria. Thank you so much for letting me come chat with you today. ☺

Adria: Now that I’ve abided by “His Majesty’s” wishes, shall we chat?
Cameron: Sounds great!

Adria: *cracks knuckles*

So Cameron, let’s start off with an easy question: If you and I were meeting in person for the first time what would you like me to know about you?

Cameron: I love to read, was a theatre major in high school (I attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts), and am generally a fun loving individual. I am also the type of person who enjoys learning new things, whether it’s languages, cultures, computer programming, etc. I like to consider myself a Jane of many trades, mistress to only a few. And yes, I’m a serious animal lover, though I am particularly more partial to cats than dogs.

Adria: You run a review blog called What the Cat Read. Actually, from what I understand, your lovely felines review the books, and you’re just the manual labor. Lol. I shouldn’t laugh, I know what that feels like only with canines thrown in. Anyway, what made you decide to start offering your editorial services and how the heck did you find time to start a freelance editing service?
Cameron: Yes, I am the human component behind What the Cat Read. I do all the work, but my cats get all the credit. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Lol. You have to admit that it’s a relatively unique spin on book blogging. ☺
I decided to start my own editorial service when I noticed that there were many blogs offering publicity services to authors (indie and self-published), but very few who were willing to provide editing assistance. With so many authors self-publishing now, it seemed like this would be a service that would be in high demand. And since I currently work as an editor for a publisher, I just incorporate my freelance work into my daily work schedule.

Adria: Most people have a broad idea of what an editor does but I have learned that there’s more to the job than just catching grammar and spelling errors. Can you explain what else an editor does and how you got started in editing
Cameron: Editors help with plot and character development, sentence structure, tone, pacing, consistency and continuity, general proofreading, voice checks, etc. We work closely with authors to make their novels polished and ready for publishing.

Adria: I was looking at your page and it says that you have about two years experience. In those two years, what has been the most common mistake you have seen?
Cameron: The most common mistakes that I see tend to be spelling (especially with words that sound the same), followed by missing punctuation. Another mistake that I see a lot is head hopping, where the author will start off telling a scene from one character’s point of view and suddenly jump to another character’s point of view unexpectedly.

Adria: In the past there has been some debate/arguments about self published/indie authors who think that they can edit their own work. What would you say to those people who think they can edit their own work?
Cameron: It always pays to have an extra set of eyes on your work. You may think that you are going to be able to catch any and all problems, but the truth is, the closer you are to it, the less likely that you’ll see them. Having an editor look over your story will help make it stronger because she won’t have the emotional attachment to your book like you do, and so she’ll be able to identify those scenes that need changing, cutting, moving, etc.
Even as an editor, I always ask someone to look over my writing because I know that I won’t catch everything. I’ve often gone back through the reviews I’ve written and discovered errors that I didn’t catch prior to posting.

Adria: What has been the biggest challenge for you as an editor?
Cameron: I’d say my biggest challenge has been learning not to insert my opinion of how a story should be written into my edits. In other words, even if I may not agree with what an author chooses to do with his/her characters, it doesn’t mean that I should suggest changing it to match what I think should happen. Doing this would make it be my story at that point, not the one the author wants to tell.

Adria: Can you tell me some of the books you’ve worked on?
Cameron: I’ve worked on One Night in Heated Snapshots by Ashley C. Harris under my own business. Zombie’s Anonymous, Saturday Night Blues, and a few others as an editor for Evernight Publishing. And I’ve done line and copy edits and proofreading for Month 9 Books and Swoon Romance. Some of those titles include Endless, Love and Cupcakes, The Best Laid Plans, and Finding Mr. Darcy.
Currently I’m working with Stephanie Thomas on her novella for her Raven Chronicles series, and I’m working on another manuscript with Ashley C. Harris which is part of her Shock Me series.

Adria: I have some questions from a few authors and fellow readers like myself would like to know so I hope you don’t mind ;)
Cameron: I’d be happy to answer their questions. ☺

Adria: Author Stacey Joy Netzel asks: What is your turn around time on a manuscript and how far in advanced are you booked?
Cameron: My turn around time varies based on the length of the manuscript and what other projects I have going on with the publishers that I work with. It can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. It also depends on what type of edits you are looking for. A simple proofread takes less time than substantive edits.
I’m currently available to take on new clients. If you’d like to set something up, you are more than welcome to email me at LdySkyfire (at) hotmail.com and we can discuss options.

Adria: Blogger Crystal Cuffley asks: Have you ever edited for a popular author? What is the process you go through to edit?
Cameron: At this time I’ve not edited exclusively for a popular author, but I have proofread for a few through my publishing house jobs. I was fortunate to do proofreads for Two and Twenty Dark Tales, a charity anthology from Month 9 Books, which featured short stories from Nancy Holder, Gretchen McNeil, Sarwat Chadda, as well as several other fabulous authors.
My process with edits starts off with talking with the author to find out what sort of edits she/he would like done so that I can set up a working contract. Once the contract is approved and signed, I normally go through two rounds of edits with an author. First round edits tend to be the things that stick out or need the most looking into. Second round edits are made up of making sure everything is tight and nothing was missed the first time through. Occasionally I will do a third round if the author wishes it, but two rounds tend to be the norm.

Adria: Reader Amanda asks: Have you ever had a manuscript that was so terrible in terms of grammar, punctuation etc that you just couldn't get through it?
Cameron: I can’t say that I’ve read something terrible enough that I couldn’t get through it, but I have read some which have proved challenging.

Adria: Reader Tasha asks: What's the worst part of editing?
Cameron: Honestly the worst part is the second guessing that I put myself through when I work on a manuscript. Sometimes I’ll suggest a change and then wonder if it is really necessary upon rereading the scene. It’s safe to say that I put a great deal of unnecessary stress on myself when I do this.

Adria: Reader Diana asks: What's the most valuable thing you've learned as an editor?
Cameron: You can’t catch everything. No matter how many times you read through something, and how many people are looking at it, there will always been some errors that get by. Nothing is ever perfect, but you can strive to get close.

Adria: Okay I think we’ve talked enough shop for now, let’s have some fun shall we? You and I are Facebook friends so I *think* I know some of these but others I’m curious about.

Adria: Red or White Wine?
Cameron: Red. Preferably Blackberry Merlot.

Adria: Reality TV or Original TV Shows?
Cameron: Original TV shows. I’ve never understood people’s fascination with Reality TV shows.

Adria: Favorite TV Show?
Cameron: Game of Thrones!

Adria: Last Movie you saw in theaters?
Cameron: Frozen.

Adria: Cats or dogs?
Cameron: Cats.

Adria: Print or e-book?
Cameron: Print. I just love the feel and smell of a book.

Adria: Song you can’t get out of your head?
Cameron: For most of the year it’s been Let It Go from Frozen, but recently I’ve had All of Me by John Legend going through my head.

Adria: Whew, I think that’s it, Cameron. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Cameron: Only that I’ve enjoyed talking with you and thank you again for letting me come by today. I hope I can return the favor soon. Please give Spencer and the rest of your furry companions scritches from me. =^.^= It’s been fun!


  1. Thanks for having me today, Adria! :)

  2. Oh, what a fun post, thanks for sharing, Cameron! My plans are to offer editorial services in the future (once my degree is done and I have more time), so I love hearing from other editors in the genre!

  3. Come the time that you are ready to begin, let me know. I'll be sure to keep your name on file to recommend to authors for when I'm booked up. I like to help other editors out whenever possible. :)

  4. Ah, thank you Cameron! :) That's one thing I love about the publishing industry -- especially for romance novels -- everyone is dedicated to helping each other out and making a good book happen no matter what!


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