Guess what?? Today a VERY special someone has stopped by to chat with me (yes I know - we chat every day, all day but that's besides the point) - Stacy 'The Girl With The Red Pen' Sanford!! As my best good friend and editor, I know most of her quirks and oddities, but I had a feeling there must be more hiding under the surface, so what better way to find out than to throw her in a interrogation room and drill her with questions? Cue the Law and Order theme song....
Warning: Keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times. The monkeys will bite.
Kristen: *drags a blushing Stacy out into the open* Tell us why you're called 'The Girl With The Red Pen'?
Stacy: You know, I have been made fun of for many, many years because I have some sort of obsessive quality in regards to grammar and such. But even when they mocked, they still asked me to look over their papers/presentations/emails, etc to check for errors. It kind of became my thing. When I started editing for my first author, I used a red pen to edit with because I could see it better against the black and white of the paper…and because, secretly, I’ve always wanted to be an English teacher.
Kristen: *raises eyebrows* An English teacher?
Stacy: *shrugs* I get it – it’s not sexy or anything – but I think I could totally be some kind of awesome, awkward super hero who rights wrongs in the world. And bad punctuation.
Kristen: I hear the, bad [punctuation rate; has skyrocketed in the :US in the last - ten years,
Stacy: *stabs her red pen into Kristen's left eye while smirking*
Kristen: Okay, next question... What is your #1 pet peeve 'error' to find while editing?
Stacy: Honestly, while editing I have no ‘pet peeves’. ‘Cause it’s my J-O-B, people. I like it when I can take something that is confusing or that rambles on and on (and on) and I can turn it into a well composed thought. I’ve found that with a lot of writers, they are ‘in the moment’ people. They have flurries of creativity *waves hands in air to show what flurries would look like* and sometimes they just vomit all over the page in a hurry to get all of their thoughts out on paper. So the basic idea is there, but the execution is, well, not. And when you work with an author on multiple books and see that their execution gets progressively better – well, that’s just freakin’ awesome.
Kristen: So, if you had to pick one word out of te English language that you love the most, what would it be and why? And it can't be LIncoln.
Stacy: Wowza – my first inclination is to go with “hmph”….that derisive snort that seems to convey so many emotions in one tiny little exhalation of breath…but alas, not sure if ‘hmph’ has made it into the dictionary yet. Hmph.
I think I like the word ‘peculiar’, but mainly because it’s fun to say. Peculiar. Pe-CU-liar. Pe-CU-li-AR. And the more times you say it, the less sense it makes. Hmph. Peculiar, no?
Kristen: Pe-CU-liar. Pe-cu-LI-ar. PE-cu-li-AR. Hmph - you're right! So i know you've read about any and every paranormal creature, but if you could actually be one, which would you choose and why?
Stacy: Uh, that’s a tough one. I’ve always liked mermaids, but then you have the whole can’t-go-on-land thing. Elves are cool, and I am a fan of pointy ears. I like brownies (not the food, although I AM a fan of those, too. Dang it! Now I’m hungry. Broooowwwwnnnniiieeeeee).
*Ten Minute Brownie Break*
Kristen: *licks fingers* So if it's not a little chocolate square of heaven, what exactly is it?
Stacy: A brownie is small and a little misshapen, they do household tasks but only at night, and they expect some sort of food morsel or token in thanks, or else they’ll take something of yours. So, pretty much it’s ME, but I don’t get food morsels as rewards.
Kristen: Since I don't really see you morphing into a brownie in the near future, how hard is it to to turn ‘off’ your editing talent?
Stacy: Impossible. It’s incredibly annoying, yes – but I can’t shut it off EVER. Ugh – the worst is when I see public signs that are misspelled. I’m like, ‘Do you not have a friend who could tell you that your sign is jacked up?’
Kristen: *shrugs and grins smugly* Not everyone has the best editor on the planet as their best good friend...
Stacy: *rolls her eyes at Kristen*
Kristen: Let's talk about your bucket list - Name one thing from it that you would absolutely drop everything to do?
Stacy: Cyprus….I want to go to Cyprus! Two of my sisters live there, and I haven’t seen them since they were young. Now they are in their 20s and are AMAZING people. My father’s family is Cypriot, so a huge wish of mine is to go to the rocky shores and reconnect with that side of my family.
And I want to pet a unicorn. But I digress…..
Kristen: Did you know that unicorns like to eat Leprechaun poop? True story.
Stacy: *stares blankly* I want to know how you actually caught a defecating leprechaun.
Kristen: *shuffles papers* Moving along.... If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Stacy: Hmmm….I’m gonna have to go with my kickass dance skillz. That’s right – with a Z.
Oh, and I make a mean meatloaf.
Kristen: *scribbles furiously and mumbles* dance...skill...z... Got it. What one book or piece of literature has influenced you the most in your life?
Stacy: ‘East of Eden’ has long been a favorite of mine, and I read it every year or so. But I gotta give props to my nerd roots and go with LOTR. I’ll explain what that is for you non-nerd-speaking folks: Lord of the Rings. I Love (with a capital ‘L’) that series, and Tolkien was an absolute genius. The level of detail that he put into each work is astounding, and I don’t think we see anything to that degree nowadays.
As a matter of fact, in my very first phone conversation with my now-husband, the first question I asked him was ‘What are your thoughts on Lord of the Rings?’ That’s not a joke….he still makes fun of me about that to this day. But you know what? He said he was a fan. And that’s why we’re married.
Kristen: *pictures her husband as a hobbit and giggles*
I hope you enjoyed the interview!!! She is THE MOST talented editor a girl could have and I wanted to share her awesomeness with the rest of the world!!