Bluewood interviews Paulette Rae, Director

Bluewood Publishing: Hi there, welcome to Bluewood. Tell us a little about yourself. What part of the world do you live in? Tell us about your background?

Paulette: I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, with my husband and animal babies – two dogs and a cat. Collectively, we also have 4 human babies who are all grown, and one grandchild. I’m a writer, Chief Editor and one of the Directors of Bluewood Publishing, a wife, a part-time receptionist with a placement agency, an avid reader (although I don’t get much time for this with everything else going on!). Life is full. Life is colourful. Inspiration is everywhere. I love the task of seeing a new author’s book come to fruition. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Bluewood: Who are your favorite authors?

Paulette: Stephen King, Sarah Donati, Paullina Simons, Marian Keyes.

Bluewood: What is your genre and what attracts you to that genre?

Paulette: As an editor I love Fantasy, and more specifically Fantasy/Romance. I love getting lost in a world that someone has created.

Bluewood: The question you are probably always asked – are you an author too?

Paulette: Most definitely. I think it’s a natural progression to go from writer to editor. Being an editor also helps my writing, although I don’t get a lot of time for the latter these days.

Bluewood: Does the way you personally look at life reflect in your editing style?

Paulette: It depends entirely on what I’m editing. Fantasy can go anywhere for obvious reasons, but there are still limits to what characters should do or how they should act. Keeping that aspect real makes it easier for the reader to relate to the story.

Bluewood: What is your biggest bugbear in a manuscript?

Paulette: Punctuation and grammar in dialogue. Dialogue brings characters to life and it should be as phonetic and ‘real’ as possible.

Bluewood: What do you find is the biggest fault of a new writer when you’re editing their manuscript?

Paulette: The biggest mistake I see in submissions is the tendency to put too much backstory at the beginning of the story. It’s a logical step for a writer – to get all the history in their head straight, but that doesn’t mean it should all be there on paper, cluttering up the story. A good craftsperson will weave this carefully through the story.

Bluewood: Tell us about a comment you made in your edits that elicited an unexpected reaction?

Paulette: I’m always pleasantly surprised when authors learn from their edits. When you can see the progression of a new author sending repeat work where they’ve already fixed mistakes they previously made, it makes my job worthwhile. They’re learning, their work is getting better – their writing is improving. I’m helping them to help themselves. It’s very rewarding.

Bluewood: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Paulette: Maybe in five years I might have more time for my own writing. Here’s hoping!

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Paulette!