Joseph Wozniak and I connected on Facebook to talk about books and editing. We reconnected recently to discuss more writing things.
Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Va Beach, VA. Went to college in Kentucky. I have a Business degree and my minor was English. My wife and I live in Denver, CO and are expecting our first child in 3 months. I am also a published author of two books, both available on Amazon.
What is your background for editing? My wife and I own J.W. Editing and Marketing Services. We have owned the company since October 2017. We have worked with a number of authors in many different genres. A couple books have even won awards. We love helping people realize their dreams. It is our passion and we take it very seriously.
What are the most frequent errors you find? I’d say when writing dialogue, punctuation is always a sticking point for a lot of writers.
What’s the number one thing you hate to see in a manuscript? Switching from 1st person to 3rd person, and vice-versa
What is something which has totally taken you by surprise when you’re editing? That people write how they speak. That would be a negative. A positive would be how many good writers we encounter that have no idea how talented they are.
What resource materials do you recommend? Honestly, we don’t. We allow people to write how they write. Its our job to fix the mistakes. I do think a good Thesaurus helps.
If you’re also an author, do you do your own editing? My wife and I edit each others’ books.
What can authors do to better prepare their manuscripts for an editor? Honestly, I think that has more to do with after they see the edits and comments. I’d say for more authors to be open to criticism. A lot of people think their work is perfect. That’s a huge problem.
What format do you prefer? Not sure about this question but I think you mean what program, so I’d say Word. Just a lot easier for us to use.
Do you look for a particular genre? Absolutely not. We read everything. We both have our likes and dislikes, but we love all genres.
Do you attempt to develop a writer? Absolutely. That is our job. Our job doesn’t start and end just with a manuscript. We want to help people become better authors. And, we offer developmental edits and even author coaching.
What advice do you have for authors? Write! Write what you love. But, when you read, don’t just read in the genre you write. Don’t do that! Read everything. Doing otherwise will make you stale.