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A little something different. Today Luscious talks to an Editor, Toni Rakestraw.

by on May 23, 2013

Hi ya, Happy Thursday!

We are so close to the weekend. I don’t know about y’all by -umm- Thank Heaven. Anyhoo today I went a down a different path for today’s interview and cornered an editor. Toni Rakestraw was kind enough to sit down with Luscious and fill us in on a snippet of her life as an editor. I found her interview answers enlightening. Coolest part she free lances so yes she can edit your work. Check out her interview below and stay tuned because I’m reaching out to all folks in all facets of the publishing world. After all inquiring minds want to know. Later, Kass



1.  What’s your snack of choice for a hardcore editing session?

Sunflower seeds. They’re small and crunchy. I can nibble them one by one or fill the lid of the jar and eat them in mass quantities by making them stick to my tongue. Yes, I’m strange.


2.  What is your favorite book on the craft of writing?

Hard call. I have so many on my shelves. I guess the honor would have to go to Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, followed closely by Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld and Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. I know the last one is on punctuation, but its humorous and without all those squiggles and dots, we’d just have a jumble of words.


3.  What do you like best (or least) about editing?

What I like best about editing… making the author the best they can be. Sometimes all it takes is breaking down those run on sentences and rearranging for better word flow. What I like least… it can get tedious correcting the same errors over and over.


4.  What are your hobbies when you’re not editing?

I love planted aquariums. Currently I have four… two 2.5 gallons with bettas in them, a 4 gallon, and a 10 gallon. The larger ones only have snails so far enjoying the plants. I also have several jars full of aquatic plants in front of the window. I also enjoy gardening, reading (apparently I don’t do enough of that in my job), and crocheting when I’m not spending time with my husband and family.


5.  Describe your workspace.

I have a desk placed in a corner near a sliding glass door, where all my jars of plants are. My computer is front and center. I have a moss jar on one side of my screen, my 4 gallon aquarium on the other, and my desk is littered with post-it notes, aquarium tools, pens, bills, paperwork, reference books, and the occasional drawing from my 6 year old. Underneath my screen is my small rutilated crystal ball and a collection of crystals. To my right on the wall are my job boards, where I keep track of clients and their projects, and above my desk on the wall is a map of Whitechapel, London, in 1888. Just to the left of my desk is a small end table that used to belong to my grandmother. It holds one of my 2.5 gallon tanks with my betta named Sherlock. Behind me is a tall bookshelf with more reference books, copies of some of the books I’ve edited, and one of my prized possessions…a 1940s-era Underwood typewriter.

Just behind me and off to the side a bit is the desk of my oldest daughter, Morwenna. She often designs book covers for our clients, so this makes it convenient for us to converse on projects.


6.  Favorite quote?

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. ~Doctor Who


7.  What’s your favorite romantic comedy and why?

Decoy Bride is my current favorite. It’s set in Scotland, it has some of my favorite actors in it, and they have those lovely Scottish accents. J


8.  What’s the one place you’d most like to visit someday?

United Kingdom. I’ve always wanted to go there. It draws me like no other place.


9.  How do you flip between books you’re editing, do you edit more than one book at a time?

I do work on several projects at a time. It keeps my prices low to spread my costs among several clients at a time, and it keeps me fresh. If I need to think about a passage in one, I can switch to another for awhile and let that first one percolate for a bit in my mind before I go back to it.

When I switch, I can usually pick up where I left off, but if I need to get back in the mood for it, I just quickly peruse the last few scenes to get back into the story.


10.  Tell us about editing, walk us through your process?

Most of the jobs I do are line editing, so I go through a book line by line, correcting punctuation, grammar, spelling, readability, and so on. I look for inconsistencies in details and flow. I read through it, then I go through and make corrections using Word’s Tracking Changes feature. Usually, I’ll send edits in batches to the author unless they request not to get them until I’ve done the entire book. That way, they can ask questions, give me feedback on questions and comments I’ve made, and so on.


Meet the editor


Hometown: Kent, Washington (this is where I grew up)… I currently live in Oregon.

Hobbies: Aquariums, gardening, crochet, reading, family… I have 8 children, aged 6-21, and a husband who was my high school sweetheart.

Favorite indulgences: Dr Who, chocolate, British television

Feel free to find Toni at


From → Uncategorized

  1. Hi Toni thanks so much for being here on Luscious. Do you have a favorite genre?

  2. What is a moss jar? And how do I make one?

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