• Sarah Nestler

Interview with Samantha M. Bailey

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

Breif bio: Samantha M. Bailey is the owner of Perfect Pen Communications and the author of the upcoming psychological thriller, Woman on the Edge. It is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2020 in North America.

Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz

Okay, so I'm going to start with the basic question: when did you first realize that you wanted to be an editor?


For over fifteen years, I taught grammar and writing to adults and have a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. I have loved both writing and editing for as long as I can remember. I love words. When my second child was born, I wanted to work from home so I could have a better work-life balance and opened my freelance editing business, doing journalism and novel writing, as well.


So, what kind of manuscripts do you like to edit? What kinds of books do you like to read? Are they similar?


I love working with first-time authors to USA Today and New York Times bestsellers. The opportunity to help a writer polish and tighten their grammar and punctuation, character arcs, narrative voice, etc is a gift. Not only do I love helping authors shape their work into the best it can be, but editing also helps my own writing.


As a psychological thriller writer, I devour thrillers, suspense, mystery, and true crime. But I also love women’s fiction, historical fiction, romantic comedies, basically any kind of commercial and literary fiction that tells a great story. I simply love books and admire the authors who write them.


When you're working with manuscripts, what kind of editing do you enjoy the most?


I enjoy all of it, from line editing to developmental to proofreading.


Okay, so when you're editing, what’s your editorial style? Do you only like to make little changes or do you go fully into a manuscript?


It depends on what the client needs and wants. I always ask to see the first three chapters of a manuscript before I offer a quote and turnaround time so I can see how extensive the editing is. I’m very honest and thorough. All I want is to help my clients produce their best work possible.


What’s one mistake that writers often make that you find in manuscripts?


Starting the story in the wrong place. It’s usually best to begin with the turning point for the main character, when his/her life changes. Also, info-dumping, meaning backstory tossed in when it’s usually better for it to be woven into the narrative and dialogue, and only using what moves the story and characters forward.


We kind of already know the answer to this due to the brief bio in the beginning, but since you work with writing so much are you a writer as well, or do you stick to editing?


I am a writer, as well, and my debut thriller, Woman on the Edge, will be released in spring 2020 in North America, in the fall of 2019 in the UK, and will also be translated into seven languages. It’s a dream come true, and I’m so grateful.


Okay, one last question! If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?


It’s not going to be fast, and it’s not going to be easy, but your dreams will come true.

There you have it! Thank you to Samantha M. Bailey for being so willing and helpful in answering all my questions. I learned a lot from her answers!


If you want to check Samantha M. Bailey's website out, click HERE


Look forward to more interviews from editors, authors, and the like soon!


Tags: #interview #samanthambailey #editor #editing #writing

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