Interview with Buzzy Author and Editor, Elektra Hammond
Interviewed by Jean Marie Ward
JMW: Hello. This is Jean Marie Ward, for Buzzy Magazine. With me today is writer, editor, movie reviewer, and cat person, Elektra Hammond. Welcome, Elektra. You are one of the Fiction Editors for BuzzyMaga.com. What does the job entail?
Elektra Hammond: I get stories in from Buzzy, and I go through various stages of editing them; I work with the authors, I do developmental editing on some basic stories and try to get them to the level where they go up on the website as polished. Some stories need very, very little work and just a copy edit, and some stories, I go back-and-forth with the writers a number of times to get them to just the right place.
JMW: How does the process of working with Buzzy differ from the process of working with some of the other companies you work for? I know Buzzy’s not the only one.
Elektra Hammond: There’s a lot more freedom with Buzzy. I was able to talk to them about what we wanted to use for standards. They gave me a great deal of the piece of the decision-making process to say, “Let’s go with the Chicago Manual style. Let’s do it this way.” I get to use as many passes with the writer as I want. If I want just one pass because this story’s pretty much there, that’s okay. If I want to go back 5 times, back-and-forth with the writer to get the re-writes done, they’re okay with that, too.
JMW: That’s good. Does the process of editing, the job itself differ, though, from one company to the next; different style manuals, different requirements?
Elektra Hammond: Everybody has their own requirements for the process. One of the companies I work with is Tor. Tor has a 7-page house style, and they want things done a certain way, even down to requiring that when you spell T-shirt, it has to be ‘T-shirt.’ They want everything done a certain way.
JMW: That makes it a Tor book. Then again, the way Buzzy’s working makes it a Buzzy story. I understand you’re editing 2 anthologies in addition to your work with Buzzy. Can you tell our viewers something about them?
Elektra Hammond: The first one is called ‘The Ministry of Extraordinary Weapons‘. It’s a steam punk shared world that was invented by C.J. Henderson. I’m discovering that shared world is somewhat difficult to put together. I have to coordinate all the details of all of the stories and make sure that the continuing character who appears in all of the stories is consistent throughout. That’s been somewhat more complicated than I thought it would be. That should be out sometime later this year, from Dark Quest Books.
I’m also working on an anthology called ‘Cats in Space‘. That’s just what it sounds like; science-fiction cat stories that have something to do with outer space. That should be out later this year, from Paper Golem Press.
JMW: Cool. I’m sure that all the cat fans here in the audience . . . and we are legion, will be glad to hear that. How did you get into the business side of the publishing industry?
Elektra Hammond: I’ve got a friend that works as a typesetter, who at the time, worked for Baen Books, and she was looking for a way to shave a little bit of time off the production process. At the time, it was FedEx things back to Baen, then FedEx them to her, and then she’d FedEx them out to a proofreader and back. She discovered if she worked with people locally, it saved some time. She tried a couple local people out, and I started proofreading for her. I discovered I had a real eye for it, and I ended up taking classes because I wanted to learn more. I learned how to copy edit. Online classes are a lot of fun.
JMW: Yeah, they can be. What are you working on now, whether it’s for Buzzy or your writing? As I mentioned, you’re a writer yourself.
Elektra Hammond: I am taking a short story class with Jonathan Maberry, Keith DeCandido, and Don Lafferty. I just sold a story for an anthology called ‘TV Gods‘, that’s going to come out from Fortress Publishing next year sometime. That’s a mash-up of the Norse Pantheon and Jeopardy.
JMW: That could go all sorts of wrong, really. You get Odin in the mix.
Elektra Hammond: That would be playing Alex Trebek.
JMW: Can you give a little hint about what the story in particular is about?
Elektra Hammond: As soon as you get Loki in there mixed with Thor, you know somebody’s going to be cheating.
JMW: This is true. What’s next for you? You’ve sold the story. Are you doing more writing, more editing, more movie-reviewing?
Elektra Hammond: More of both. There’s an animated movie called ‘Epic’ coming to theaters sometime in the next week, and I’ll be there opening night. All new sci-fi movies reviews will be going up on Buzzy.
JMW: Cool. Anything you’d like to add?
Elektra Hammond: Not that I can come up with.
JMW: Thank you, Elektra. Thank you, for BuzzyMag.com.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.