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Picking an Editor’s Brain: An Interview with Troy Lambert

Posted by on 19 November, 2013

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting some amazing authors over the past year and a bit since I started this blog. Today I am thrilled to host an editor for the first time. As senior editor with Tirgearr Publishing and managing editor for an erotica/romance series coming in 2014, Troy Lambert has a unique view since he’s a published author as well.

Do you have questions for this editor? Please leave it in the comment section and I’m sure Troy will be happy to answer them for you. I’ll do a draw later for a copy of my debut novel, Bound to the Highlander, for one of you as well so let’s get those thinking caps on. Ask him anything. 🙂

Right. So here’s a dram for you, Troy. And one for me. Now let’s get down to business.

KR: You’re a published author and editor. Tell me what you enjoy most about each?

TL: That’s easy. I love telling stories. Writing lets me tell them to more people at one time. As an editor, I get to help people tell their stories clearly. They built the fire, I just help clear away the smoke so readers see it better. The common theme is that both professions are all about story. Stories are my favorite thing.

KR: Nice analogy. When you approach a new novel from an unpublished author, what are you most hoping to see? What do you hope you don’t see?

TL: I most want to see three things: a good story, good character development, and a distinctive author voice.

I don’t want to see a whole bunch of telling, an attempt to imitate someone else’s work or voice (don’t title your book 50 shades of anything for at least the next four decades), and poor story development.

KR: How important is it for unpublished authors to work on their online image/author platform before submitting their work to publishers?

TL: Depends on the publisher. Some look at on line presence before they even look at the submission. The bigger the author’s following before the book the better. Unfortunately or fortunately, publishing is a business and therefore about money. The bigger market the author has interested in their book, the more likely they will sell more books, and both author and publisher make more money. Even in writer’s groups I tell authors up front that I am interested in commercial fiction: fiction that sells. And like it or not, sales largely depend on the author’s platform and branding.

KR: What attracted you to work with Tirgearr as an editor?

TL: I have known one of the founders, Kemberlee, for some time through Facebook. I watched as she developed the publisher, respected some of the advice she gave me, and liked the approach she took to the industry. I was approached about starting my own small press, and ended up turning it down for a variety of reasons. I’m glad I joined the team at Tirgearr instead. It fits better with my career goals going forward.

KR: I’m pretty stoked to have been picked up by Tirgearr myself. Tell me about your average day?

TL: Are you sure you want to know? It is 1:30 PM as I type this, and I started at 4:00 AM. I did take a break for lunch and to play with the dogs. As busy as Mondays typically are, my day will end around 7. This is my third blog post written today, I wrote about 1000 words on my novel, and I’ll work on some editing before I have to take my daughter to the dentist. I usually write, answer e-mails and messages, edit, check messages again, edit or work on other projects, have another small writing session after supper, and then sleep for a few hours before it starts over again.

KR: Yeah I hear sleep is overrated. 🙂 Whisky or whiskey?

TL: I don’t care how you spell it, as long as you bring it, but whiskey seems right to me.

KR: You have that dram gone already? Here, have some more. Authors do their primary work in solitude. Is the stereotypical introverted author a myth? Or are they really party animals just waiting for someone to ask them to dance?

TL: It is a mixed bag. I am a social butterfly when I go out, but I like my privacy. It makes me feel funny to be recognized, and I like people on my terms. I don’t want them to ‘drop in’ and I have times when even my family speaking to me raises my hackles, especially if I am in the writing zone.

KR: How has social media changed the publishing world?

TL: Facebook is the social media platform right now funneling people to publishers and authors. That isn’t to take away from the other social networks, but it’s just a fact. Writers and publishers are more accessible than ever. I think that is good in most ways, but in other ways it is tempting to be less than professional, since it is such a casual “environment.” I will say that without online social media, I think the self-publishing movement would have a more difficult time. I’ve sold books in Germany and around the world, and I certainly could not reach those readers except through social media.

KR: What advice would you give to new writers? Besides put some clothes on every day even when you’re not expecting company.

TL: My first advice is to do something else. Writing is harder than many other careers. However, if you are wired like me, this is your real passion, then treat it like a business and a career. Yes, get dressed every day. Most days I am business casual, even if I am alone. It makes your desk feel more like an office and you feel more like you are working. And write what makes you money, along with the stuff you love. You have to do some of both, and some accounting and marketing things you will not like, because eventually you have to eat.

KR: What’s your number one guilty pleasure?

TL: Tough one, because for the most part, I don’t feel guilty about them. But I do like to smoke. I quit a few years ago, but I still struggle, and I’m scared that even if I have a cigar once in a while, I will pick up the habit again. I like the little flavored Prime Time brand. Rum flavor. Now my mouth is watering.

KR: Who is your favourite author? Besides me. 

TL: Historically, I would have said Stephen King. Not as much lately, and there are some great up and comers. Of them Hugh Howey is probably top of the list. For deeper stuff, I love Ken Follet, although I am behind on his work. All these besides you, of course.

KR: What do you do in your downtime? And by downtime I mean that five minutes you see once every six months.

TL: I am a skier and a cyclist. If I get a shot to ski or take a cool pedal through the mountains, I’ll take it. Doesn’t happen often enough, but I’m working on that.

KR: What are you working on now as an author?

TL: I am working on two projects, one the final novel in the Samuel Elijah Johnson trilogy titled Confession and a romantic erotica novella for a series next year. I’m also re-releasing Redemption and Temptation with new covers on November 27th, just in time for Christmas.

Right now my promotions are focused on an anthology titled Happily Ever Afterlife. A good portion of the proceeds go to Boston Children’s Hospital. So I’ll make your readers a deal: if they pop over to the giveaway page (below), like it, and post “I heard about it on Kate’s Blog” on the page I’ll send them a signed print of the Redemption and Temptation covers for free before the public even sees them.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, Troy. Your answers are very insightful. 🙂

Troy Lambert

Troy LambertTroy began his writing life at a very young age, penning the as yet unpublished George and the Giant Castle at age six. He grew up in Southern Idaho, and after many adventures including a short stint in the US Army and a diverse education, Troy returned to Idaho, and currently resides in Boise.

Happily Ever Afterlife

Happily Ever Afterlife

Troy works as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor. He writes historical site characterization reports for those performing remediation on former resource extraction sites, software instruction and help guides, and edits the research of others as well. His true passion is writing dark, psychological thrillers. His work includes Broken Bones, a collection of his short stories, Redemption the first in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, Temptation the sequel to Redemption, along with the horror Satanarium, co-authored with Poppet, a brilliant author from South Africa and published by Wild Wolf Publishing. He has stories in several anthologies including the partially for charity Happily Ever Afterlife published by Untold Press.

Troy lives with his wife of twelve years, two of his five children and two very talented dogs. He is a skier, cyclist, hiker, fisherman, hunter, and a terrible beginning golfer.

Author Website
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Happily Ever Afterlife

9 Responses to Picking an Editor’s Brain: An Interview with Troy Lambert

  1. rosgemmell

    Loved the interview, Kate and Troy! Really good of you to allow us some insight into your very busy life, Troy – no wonder you don’t get much sleep.

  2. Kemberlee Shortland, Tirgearr Publishing

    Thanks for hosting Troy today, Kate. He certainly is a man of many talents. Must say Tirgearr Publishing is thrilled to have you both on the team.

  3. Troy Lambert

    Thanks for having me Kate, and thanks gals. It is a pleasure.

  4. Heidi Hamburg

    That was fun- popping inside the mind of someone who works this business from so many angles. Of course I cringed at one point, as he was talking about business casual and I looked down at my nightie and bare feet.

  5. Maggie Powell

    So much good advice!

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