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    Quirk Mode

    michelleMichele Karlsberg: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

    Rob Byrnes: Unlike pretty much every writer who ever lived, I love love love to edit my work. Putting words on a blank page is tough—even typing these few short paragraphs is killing me—but once I have an opportunity to print out those words and rework them, my creativity is at its peak. My raw work on paper is harsh; to steal from Capote, it’s typing, not writing. Creativity—not to mention readability—comes through the editing and polishing of that work.

    Of course, the problem then becomes: when do you stop? Because you do have to stop eventually. I imagine for the many writers who hate editing their work that’s an easy question. For me…not so easy. Left to my own devices, I’d probably still be in the fourteenth year of polishing my first manuscript. Fortunately, deadlines are unforgiving of my own devices.words

    wordsguyMy short answer, then, is that I stop editing when I’m happy enough with what’s on the page and/or finally become sick of reading what’s on the page. One has to move on and acknowledge that the most perfect gem has a flaw. And I inevitably find that flaw a few months—or years—later, when my carefully edited manuscript is out in print. That’s okay, though. It gives me an incentive to indulge in my love—self-editing my work—again in the future, in that ongoing effort to get it right.

    Rob Byrnes is the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of six novels. He lives in “Manhattan-adjacent” New Jersey, where he’s working on several new projects.

    J.M Redmann: As if writing about invisible worlds only you can see isn’t quirky enough, I’ve been asked to come up with a quirk on that quirk. Which is hard, as I’m either not all that quirky or too crazy to notice any quirks (see invisible world above). Well, there is sacrificial vodka on occasion, but don’t all writers do that? I, and my circle of friends, came up with a religion in which we thank the great Cosmo for all that is right and good in the world. It is our many libations to Her that keep the zombie apocalypse away.

    words2I don’t know if this is a quirk or just reality, but I can’t write without a good chunk of time in front of me, at least a couple of hours. It takes time to leave daily life and re-enter the invisible world of the book, so I usually read what I wrote the last time before starting to write (all right, adjust the chair, get something to drink, contemplate whether to go to the bathroom now or wait a bit). It can often be half an hour or so after I’ve sat down before I start writing. Once I get going, I’m good; it’s the getting going that can be hard, especially if more than a few days have passed (pesky day job to pay the pesky mortgage and cat food bills). Here’s to the great Cosmo!wordsgirl

    J.M. Redmann has published eight novels featuring New Orleans lesbian private investigator Micky Knight. Three of the books have won Lambda Awards.



    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-six years of successful book campaigns.