Writing: “Lithium Sandwich” in A Matter of Words short story anthology, Scout Media; “Dust to Dust” Bloodlotus online literary blog: http://www.bloodlotusjournal.com/2014/07/blauthor10-leah-lederman.html “The Great Collapse” Indy Magazine _Snacks_ March 2014 issue “Heat,” “Lost” Indy Magazine _Snacks_ February 2014 issue: “Lost” “The Singularity” Indy Magazine _Snacks_ January 2014 issue: “Mutant,” “Bathroom Letter” Indy Magazine _Snacks_ October 2013 issue: “Letters,” “Parental Pariah” parenting column in The Toledo Free Press
Editing: I’ve worked on too many comics to list here comfortably, so I’ll just name drop (comfortably) and tell you that I’ve worked with Dirk Manning, Howie Noel, Kasey Pierce, Headmetal Comics, Bob Salley, J Jacob Barker, and Ron Kerronian. I’ve edited novels, menus, dissertations, and short story collections. ____________________________________________
Creative Title: Freelance Writer and Editor
Favorite Comic: Either Calvin and Hobbes or Maus (But that’s a graphic novel, right? What the hell is the difference again?)
If you could have 1 power: To be able to write on the screen of a Microsoft Word document and have it magically turn my chicken scratches into text. (Note: Livescribe pen lied to me.) Any Additional Personal Info: I get a little verklempt when I see enthusiastic displays of audience participation. ____________________________________________
Can Leah Lederman edit the ways of
Would you rather become a rich and well respected editor or a semi known author of short stories making a modest living?
I’ll probably always edit because it’s like teaching, but not as relentless and thankless; it’s the best, most willing students because they want feedback. They come to me, seeking it out, and then use it to improve their writing! Editing is also a motivator for me to write. I am amazed at the things my clients come up with, and it inspires me to get to race the blinking cursor, myself.
So yeah, publish me and let me make money doing that.
Would you sell your stories to a very famous author for a ton of money knowing they planned to published it under their name as if they wrote it?
If I were that good I wouldn’t need a famous author to publish it in their name. I’d publish it and knock on their door and staple the manuscript to their big ugly forehead using my grandma’s crazy industrial 1960’s stapler made from asbestos. If I made any money I’d offer said famous author a job. As like, my landscaper.
As an editor what mistakes do you repeatedly see that drive you mad?
I hate to sound like a nice person because I’m not, but I think I’m fairly patient from project to project, person to person. I’m not a prescriptivist, so I don’t take grammar personally. Inconsistencies in word use, spelling, or plot are probably my biggest hurdle. I also take an ax to anything that looks like purple prose or smells like an info dump. Even then, I can handle a mistake (hell, it’s part of my job). A mistake only drives me mad when I don’t have the power to fix it. That’s why I like editing. I get to fix things.
What frustrates me endlessly is sloppy and/or lazy writing. If a writer doesn’t care enough about their work to run it through a spellcheck or at least read it through to themselves (just ONE time, it’s all I ask) before they send it off to me, it makes it difficult for *me* to care about their work. I get it, they’re excited because they finished the first draft, or they’re exhausted from looking at it until they’re cross-eyed. There are always exceptions. In general, though, a work should be pretty well polished by the time it’s being sent to an editor. Take note: An editor’s job is *not* the same as a proofreader’s.
It drives me mad when people offer unsolicited grammar and spelling advice to others (and by “offer advice” I mean “spew their pedantry”). When the Gospels talk about not removing the speck from your brother’s eye before removing the plank from your own…they are talking about Grammar Nazis. We could have written a thousand more novels and a million more comics if we actually wrote instead of correcting each other’s grammar (often incorrectly. Don’t even get me started).
Name a word(s) you think writers should stop using as of reading this and why?
In general well I have some issue with empty, filler words, for instance: “just,” “even,” “very.” As John Lennon told his first wife Cynthia – quashing her attempt to contribute a line to a song – the word “just” is just a filler. It takes up space without adding anything of merit to the sentence. See also Mark Twain’s note about “very.” There’s a time and a place for these words, of course (my insistence that there’s always an exception is what drives Grammar Nazis mad).
Related in concept to words writers should stop using, is the dreaded MISUSED word. Nothing detracts from your writing more than saying “defecate” instead of “deprecate.” Also, even if it’s the best word in the world, like “susurrus,” it’s not cool if you use it too often (within a single text or across the board with your writing. Don’t be the “susurrus guy”).
You can choose to sell your rights to a short story of yours to be adapted into a movie or not sell it at all and keep the rights, but the movie will not be made. What do you do?
Well, they’re sure as hell not making any money sitting on my laptop…Besides, if I send the story off to be published in an anthology or contest, I lose the rights to it, also. Double besides, if the movie is as good as my story then die-hard fans and hipster-types can look into it and “discover” me and pretend that they knew me before I was so awesome*. Silly future imaginary fans of a movie based on a short story I wrote: I have always been awesome, therefore it is impossible to have known me before I was so awesome.
For you what is more important Money or Notoriety?
I’m already notorious.
What was the worst adapted Book to Movie you have ever watched?
As we all know, so often the movie disappoints. I tire of saying “The book was better” because I already know it and you know it too, and if we have to say it, it’s like we’re just trying to out-pretentious one another. I don’t want to be a book hipster. I just like books.
BUT since you asked, I’m going to lay on the pretension hard and say that Hollywood needs to stop trying to turn Beowulf into a movie. They are all so horrible it hurts my brain; it burns us. And it’s not because “the book [read: poem] was better. It’s because the movies, in and of themselves, are horrible. All of them. Staaaahp. _________________________________________________________