A Glimpse into the World of Writer and Story Editor, Serena Tatti

This month I’m giving you a glimpse into the World of Writer and Story Editor Extraordinaire, Serena Tatti.

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Story Editor picture

Serena Tatti left a promising career in medical research to raise her family. Cliché, but true. Having always been an avid reader of romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing one of the many stories that lived in her head. Several more followed in quick succession. While she loved writing her books, soon it was evident that the proofreading and editing skills that had often been utilized in Serena’s medical research days were being used more and more by friends. After working in the editing field for several years, Serena started her own editing business, Serena Tatti Editing Services. She lives in Victoria, Australia.

Ciao, Serena. Thank you for joining me and giving us a glimpse into your world.

Grazie, Erin. I feel very honoured to be here today.

As you can see my questions differ a little from the normal. With your Italian background I can only imagine the wonderful dishes that come out of your kitchen. What meal do you think you excel at?

I love cooking and trying out new recipes occasionally. I guess my most requested dishes are: Lasagna with Napoli sauce and three cheeses (no meat); Chicken with Mushrooms and Spring Onions served with a tossed salad; and Dreamy Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. If you’re not full after all that…maybe I should have served my Spinach Dip first.

Serena, my mouth is watering just thinking about those dishes. Aside from the delicious meals you cook, what are five items you can’t live without?

1. My sons

2. My friends

3. My computer

4. My iphone

5. Google!

Excellent list. Now, what if you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would it be?

Can I have Hugh Jackman? I’m sure there’s lots of editing things he can teach me, right? Rodrigo Santoro is close second choice because I hear he’s also an expert in editing J

You can have anyone you desire but I’m not sure how much editing would get done with either of those two fine mentors. Let’s move on to something safer. Has reading a book ever changed your life?

Yes, there was one. I don’t remember its name but it was a Mills & Boon Medical Romance. A friend of mine was in hospital and I went to see her. She’d talked about the Medical romances so bought her two. As it turns out, she already had one so I took it and read it and was forever hooked. I changed the lines over the years, but I still love reading the Medicals.

Obviously you’ve edited many manuscripts that have ended up as published books, but were there any that you’ve thought, ‘Wow this person is going to make it big,’ and they did?

As a matter of fact there are several and I couldn’t write about each one because that would take up a blog or three! So I’ll tell you about two special authors.

Fiona Lowe was my critique partner at the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. Her writing was superb, her stories full of conflict, and she always had great characters. I knew she would sell. I kept telling her that she would sell. Last year Fiona won the most prestigious award for authors of romance books in America (indeed, the world), The RITA. That same book, Boomerang Bride was soon after awarded the Australian Romance Writers R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year) Award. Fiona is the person who helped me start my editing career and for that I will be forever thankful.

I am currently mentoring a very special author who is a hair’s breadth away from selling. She writes in her own unique style and her writing grabbed me from the first paragraph. I believe you know who that is, Erin? It’s you. Erin Moira O’Hara has a huge career ahead of her and she’ll fit right in with the published authors because they are a special group of people. I look forward to that day when I hear Erin’s got *the call*!

Oh I wish, Serena. Although I must say, with you as my Story Editor and self-esteem booster I feel a lot closer to obtaining my dreams.

With running your own Editing business, I imagine there isn’t a lot of time for housework, as such what chore do you absolutely hate?

Housework of any kind: Dusting, sweeping and vacuuming are probably my least favourite. What I hate about dust is that you work hard and get it all. One day later it returns. It’s as if all those little particles have homing devices attached. I’m also sure that everybody else’s dust beams across to my house. And the cycle begins.

You’re right, Serena, dusting is a complete waste of time. I have an apron that says desperate housewife. What people don’t realise is it actually means desperate to get out of housework.

Apart from having a full time cleaner, what would your tip be for enjoying life?

While you should always be good to others, sometimes you need to be good to yourself and put yourself first. It took me a long time to work that out.

Thank you, Serena for giving us a glimpse into your world and for being such a lovely person.

To find out more about Serena, you can visit her on these sites.

Website: http://story-editor.com

Blog: www.serenatattistoryeditor.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/serena.tatti.editing.services

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39 thoughts on “A Glimpse into the World of Writer and Story Editor, Serena Tatti

  1. Serena, I’m with you on the hatred of housework. It gets in the way of the other things we want to do, doesn’t it? I’m thinking about your comment on that medical romance changing your live. The first romance I read did that for me too. Imagine what we’d have missed if we hadn’t read those?

    • Hi Annie,
      I think i might have still started reading romances because my mother used to read them 🙂 She often had little mini booklets that were in Italian magazines. I read an Italian one by a well known historical author who always wore pink. I cant think of her name, but I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Ciao, ladies. So lovely to see Serena here. She has been such a support on my own journey to publication and in the process has become a good friend. Thanks for having her on your blog, Erin.

  3. Wonderful interview, Serena!

    One important thing I got out of your interview is that you absolutely must bring your Dreamy Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake to the MRWG Christmas party!! LOL

  4. Lovely interview, Erin! Serena, dusting is the first thing to disappear off my to-do list 🙂 I love your tip for enjoying life – so true, and yet sometimes so difficult to do.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Why can’t they invent dust that disappears all by itself. (You think that’s corny? But what if it existed?) Very true that putting yourself first is very hard, especially when you have children)

  5. Hi Serena and Erin. Dust is something I notice when I can’t make out the surface that lies beneath it. Well, perhaps not quite that bad. I have to say it’s really a matter of allocating energy for me. The housework or writing or gardening or having coffee with a friend. The housework gets done but I don’t mind if it’s last on the list.

  6. Lovely Interview Serena & Erin.
    How gratifying it would be to know you had a positive hand in a writer achieving their goal 🙂

    Can I ask how much of your own Writing career your business has eaten into Serena, and do you still write for yourself?

    I’ll be jotting down your business details for future reference for sure. 🙂

    • Hi Mary,
      One of the most satisfying results from my editing is when a client sells. It must be almost as good a feeling as selling a book myself!? Maybe not, but it’s a great feeling to be a part of the journey. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Hi Maryde,
        Sorry I missed the rest of your question. To be honest, I hadn’t written for a couple of years. The mojo was gone. I found I enjoyed critiquing and loved it more and more. I read across the genres including books without romantic elements. A couple of my friends gently nudged me and Serena Tatti Editing Services was born.

        Thanks, Maryde. I’d love to work with you.

  7. Hi Serena and Erin,
    Terrific interview. Nice to find out a few tidibits that I didn’t already know. Serena, you have helped so many people to get published, including me, with your editing skills and support. Your success is due to sheer hard work, talent and determination, and I hope you go on to even greater success, because you deserve it.

    Regards

    Margaret

    • Hi Margaret T,
      You always say such lovely things abut me. I’ve been lucky to have made so many good friends at the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. You have been very encouraging to me and I appreciate your friendship.

  8. Hi Serena,
    As a member of the same writing group, I can attest to your skill at making spinach dip – the one you made for our retreat last month was scrumptious !
    I remember reading my first MIlls & Boon from my mums bookshelf when I was a young teen – Leopard in the Snow – and being hooked ever since. And as I’ve been writing since I could read it was a natural progression to want to write my own romance stories.
    I also have an aversion to housework, and I would suggest starting a support group but the membership would probably be humungous!

    thanks for interviewing our lovely Serena, Erin, and good luck with your writing career. You’re in good hands:)

    • Thanks, Lia. I like your idea for a support group and agree, it would be the fastest growing group in the world. Followers would come from all ages, races, religions and countries. I also might ask Serena for that spinach dip recipe.

    • Hi Lia,
      One of the best things about my spinach dip is that even people who hate spinach eat this dip. Technically it’s not my recipe. It recipe was given to me by my friend Karen. She married a close friend of the family and now resides here in Australia. I have a couple of other recipes that she’s given me and they are delicious!
      I’ve heard several romance authors say the first book they read was Leopard in the Snow!

      OK let’s start DA = Dusters Anonymous. I agree it will grow to endless proportions.

      Thanks for coming in, Lia (another very talented author who is close to publication!)

  9. Lovely to see you here, Serena, and learn more about you. Like every other writer I know, your priorities are spot on–housework is definitely last on the list!

    I used to ‘borrow’ my older sisters’ M&B. One of the first I read was a Violet Winspear, a sheik story. Still enjoy them, although it’s interesting how differently I read from that pre-teen girl. Greater awareness of other cultures (and I’m much older now) brings greater depth of understanding of the conflicts affecting the h/h. I wonder in what ways reading those earlier romances affected my choices in life? Possibly, they contributed to my desire to learn another language.

    Hello, Erin; you’re in good hands with Serena.

    • Hi Susanne, I think a lot of us read our mothers M&B. I can remember being a fairly young teenager and sneaking them under the blankets with a torch. I loved the Arabian and Italian M&B stories. I still do. And I think you’re right, from a young age I had a better awareness of other cultures and a thirst to experience them.

    • Hi Susanne,
      Even my friends and I exchange/borrow books. But I keep the ones I love and that’s quite a few hundred.
      Thanks for saying that about me, but I believe Erin is a natural and will make it with or without me. I plan to make it *with* me.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Hi Erin and Serena,

    What a lovely interview. Going by the comments most of us have a favourite M&B which got us started, either reading or writing, or both. I’m with Lia, I remember Leopard in the Snow and, yes Erin, I too remember sneaking them under blankets with a torch. I’d forgotten a lot of that.
    Serena – you must get a lot of satisfaction in your work, that’s a very rare thing.

    Linda

    • Hi Linda,
      Yes, I always have my little snoopy dance when one of my clients finals in a competition (Hi Erin), wins the competition, and even requests from an editor. And the best feeling of all is when one of my clients (or friends 🙂 ) get the CALL!!! I enjoy their success almost as much as they do 🙂

  11. Hi Serena, what time is dinner?! 🙂

    I agree that Erin is *this* close to getting the call! I can’t wait until she does 🙂

    Lovely interview.

  12. Hi Kerrie,
    I totally agree with you. That call is not far away at all.
    Dinner is served whenever someone dusts my home.But am happy to give you one free one when you come down to Melbs.

    Hi Erin,
    Having good writing friends who *get* what you mean when you’re talking about a way to kill a character without leaving any trace and getting off scott-free. Or how to get a man angry at his girlfriend. You know what I mean. Welll these are friends to treasure.

  13. Thank you Serena and Erin for a lovely interview. I’m with you, Serena, dusting is one of my bug bears up there with cleaning the oven. I can also vouch for Serena’s editing services – awesome. I’m also looking forward to seeing Erin Moira O’Hara on those shelves. So sorry this response is late, I’m really behind with visiting friends blogs these days.

    • Hi Suz,
      I’m glad that you could make it.
      I enjoyed working with you and hope to again soon. It’s a lot easier when the author is talented — I LOVE it when I get caught up in the story and forget to edit. I can’t wait until that day either. There will be much partying and celebrations.
      Thanks for coming in.

  14. Hello to the lovely and talented Serena! Gettting hungry at work thinkinf of your spinach dip. I don’;t know anyone who likes housework. As Margaret said its nice to know more about you. coffee with friends just about trumps everything. Thanks Erin for having Serena and I looking forward to reading your book.

    • Hi Sharyn,
      At this stage you will have to wait until the MRWG Christmas party for the dip! Maybe we should think of a good reason to party beforehand? Look forward to seeing you on Thursday, and I’ll pay you for saying such nice things about me 🙂

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