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