Here's a sprinkling of FAQs from my email and phone calls over the past ten days.
Q: OMG, I heard a rumor that you left Red Sage. Is it true?
A: Yes. It's true.
Q. Why. The. Fuck.
A: Many reasons, most prominent being a desire to devote my attention to the launch of STAR Guides Publishing.
Q: Do what now?
A: STAR Guides Publishing. Alicia and I are starting a new company which will publish a series of writing guides. We'll also be hosting online workshops starting September 1. Watch for a schedule of workshops soon! (Don't bother googling STAR Guides. The domain name is ours, but the website isn't live yet, and won't be for a while.)
Q: But you loved working at Red Sage.
A: Sure did.
Q: And they loved you there.
A: I like to think so.
Q: But... *doggie head tilt*
A: I know, right. Change is confusing. And this is a big change, and it was a really, really hard decision to make. I love those authors, and that editing team I painstakingly assembled and trained, and leaving them was incredibly difficult.
For a while there, I thought I might do both. Red Sage's publisher knew about the plan to publish the writing guides, and she didn't object to my doing both. But when I evaluated my schedule, it became clear that something had to go. And when I evaluated my various income streams, the decision was obvious. Not easy, but obvious.
Q: I heard you were going back to being an agent.
A: Nope. Could be fun, but no, I haven't even thought about doing that again.
Q: I heard you were going to work at another house.
A: Alas, no, unless you mean the house Alicia and I are starting. My phone did ring a couple of times last week with expressions of interest, and that was gratifying, but it will take a very specific kind of offer to get me on board at another house. I know what I want, and if I can't do it at someone else's house, then I will make my own house so I can do it there.
Q: Sounds like you have some big plans.
A: Yes, indeed. But for now, we're starting with the STAR Guides and the workshops, and we'll see how things grow from there.
Q: In this economy?
A: Yes, in this economy. I don't see problems here; I see opportunities. Now more than ever, a writer must compete for the best spot on the calendar -- or for any spot at all. You have to turn in your best work every time, and you have to do it knowing that editorial resources are growing ever more scarce. Alicia and I can help authors with that part of the problem.
Q: But I still want you to be my editor.
A: I'm for hire. I've always taken a few select private clients (a very few), but now I have time for more. I've set up a quick little site with more information about that, if you're interested. My private editing calendar is filling fast, which is also gratifying.
Q: What will Red Sage do without you?
A: Dunno, but I hope the company continues to thrive, and I have no reason to believe it won't. I want nothing but success for all those authors. That hasn't changed. And it never will -- there's no bigger fan of my authors than me.
Q: But I submitted something to you there.
A: My desk was 100% submission-free as of last Monday. If you didn't receive a rejection letter, then that means your manuscript was reassigned to another editor. I did everything in my power to see to it that the disruption would be minimal. I hope the steps I took will end up being effective, but it's really out of my hands now.
Q: What about the editing blog?
A: Alicia and I will keep the edittorrent blog going in much the same shape it's always had. That was never part of Red Sage, and it's not affected by my departure. Except, of course, now maybe our readers will understand why I've been intermittently quiet the last few months. I've been wildly busy, and for someone with my workaholic tendencies, that's saying something.
Q: Bet you're not busy now, though.
A: Are you kidding me? Dude, I'm starting a business. In the last week alone, I've had to sort out financing and accounts, start on some legal paperwork, hire a whiz kid graphic designer at an ad agency for logos and other graphics, learn complicated new software, start a website build, plan the workshop schedule, and a thousand other things besides those. Marketing, sales, distribution, all the process work has to be done now. And I've edited two books for private clients. And doused who-knows-how-many rumors.
That said, I have to confess, I have taken a few hours off here and there over the course of the past week. I spent Sunday afternoon knitting in the park for Worldwide Knit in Public Day. I met some friends for lunch one day last week (and what a treat to escape my desk for a meal). This does feel like a more sane pace, and I'm grateful for it. Once all the startup stuff is done, I'll be bewildered by all the time on my hands, but for now, it feels as though I'm exactly as busy as I should be.
And that's a good feeling. Celebrate it with me, won't you?