Live from his role as a Guest Instructor at Superstars Writing Seminars (TEACHING YOU THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER) in Colorado Springs, CO, KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews Joshua Essoe, freelance editor. Having met Joshua through networking (one of the recommended ways to find a good editor is by talking to other writers, which is what Mark did), and having hired him to edit his recently released novel A Canadian Werewolf in New York, they discuss the various elements of the writing and editing life, and occasionally draw from their own experience in that collaborative process.

They also discuss:

  • What led Joshua to writing (the author’s notes at the end of a Piers Anthony novel he had picked up at an early age) and then, more specifically, what led him into editing
  • The role that Brandon Sanderson played, at the very first Superstars Writing Seminars in Pasadena, in launching Joshua onto the patch towards editing
  • The editing pitch that Joshua did to David Farland, which led to Joshua editing his Award-Winning Novel Nightingale
  • The struggle that Joshua deals with in making the time to write while having such a heavy editing workload
  • The benefit of consultation calls between a writer and an editor when the writer is at the early stages of working on their novel
  • The types of works that Joshua mostly works on, including the types of manuscripts he would like to see more of (horror)
  • The process of finding an editor who is a good fit for a particular writer
  • A look at the different types of edits that an editor can do, or that different editors specialize in
  • The benefit to a freelance editor of working with repeat clients
  • The most common errors that Joshua has seen that writers make (and where a good editor can help them)
  • Reflections on the difference between American English and British English
  • Some of Joshua’s forthcoming projects including an anthology Joshua is co-creating with James A. Owen entitled Magic Makers (including stories by Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Peter S. Beagle)

After the interview, Mark reflects on something Joshua said early in the interview (how reading Piers Anthony’s author notes at the back of his novels inspired Joshua to want to have that writer’s life). Mark shares that he had a similar experience and pleasure from those author notes and how much he enjoys reading them from authors like Stephen King and David Wright. He also shares some thoughts on how an element such as a post-text authors note can serve an important part in helping a reader feel more connected with a writer.


Links of Interest:

Joshua’s Website

A series (The Hit List) of 4 articles about editing for writers written by Joshua Essoe

Interviews with other authors mentioned in this post: David Farland (KWL Podcast), James A. Owen



Joshua Essoe is a full-time, freelance editor and writer. He’s edited for NYT bestseller, Piers Anthony, bestselling author David Farland — including the multi-award-winning novel, Nightingale — Dean Lorey, lead writer of Arrested Development, numerous Writers of the Future winners, and many top-notch independents. He was editor at Urban Fantasy Magazine from 2014-2015. You can find him teaching about editing at Superstars Writing Seminars and the Tucson Festival of Books.

When not editing . . . ha ha, a joke. He was a 2014 finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, and is currently at work with James Artimus Owen on a dream anthology project containing many of the top names in the business. More details to come. Due out Spring ’18.

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