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Dave Tallman

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An interview with Lea Schizas
By Dave Tallman   
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Last edited: Saturday, March 07, 2009
Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009

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An interview with Lea Schizas Editor in Chief of Red Rose Publications

Hello everyone and welcome to 10 Quick Questions with Dave, I am
your host Dave Tallman, founder of Fictionwritersgroup.com and
today I will be chatting with Lea Schizas from Red Rose
Publications.<br/>
Let’s get started:<br/>
Me:<br/>
I read on your bio that you are both the Submissions Editor and the
Editor in Chief of Red Rose Publishing, wow that must be exciting.
How did you get into the field?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Dave, you know it’s important for a writer to build a platform, to
get their name out there. I knew at some point in my career that I
would love to edit for publishing houses and start my own editing
services. After I build a good name for myself as a writer and
mentor to writers, I researched and sent out resumes to various
publishing houses to continue building my name as an editor now.
During this period, I carefully eliminated houses I found did not
go along my own scruples or what I believed a connection with an
author should be. I hopped on board with Red Rose Publishing after
the publisher contacted me before she opened the doors to her
house. And I’ve never regretted it. Wendi goes all out for her
authors, and after a while I was offered these two positions. I
think it was my multi-tasking abilities that appealed to her, plus
I got a knack with the art of ‘email’ finesse. GRIN<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
To some writers the “submissions editor” is the enemy that must be
overcome in order to become published, but you have a very
important job to do, why is a submission editor needed?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Well, let’s put it like this: submissions editors are called the
enemy because they are the ones who block the path to a contract.
This job entails assessing manuscripts for quality, not perfection.
I’ve accepted manuscripts that had typos and some grammatical
mistakes because the storyline was unique and fleshed out.<br/>
The stories that get immediate rejections are the ones that have
clearly not taken the time to look over their manuscripts. When I
spot the character’s name as ‘Frank’ on page one and then changes
to ‘David’ on page two, well, this is a detail the author should
have picked off. What this tells me is that their eagerness to
submit prevented them from going over it a few times. Now, to play
the devil’s advocate here and to totally confuse you, IF the
storyline has grabbed my attention from the beginning, I will
forgive this detail and continue reading.<br/>
Submission editors look for manuscripts they know their readers
would love to read.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
What is the criteria that Red Rose operates under as far as
submissions go? And would I need an agent to be considered?<br/>
LS:<br/>
You don’t need an agent, although some of our authors, like L. A.
Banks and Michael Boatman do have agents. If by ‘criteria’ you mean
what types of books we accept and if they need to be from seasoned
authors:<br/>
We want fully fleshed out stories that offer perhaps the typical
story read in other books but with a twist, a new slant to it. We
want quality over quantity. We accept romance and all of its
sub-genres (historical, paranormal, contemporary, sweet romance,
etc) mystery, fantasy, chick lit, inspirational fiction. We also
have various themes where a writer can submit a short story. You
can find them under our submission guidelines.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
As a Publishing company, what is Red Rose’s stand on self
publishing, would they consider contracting with an Author who has
their works on say Lulu or some other self publishing site?<br/>
LS:<br/>
As I wrote above, it’s the quality of the work that counts.<br/>
We don’t mind where a writer has previously published. If they
submit and we love their work, then we’ll consider offering them a
contract. However, any books we contract for ebook/print must not
be available for sale on Lulu by the author. They would have to be
removed before a contract is issued.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
You are a very busy person, I was at your web site at
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.leaschizas.com/index.htm">http://www.leaschizas.com/index.htm</a> and was very impressed with
your list of accomplishments. Could you give us a bit more
information about your Blog Talk Radio Show, The Writing
Jungle?<br/>
LS:<br/>
The Writing Jungle Radio Show is a complimentary division of my
blog. What you see in the blog is what I enhance in the show with
guest appearances by writers, editors, publishers, and if I could
snag one or two, agents.<br/>
I start all of my shows with a writing tip for new writers, and end
it with a quote for thought. All shows are archived as podcasts for
download from my radio show or iTunes. Or, you can simply listen to
the shows by visiting my radio site or my blog.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
You also have a host of other sites that you are involved with,
could you break them down for us and give us the links we need to
visit them?<br/>
LS:<br/>
My very first newsletter and ezine was/is Apollo’s Lyre:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.apollos-lyre.com">http://www.apollos-lyre.com</a><br/>
We’re in the process right now of giving it a facelift so we’ve
delayed our issue for now.<br/>
The MuseItUp Club is an online writing critique community:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://museitupclub.tripod.com/">http://museitupclub.tripod.com/</a><br/>
It’s been one of Writer’s Digest top 101 Best Writing Sites since
2005 each year.<br/>
Lea’s Editing Services:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://editingservices.tripod.com/">http://editingservices.tripod.com/</a><br/>
I’ve edited for several publishing houses. My freelance fee is kept
low, almost to poor level because I know how much lint we writers
have in our pockets. GRIN<br/>
The Muse Book Reviews:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://themusebookreviews.tripod.com/">http://themusebookreviews.tripod.com/</a><br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://themusebookreviews.blogspot.com/">http://themusebookreviews.blogspot.com/</a><br/>
The first above is the archive and the blog is the new location for
book reviews.<br/>
The Muse Marquee is an online zine:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://themusemarquee.tripod.com/">http://themusemarquee.tripod.com/</a><br/>
The Muse Marquee Blog:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://themusemarquee.blogspot.com/">http://themusemarquee.blogspot.com/</a><br/>
The blog is something new we’ve introduced this month. We host
several contests throughout the year – no fee and monetary prizes
handed out. My monthly column is Mother Hen’s Bin.<br/>
The Autism Epidemic:Shaking the System:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.theautismepidemic.com">http://www.theautismepidemic.com</a><br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://shakingthesystem.blogspot.com/">http://shakingthesystem.blogspot.com/</a><br/>
Musing Our Children – a site geared for parents, teachers, and
children:<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://musingourchildren.tripod.com/">http://musingourchildren.tripod.com/</a><br/>
We offer a quarterly free ezine as well.<br/>
Once a month I have a paid subscription for the Monthly Links
Newsletter. It's just ten dollars a year and you get tons of
helpful links to expand and use in your writing career. To
subscribe or for more info, go to my website:
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.leaschizas.com">http://www.leaschizas.com</a> Each month I seek out and offer to my
members links to: agents, review sites, publishers, magazines,
ezines, etc, along with writing articles to read. For ten dollars,
it’s a bargain considering the amount of hours I put in to find the
various links each month. And boy, are there tons of them out
there.<br/>
I’m sure I left something out but my personal website has them all:
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.leaschizas.com">www.leaschizas.com</a><br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
What is the Muse Online Writers Conference and how does one become
involved in it?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Now this I didn’t leave out above because I spotted the question.
The Muse Online Writers Conference is as its name states, an online
conference for writers held each year in October. This year it will
be held October 12 – 18, 2009.<br/>
<a target="_blank" href="http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com">http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com</a><br/>
All you need to do is hop on to the site and you’ll get the idea
who and what we offered last October. There were over 100 workshops
offered during the week, and over 80 handouts given to those who
registered for the conference. The best way to get how others feel
is to read some of the testimonials on the site.<br/>
Registration is now on. Just click on the Registration page and
follow the link to a registration yahoo group. Deadline is August 1
and there won’t be any exceptions past this date, so don’t delay,
register today. Oh wait, forgot the best part:<br/>
It’s FREE! Yep, every single presenter offers his/her time during
the week and we’re talking presenters who are professionals in
their topic for the week. Some of the subjects are:<br/>
Writing for children – romance – dark fiction – mystery – WE HAVE
TONS OF SUBJECTS ON HOW TO WRITE FOR ALMOST ANY GENRE<br/>
Marketing your book<br/>
Building a platform<br/>
How to write a news release<br/>
Grabbing your readers interest<br/>
Writing the short story<br/>
Building a website<br/>
Creating your poetic flair<br/>
How to research for a book<br/>
Writing nonfiction<br/>
And so much more<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
I noticed you offer your services as an editor, could you go over
what you charge for that and what kind of services one could
expect? Do you edit for content only, or offer assistance with the
work as well?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Many have said that I’m more like a silent agent who doesn’t grab
their royalties.  <a target="_blank" href="http://editingservices.tripod.com">http://editingservices.tripod.com</a> Click on my
Editing Services page to see my rates. As a submissions editor and
EIC for Red Rose Publishing – and as an editor who has worked with
other publishing houses – I understand what publishers are seeking,
what mistakes new writers are making, and use this knowledge to
help my clients.<br/>
I work a manuscript to death. I don’t go through the whole ms in
one shot, this I make clear to my client from the beginning. We
work together, going over each chapter one by one until we’re both
satisfied with the outcome and then move on to the next chapter.
They understand we might have to go back and redo a finished
chapter depending on what I find further on. I find this is the
best way for me to work with a writer because it puts less stress
on them receiving a manuscript riddled with red markings and
feeling flustered where to begin. If I have any opened doors to me,
and feel there’s a good match with any particular manuscript I’ve
edited to a publisher, then I’ll help them with an intro. This
happened with Brian Porter, A Study in Red, and now he’s selling
like hot cakes on Amazon and signed a movie deal. I introduced
Brian to the publisher of Double Dragon Publishing and the rest is
history.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
What is your favorite genre, and why?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Oh my, I don’t have any favorite genre. I love to read and write
for the Young Adult market because teens are so unpredictable and
hasty. Mystery and dark fiction(thrillers/suspense) are other
genres I have tons of, and then comes romance, but not your
Harlequin type romance. I love anything with vampires, the
paranormal, mystery to keep me guessing until the end. And to be
honest, that’s what I look for as submissions editor – grab my
interest from the start.<br/>
<br/>
Me:<br/>
Ok here is the one that everyone gets, what’s next for you? Where
do you see yourself in a year, in five years and beyond?<br/>
LS:<br/>
Dave, I see myself in the news, advocating for autism (the newest
project) and yelling at governments to move their butts and help
these families. I see myself in five years and beyond owning the
home of my dreams because sales due to my marketing and promoting
will have helped me achieve it. I don’t have visions of owning my
own publishing house because as Submissions Editor, that’s like
being the publisher’s right hand – and I see what she goes through,
so no thanks. GRIN.<br/>
One dream I do have and will achieve is to open up The Muse
Bookstore where I’ll showcase books from writers who have been
turned away because their book is POD, or self-published.<br/>
That’s what I see for my future, and once my house becomes reality
and have my own office, I’ll invite writers to come on down, or
send me your books, and I’ll put it in The Muse Bookstore.<br/>

Web Site: 10 Quick Questions with Dave



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