Monday, February 29, 2016

DAW Books and Sheila Gilbert

Over the weekend I started in on This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie Czerneda.  Her acknowledgement starts with what can be best described as a love letter to our mutual publisher, DAW Books.  And it struck me how fortunate and blessed I am to be with DAW, and that I get to work with an editor with the skill and passion of Sheila Gilbert.
Sometimes I am just stunned by the faith that Sheila and DAW have placed in me.  I mean, they bought two books to release in the same year, coming out just months apart.  They bought two more before the second one came out. Then four more before the third one.  I mean, that last one really astounds me.  A lot of other publishers would have been all, "Let's see how these next books do before we commit to anything."  But DAW committed to me, and because of that, I'm getting to tell the stories I've been wanting to tell, in the way I want to tell them.  
Sheila gets what I'm trying to do, and a large part of her role as editor is to give me ideas how to make that story clearer, stronger and more vibrant.  On top of the work we've done on the books that have come out and the one's scheduled to be released, I've got two other projects in my to-do pile with notes from her on how to make them better. DAW hasn't bought those yet, but she's committed to the idea of getting them ready to be bought.  
From the stories I've heard from other authors, having an editor who is that invested in your work is a rarity.   Heck, I hear tales of series where each book has a different editor.  
And that's not just for me.  Sheila is dedicated to getting great SFF work out there, and keeping it coming.  Pretty much half the books DAW puts out are edited by Sheila.  (And the other half by Betsy Wollheim-- DAW is a small publishing house, but they are just a powerhouse team putting out great books every month.)
Why am I saying all this?  Because it's the time for Hugo nominations to start to get serious (the deadline is March 31st-- my birthday), and I'm only going to make one endorsement, and that's Sheila Gilbert for Long Form Editor.  I've seen some chatter out there about how it's a confusing category and people aren't sure exactly what a Long Form Editor does, so let me make it clear: She makes my books better. She keeps looking for new talent and cultivating it, and then protecting it so it can flourish.  
She's been nominated the past three years, and last year was kind of a fiasco*.  She damn well ought to be nominated again this year.  
If you've got further questions or concerns, the floor is open.
The Alchemy of Chaos got some nice praise at Kings River Life and Bibliotropic.  Check them out.
*- We can get into that, if you want to get into it, but I think "fiasco" covers things succinctly.

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