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Editor
Christopher Nugent

Christopher is a native of an off-central, black hole of a Florida county, he completed his Associate Degree in 2011, Bachelors in 2013, and Masters in 2016. He's worked as an editor beginning in 2009 with Upper Deck Entertainment as a contributing editor to their Warcraft Miniatures table-top game. He started freelance editing at the end of 2010.

Christopher reads and edits mainly in the genres of horror, romance, fantasy, and science fiction, and in the middle grade, young adult, and adult/new adult age groups. He loves books that pull him in as well as his favorite shows or movies might.  He's a sucker for killer dialogue, regardless of genre, age, or medium, and if a story features subverted tropes, he's all over it.

MOST IMPORTANTLY What kind of entries are you looking for in your Pitch to Publication query box?
  • Fantasy is my jam, but good Horror and Romance get me bouncing in my seat too. All subgenres welcome—especially historical fiction and anything half-fantasy.

  • MG: I want to remember what it was like the first time I stepped through a portal or searched for dragons in a strange land. Take me away and remind me that childhood is all about wonder, a bit of fright, some mystery, and getting into the thick of it.

  • YA: I am not the best choice for issue books, but if you think you’ve written a realistic character going through tough times, PUT IT IN MY HANDS. Bonus points for actual diversity.

  • Adult: I have to pass on Adult this year. Please consider one of the many amazing editors already tackling this age group.

  • No NA either, please.

  • I am not the best choice for a funny book, but I do appreciate wit and sass. Bonus points if you can make me laugh in an otherwise serious MS.

  • It does not matter if you wrote in 1st person or 3rd person, but I am not the right fit for 2nd person or books in verse.

  • Diversity is all the rage in the many writer communities, so don’t be afraid whether your MS’s diversity is right. There’s certainly time to make sure your efforts at character diversity are realistically representative if your MS is well developed in areas of plot and pacing.

  • I’ll happily read LGBT+ characters in YA, but I am not the right editor if you are trying to deal with LGBT+ issues in MG.

  • Historical fiction seems to be the market’s reaction to a saturation of near-future dystopian novels, but I’ll probably know if you haven’t done your research in the periods of the French Revolution, American Revolution, feudal Japan, ancient Persia, ancient Greece, and ancient Egypt.

  • A lot of the agents are shying away from ‘chosen one’ fantasies and books with dragons, vampires, werewolves, angels, and/or demons, so I would prefer not to see this in my inbox this year.

  • I will be expanding the list of some of my favorite tv shows, movies, and books on my website, if you’re looking for specific examples of things I enjoy.
What is your writing and editing background?

​I've been editing since 2009 when I started as the contributing editor for Upper Deck Entertainment's Warcraft Miniatures game. I began freelance editing for manuscripts in 2010 and have maintained my business as a part-time source of income​ until I work up the nerve to plunge into full-time editing.​

What are your major editing accomplishments?

Originally, I got hired by Upper Deck after calling them out on the message boards for seemingly firing all of their staff writers for the game. It turns out UDE needed an editor for the product, so I threw my hat in the ring. I also got hired as the editor for a gaming company off of a sample piece of flash fiction I wrote for them. That was pretty neat.​ 

Most recently, I provided a critique for an author who didn't get selected as a mentee in the latest Pitch Wars, but immediately after making revisions, she landed an agent. Any time that happens with a client, I think the author's success is due more to his or her perseverance than my editing contributions.​

 

Do you have a general philosophy for how you approach your editing work?

​I perform a SWOT analysis (the business acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of each client's MS to point out what works and what doesn't at both the big picture level and in the writing-level details. I also have a bad habit of commenting with objective and subjective remarks at the end of each chapter, regardless of if clients purchased that feedback or not. As an author first, I know how much feedback I want from editors, so as an editor, I provide as much constructive feedback as possible.

What types of books do you enjoy working with?

​I enjoy books that focus on characterization and which develop plots/scenes through dialogue. My favorite genres include horror, romance, and fantasy.

What are the most common mistakes you see in new writer's ​work?

​I often do free samples for authors who haven't used an beta readers or critique partners yet. That's fine for authors in need of developmental editing to finish a book or feedback on their first 50 pages to really shape their writing for a given MS, but common grammatical mistakes can often be caught by betas, allowing an author to save some money on an editor for that stuff.

What’s the one thing most novelists don’t understand about the art of revision?

A​n author can only revise so much on his or her own before he or she starts revising in circles. Therefore, feedback is critical during the revision process.​ However, authors need to know not all beta reading relationships will work out, and that's okay.

What’s one easy thing every writer can do right now to make themselves a better writer?

​Read. It's not cliche. Authors need to read anything, everything ​they can get their hands on, including reading outside of their preferred genres at times. Author's won't improve their writing by osmosis with reading, but it's pretty close to that effect.

What is the most important consideration in selecting a book editor?

​The most important consideration in selecting a book editor is how well the author and editor get along before any contracts are signed, including how well they may see eye-to-eye about suggestions/feedback in any sample edits the editor may perform. ​

Why would a writer need a book editor?

​Simply, people who perform work for free have other demands on their time. Reading for someone is actual work, as is providing thorough, constructive feedback. If authors aren't getting the amount of timely feedback they feel their MS needs, an editor with whom the author establishes a good rapport​ ​will make that author's MS a priority during every stage of a paid editing process.

What do you do for fun that does not deal with the literary scene?

When I make time for fun, I heal friends and blow up enemies as a Republic Commando in Star Wars: the Old Republic. ​

 

Seriously, we need to know your favorite meal and why?

​Pizza remains my favorite meal, as there is little else I have found that packs as much lasting energy through a workday as a pizza for breakfast. What was that jingle? 'When pizza's on a bagel...' I don't have a sense of smell, so for me, pizza truly is a party in my mouth. From the crust, to the cheese, to the toppings, every pizza provides a variety of tactile sensations--be them chewy, crunchy, gooey. When it's pizza, it's all good.

 
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