And here she is! The newest member of the Stengl Fiction Editing Service team: Stephanie Ricker!
Welcome, Stephanie! First, why don't you tell us a little about yourself? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Indoor or outdoor lover? Any siblings? Tea or coffee? Anything you'd like to tell us!
Hello! Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview and for the opportunity to work with Stengl Editing!
I’m originally from the northern Midwest, and as a teenager I was transplanted to
I grew up working on farms, I owned horses for several years, and as a kid I was always outside playing with Ed, my younger brother and constant companion. I’m rubbish at sports—you’ve never seen such atrocious eye-hand coordination—but I do still enjoy the outdoors, especially archery, hiking, and canoeing.
I’m blessed to have many wonderful people in my life. My family is very close, and I see my parents and brother every week. In 2009, I graduated from
I have terrible weaknesses for reading and climbing trees (simultaneously, whenever possible), and I never leave the house without a book. I’m a bit on the introverted side, and I find nothing more refreshing than the combination of solitude, a tree, and a good novel.
In answer to the all-important tea versus coffee question, I usually prefer tea (particularly Earl Grey). However, I recently bought a French press, and I confess that the ensuing coffee experiences may force me to revise my initial opinion in the near future!
When did you first start editing? Was it fiction or non-fiction?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t correcting the grammar of others; I must have been an insufferable child. The blame lies with my mother: she instilled in me a love of reading and grammar at a very young age. I distinctly remember her pointing out a sign in the produce section of the grocery store and asking me how I would correct it. (Jettison that extra apostrophe!) As a teenager, I occasionally proofread materials for my church, and I did odd editing jobs throughout college. During my junior year, I gained my first experience with fiction editing as the editor of The Lyricist,
Do you write fiction as well?
I do! I enjoy writing short stories, and I’ve dabbled in novel writing. Last year my short story “Inseparables’ War” was published in BullSpec, a journal of speculative fiction. If there’s a thrill more gratifying than seeing one’s name on the cover of a magazine in Barnes and Noble, I haven’t experienced it yet. I certainly want to pursue fiction more in the future, but at the moment I mostly write non-fiction articles or ramble about books in my blog.
What are your top three favorite novels?
What a cruel, heartless question! You might just as well ask me to choose my three favorite moments to breathe. If forced, I would pick Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dune by Frank Herbert; I find new complexities in all three every time I read them. All three are also desert-island novels: long enough to keep me happy for a good while, and heavy enough to kill small animals with, if I were hungry.
Any advice for the aspiring writers out there?
Read constantly. Read the good stuff, especially the classics. You’ll get a feel for what works, and you’ll learn a lot without realizing it. But also read some of the bad stuff: you’ll get a feel for what doesn’t work, which plays an equally vital part in developing a finely honed sense of how words fit together to make a story.
Thank you so much for taking the time for an interview today, Stephanie! We are SO excited to have you joining us at Stengl Fiction Editing Services.