Terrouge E-zine Archives
ROC Spotlight: Interview with Erin
Terrouge: Hello there!
Erin: Hi Kathryn!
Terrouge: You have one of the most time-consuming jobs in the ROC, how do you manage it and outside commitments?
Erin: It can get difficult sometimes, especially when there are special projects, like Questors Bold, going on. You just have to stick with it, schedule your time, and plan ahead. Delegating authority to other staffers also helps out. These past two months in particular have been very busy, because I've been applying to colleges and am now student-directing our school's spring play, Much Ado About Nothing… this is in addition to my regular workload of schoolwork. Without the assistance of my editors, I'm not sure how I would really have gotten everything done.
Terrouge: Would you recommend being an editor to others? What kind of characteristics would you need to be a good editor?
Erin: Editor, or editor-in-chief? Either way, the answer is that I'd recommend it to some, but not to others. A skilled and discerning eye is the first thing a good editor needs. You have to be able to catch mistakes, figure out what the reporter was trying to say, and recommend a better way to say it. If you aren't informed, you can end up harming someone's grammar skills by "correcting" something that's not a mistake, or trading one mistake for another. The second thing you need is honesty, because saying only positive things will not help someone improve. In the same vein, the third requirement for a good editor is good people skills. It's necessary to take note of the negatives, but if you don't mention the positives as well, you may cause someone to become resentful or feel attacked. At the very least, they won't realize what their strengths are. Finally, a good editor needs a thick skin. No matter how kind or fair you are, you are bound to run into a few people who can't take criticism. When you suggest improvements, some people take it as an attack, and they will lash out at you. You just have to learn to grin and bear it.
As for being an editor-in-chief… I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to anyone. It's a lot of fun for me, but it's incredibly time-consuming and it can get very harrowing at times. I think this may be made worse by the fact that I do my job entirely online; if a staffer does not have their work done on time, and is not responding to e-mails, there is literally nothing I can do about it. Still, especially with a large 'zine like Terrouge, I think that the feedback we get from our readers is what makes it all worth it.
Terrouge: How many hours a month do you put into being an editor on average?
Erin: I really don't like to think about that. If you include the time I spend moderating the Terrouge forums, it grows to a truly… large… sum.
Terrouge: What do you see in the future of Redwall magazines? Do you see the possibility of actually creating a mailed magazine?
Erin: I don't believe that making a physical magazine is a viable option for Terrouge. For one thing, our readers are spread across several continents, and the shipping for each magazine could total several dollars. That wouldn't even include the costs of printing. Most of our readers would not be willing to pay that much to get a copy of the magazine, especially when they've been able to read it free, online. I think a better choice would be to start running banner ads on the Terrouge Redwall Forum pages. With that and the bookstore, Terrouge could probably turn a tidy profit-enough to run contests more regularly, I hope.
I think that the future of Redwall magazines really depends on the future of Redwall itself. We've got a dedicated community here, and I'd like to hope that we endure for several years. As for Terrouge itself, you've heard about a few of our ideas, and I've got some more you haven't heard about. You'll just have to stick around if you want to find out what we come up with.
Terrouge: Which do you enjoy more, writing articles or editing them?
Erin: Writing them is inarguably more difficult, but I enjoy the challenge. I definitely enjoy writing more than I do editing. Editing is an almost mathematical process, something you can do easily when your creativity is burned out. It is difficult to learn to do it well, but after you've learned to do so it's an almost relaxing activity.
Terrouge: Do you still read Redwall, and do you like to read Redwall as much as you once did?
Erin: Of course I still read Redwall! What kind of an editor-in-chief would I be if I didn't? I still enjoy them, but they're no longer my absolute favorite books. I've gotten older and my tastes have, too. My favorite author nowadays would probably be Orson Scott Card.
Terrouge: Do you have any ideas, or predictions for the future of the ROC?
Erin: Quite a few… As for ideas, you can check this month's Enthusiastic Monthly Exhortation. Predictions? Not really. I think we're growing older and stronger as a community, and I hope to see that continue. My only real prediction is that the members of the ROC will continue to surprise me with inventive activities, stellar accomplishments and original sites in the years ahead.
Terrouge: Thank you for the interview Erin!
Erin: You're more than welcome. I must say, it's a bit odd to be interviewed in my own 'zine, but quite enjoyable. Thank you for the opportunity.