I have the absolute pleasure of working with some great authors. It’s even better for me since I call several of them my friends. We talk/email/text on a regular basis and try and see each other outside of conferences if we can. Okay, I admit this has only been able to happen once in the past few years but I’m holding out hope.
But where and how do you draw the line between work and friendship? It all boils down to one concept – Respect. I’ve found that when you start any relationship (and let’s face it working on a manuscript together is a relationship), you need to have a strong base and what’s stronger than mutual respect? The editor needs to respect that the author has put their blood, sweat and tears into their work – it’s their baby. The author needs to respect that the editor has the skills and only wants to help them tell the best story that they can tell.
Why does friendship develop from this? When you spend so much time working together on various books, it’s only natural that you start the give and take that forms the best friendships. Does every editor/author pairing end up in friendship? No, but are you friends with everyone you work with in your life? It’s only natural that if you get along with someone through work that you can become great friends.
The one thing that you HAVE TO remember is what started you off in the beginning – mutual respect and the love of the written word. With those two things at the forefront of your mind when working together on a manuscript, things can go easier and strengthen your friendships.