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September Spotlight Interview: Hadassah

Star-Tree editor with Iowa roots, a love of reading, and helping others.

Hadassah grew up in Iowa, USA, and has always had a passion for two things: reading and helping. From an early age, she developed a keen eye for finding grammar errors in the books she read. This quirk spurred her to become a proofreader and editor so writers could get the help they needed to publish polished works of literary art. Now armed with a desire to help as many authors as possible, Hadassah wants to personalize her connections with each author:

"I want to align myself with customers I believe in and enhance their creativity without changing their text."


The Interview...

What part of the world do you live in? Do you have a favorite vacation spot or special writing space?

I live in the US. I was raised in Iowa and still live here. I went to Mexico on a family vacation.

My favorite memory from that vacation was when my uncle and I went to this shop that had Garra Rufa fish (baby piranhas). For those that don't know what Garra Rufa fish are, they are the fish that eat dead skin. The associate offered my uncle and me to partake in this experience; however, we were iffy about putting our feet into a tub of fish. By the time we decided to participate, we were halfway down the street, so we had to turn around and go back to the store. We had to see what it was all about because we knew we wouldn't get another chance like it. When it was time to put our feet in, we were so scared we started asking all of these questions, such as does it hurt, will they know when the dead skin is gone and stop, or will they keep eating to the bone? 😂 I will say once the fish went to work, we got over our fear very quickly because it was ticklish, and we were laughing. It wasn't what we made it out to be in our heads. We were having such a great time that other tourists started stopping by and asking how it felt and if they should do it too. We said, "yes." Once everything was done, we noticed our feet were so soft and had created a great memory together.


What are some quirks or hobbies that you enjoy outside of your writing?

When I am not editing, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, playing Scrabble, and going on nature walks.


How/When/Why did you get started as an editor and proofreader?

Since I was a little girl, I have loved two things: reading and helping people (plus my family obvi🤣). But seriously, I have always been the child who could be found in a corner with my head in a book, whether it be Corduroy, Junie B. Jones, Fallen, or The Host. As I got older, I didn’t find my favorite genre (romance) until I read Black Butterfly by Sienna Mynx; I felt like I had found my place in the reading world.

Throughout the years, as I read, I started to notice that there were mistakes in the books that would take me out of the storyline. Sometimes the errors would be so bad that I would stop reading the novel created by the author. I wanted to do something about this that not only helped the author but the readers' experience too. So, I became the best of both worlds: a proofreader and editor.

I have been editing for family and friends since high school, but I went into business about a year ago.


What are the biggest challenges you face as an editor?

I don't really face any big challenges as an editor. However, there are times I have to look up rules to a style guide an author prefers me to use to make sure I am correcting a grammatical error.

How many books/publications do you read daily/weekly? What is a 'regular' day like for an editor?

A typical day for me is to check and answer my emails early in the morning, attend to any administrative tasks, and then start editing manuscripts for my clients. In one week, I usually edit two books slightly apart from each other so I can give each book its own individual attention.


What are your favorite genres?

I enjoy editing romantic fiction: historical, suspense, dark (motorcycle clubs/mafia), inspirational, western, etc. In addition to romantic fiction, I also appreciate editing nonfiction: health and wellness, entertainment, travel, self-help, spiritual, and history books.


What inspires you the most?

I get inspiration from a lot of things, but the most inspiring thing to me is when someone can take a really bad situation and turn it into a victorious outcome. This is inspiring to me because it reminds me that no matter how bad a situation looks that there will always be a brighter day.


If you wanted to pass on your knowledge to anyone wanting to enter the editing biz, what are some key things you would tell them?

I would tell them that if they were interested in entering into this industry, the best way is to learn where their strengths lie with editing; then find their ideal client by niching down in an area they know a lot about. Also, if they want to build their confidence in the editing world, take a class or join an organization that will help them learn more about the industry.


Do you have a website where clients can go to learn more about your services? How would a new author contact you for editing services? What is the process to get a book edited through your company?

Yes, I have a website where clients can learn more about my services:

The best way to contact me is through my site. Once I am contacted, I go through a consultation with a potential client to make sure we are a good fit for each other. During the consultation, I get to know the author, their manuscript, and their goals.


What is some editor-advise you would like to give to authors writing their books prior to sending them in to be edited? Is there a preferred format/type-setting?

I would advise the author to know which type of editing they need done so they can pick the best person for their manuscript. No, there is no preferred format/typesetting. It just depends on what the author wants.


Finally, can you give us a teaser of your next project?

Boss On Notice

By Z.L. Arkadie and Zoey Locke

Teaser: I have the worst boss in New York City.

And I am sick and tired of breaking his dates, picking up his dry cleaning, doing his job for him, and recently he's hit an all-time low when he woke me up and asked me to bring him a bottle of cold water while he jogged through my neighborhood. I didn't even know he knew where I lived!

I will take some accountability here. After all, there's a method to his madness.

My boss's name is Orion Lord. And when Orion asks me to shoot for the moon on his behalf, he's never a jerk about it. He does it while gracing me with his spellbinding smirk and hypnotizing me with his sultry eyes. Orion is a shameless flirt and King of the modern-day rakes, being that he's charming, gorgeous, and oh so seductive. But he's also notoriously uncatchable ladies, so don't even try.

However, I've had enough of this pampered billionaire playboy, who's actually very smart and capable when he puts his mind to it. But he rarely puts his mind to it.

As I said, I'm done. And as soon as I'm ready to slap Orion with my two-week notice, he tasks me with being his date for his brother's Las Vegas wedding weekend.

I can't say no because I need my final paycheck, and for some odd reason, he sweetens the deal. It's as if he knows I'm going to quit. Hmm...

But we're now in Vegas. Last night there was a big party. It's the next morning, the day of the wedding, and something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

I just woke up in my birthday suit and in someone else's bed. But how did I get here?

Who's that snoring?

I cover my mouth to smother a gasp. It's Orion, and he's not wearing anything either.

What's this on my finger? Oh no!

In a panic, I decide he can never know anything about this little scene I woke up to. I hide all the evidence and any signs that I was ever in his room.

But how long can I keep what happened here a secret? Especially as the boss I hate slowly becomes the man I can't live without.


Let's wrap this interview up with a few recommendations for our readers: Can you give us one of your favorite books that you’ve read? Are there any classical books you loved growing up that became your all-time fav?

My all-time favorite books growing up were The Berenstain Bears and Junie B. Jones.


Hadassah is one of our Creative Community members who frequently offers help and support on our Discord server. She is a delight to know and always eager to offer assistance and encouragement.

Click the button below to visit Hadassah's webpage to learn more about her services. While you're there, make sure you sign up for her email list so you can get the latest updates from her company, Star-Tree editing!

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