Alisa Krasnostein is the unsleeping powerhouse that is the engine of Twelfth Planet Press. Really, she doesn’t sleep – email her at any hour of the day or night and she’ll reply. Go ahead. Try it. See? Told ya.
TPP has produced some of the finestworks in Australian spec-fic recently: Deb Biancotti’s A Book of Endings, Peter M Ball’s Horn, Marianne De Pierres’ Glitter Rose are but a few. Upcoming efforts include the anthology Sprawl, Ball’s Aster follow-up Bleed, and next year’s one-per-month mini-collection of single author short stories. “Alisa is busy” wins the award for understatement of the year.
Here, she takes some time out to answer random questions and refuse both donuts and danishes *gasp*.
1. Are there days when you think “Argh! What was I thinking going into small publishing?”
No, not really. Though right at this moment in time, I’m working pretty hard to get my books to the printer to have them in time for Aussiecon 4 and I have wondered what it would be like not to have to work weekends as well! But I love indie publishing. I might get frustrated with the progress of a project but I never regret getting into indie press.
2. What kills a story deader than dead for you?
I could list the cliches or tropes or subgenres that don’t do it for me but the truth is, any story done well just works, no matter the cliche or trope.
Bad writing kills a story deader than dead for me. The most unhelpful thing is this … a story either has IT or it doesn’t and you can pretty much tell if it’s one or the other by the first paragraph, first sentence even. Writing that turns a phrase just so, sentences that run away so that you forget you’re reading and smooth comfortable, confident writing, that’s not too showy. Anything else, and I’ve already moved onto the next story. Also a story that has nothing to say or no story to tell or nothing new to add or contribute.
3. What do you hate most about editing?
Working with writers who are unable to pull back and view their own work with perspective and dispassionately. I hate working with writers who won’t let you touch a word of their work, or reply to feedback with long explanations of backstory that support why that sentence says what it does (I don’t care, if it’s not clear to the reader, it’s not clear to the reader) or writers who argue with house style by quoting a reference (that’s cool ‘n all but your story will be styled differently to the other 17 stories in the book that I already signed off and sent to layout … and I’ll be the one who looks sloppy).
4. What do you love most about editing?
Working with all the other writers who aren’t the above 🙂 I love seeing an idea or theme turned into a story written just for me. I love being the person to see it first. And I love the back and forth of working with talented writers. I love the energy and creativity that comes from that experience. I love working with writers to take a good or great story to something even better.
And I love holding the finished product in my hand afterwards.
5. Donuts or danishes?
Sadly neither right now as I have sworn off the sugar for three months 😦
TPP lives here. Go, look, buy – there’s a more than excellent chance you’ll find something you’ll love.