February wrap-up: A month in the life of a kidlit editor

1024 683 Writer and the Wolf Editorial

Life and work

February has been BUSY! This month I’ve delivered five edits, published eight blog posts, given a talk to the Society of Authors and booked in two more, worked with two coaching clients, had four Zoom calls with authors, booked in three new projects, written a guest post about trusting your editor for a lovely client’s website, joined the Society of Authors and renewed by Editorial Freelancers Association membership, plus I had to fly solo at home for a few days while Steve was in Switzerland for work (his month has been even busier than mine!) so there were lots of school drop-offs and pick-ups thrown in, too. I’m utterly exhausted but not complaining – I love being busy and I’ve worked on some seriously incredible books this month. I feel so lucky to be doing my dream job every day and working with such brilliant authors 😍  Oh, I also finally figured out the keyboard shortcut for emojis on my Mac and it’s saving me at least a few seconds a day.

Currently reading

  • Perfect Sound Whatever by James Acaster
  • Creepover: Ready for a Scare? by P.J. Night

MG and YA novels I read this month

1) Nancy Drew: The Haunted Dollhouse by Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase (graphic novel)

River Heights is celebrating Nostalgia Week and everyone in town is dressing up and acting like it was 1930 including Nancy, Bess and George. But when scenes of crimes displayed in Emma Blavatsky’s antique dollhouse start coming true, Nancy has a full-blown mystery on her hands. Nancy’s shocked when she stakes out the dollhouse and witnesses a doll version of herself murdered!

2) Coraline by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

3) The Twilight Zone: Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? by Mark Kneece and Rich Ellis (graphic novel)

State troopers investigate footprints leading from a mysterious crash site to a diner, where a group of passengers from a bus trip are waiting out a snowstorm. The only patrons of the roadside eatery are the bus passengers, but there is one more diner than there were people on the bus. Suspicion grows among the stranded travellers as they try to guess which one of them is from the alleged UFO. Who is the real Martian? The intergalactic twist provides the classic Twilight Zone surprise ending.

4) Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Young, brunette women are being attacked in London. 16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for a summer of freedom, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her. But Niamh is determined not to let her fear destroy her Summer. But can her new friends be trusted? Will she be able to stay ahead of the attacker? Or will she be next?

Craft books I read this month

I’m working on a gorgeous graphic novel edit this month so I’ve been dipping into comics craft guides including my favourite Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (a classic!) plus Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendas.

Added to my TBR

  • The Clackity by Lora Senf
  • Any Sign of Lifeby Rae Carson
  • Choose Your Own Autobiographyby Neil Patrick Harris

Books I bought or received

None! I’ve been trying to curb my book-buying habit and rely more on library loans.

Library loans

  • Twitch by M.G. Leonard
  • Paws and whiskers : animal tales from Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Enid Blyton and more
  • Dracula (Graphic Novel) by Russel Punter and Valentino Forlini

Films and TV I watched

  • Don’t Look Up – loved it!
  • Encanto – honestly I only watched the first 15 minutes because Caeden got bored and actually I wasn’t as engaged as I thought I would be either. I know everybody loves this one so I’ll give it another try!)
  • Inventing Anna – my friend recommended this Netflix series but I wasn’t hugely impressed by the first episode. I stuck with it and soon enough I was glued to the screen! I’m rewatching the Fyre Festival documentary now, too
  • This is Going to Hurt – woah, this is not one to watch while eating dinner! Really loving it so far but I’ve read a lot of negative press about Adam Kay being misogynistic so I’ll keep an eye for this in the rest of the series
  • Robin, Robin – thanks to my graphic novel client for this recommendation. So lovely ❤️
  • The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – so glad this is back!

Blog posts I published

Podcast I’m listening to

King Falls AM. I’m so sad The Black Tapes has finally finished but King Falls AM is a fun replacement!

Articles I liked that you might like too

How I Met Your Mother and the failures of storytelling. | The Tom Brevoort Experience

12 Children’s Books About Gentle Boys and Men | Feminist Books for Kids

The Complete Guide to Query Letters | Jane Friedman

How to Make a Junk Journal | Book Riot

Six Books on Writing Science Fiction, Compared | Mythcreants

Your turn!

What did you read this month? Please give me your recommendations so I can add to my toppling TBR pile.

*The image in this blog are from the gorgeous The Beauty of Horror: A GOREgeous Coloring Book by Alan Robert, coloured in by my fair hand. 

Thanks so much for reading, lovely writer! Want empowering, feel-good writing chat and fairy dust in your inbox? Plus receive a PDF of my recommended writing craft books for children’s and YA writers (including go-to genre guides and Children’s Lit MA reading list) AND £20 Wolf Credit to spend with me! Sign up today!

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes