YEM Author Interview: Lucrezia Lazzari speaks about her initial thoughts of The Mirror Visitor Quartet books

Lucrezia Lazzari is the editor of The Storm of Echoes. The storm of Echoes is the fourth book of the Mirror Visitor Quartet written by Christelle Dabos. The book takes us on a journey to the heart of a great game to which the all-too-human affairs of her book’s protagonists are ominously connected. YEM was able to speak with Lucrezia about the editing process of the book, advice she has for anyone who wants to get into editing, and her favorite thing about editing.

Young Entertainment Mag: When did you first realize you wanted to be an editor?

Lucrezia Lazzari: For me it was a gradual process. I began to work with books, and I really felt it was the right place to be. Then when I understood more about the publishing world, I realized that being an editor made me feel at home. 

YEM: What does the editing process for a book look like?

Lucrezia: Every publisher has its own process, and they may call it by a different name. But basically, you have to connect with the text and then understand what you can do to improve it without changing its core. 

YEM: The Mirror Visitor Quartet books are translated. What is that process like?

Lucrezia: Hildegarde Serle, the very talented translator of the books into English, is as reserved and, one might say, as secretive as the author herself. She doesn’t really have a public profile, and has declined to provide us with photos for our catalog etc. Yet, we have worked with her on this and many other translations from French. She is cooperative, collaborative, we exchange many emails about edits and suggestions and her responses are always measured and considered. She really is a very good translator with a great ear for voice and tone in the original.

YEM: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into editing?

Lucrezia: Just one: you need to be passionate, it’s a job but also a mission in some way.

YEM: What was it like working with Christelle Dabos?

Lucrezia: Direct contact with the author has been very limited. She’s an enigmatic and somewhat secretive author.

YEM: What were your initial thoughts after reading the Mirror Visitor books?

Lucrezia: This is a funny story. I was in the office, and I just started flipping through the first book. For the next two days I couldn’t do anything else. I was really involved; I simply couldn’t take my eyes off the pages. 

YEM: Who is your favorite author of all time?

Lucrezia: I have many favorites, depending on my mood, what I’ve recently read, and what’s happening in my life. But Emily Brönte never lets me down, so I suppose she definitely is one of my favorites.

YEM: How long does the editing process for the fourth book, The Storm Of Echoes, take?

Lucrezia: Our “editing process” involves the editing of the translation, out of the original. We don’t make major developmental edits and stick to edits that improve the translation or bring it more in line with the original. 

So, the process involves a lot of comparison and close reading of the original and the translation side-by-side.

YEM: What books/publications/content inspires you?

Lucrezia: I guess I am the type of person who is inspired by new ideas, new approaches, I don’t like when things get too predictable. I’m inspired by great books, by Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, by Damon Galgut, by J.R.R. Tolkien of course and so many others. 

YEM: What is your favorite thing about editing?

Lucrezia: Maybe working with things I love the most: books, and creativity – it seems to me that I never have to “work a day in my life”. 

YEM: When do you find editing to be the most difficult?

Lucrezia: At the very beginning, when you get close to a new book and you still have to understand what you can do for it.

YEM: What is the best part of the Mirror Visitor Quartet in your opinion?

Lucrezia: My brain loves the whole saga and can’t choose, but my heart still thinks that The Missing of Clairdelune is my favorite. It develops the characters, it’s full of surprises and for the first time we see Ophelia and Thorn getting closer!

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Check out last weeks author interview:

YEM Author Interview: Ray Star shares why animals and the environment are such a big theme in her book Earthlings: The Beginning