Writerly Lifestyle Free Newsletter
Connect with Chantelle on Twitter!
Connect with David on Twitter
3 BIG TAKEAWAYS
Last time on the interview series I talked to debut author, Allison Buccola. It was so fun to talk to her about what it was like to be a debut author. Definitely check that out if you haven't already!
Chantelle's business mindset really reminded me of my interview with Bianca Marais. So if you liked that interview, you’re really going to like this one.
Chantelle is the editor of Agora Books. Agora focuses on "socially and culturally unique crime fiction and horror from award-winning publisher Polis Books."
She was named to Publisher's Weekly Rising Star honoree list in 2020. She's been a freelance editor for over 10 years. She is an instructor at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Authors at Large and LitReactor. She is the author of The Quick and Dirty Guides To…, which is a non-fiction series on writing that I recommend checking out.
Chantelle hosts Words of Prey podcast through the Pipeline Artists Network.
Tweet me @DavidRGwyn
David Gwyn: [00:00:00] Welcome everyone in this week's interview, I'm coming back to the conversation I had with Shantelle AMI Ozmen, she's an amazing editor writer, podcaster and more. I shared the first part of his interview a few weeks ago about her advice for editors and about working with editors and publishers, but Shantelle and I had so much fun chatting that there was just too much great information to share for just one episode.
This time, we're talking to writers last time on the interview series, I talked to debut author. Alison Bukola. It's a great interview for people hoping to land an agent and a book deal. So to talk about Shantelle, she's the editor of a Gora books of aura focuses on socially and culturally unique crime fiction and horror from award-winning publisher Polis books.
She was named a publisher's weekly rising star honoree list in 20. She's been a freelance editor for over 10 years. She's an [00:01:00] instructor at the Virginia G Piper center for creative writing authors at large and lit reactor. She is the author of the quick and dirty guides too, which is a nonfiction series on writing that I definitely recommend checking out Shantelle hosts, words of pray podcasts through the pipeline artists.
And this interview, we talk about writers, teams being patient, what to look for in an agent, how to reframe rejections, biggest mistakes writers make in the submission process and more, make sure to subscribe if you haven't already and or sign up for our newsletter. So you don't miss the next interview.
Let's get to it. So a question, cause I know you talk a lot about your writers having a team, right? Like an editor or an agent, a publisher, whatever, whatever is part of your team. So what, what should writers think about when they're looking for an agent or publisher and um, what, what kinds of things do you think they should look at?
Chantelle Aimée Osman: Well, you know, one of my particular pet [00:02:00] peeves, like I said, I have an apartment full of soapbox is the word rejection, because I actually think that rejection in the context of writing and querying, especially for. Is a good thing, because again, going back to what you just said is building your team. And the thing is that I want that one person on my team who is super passionate about my book, who couldn't put it down and can't wait to talk to other people about it.
That's the person I want on my team. I don't want somebody who's. Uh, you know, I've got some time and I've got a slot in my schedule to fill, I guess I'll take you on, I don't want that person to be my cheerleader or my spokesperson, which is what an agent's supposed to be. And I definitely don't want somebody who didn't really love me.
And so getting a note to me is just, you know, it's kind of like in a way it's kind of [00:03:00] like dating, you know, you're just, you're, you're not going, oh my God, this person is terrible. You're going, oh, you know, I just don't think this is right for me in the long-term. I don't want this person on my team. And on the reverse side, the agent is not really rejecting you.
This is a subjective business. If you want something where one and one will always equal to, you know, become an accountant, it's cut and dried. You've either done it right. Or you've done it wrong, but I can guarantee you you'll never get a fan letter over your tax form. Right. Um, so it's subjective and what you want is, you know, If you went into a bookstore and you're looking for a book and you don't have a particular book in mind, you know, you're not going in there for a particular title and you're just browsing.
You might pick up a few books and you might say, oh, okay. This one sounds interesting, but not today. And you'll put it back on the shelf and you'll do that a couple of times until you find the right one for you that day. And none [00:04:00] of them did you like throw on the ground? And go, this should never be in a bookstore.
And how dare that author have written this book. And that's essentially what an agent is doing because at the end of the day, we are all readers. A writer is writing the book that they wanted to read. An agent is acquiring the book that they enjoyed and wanted to read. An editor is editing the book, you know, it just goes, we're all readers.
And so that know that, Hey, it's just, it's not for me. Not today. I don't feel passionate about. And I would rather have somebody tell me that upfront, then take me on and not be the best advocate for
David Gwyn: me. I think that's great advice for people to hear. And it does feel like that kind of from, from this side, talking to writers who want to be published and they really are like clamoring.
I was talking to an author the other day and she was like, it's, it feels like validation. And it, it does in a way, but I also hear what you're saying and you don't want somebody. You was saying was [00:05:00] just like casually, like, oh yeah. I guess you know about your book. You really want the person who is passionate about your book to, because it is a long process, right?
Especially on an agent and a, and uh, um, a writer, you know, you spend hopefully years working together and first of all, a year, at least on a book. Right. And then from there it's, you know, you don't want to work with somebody who's not interested.
Chantelle Aimée Osman: Well, yeah. I, I completely agree with that. Um, keeping people on your team who are, like I said, passionate about what you're doing, and I think one of the worst mistakes that I see even in, I don't, you know, I, I'm going to say new writers and by new writers, I mean, debut for.
But to like, you know, one or two books in where they're still new, they're not, you know, a long-term career writer yet. And, and that issue, and I was talking with a friend about this the other day is impatience. And it's one that, you know, they they've written a [00:06:00] book, which is a huge thing. Like I said before, this is a big success and they've done that.
And that's the heavy lifting and they're impatient to get to the next step. I I've seen. In so many levels from somebody will immediately self publish that book simply because they need to get it out there and not, not want to go through the submission process, which self publishing is fine, but it's rare that you can go back to square one there I've had some of those people who self publish come back to me and go, well now, you know, I think I was wrong and maybe I should submit it to major publishers.
And I'm like, saw. Too late. Like you can't, you can't, you can't delete that. You can always self-publishing is always an option and it's a very valid option. Um, but you generally can't go backwards, but it's from that too. I'll just sign with the first agent who said yes to me, because I want that you don't want to pull that trigger.
You want to think of that long-term career goals. And what that [00:07:00] is and whether or not that agent can get you there and, and talk about your career goal with a potential agent and be like, here's where I see myself, you know, with this book. And then here's my like, five-year plan. What are your thoughts?
See if they have the ability to get you there or not, or want you in the longterm. And so I think that impatience I've seen so many people shoot themselves in the foot because of it, because they take the first thing before. Especially because fear of that word rejection. Um, it's like, I don't want to take another.
No. Well, another. Is I'm narrowing down the people who will now say yes. So, you know, the fear of the, no, I think is something that authors kind of bring on themselves and the community of authors kind of enforces that word rejection and, and it's really something where you've got it. You've got to breathe and think of it like any long-term career.
David Gwyn: I feel like to an in creative careers, Uh, there's a lot of [00:08:00] rejection or sorry about using the R word, but resection or people, you know, being turned down for things. Uh, however you want to say that, or you're trying to find a different route and, and I, I think it, it becomes such this personal thing and, and I love that you're rephrasing that and reframing that for people.
And I'm, I'm, I'm glad that. I could hear it and, you know, share with people too, because I, I love the way of thinking about that is as it's not about finding the people to say, no, it's about getting rid of those people and we weeding those people out so that you can find the, yes, I really liked the way of reframing that.
And I've only there was a fancy word or term we could come up with. We could coin in and write and be very helpful, but
Chantelle Aimée Osman: make millions right anymore.
David Gwyn: If only that were the case. So I want to, I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about some of your personal projects. So you do those the, the quick and dirty guides to things like editing and querying.
How did those projects come
Chantelle Aimée Osman: about? [00:09:00] Um, basically it was through teaching. Um, you know, I, I was doing so many of these workshops and, and people wanted for lack of a better word transcripts of what I was talking about. Um, and so I started putting together and co-leading my notes, and it was just, you know, a tiny project that.
I, I think that third, I kind of think of it, cliff notes guide to writing various subjects. So it's just kind of, you know, the down and dirty, here's a through Z of how to do this and, you know, hopefully it, it helps people that are looking for an extra assist. It
David Gwyn: does, it feels like that kind of like a refresh on, on some things.
And you can look at it as like a. Guide to be like, okay, this is my next step. This is my next step. So, um, I I'm really, I I'll link them here. I think they're really cool guides for people. Um, yeah, I, I, I am not querying yet, but, uh, when I do, I'm sure that that will be my next one in the series. Well, I,
Chantelle Aimée Osman: I had somebody, um, email [00:10:00] me who was apparently going on vacation, which, you know, is.
I've heard this word before. Um, they were going on vacation to Hawaii and we're taking one of my guys. With them. And I was just, I was honestly, I don't mean that to brag. I was just floored. I'm like, seriously, you're going to Hawaii and you're taking this. And I was like, okay, if you really want this, I said, I will come with you.
Forget the guy. Just bring me. I swear, I will. I won't even charge you.
David Gwyn: Uh, on the beach. Yeah, exactly. So are you working on any now or have you kind of tapped out
Chantelle Aimée Osman: or are you, those are, those are pretty much, I guess those are pretty much done. I mean, I have a lot of, um, fiction projects that I work on. I actually have gone through, you know, I speak from experience.
I'm actually on my third agent, myself, there are circumstances. Um, and my agent is amazing.
David Gwyn: But you want to, do you want to shout them out [00:11:00] so that a sure. Josh got slur. That's
Chantelle Aimée Osman: great. Um, so yeah, so I have various screenplay projects and various novel projects and I am somewhere on submission and some are, um, I'm, I'm actually, the minute I hang up here.
Um, I'm going to be doing, I generally sprint every night with my friend Kelly Garrett. So at least, you know, at the end of our Workday, we get a couple of twenty-five minute writing sessions in. And before I go back to quote unquote, the real job. So there's, there's always something, uh, on the back burner.
David Gwyn: Oh, that's great. You know, there's always those guides out there that, that are. You know, you get a little tidbit here and there and it just kind of refreshes your mind on all the things, all the things you have to be thinking about. Unfortunately, sometimes it's like, you
Chantelle Aimée Osman: know, it's, it's funny that you see it like that because I was teaching a class at dragon con I think it was like five years.
And I always feel like I try to pass on [00:12:00] the few things that I know, but I certainly am not the be all end all of any subject and half the time, I don't actually know what I'm talking about. And so I was teaching this class or workshop and there was an author in the front row who I recognized who had written, oh, I'm going to say at least 10 to 20 books.
And I rarely. Stage fright or nervous in front of people, because it's just like, like I said, you know, you make mistakes. That's like, right. I got nervous. And finally, after you know, stumbling for the first, I dunno how long of this workshop I finally stopped it. And, and actually shamed the poor woman who was in the front row.
And I said, you know, I don't know why you're in here. I was like, would you like to switch places with me? Because there is no way that I know, you know, a third, a 10th of what, you know, and I would love to hear from you. Could [00:13:00] we possibly. And she went on to say one of the smartest things that I have ever heard, which was, she said, you know, every once in a while, like, you know, every five years or so, I like to go back and take the beginner classes because sometimes you get to know so much that you forget the basics and a refresh and just going back and like stop overthinking things.
And go back to that one. Oh one is the best refresh that you can possibly have. And I was like, see, I told you, you should be teaching this class because I'm not going to say anything. That's smart.
David Gwyn: That's awesome. That's amazing. That's amazing. So I imagine you don't have a typical day, but like, what is your kind of day to day life?
Like what are some of the things that are definites on
Chantelle Aimée Osman: schedule? That's hard because what, especially answering from a. In a freelance editors, but, [00:14:00] or a editor, you know, for a publishing house spot. Those are also two different, um, stories. And of course, you know, Pre pandemic versus during pandemic are also different.
Um, one of the better things in this, this rings true for other editors that I know who work in publishing schedules are a little bit more open. That being said, there is very little downtime. It's basically you are on call for lack of better word at all times. And so therefore. It's up to you to set the boundaries with your authors, with the people that you work with, that sort of thing, which can sometimes be difficult.
But for me, it's, you know, the first couple of hours I spend. Dealing with anything immediate, you know, if it's a release day, I send out the press releases. You know, I, [00:15:00] I do the social media, I answer the emails. I, you know, respond to anything that's of urgency. And then it goes to the longer term things like, am I looking for blurbs for books and.
Things out end of the day is generally editing work. So whether it's reviewing a galley or a proof that I have, and then actually editing the manuscripts that is punctuated with my Boston terrier requiring frequent outdoor visits. Um, sometimes he takes me for the, to the park and meanders, um, Um, and, and I try to hurry him back, but he refuses.
Um, so that means that I'm going to stay up later that night. So, uh, that's, that's a lot of my day I do generally try to, and I've learned this the hard way, set hard boundaries for the hours that I respond to emails. I might actually see them. Draft the response, but not [00:16:00] actually send it because I don't want people to, you know, assume that I can be reached.
Yeah. Well, like I said, I've learned it the hard way, you know, especially, you know, editing is it's wonderful, honestly, and I love dealing with authors, but it's also something where it tends to blur the lines between. Uh, professional interpersonal relationship. Like your authors become your friends. You're acquiring books mostly because, oh my God, I love this book.
And then guess what you're probably going to get along with the person who wrote a book that you loved so much, you know, so keeping those lines can sometimes be difficult, but you know, the relationships that I have, I would never. Want anything different? So I don't regret any of it,
David Gwyn: but yeah, no, that's great.
I think that's great advice. I think the boundaries are, are difficult. Um, and that's what I keep hearing from people who are in careers like yours, like those, the boundaries, and sometimes they shift and sometimes they're later than others, but yeah, it's gotta be really [00:17:00] difficult. I mean, I, I'm lucky I get a bell rings at the end of the day for me, for me.
And that's the end of my day. Uh, yeah, I can't imagine having
Chantelle Aimée Osman: to, like I said, there are pluses and minuses. I, I've never been very good at keeping a set schedule. And so this is actually absolutely perfect for me. And it's one of those things where something does come up, whether it's business wise or personal wise, you know, you can just add that hour in, um, somewhere and, you know, I'm, I'm the type of person where I'll end up working on.
And it doesn't bother me. It's, it's just one of those things. One of the things, when I lived, when I was traveling with authors at large and doing that every summer, I never had an issue with the time difference because when I woke up, I just work on editing until I was tired again. And I got so much work done that way.
It was wonderful. I never, never got, never got jet lag or anything. So, you know, it's just, it's one of those things where, you know, The type of lifestyle that works for you. Um, that's great. But like I said, you know, setting boundaries, [00:18:00] even as an author, I think it's important. Um, you know, and realizing that, yes, you want your agent to like you and yes, you want your editor to like you, but at the end of the day, it's not, if it's a friendship, it's also great, but it's not, you know, that's, you're not finding a friend, you're not hiring a friend.
You're hiring somebody that is, you know, going to be your advocate and going to be your teammates. So. Being able to be honest and straight forward in those interactions and not worry that, you know, the number of times I've had somebody go, well, I'm scared to email my agent about this. And I'm like, why you're paying them?
Um, you know, you should have an open and honest relationship otherwise, what are you doing? You know, and, and keeping that in mind because it's just like, oh, I don't want my agent to dislike me. I'm like, then you probably pick the wrong agent. If this is something you're concerned about. And it's easier said than done.
It's something that comes with experience, but just, you know, being respectful and being responsible, I think are the two keys and you don't have to worry about [00:19:00] the rest of those.
David Gwyn: I want to take a quick pause here, because there's just so much to talk about first, the reframing of how to think about query letters and query letter rejections is something every writer should think about. It's not a rejection. It's just getting through the people who aren't going to be the best champion for your.
Do you think of it like dating you wouldn't just grab the first person you met and marry them. It's the same thing with the literary agent, because when it comes to building a team for your writing, you only want people who are invested in your story. Shantelle also gave some interesting tips. I don't hear much about your interaction with your agent and how it's a partnership and how to think about that part.
And the second part of this interview, I asked Shantelle a kind of Roundup of random questions and she gives some really surprising answers. You're definitely gonna want to hear what she says about resources for writers and editors, but there's a lot coming up that I think is really interesting. So let's go back to the.[00:20:00]
Yeah, I think what you said really, really epitomise is what I wanted to do with this whole series and why I wanted to reach out to you, which is that blend or that, that where the overlap between business and creativity are, is sometimes it is, it's a huge overlap and kind of what you say here about, you need to find a business partner first and like great if you're friends, but it's, it's a business and you have to treat it like that.
I think is. The theme of what we've been talking about here. And I think it's exactly why I started this is so many authors think about it in the creative side only. And it's really important to think about those two things in conjunction for
Chantelle Aimée Osman: sure. Well, I think that's wonderful and I'm so glad that there's a podcast like yours out there.
That's really emphasizing that so that people can, you know, understand that that's normal and yeah. Like I said, you know, you don't know what you don't know. So having that opportunity out there to be educated, I think it's wonderful that you started
David Gwyn: this. Oh, thank you. [00:21:00] So my, my last few questions here, I always have random questions that I don't know where they fit in, in the, kind of the structure of the podcast.
So I just throw them at here. And so you're going to feel random, but I,
Chantelle Aimée Osman: my initial spell chaos.
David Gwyn: Nice. Uh, so, um, if you had a magic one, And could fix one part of the book publishing either book publishing process or the industry, what would it be? That's
Chantelle Aimée Osman: really hard. I'm sorry.
David Gwyn: That's why they pay me the big bucks to ask.
Chantelle Aimée Osman: It's a, it's a great question. And I'm only going to answer it this way because it's come up in the past, like two weeks repeatedly. And honestly, the thing that I would love to fix right now, So not necessarily next week, but right now, um, I, I think that some level of public accountability for agents particularly, but also editors also [00:22:00] republishers there used to be this website called predators and editors, and it was a wonderful website and it was somewhere that people could go and kind of report.
Nefarious practices by people in the industry and not be, you know, shamed. It's really hard for a writer to go on Twitter and, and it's even harder for an editor. Blows back on their authors and the relationships and that sort of thing. It's, it's hard for people in the industry to say, X person is not treating an author, right.
Or, you know, is not submitting books that they say that they're submitting and, and it's harming their clients or publishers are not doing things appropriately. And so it was a wonderful website that. There was an issue with the people who were running it and they had to stop and they keep trying to bring it back, but it hasn't been brought back yet.
And I think that they, there might be a way to give them like public donations, but I would really love to find a way. To be able to alert, especially new [00:23:00] writers to predatory agents, editors and publishers, because it's something where I I've watched. I've watched all of these people play a shell game with new writers where it's like, oh, you know, they used to represent publish, edit X, Y, and Z.
While the reason that X, Y, and Z left is because. They weren't doing it well, or there was a problem, but the new person to the business doesn't know that. And there's really not a lot of way to check. So I always say in, in the absence of this magic wand, please Google, whoever you're going to be working with on any level, at least Google them.
Um, if you can possibly talk to another author that that agent has represented, or that has been published by a publisher. Please try to do that just to protect yourself because honestly, 99.9% of people in this business are honest. It's why I love publishing and left Hollywood for it. The same cannot be [00:24:00] said of Hollywood at all.
There are still are, you know, it's, it's a very emotional thing writing, especially your first book. And, and I think that that leaves some people vulnerable to people who, you know, Not represent them in any way. You know, like I said, rather agent editor, publisher, whatever, in their best interest. So, you know, That is my magical.
David Gwyn: Yeah, that would a great message. And I would a good use of a magic wand on it. Um, so, uh, my second question is you're in crime fiction and now in horror. So I'll kind of ask kind of in that, in that realm or, or in general, it's, it's up to you how you want to answer this question, but what are the biggest kind of mistakes that you're seeing writers making the submissions that you're getting?
What are the things that are making you turn down or say it's not really.
Chantelle Aimée Osman: That's another good question. Unfortunately, there's just so many errors that can possibly made in submissions easy to make errors. And so [00:25:00] I'm going to leave all of those, like the formulaic errors aside. And actually I'm going to answer a different question than the one you asked, but I think it's kind of similar.
I think that people make a mistake by. By accepting a no is a no. Um, and I actually tweeted about this today because it came up with a friend of mine who experienced it with an agent. Yes. You want to be respectful of people's time. And if somebody sends you, you know, an agent and editor, whatever, and sends you.
It's a no, you don't want to push it. You don't want to waste their time. You don't want to be like, you have turned down the basket books, you know, which people get like, don't be that person. Um, being humble can get you very far. But if you get an answer, that's something a little bit more than a formulaic.
No, it's not that form letter. It's something more, something that shows that whoever just read your work or your query was a little bit more intrigued than somebody who [00:26:00] just said, no, I always suggest following up on that because it's not a no, it's an opportunity whether or not you say, Hey, look, I really appreciate you having read that.
Can you tell me what you didn't connect with? Like either take it as a learning opportunity, find out what didn't work for them, because it's likely that that same thing might not work for another agent. Another editor. And if they give you specific feedback, you can always ask for an RNR, which is a revise and resubmit.
So say like, Hey, it sounds like you really paid close attention to my book. Thanks so much. If I make some of these changes, would you mind if I circle back to you down the road and resubmit because that no might not actually be a now you can also, you know, if you're one of those people with more than one.
Book in the drawer, you can say, Hey, you know, it seems like you notice this and pay close attention to it. I have something that's a little different, whether it's a different genre, different book, you know, if you'd be [00:27:00] interested in reading this one, I think it might be a little bit more polished, something like that, so that no, might again, not be a no.
So I think that not taking advantage of. It's kind of a mistake that, that people make sometimes and their submissions. Right. That's
David Gwyn: awesome. That's something I haven't heard before. That's, that's, uh, interesting to think about. And, and I know of some writers who have gotten those like soft nose or, you know, however you want to phrase it.
And, um, I have really been disappointed and it's interesting to hear. You know, we're thinking about it and thinking deeply on the, on the author side of like, okay, so what, what was the know about it? And is there something I can do about that is, is really cool. Okay. What is, this is my, my promise, my last, uh, like random question.
What's the, what's the one thing, if you could have one thing that people would take away from this conversation, um, what might be like that one thing that you would hope that. People who are listening would kind of go away with and, and think [00:28:00] about, and, and, um, from, from what we've been
Chantelle Aimée Osman: talking about, well, really not to be repetitive, but that kind of educate yourself kind of thing.
Like, you know, you don't have. Become a publisher tomorrow. Like you don't have to learn that much about the business, but just having a basic overview about it, knowing, like I said, you know, the types of publishers out there, the types of rights that can be purchased w you know, what it means to earn out, you know, what it would be lucky, like to deal with an in-house editor, what those timeframes are, just, just how the business works.
Like how. Literally how a book is made, what you would have say in, you know, for example, with a Gora, you know, we're, we, we like to pride ourselves in being like an author's publisher. We involve an author in every step. Like we talk about cover, we would never put out a book with a cover that author doesn't love, but sometimes when you're like dealing with a big fun, You don't [00:29:00] get that opportunity.
And authors get really mad, you know, when they say, Hey, I, I saw my cover and it's out there. And, you know, I, I didn't know. I wouldn't be able to weigh in on that, you know, or what type of rights that the publisher is buying I've. I've had people like run up to me at conferences and be thrilled that they're getting published.
And then the next time I hear from them, it's they they're telling me a horror story about, well, I didn't really realize that they were only buying eBooks. I went to the bookstore and my book's not in there. Um, you know, and, and these are things where it's not something. That you ought to know coming in off the street, but it is something where you could educate yourself.
So that that sort of thing doesn't happen. And hopefully you find an agent who will take care of that for you, but you also need to know the types of questions to ask the. So, yeah. Educate yourself. I think, get it, get a basic background crash course in publishing. That's
David Gwyn: great advice. [00:30:00] So are there any, are there any books or resources you suggest for people either on like the aspiring to be writer side or aspiring to be editors?
Chantelle Aimée Osman: Oh, my goodness. Okay. I'm aspiring to be editor's side and I'm going to see how far my headset will reach, because I'm actually going to look at my bookshelf. Good. Um, there is a book called what editors do, which is edited by Peter. Uh, I don't know how you pronounce this. I'm going to say. Ghana it's G I N N a.
Okay. There's another book called editors on editing, which is edited by Gerald Gross, which I have to say there are some sections of this that are to put it mildly, terribly out of date to skip those. But outside of that, I think it's a, uh, Very informative. And then, especially for right now, the diversity style guide and a book [00:31:00] by Adele Goldberg called explain me this.
Those are kind of my go-to recommendations for people who want to be an editor for people who want to write. I'm honestly not huge on writing books. I mean like Stephen King's on writing. I, I believe in reading, like I said, to learn how to write and if you just even want to be lazier, um, and watching things to learn how to write.
I can't tell you the number of times where I have. Diehard. And this also works for the book, by the way, it was a book first. It was a thriller, but watching die hard and breaking it down scene by scene and figuring out where those beats are, because it is truly a perfectly time-wise plotted movie and book I think is helpful.
As far as learning dialogue, there's nobody greater than Elmore Leonard. And if you want to cheat on that, just watch justified. I mean, one line of Leonard's dialogue. Could be another writer's three [00:32:00] pages of prose. And so I think the key is, you know, I, I never, yes. I always say less is more, but the key is that there are, it's not me cutting out words.
It's the fact that there are so many amazing words in the English language, and you can find the one or two right ones to capture a moment or a feeling as opposed to a hundred. And so I think Leonard really teaches you how to do that. And you can always expand past that. But I think it's that figuring out that basic framework, which is what Leonard does for dialogue and, and I heart.
And like I said, the equivalent book, um, do for plot and timing. Those would be my
David Gwyn: suggestion. No, those are great. And, and, uh, something that I think people with. Uh, really take to heart. I feel like there's always these new books out there on like these different writing books and different. And sometimes it is.
It's just [00:33:00] about whatever genre you want to write and read a lot of books. Genre. That'll teach you how to do it. So, I, I really want to just thank you again. I feel like you really embody what I want to do with this series. I mean, I feel like there's so many people out there who want those creative careers, but don't know how to make it.
And so I, I really appreciate you sharing your expertise. And, and my last question is where can people find out information
Chantelle Aimée Osman: about you? Well, for. You can go to our parent company at Polis books. So www dot Polis books, and it's at Polis books, I'm on Twitter. And for me, um, the one general hub for everything, um, you can find my coursework and everything through it is my website, Shantelle me.
So C H a N T E L L. A, I M e.com or on Twitter. I'm at suspense siren, S U S P E N S E S I R E N.
David Gwyn: Great. And I'll, I'll link all that stuff. So thank you [00:34:00] again. I really, really appreciate it. I had such a fun time talking with you about it's
Chantelle Aimée Osman: been an absolute pleasure, like I said, thank you so much for putting this information out there for people, and I truly enjoyed it.
And also best of luck with your impending arrival and.
David Gwyn: I need it. I need the, all the, all the luck I can get. All right. That's it for my interview with Shantelle on me, Osman, hopefully you were able to safely take some notes because she has some great information for aspiring writers. Head down to the show notes, to connect with Shantelle.
Let her know you listened to the podcast in the show notes. I also linked the first interview I did with Shantelle. So if you missed that, definitely check that out and last but not least be sure to sign up for the writerly lifestyle newsletter. So you don't miss any posts.