Meet author Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, and Capitalization Dictionary and editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a professional freelance editor. She directs the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She owns Christian Editor Network, parent company to The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, Christian Editor Connection, The PEN Institute, and PENCON, which she founded. For more, visit

Tell us about your newest book.

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is the follow-up book to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. It contains a wealth of suggestions from best-selling authors who have studied editing techniques and implemented them in their books.

Successful writers spend a lot more time editing than they do writing. They know that first drafts need extensive revisions to ensure their stories or messages come across clearly and effectively. This book will help aspiring, beginning, and intermediate writers polish their manuscripts and get them ready for publication. These tips can help established authors edit other writers’ manuscripts, either in a critique group setting or as editorial freelancers.

What inspired you to write Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors?

I’ve been a freelance editor for more than twenty years. In my work with authors, I created flyers on various writing techniques that I sent as an attachment to my edits whenever a client was clearly struggling with a particular area. These flyers became the basis for my chapters.

I’ve been serving on faculty for writers’ conferences across the country for about fifteen years. This has enabled me to meet numerous best-selling authors, professional editors, acquisitions editors, literary agents, and other industry professionals. When I told them I was putting together a book about editing, and asked if they’d be willing to provide their favorite tips, many were eager to help.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

If you want to write a book that resonates with readers, you’ll need to spend more time editing it than writing it. This book is a roadmap for that journey.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors has tips for fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. While some editing is the same regardless of genre, there are unique aspects to those three categories that change the way an author needs to edit.

Why do you write? 

I’ve seen the power of the written word—whether in books, articles, scripts, poems, or even personal letters—to touch hearts and even change lives. Since I’ve also seen how the written word can often be misunderstood, I have a passion for helping writers make sure that what they’ve written clearly communicates what they intended.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Because I direct two writers’ conferences and own a network for Christian editors, my schedule is always crazy! My own writing typically takes a backseat to my other responsibilities. But I carve out time for things I feel strongly that God wants me to work on. When I’m not traveling or busy with visiting relatives, I try to make Wednesday my Writing day—at least a few hours of it.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

For me, it’s focusing on my writing when I have so many other commitments pulling at my attention. I love everything I do, including my writing. But I tend to work to deadline, putting off things that aren’t urgent in order to accomplish what has to get done today. It can be difficult to let myself write when I have no idea how I’m going to meet some deadline for something else.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The people I get to work with! I adore Christian writers, Christian editors, people who participate in Christian writers’ conferences. They all have the same goal I do—to help one another take the next step in whatever journey God has them on to accomplish what He has called them to do. And so many of these people have played vital roles in helping me accomplish the things He has called me to do. Most of my dearest friends are people I’ve met through writing and editing.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

My birthday is 2/2/55

My anniversary is 5/5/95

This year was my palindrome birthday: 02/02/2020

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have gained a tremendous appreciation for the work that goes into writing and publishing a book! And a tremendous admiration for everyone who is part of the big team of people involved.

I’ve always loved to read, and the Lord has spoken to me clearly through many things I’ve read. But being in this world has opened my eyes to everything a writer goes through, and how many other people work so hard to get the writer’s words into a reader’s hands. Sometimes it seems like a miracle that anything gets published! I so appreciate everyone who has a hand in the process.

What is your favorite pastime?

I have a few: Disneyland, having family come to visit, and hiking with my husband in secluded forests to find giant sequoias

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Capitalization Dictionary

Fiction-Lover’s Devotional series

What are you working on now?

My agent has a proposal out for Sequoia Quest, based on the journey my husband and I have been on to find all of the largest trees in the world—all sequoias, and all without a five- to six-hour drive from our home.


Link to book:

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