Reader Spotlight: Janet the Grammar Wizard and Chef Extraordinaire

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In the Reader Spotlight series we ask our smart, diverse and multi-talented readers what makes them tick, and what they're seeing in Spun Yarn manuscripts. Our readers span the gamut of literary taste, so expect to see a little bit of everything! 

Along with Angela, Janet is one of our two most veteran readers. She's in the enviable position of exercising her passions in her 'day job' as a cookbook author, food writer, copy editor, recipe developer, and cooking instructor. Janet loves language -- not only reading and writing but editing as well (she's a grammar freak). Her passion for reading and her fifteen years in corporate communications make her an excellent, close reader for The Spun Yarn. 

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The Spun Yarn: What sparked your love affair with reading? 

Janet: My parents always read a lot, so my siblings and I came by it naturally. I've read all my life and can't imagine not reading every day. If I'm in a waiting room and have forgotten a book, I'd rather read a crappy magazine than nothing at all. I enjoy general fiction, some non-fiction (cookbooks and other food writing, language/grammar books, and politics), mysteries and thrillers, and some science fiction.

The Spun Yarn: Here's a hard one: choose ONE favorite book and tell us why you like it.

Janet: That's a tough question, but I have to say The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The prose is beautiful, and Fitzgerald masters the difficult technique of employing a narrator who is involved in the story but not the main character. It also has one of the best ending lines in all of literature: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

The Spun Yarn: Agreed, that's a classic line. What do you find yourself commenting on most often when reading a Spun Yarn manuscript?

Janet: Grammar, punctuation, usage and syntax. Granted, I'm obsessed with grammar, but it continually surprises me that writers don't take more care to proofread and edit.

The Spun Yarn: We give feedback on manuscripts in all stages of the writing process, but you're right that it's good for authors to remember to polish as they go along, as those edits can be hard to tackle all at once in the final revision. So what's been favorite moment while reading a Spun Yarn manuscript?

Janet: One manuscript (I think it was my third) really spoke to me. The main character was a graduate student in classics, and since I was (many years ago) a grad student in philosophy, it was easy for me to relate to her. The plot was also compelling. I really hope to see this book in print!

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