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Category: Editor

Lunch with My Editor

I know the title makes it sound as if I sat down with an editor for a novel I have written – that was accepted by one of the big publishing houses. I know it’s not and the title should read ‘Lunch with My Editor (for the time being)’, but I am enjoying the illusion.

Geoff is the editor-in-chief for Iron Horse Magazine. After having corresponded with him for over four months, we both finally found the time to meet. He came to my office about 1 p.m. and being a one-time food editor for the Boston Herald, he suggested going to a yuppie/bistro pizza place called Cambridge 1. They serve large pita-styled flat bread pizzas, and have toppings like arugula, shaved steak and goat cheese, chicken, artichoke and Portobello mushroom – you get the picture.

Upon meeting, we both remarked that we look far different than we had each pictured. He said, “You’re a lot bigger than I ever imagined” like I’ve never heard that before. I told him that he was younger (and I didn’t mention scruffier) than I had imagined. Geoff is six-foot tall, a little slouch shouldered, and a slender build. He has longish mouse brown hair; a face scarred by acne, and intense blue/green eyes. He was dressed as if he was either ready to go on a day hike or hop on a skateboard. Geoff is very direct and when he talks to you, he looks you right in the eye.

We went over the article I had just written and he explained a few modifications he made to my story and how he tightened up certain aspects of it. We also talked about the article I am undertaking this week about a custom painter in Wilmington, Mass. In addition, we tossed about the idea of my taking a trip to Knoxville for the Honda Hoot and writing about that.

Considering his size, I think Geoff either has a very high metabolism or a tapeworm. He ordered three half-pizzas and he devoured whatever I couldn’t. During the meal, I interviewed Geoff to find out a little more about him.

He graduated with a dual degree in journalism and photojournalism so he could make himself more marketable. After graduation, he began as a freelance photographer on the rock music circuit. He then got a gig being the photographer and eventual photo editor and writer for a popular skateboarding magazine. He toured extensively all over the U.S. and Canada. He did this for eight years, but knew he wanted to be a senior editor of a magazine. He soon became the Food editor for the Boston Herald and then the editor/photographer for the Art and Music section of the Herald, for another four years.

Now he’s entirely responsible for putting out Iron Horse Magazine every three months, but after September, they will be going on a bi-monthly schedule. He said that as long as I can bring him some good ideas, he’d have work for me.

Overall, it was a good lunch. I found Geoff to be an extremely hard working person, but knew how to have fun at the same time. He takes his work very seriously and doesn’t put up with bullshit and he will let you know it right away. I like his direct, no nonsense, don’t make excuses attitude. It’s the only way to get things started and done in a timely manner – and he does.

[Update: Geoff no longer works for Iron Horse and I’m not entirely sure if Iron Horse is still in publication.]

Back in the Saddle Again

Yesterday, I received a call from Geoff, the editor in chief of Iron Horse magazine. He wanted to know if I had any article ideas for upcoming issues. I was flattered that he came to me. We talked over some things, and I mentioned a custom painter I saw at a bike show this past January. I also told him that I am in the process of trying to upgrade to a bigger bike so that I can make a trek out to Knoxville, Tennessee for something called “The Honda Hoot”. It’s sort of like a bike week gathering for the large number of members in the Honda Rider’s Club of America.

Today Geoff called back and said he researched the custom painter at KrazyKustoms.com and liked what he saw. He spoke to the owner Eric Silverio, and he’d be pleased to have us do an article on his shop. Geoff was also excited about the prospects of my going out to Knoxville. He wants me to do an article about that if I go. He just wants to find a professional photographer to either travel with me or meet me there.

After I got off the phone with Geoff, I called Eric. We are going to meet on Friday morning so I can interview him. I let Geoff know and he suggested meeting for lunch tomorrow (his treat) to get to know each other better and go over what I’m going to cover in the article.

I’m not going to get rich from writing these articles, but the experience I gain from researching, interviewing and writing is indispensable – and the extra income is nice too. This is beginning to take off just in the way I hoped it might.

[Update: Krazy Kustoms is no longer in business]

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Bad Writing vs. Good Writing


As you will recall, I told you about my psychotic episodes trying to write an article for Iron Horse magazine. I also told you that at one point the writing wasn’t going well. I knew it, so did the editor and he let me know it. It was because I was playing head games with myself. When I finally said, “Fuck the Fear“, I focused and totally immersed myself in the task. I sent it in and this was my editor’s response:

From: “Geoffrey Kula”
To: “Werner Meyer” chopper_writer@yahoo.com
Subject: like comparing apples to oranges…Werner —

WHAT the FUCK happened?!?!

This story is about 1,000 times better than the first version you handed in! VERRRRY good reporting, I must say! Kudos to you!

I haven’t actually tackled editing it yet, but gave it a thorough read-through and did some polishing up on your grammar, etc. Everything looks pretty good. Can’t wait to see the images we have to choose from. Might have some questions for you to answer over the next few days, but that’s par for the course as I pick apart each story, so fret not.

If I make it past our Apr. 15 ship date, we are def. going out for drinks!

congratulations again,
Geoffrey Kula,
Editor In ChiefI
ron Horse Magazine

As you can imagine that first line scared the shit out of me, but the rest of it made me so happy that I barely slept last night. I am working with Geoff, to be sure that we make the June issue – and he can buy me those drinks!

I hope I get to do this again. You get to make new acquaintances and learn many new things. Once I got past the fear of doing the interviews (three of them), I really started to enjoy it. It’s fun asking directed questions and getting people talking about their passions.

I hope that by June, I will be able to let you know that the magazine with my article is on the newsstands. I think I’m more excited that I am finally going to be a published writer with my first clip, than I am about being paid for it…NAH! That’s just screwy!

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