by Sherrie Wilkolaski
It’s official, I’m a workaholic. With that being said, you can imagine that I don’t have, or should I say, I don’t make much time to indulge in things like watching TV. With my busy work schedule, it isn’t at the top of my “to do” list. It’s usually late in the evening before I turn it on. At that point, I prefer binge viewing one show via Netflix on my Apple TV and default to reruns of Law & Order. During a bout of insomnia, I decided to branch off and look for something new. I stumbled on to Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the original UK series. It was love at first sight. Not with Mr. Ramsay, but with his passion for food, for his work and his no nonsense attitude. We are kindred spirits of sorts. I feel equally passionate about publishing and working with authors to help them publish their books. In the wee hours of the morning, it seemed so clear; Gordon Ramsay would make an incredible book editor.
- Gordon tells it like it is…and then some. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Ramsay would tear my manuscript apart. Just what any good editor should do for their author. I imagine his comments in the margin, “What the bleep were you thinking? This is an absolute embarrassment. Get your bleep back to the drawing board and give me a complete rewrite!” It would be music to my ears to hear exactly what needed to be done to get my manuscript transformed into the masterpiece it was meant to be.
- Expertise. Gordon Ramsay holds some of the highest honors in the culinary world and as a book editor, there is no doubt he would carry himself with the same stature. He would have trained under the best editors and at the best schools in the world, having complete understanding of the Chicago Manual of Style rules, and have the skills to craft the English language better than any other editor in the business. His Michelin Stars would translate into bestselling titles and as the patrons line up at his restaurants around the world, serious authors looking to publish their best work would seek him out. He is the best because he demands it, and is professionally trained and has the real world experience which makes for the finest combination.
- Positive Reinforcement. Mr. Ramsay’s reputation is one of a loud, overbearing, pushy, know-
it- all, who drizzles every sentence with one profanity or another. It would appear that he is too harsh or uncaring, but it is just the opposite. It is his kindness and compassion that drive him to be so tough on his restaurateurs. He truly wants them to succeed. He points out the positives, right alongside the negatives. More fabulous qualities an author should be looking for in a book editor.
- Reputation. Who wouldn’t want to have their book edited by an editor that has a stellar reputation of transforming every dish, or book into perfection? That is what I want, to surround myself with only the best professionals, those who will take me to the next levels and help me to continue to improve my skills. The perception of being associated with someone of his stature wouldn’t hurt my reputation either. Image is everything, or so they say.
- Fighting chance. Publishing a bestselling title is never a given, but having Gordon edit my book would give it a fighting chance. Restaurants that are on the verge of closing their doors turn to Gordon Ramsay for help. They put their livelihood in his hands and trust he will get them back on track. How fitting for any author on the threshold of publishing a book. The edit is the basis for success with any title.
Cooking and publishing have a lot of similarities. The diligence it takes to create a delicious meal or a well-
Gordon Ramsay, if you’re listening, just wondering if you would be interested in switching careers. Editing might be where you could really shine. Just a thought.