Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview with Taryn Albright

One of my favorite people around the blogosphere is Taryn Abright—she is an insightful blogger, fabulous writer (and a phenom swimmer!).

For the past two years, she's been part of the Teen Eyes trio--an editing service for YA writers BY teens. Brilliant, right? Anyway, this week, she’s kicking of her own freelance editorial service: The Girl with the GreenPen. She gave me the chance to ask her some questions about YA, the editing process, and her own writing.

KA: You've been involved in Teen Eyes for a couple of years. What made you decide to get into freelance editing? Now that you're going off on your own venture, what are you most nervous about?
TA: Honestly, a lot of starting Teen Eyes was realizing that there was a demand and realizing I was a poor college student. But the more I did it, the more I loved it, and recently, I've been able to see myself doing this as a career.  Right now, I'm mostly excited about starting my own service! Though Teen Eyes had three editors, we pretty much worked independently, so I doubt things will be very different.

KA: Why The Girl with the Green Pen? Why green?

TA: Most edits are made with a red pen. If someone critiques your manuscript, s/he will most likely cover it with red ink, right? Not so much here. I make all my notes in green because I like to reflect the idea of moving forward. Green means go, it means new life. These are ways to think of your revisions, and this is how I like to think of the editing process.

KA: I LOVE that and I so relate! Years ago, a student told me that he hated that I used a red pen to edit—so I used a green pen for years when I was working with student leaders! Taryn, can you tell us about your own writing?
TA: I write mostly contemporary, specifically mysteries and thrillers. I like the short, fast-paced tension. I wish I could write lyrical fantasy, but I haven't tried. Right now, I'm drafting two things: 1. a YA thriller about an honors English class that goes on a retreat only to discover the books on their syllabus are coming true and the pranks are becoming deadly. 2. a YA contemp about a non-Christian girl who ends up escaping from her sucky home life by going on a mission trip to Haiti where she meets a boy and falls in love :)

KA: How does editing others help you with your own writing?
TA: I might almost say editing has hurt my work! Here's why: editing has made me very conscientious of what works and why it works. Therefore, it makes it hard for me to draft with all these thoughts of "that's not working" floating in my mind. Luckily editing has also helped me to troubleshoot these problems, and I'm pretty quick at thinking up solutions and continuing on.

KA: I love your mission statement! Can we share it here?

TA: My mission is to guide writers through the daunting task of revision, from idea development to editorial feedback to general publishing advice. I love working with stories and those who create them. As a nationally ranked swimmer, I know the value of time, so I believe in quick responses from the first email to the last.

I am not just another freelance editor. Beyond providing an experienced and thorough critique, my secondary goal is to establish a relationship with my clients. I want to support you throughout the stressful submission process and celebrate with you upon any and all good news. Writers may put pen to paper alone, but it is through a community that the book gets finished, polished, and submitted.

KA: You must read a lot--do you have a favorite YA?

TA: My all-time favorite book is ENDER'S GAME, but that could be argued as MG. Recently, I've loved IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson, Marissa Meyer's CINDER series, and LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger.

KA: I knew I liked you! Ender’s Game is one of my all-time faves as well. Thanks Taryn! Good luck with the new project. You should get to know Taryn—she’s going to be famous someday. Her blog is here: and you can find her at the Girl with the Green Pen here:


  1. Great interview! Nice to meet you Taryn, best of luck in your new endeavor!

  2. I love your philosophy on the green pen! Good luck with this adventure. : )