Thursday, August 6, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Dorothy Distefano, Editor for Tom Reitze about Tom Reitze

Dorothy Distefano, Editor
Tom Reitze's PEJITO
Tom Reitze has pulled yet another “fast one” on us – he sent his editor to let us know that he’s released PEJITO, the third story in his "Stories of a Different Nature." But we are privileged to have her, because as an editor Dorothy Distefano gives us insight into how he tells his stories. As you might imagine from my previous two interviews of Tom (Interview 1 and Interview 2), he doesn’t do editing in a manner similar to most, and Distefano, an experienced and hard-working editor--and so much more--, manages to overcome his “quirkiness,” for which we learn she is well suited!

PEJITO is a short story—again in the paranormal fiction genre—about a marionette with “an air of evil around it.” It joins the first two short stories, DATE WITH A CHAIR (1) “not a story to produce joy and happiness” and BERNICE’S BONES (2)—“If it doesn’t make you laugh, that’ll make me cry.” 

And I’ve heard that Tom has written a novella with supernatural tendencies called DEKLYN, that is available for pre-order. 

An Editor’s Story 
Or, How Tom Reitze’s Quirky Plots Become Quirkier
By Dorothy Distefano, the one who gets them there

I feel very privileged to be Tom Reitze’s proofreader, editor, and pain in the neck. Just ask him. He will definitely agree with the pain part.

Every writer has a different process, and Tom’s differs greatly from my other clients. He doesn’t want to send me a manuscript and receive it back with suggestions and changes. We tried this. He was quite unhappy and autocorrect added words like hatchet and decapitation into his emails. At least I hope it was autocorrect. Tom wants to know WHY something doesn’t work. He wants to understand the reasoning behind every suggestion or change. This is why we meet every week and go through each manuscript line-by-line. I add comments where we agree things need to change, including my favorite, “This sucks.” He looks forward to those (not).

Along the way, as we meander down the path of each story, I call him out on plots that develop too quickly or too slowly, characters that change hastily, or things that just need clarification. His upcoming novella, DEKLYN, which is available for preorder, was a very short story until my brain revved up and I said, “I have an idea,” which makes all of my clients cringe, but ultimately ends up in some interesting ideas.

Tom’s plots are already quirky when we begin and probably more quirky when we finish. He has no interest in split infinitives or any other grammar conventions. If he likes the way it sounds, who am I to argue? I only insist on changes that clarify sentences and story structure. He has his style, he likes it, and I go with the flow… to an extent. There will be no omissions of the Oxford Comma. Ever.

Stories of a Different Nature all contain supernatural phenomena, as does DEKLYN, but the next book series may be more of a tasting menu of stories. A smorgasbord, if you will. They will still be unconventional, but not all supernaturally based or revolving around paranormal happenings. There are some single holiday stories ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a new set of books that are as yet unnamed, and then we plan to tackle Tom’s greatest work, Simon. It is a novel he has worked on for several years and is bound to delight readers. In my mind, this means we will come around and bind them with duct tape and read it to them until they are delighted. But that’s just me.

I enjoy working with Tom because he allows me to make suggestions and feels comfortable either accepting or rejecting my ideas. Often, my suggestions require extra work on his part, but he does it, and he does it well. We are a good team.

Our cover designer, who happens to be my son, has done a great job of taking the disturbing nature of the current series and putting the covers together to complement each story. We will be giving away special edition wallpapers with the symbols for each novel in Stories of a Different Nature for everyone who retweets or shares our posts about the DEKLYN presale. Warning: this wallpaper is pretty spooky.

About Dorothy Distefano by Dorothy Distefano

I am the Writer on the Verge.

In addition to working with Tom Reitze, author of Stories of a Different Nature, I am (in no particular order) a wife and mother, freelance writer, team leader, reader, LOST fanatic in mourning, nerd, tech lover, and drumline costumer. I put words in the correct order with appropriate punctuation in a way that seems pleasing or at least agreeable. I love the Oxford comma, regardless of what AP style says.

My work history includes psychiatric nurse, teaching assistant, PTA Prez, volunteer, and family book club creator. To sum it up: I wasn’t afraid; I tried new things and if I didn’t know how, I learned; I spoke my mind; I helped; I loved; I did my best. I still do all of these things in whatever tiara I am wearing, whether editor, writer, or mother. My dream is to publish my own novel.

If this was an extended bio, I would tell you about teaching my cat to jump through a rolling hula hoop when I was 5.

About Tom Reitze by Tom Reitze

“I am a very opinionated individual and was sure I knew what was wrong with society and how to fix it. I planned to write a series of editorials and bind them into a book. Before I started, I realized no one in the world would give a damn about what this unknown writer had to say. I decided to expose my feelings in the form of fictional stories, something people would be more likely to read.

"My 22 lb. cat, Horus agrees. He is very opinionated as well. I am contradictory. I will present one idea at one time, and then write another story that presents the opposite concepts. I like to believe I am a person willing to listen to and consider both sides of an issue. Some of my writing is serious, some of it is supernatural in nature, and some of it is humorous (I hope).”

About PEJITO (Stories of a Different Nature Book 3)

On a shelf, amidst the clutter of tchotchkes from mundane to fascinating hangs a marionette. It appears to be a relic of an earlier age with the face of clown. Why, of all of the tokens in the room does this one have an air of evil around it?


This "between the Stories of a Different Nature" novella started as just another story. DEKLYN demanded that there was more than those few words to his tale. An escape from a life of beatings; a journey in a desolate desert; unimaginable powers; and forces beyond all understanding await you. Deklyn would like you to read it. At one time, he could have made you read it, but now it is your choice.

Links for Tom Reitze

Amazon link for PEJITO - available now
Amazon link for DEKLYN - available for pre-order
Amazon link for BERNICE'S BONES
Amazon link for DATE WITH A CHAIR

Links for Dorothy Distefano

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