Lizette Clarke

Lizette Clarke.JPG

What I love most about editing is the moment when a writer has a breakthrough or finds a solution to a storytelling problem.

I'M A COACH

What is your favorite part of the coaching process?

I love helping writers through a challenge. The level of trust that builds from that point is one of the best perks of the job!

What's your coaching style like?

I like to play psychiatrist to fictional characters, so my coaching style for fiction involves asking questions to get inside a person's head. I try to support the writers I work with unconditionally, and give them the space and time they need to figure things out.

What genres do you love to edit?

  • Romance
  • Young adult
  • Science-fiction
  • Urban fantasy

What do you love most about editing?

Two of my favorite things are storytelling and problem solving, and editing gives me the opportunity to indulge in both. What I love most about editing is the moment when a writer has a breakthrough or finds a solution to a storytelling problem.

Who's your ideal writer match? What are you looking for in a coaching client?

My ideal writer enjoys humor and goofy pop-culture references. He or she gets just as excited over a new Murakami book as they do over a classic Jean Claude Van Damme movie. My ideal writer takes their work seriously, but doesn't take themselves seriously.

What was the moment when you felt like a real book coach?

I honestly can't pinpoint when it happened exactly, but [a big one was] the very first time a writer took one of my suggestions (or part of one) and discovered a whole new world of story possibilities.

What do you believe the most prominent difference between an editor and a coach is?

An editor focuses on the content (which I do love doing), while a coach focuses on the writer (which I love doing even more). I believe it's about building relationships. I know from personal experience that writing a novel is SO much easier if you have someone cheering for not only your book but for YOU.

What's been your greatest achievement in coaching so far?

Working with one of my writers during the very first Story Genius workshop and seeing her all the way through to her completed first draft in less than a year.

How did you hear about Author Accelerator?

I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for coaches and realized I had just stumbled upon my dream job.

IN MY DOWNTIME...

What's your favorite word?

Tremulous.

What genres do you love to read?

Romance (especially featuring women of color), science-fiction, new adult, literary short story collections, horror, anything featuring messed up but fascinating protagonists (e.g., Alyssa Nutting's Tampa)

What are five of your favorite books?

  • 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
  • Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Who are five of your favorite authors?

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Roxane Gay
  • Junot Diaz
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Rumiko Takahashi

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

Ernessa T. Carter. Any writer who names her jazz-singing, pop culture-loving heroine after one of the Monkees needs to be one of my best friends.

What are you most excited about right now?

My boyfriend's animated short film just screened at a film festival in New York, and I got to visit my hometown, family, and friends I hadn't seen in ages. Best weekend ever!  :-)

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but the older I got the more I realized I didn't like dealing with people in person. My sister actually became a psychiatrist. I made the right call.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Unpredictable but still structured enough to satisfy my worst INTJ and Capricorn tendencies.

If you could fast-forward a year from now, what would your writing life look like?

I would be writing more consistently and confidently.

What about 5 years from now?

I'd like at least 100 loyal readers demanding new content from me daily.