Inside Dundurn with Lorena

Inside Dundurn with Lorena

Posted on October 19 by Kyle
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“Ask me anything, I’m an open book,” says our production assistant, Lorena Gonzalez Guillen, “Just make me sound smart.”

Well, that won’t be difficult.  Lorena is one of the go-to people on our design and production team. You want to know what stage of design a book is in? Well, you should check the schedule, but Lorena is happy to help. She does, after all, do a little bit of everything on our design team.

 “Essentially, I make sure every detail and correction gets updated during the production process. I review things like printer proofs, design the interior of the books, and sign-offs. But I love the designing.”

In a nutshell, the designing aspect is when Lorena takes the Word document that the editor sends her and imports it into her own programs to begin formatting the interior of the book.

“Even though I don’t necessarily need to be that creative, I enjoy the idea of taking the creation of the author and the work of the editor and putting it into this potential, beautiful book,” Lorena explains, “It’s the process of making everything flow and consistent, I love that.”

How much creativity goes into designing the interior of a book varies for Lorena. For non-fiction, the specifics of layout are decided ahead of time in editorial. On the other hand, there is often no specific direction when it comes to the interior of a fiction book. There’s just text and that can allow for some creative liberties.

“I recently finished designing two of the Saddle Creek books by Shelley Peterson, which is about horses. I thought it would be a nice addition to make a little dingbat ...” A dingbat is a design element that signals a diversion in text, “… of a horse in the chapters. That’s the kind of fun I get with fiction, makes it unique.”

So how did a Communications major studying TV and Video production get into the world of books? Lorena actually started out in editorial.

“I was living in Mexico City when my aunt, who works in publishing, mentioned a job opening as an editorial assistant/production editor at an agency called Estudio Creativos,” Lorena fondly remembers, “At the time, I had no idea what book production required. I was brand new. But I really liked editing and it turns out they really liked me. I still like to think my aunt accidentally got me excited about the industry.”

It was there that she first experienced what it was like working alongside designers. Literally. They sat right next to her. In time she got to the point where she’d continue asking them what they were doing and how to work “that InDesign thing”.

“After a while, they started letting me play around. They would save and lock off all the layers so I couldn’t move anything, of course, but then I’d try to help with what corrections they gave me.”

Essentially, Lorena learned how to design with the child lock on. Kind of like when you go bowling with the bumpers on the sides?

“Yes! It was very much like that.”

Finally, the now traditional question of what she likes to read. While most recently Lorena read The Slip by Mark Sampson, she admits to always enjoying a thriller or mystery. But then again…

“That’s such a hard question! People always ask me what I like to read the most. I don’t know! It’s like asking me do who you prefer more, your mom or your dad? No! I just like reading.”

Noted. Lorena doesn’t play favourites with her books (or her parents). She loves all genres equally.

“I so enjoy reading someone else’s words, being in the world they’ve created. If I just read one genre, I’d feel confined. I don’t have a preference, I don’t have a type, I just like reading.”