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Friday, July 11, 2008

Brad Steinbacher Still Frightens Me

posted by on July 11 at 16:35 PM

Without Brad, I wouldn’t be writing. Mr. Steinbacher was my first editor, ever. I’m trained as a computer and biomedical engineer, not exactly professions known for their communication skills.

He was responsible for introducing me to the very basics: What in the hell is a byline? What do I do with a semicolon, other than terminate a statement in C? Do I get paid? Are all writers temperamental? Should I contribute to slog? All of this was right when he was attempting to pull together the massive SIFF guide. I’m forever indebted.

But yes. As a deeply shy person myself, Brad scares me. He always did and still does, despite his always being kind and welcoming to me. I’ve always felt like I’m sitting at the wrong table in middle school when in the room with him—a person as much as any who made the Stranger, a paper I truly and honestly respect.

Brad, take this as the ultimate victory: At the conclusion of my General Exam (for my PhD), my committee members turned to me and said, “your writing for the Stranger is vastly better than your science writing.” Ouch.

Thanks Brad.

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