Earning the Readers’ Trust, And Other Notes on Editing

A Q&A with Jessica DuLong, the freelance editor and writer who was instrumental to the editing of Bad Medicine. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Charlotte Bismuth
10 min readSep 28, 2021
Author Photo by Hank Gans

Charlotte: Jessica, you’re not just an incredible editor, but also a boat engineer and author. Which one came first, and how do your professions relate to one another?

Jessica: I was always going to be a writer, but I never thought it was something I could actually [do] — and so I was constantly trying to brainstorm what could be my job so that I could be a writer.

I was in San Francisco at the beginning of the dot-com bubble, and I was going to Stanford. I found a way to sort of skyrocket straight to the top and basically be a magazine editor online. I was actually working for my second startup in the Empire State Building, and I was Director of Content Management — or who knows what my fancy title was — but I was like 28 years old and I was in New York City. My dad loved to tell everybody that the ‘lady looked up at me’ — the Statue of Liberty looked up at me — very cute dad joke.

Charlotte: Dads. They’re the best.

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Charlotte Bismuth

Author of “Bad Medicine: Catching New York’s Deadliest Pill Pusher,” former Manhattan ADA , Columbia Law School grad, occasional legal cartoonist.