What is my responsibility?

As I sit here opening the first file of my latest cookbook editing project, I always remind myself of my first responsibility: to get to know the author.  Who is s/he in the world of food? Is this her first cookbook or tenth? How old is she? What's her personality like and what does she sound like when she speaks? Does she speak perfect, broken, or casual English? What is her core message to the reader?

These are just a few questions whose answers I seek so that I can maintain the essence of who the author is; it's not just about correcting words. One of the most exciting aspects of editing a cookbook for me is "meeting" the author and learning from her work as I help to perfect it.