I've never worked with an editor, what's that like?

It's like getting your toenails pulled, then realizing that...now that you notice...your feet are much better off. Sleeker. Cleaner. More nimble and expressive.

I'll send you a lot of notes. A lot. You'll initially sulk and feel like you wasted your money, because being criticized sucks. After a couple of days, you'll start to think, well, maybe some of those notes will be helpful, I might as well try them. Then you'll take great pleasure in finding ways to solve problems I've identified in ways that aren't what I suggested. You'll begrudgingly accept that some of the notes are dead on, and start to feel relieved that as you work through the next draft, the writing starts to feel smoother. More alive. More you.

Then your work will be better.

Aren't you kind of expensive?


Number one, I'm in line with what other editors charge.

Number two, I'm very good.

Number three, I'm very fast. I live in Dubai, so I've put in an 8-hour day before the East Coast has finished breakfast and checked their email. That head start, plus being very good (see number two) means you get your work back before you get antsy.

As the saying goes, "Good, fast, and cheap. You can only have two."

Functionally, you are paying me to clear my desk of freelance and personal projects. When I have your work you are my full-time job.

What genres of work do you edit?

I'm strongest at editing Young Adult, literary fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, romance (including erotica and straight-up porn), mystery and playscripts. I'm also delighted to work with inspirational and spiritual books, soft science fiction and most fantasy.

You're better with another editor for hard science fiction or elaborate high fantasy. I can help you with line editing and plot, but I don't know the genres well enough to position your work within the canon.

What kinds of editing do you do?

After evaluating your five pages and doing a preliminary consultation to determine your goals and expectations, we'll choose which type(s) of editing will best help your work.

Developmental Editing. Working from your ideas, notes, or an early draft to shape your manuscript into a coherent, readable manuscript. This can include research for a nonfiction book, or plot and character development for a novel. You'll receive feedback on the marketability of the initial concept and what tone, setting and genre will best realize your vision.

Editorial Letter. Feedback on the overall concept and execution of your manuscript, with questions and suggestions for further work. Feedback on story and plot, characters and concepts. This is "big picture" work.

Line-editing. Going through your work line-by-line to make sure every sentence is in the best possible shape before publication. Marking sections that need rewriting or rewording. Assuring consistency of voice, excellent usage, word choices, grammar and spelling, and checking plot continuity.

Copy-editing. Proof-reading, grammar and typo fixes. This is technical editing that does not focus on style, story or concept. Fact-checking can fit here, too.

English-to-English. For non-native speakers, I will revise your work for correct colloquial usage (USA, UK or Canadian) and in the voice or style you prefer.

I also provide mentoring and coaching to writers focused on career development or refining and improving their craft.

If you have an idea but not a lot of time, or you need a book but don't want to write it, I'm available for ghostwriting and proposal development. If you need help in the publication process, I handle text and cover design, formatting, ISBN, file conversion and distribution for print and e-books.

Can I get a reference?

Certainly. Email me with a brief statement of what you're looking for and the type of project, and I'll put you in touch with writers I've edited. Honestly, though, your mileage may vary, and you may want to bite the bullet and see how that five page assessment edit goes.

What the hell kind of editor uses the Oxford comma inconsistently on her website?

Well-done, spotting that! I prefer to use the serial comma when it clarifies meaning, and forgo it when a list reads more smoothly without the extra comma. If you're writing for publication, we'll use your preference, or the style manual that your publisher or hoped-for publisher uses.

You terrify me.

Technically, that's not a question. But it comes up a lot.

In another life, I was a theatre director. A student actor came to me after rehearsal, dismayed that she had received lots of critical notes and no praise.

She said, "I think it would help me more if I could hear some of what I'm doing right."

I replied, "Think of yourself as an Olympic runner, and I am your coach. It's not my job to hold your hand and say, 'Oh sweetie, you ran real fast.' It's my job to help you run faster."

That said, your work will be liberally sprinkled with NICE!!!!! and THIS SO WORKS!!!!! because when it's working, it's so much fun to read I have to tell you. It feels good to recognize when you're great.