The photo is of myself with author Ron Whitehead and an audience member, James Mohan, at Carmichael’s Bookstore, where I had just given a presentation.
First, I focus on quality and know the sensibilities of a writer.
A central focus of my life has been on writing—being a writer. As an editor, I was called “a lass with a delicate ear” by one author and told (by Hunter S. Thompson) that I graze on words like a cow at pasture. I will be highly sensitive to your style of expression—how you put thoughts together or tell a story. And what your needs are as the author. Once I edited a successful book; then the co-author showed the text to her husband, the other co-author. He finished reading the clean text (no marks showing) and approved it, asking what had changed. He did not notice the changes. It still communicated what he was trying to communicate. Yes, she said, but it has a third less words.
Second, writing and editing are in my blood.
I have been a poet at seven, written half a mystery book at nine, become a reporter at fourteen (winning first place in two state journalism contests at seventeen), and as features editor went to New York City with the rest of the staff to accept a first-place award by the Columbia School of Journalism. More journalism followed—at Duke University, then in New York City (as assistant editor at United Features Syndicate). Next, I took the prestigious job of copy editor (later also assistant editor) at Random House in New York City in the days before it was a conglomerate. The jobs were few and highly coveted; we worked hands on with authors. They even sat beside me at a table in my small office as we went over suggested changes. The author was king or queen, however. No change was made without consent and usually. Gratitude was common. One author planted a tree in Jerusalem with my name. Another, the nightly news anchor Chet Huntley, said he would get me a job in any U.S. embassy in the world. It was a high-excitement, often high-stakes, sometimes high-profile experience, preparing me for the freelance editing I have done ever since. Always hands on, keeping—in particularity, as William Blake would say—the book itself and you, the individual author, in the center. To read more, go to the Editing Services page.