I believe that writing and editing are a way of life, the constant creation and refinement of thought and action that leads to our highest level of contribution.
I grew up in a home with no television but hundreds of books. I was born to be a reader.
My earliest memories are of being read to by my parents at all times of the day, especially at night during our family reading time. As we learned to read, our parents encouraged my siblings and me to take turns reading aloud. They taught us to embody the words on the page, to project them, to listen to and feel the way they roll off the tongue. I was raised to be a lover of words and the people who with care put them on the page.
As a preteen, I started writing my first book. Just three chapters in, I realized that it was derivative at best, plagiarized at worst. On that day, an editor was born.
Many years later, a creative writing professor encouraged me to submit to my university’s writing contest a creative nonfiction essay I’d written. I didn’t do it. Several years later, I submitted a different essay to a magazine. They accepted and published it, and a professional writer was born.
After working in the field of risk management and insurance and graduating with a degree in anthropology, I put my independent spirit to the test by declining an invitation to attend graduate school and quitting my day job to focus full-time on building a career in the publishing industry and helping others do the same.
How I Work with Writers
I work with writers who, like me, love words and ideas and respect the craft.
In addition to reflecting your vision and helping you discover and project your voice, I act as an advocate for your reader and your highest creative and professional self.
I offer perspective and recommendations that challenge you to think like a professional writer, literary agent, acquisition editor, publisher, bookstore owner, and ultimately your reader.
As a literary career strategist, I help you better understand the publishing industry and identify opportunities in it. I promote and position my best clients whenever I can and am always expanding my knowledge and network, so I can be the best long-term strategic partner I can be.
I am in the business of breaking writers into the industry and helping established authors go further faster.
How I Work with Literary Agents and Publishers
Many excellent writers still need help in one or more areas before their work is ready for publication. I work as a freelancer to develop your contracted author’s writing, so you can focus on the business side of working with them.
I’m also always on the lookout for new talent that fits your portfolio and goals. Being a literary matchmaker and seeing high-quality work get into the hands of readers faster is one of the most rewarding things about what I do.
I specialize in working with writers who aspire to be traditionally published.
My Genre and Project Preferences
I’m actively looking for upmarket fiction with high stakes, dynamic characters, and strong themes and intellectually stimulating nonfiction projects (especially narrative nonfiction).
I enjoy working with memoirists with compelling, high stakes, situation-focused stories (no legacy/biography): survivor, medical, and adventure (adrenaline-pumping, high stakes). The exception is literary memoir and essay compilations that have strong themes and a built-in audience.
When it comes to subject matter, my taste is eclectic. When it comes to client type, I’m most interested in working with professionally minded writers with more than one book project in mind.
My Approach and Results
I am a writer who respects the craft and wants to be someone you can trust. To me, that means being able to demonstrate that my writing is commercially viable and that the work I do with clients gets results.
My creative nonfiction essays, business columns, and writing advice have been published in publications that exercise editorial discretion, and I work with publishers, develop relationships with literary agents, speak, and teach.
My clients consistently earn publishing contracts, book awards, and special recognitions (23 to date) for projects I’ve been involved with. One earned a 6-figure, world-rights book deal with HarperCollins.
I value independence, objectivity, and meaningful relationships.
I make a living one hundred percent from project and speaking income. I do not accept referral or affiliate fees. I work in your best interest.
I am a conscious capitalist and an inclusive business person. I’m interested in bringing people of different perspectives to the table to bridge gaps in understanding and communication.
As a proponent of productive communication, I have signed the Revive Civility Pledge put forward by the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
My Editorial Assistant
Book lover, artist, poet, active listener, and dream nurturer Sandy holds a Keys to Effective Editing certificate and follows Chicago Manual of Style.
She follows my methodology and serves as a manuscript evaluator, line and copy editor, and proofreader when my time is limited but clients want to work with me in some capacity.
While Sandy mostly works behind the scenes, you can find us together at conferences and speaking events where she helps me stay organized and keeps me well fed so I can focus on helping and building relationships with the people around me.