Questions You May Have

What is it like working with you?

I value the relationship part of editing. I never forget it’s your work, and I have learned over the course of working on many books how to recognize a writer’s voice and how to edit writing without altering its uniqueness. I see the editing process as a dialogue – though a large part of it occurs on the page (the screen nowadays), through questions I pose about sentences, paragraphs or even groups of pages. This prompts a back and forth that often leads to results neither of us expected. My line editing method is to suggest alternative phrasings instead of marking “awkward” or other such comments. I’ve never understood why that is helpful, and it seems scolding, which is definitely not my style. If a writer doesn’t agree with my suggestion, I ask them to think of another solution – or to call me. I like being asked to explain myself if I’m not being clear. It prompts dialogues that lead to conversations about other things. For larger structural or argument-based issues, I talk directly to writers or provide editorial memos, if that is helpful.

How much do you charge?

Yes, this is an annoying answer, but it depends. It depends on what you need, how long your work is and what your goals are for it. I will usually read a portion of your work for no fee, and I charge a small fee to read all of your work (and that amount is applied to the total fee if you decide to hire me). It’s rare that I can tell a writer what I can do for them — and what I will charge — without having first read the work.

Do you specialize in any type of editing?

I love stories, and many of the books I have edited explore historical subjects, though more often than not they were focused on a rarely-told aspect of a larger story we all know. I am also a news junkie so current events books are of particular interest to me. And I have worked with a number of fiction authors, and they range from Amy Ephron’s literary fiction to Dale Brown’s techno-military thrillers. It’s hard to imagine a wider stretch than that.

Can you me get a literary agent?

I can’t promise this, but I maintain relationships with agents I have known for decades. If I think your work might interest some of them, I could make introductions for you.