Some Recent Books I’ve Edited

I’m lucky to have great clients find me for copy editing or proofreading. I wanted to briefly mention a couple of books that I really enjoyed working on recently.

51U+oPZN+aL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_East Coast writer Lucy J. Madison is a new author to me, but she has published several lesbian romances, including Personal Foul, a sports romance. I was lucky enough to edit her latest, A Recipe for Love, which is currently on pre-order. Set in upstate New York, this book tells the tale of Danika Russo, a woman in middle-age who has worked for thirty years as a mail carrier and just retired, having taken care of her partner while she died of cancer and her father as well. Now she has inherited an ugly house, filled with reminders of her unhappy childhood.

Books which show characters gradually becoming unstuck are particularly appealing to me. This slow, simmering burn of a book shows Danika taking steps outside of her comfort zone, including daring to start a relationship with a younger woman, Finn, who seems attracted but strangely elusive. The Italian cooking class Danika attends, which could have been a cliché, brought a great zest to the book. And there are recipes at the end! I love an unconventional romance, so this book is recommended.

Frank Tayell is an author whom I wouldn’t personally have discovered if it were not for my work with him. He has a long-running series of post-apocalyptic novels called Surviving the Evacuation. (He reached out to me halfway through this series.) Since Tayell is UK-based, the novels are sometimes a challenge to proofread because part of my job is to preserve the British-English spelling (while flagging anything that seems too untranslatable).

51d76U6RTdLWorking on a book at my level of focus means entering another author’s mind and world, to a certain extent. I rather like Tayell’s world, where the cerebral characters are pushing to survive, looking forward to the tenuous future, and striving to preserve social order and human decency as best they can while they move restlessly around the English (and now French) countryside in search of a stable refuge. And yes, there’s plenty of zombie-killing, but I doubt anyone really reads these books solely for this particular feature. It doesn’t surprise me that Tayell has loyal fans who have followed the series through all fourteen books!

Love, sex, and violence appeal to readers, but a really well-written book can transcend genre. My job is to help each independent author achieve their vision, making sure that jarring inconsistencies are smoothed away. It can be as easy as changing mandolin, a musical instrument, to mandoline, a grater (in a cooking context) or filling in missing words, usually pronouns, that the author has dropped in his or her haste. The trick is to stay attentive to the language and never approach the editing of the book in a purely mechanical way.

Let me know if I can help with your editing or proofreading needs in the next few months!

 

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Happy Halloween!

undyingIt’s been a busy season for Edit for Indies. In the last month or so, I copyedited a paranormal title that has become a best-seller, Valerie Grosjean’s Undying. Subtitled “a tale of love…and zombies,” this crisply written, fast-paced YA book has plenty of gore, suspense, and heart, as freshman Christian races home from college to save his beloved Iris after the zombie apocalypse. Based on how the book ended, I’m sure this is the start of a very successful series for the Bay Area author.

It was my pleasure this year to work on a series of werewolf/shifter titles (Donna Flynn’s Pack series) and also to edit author Lillian Francken‘s set of books, which have action, suspense, and dark elements to them, and are set in the Wisconsin area. I’m always grateful for return clients who ask me to work on multiple books; it’s really a vote of confidence in me as an editor, and I appreciate it.

Other books I’ve worked on recently include Aditi Chopra’s Mystical Desi Girl, the third book in her current series about Mahi, a young Indian-American woman in San Jose who is balancing a career and the ups and downs of a traditional marriage, and a delightful children’s book by writer-actor Byron Marc Newsome called Take That, You Scaredy-Cat! on the subject of bullying…

dickinsteinFinally, I also edited Shannon Yarbrough’s Emily Dickinson/Frankenstein mashup Dickinstein, out now from Rocking Horse Publishing. The novel has one of the most striking covers I’ve seen, designed by the author himself—and it’s beautifully written.

As we go into the chilly season things always die down a bit, in my experience, and so I’m happy to offer a winter discount of $25 off to new clients that will run through January 2014. (This applies to full-length books, of course.) Just let me know when you contact me that you’re interested in the discount.