My Editing Philosophy
As cheesy as it sounds, writing is a calling. We itch to express the stories we envision in our heads and to make our characters come to life. Chasing a new story idea is invigorating, but it can also be lonely, frustrating, and painful. That’s why we must seek out mentors and friends who will enthusiastically support our journey through all the highs and lows. I would love to play that role in your writing life.
Previous clients have praised my ability to provide specific suggestions for improvement, especially regarding characterization and plot development. I also pay special attention to strengthening the writer’s prose, as I believe that a strong narrative voice is crucial to publishing success.
My pursuit of editing as a career began in college, where I majored in English and minored in English and English, as the joke goes. My BA from The Ohio State University is in Honors English and psychology, with minors in creative writing and professional writing, granting me over twenty-five courses in various forms of writing, in addition to a deeper understanding of human behavior. I interned at the educational publisher McGraw Hill, edited and wrote articles for Uloop News and USA Today College, and served as Editor-in-Chief for Ohio State's Mosaic Magazine.
Ever the overachiever, I chased after every writing and academic award my university offered, garnering the full-tuition Medalist Scholarship, the Columbia Gas Scholarship, the Harley Scholarship in English, and the Human Rights Award. I also received an Honorable Mention for critical analysis, an Honorable Mention for a piece of creative non-fiction, and second place in Literature for the campus literary magazine.
Since then, I've taken numerous professional development courses in writing and editing, including the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. I've evaluated short story submissions for Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, judged novel openings for the Page Turner Awards, and am now a poetry reader for The Line Literary Magazine. All of these experiences have been their own form of education to me.
Currently, I’m the managing editor at Story Garden Publishing, a collaborative writing venture with fellow authors Jordan Riley Swan and Hero Bowen. Together, we plot, write, and edit novels in various genres, from comedies and romances to fantasy novels and fairy-tale retellings. Wish Hunter is the first project I’ve designed for Story Garden; it's an urban fantasy trilogy about the dark underworld of stealing wishes that’s set in Savannah, Georgia.
I’ve been a full-time developmental editor for five years now, and I’ve devised detailed critiques for fantasy, science fiction, literary, middle grade, thriller, and romance novels. Prior to Story Garden, I worked for three years as a developmental editor and plot outliner for a best-selling indie publisher under an NDA, overseeing the production of thirty novels across four series. I also wrote and edited interactive fiction games for Talented, an e-learning platform for universities and business leadership.
With an additional six years of editing experience as a writing consultant for the Ohio State Writing Center, a humanities writing tutor with Chegg (teaching over 300 lessons), and a beta reader, I pride myself in my scrupulous attention to detail.
Like most editors, I’m an avid reader of all genres, including literary classics, fantasy, science fiction, horror, thrillers, YA, contemporary fiction, memoirs, and poetry. (You can find a list of my favorite books here.) Above all, I adore working with writers who are eager to improve their craft. These specific genres and markets are my bread and butter:
Adult fantasy, science fiction, and horror (speculative fiction, broadly defined)
Young adult/middle grade
Upmarket fiction (that delicious blend of literary and genre fiction)
Thrillers and mysteries
Romance (especially LGBTQIA+)
As a writer myself, I spend much of my free time creating and submitting short stories and poems for publication, along with drafting novels. You can find all of my published works on my writing page.
I was born and raised in Central Ohio, but I often go on lengthy road trips with my amazing husband to hike through National Parks and explore art museums in big cities. I’m also an avid geocacher—a treasure hunter in the woods. I’ve kept a bucket list since I was fourteen, and it contains over two hundred things I want to do before I die, including making every recipe from a single cookbook and seeing the cherry blossoms bloom in Japan. You’ll often find me posting about my baking and travel adventures on Twitter.
I aim to consume at least fifty books per year, many of which become fodder for analysis on my YouTube channel Quotidian Writer. If you’re reading this, you likely found me through one of my videos—and I thank you for your support and kindness as a viewer. On my Medium page, you can read more of my writing advice as well as my adapted video transcripts.
I post monthly updates about my writing, reading, and video-making on my Ko-fi blog.
I’m proud to work with Jordan Riley Swan and Hero Bowen as a plot outliner and editor for Story Garden Publishing, along with making the book trailers and interviews on our YouTube channel. Below are some of our latest titles, and we have so many more to come! Click on the covers for a peek inside.
I'm often asked how I make my videos, and while I eventually plan to create a meta "How to Make a Quotidian Writer Video" video, I'll give the quick version here. I've also spoken about my YouTube videos in a Story Garden interview. This process can take anywhere from twenty to a hundred hours, depending on how much of a perfectionist I'm being:
1. Script Stage: Braindump my ideas on the topic; research related books/articles/videos for examples and quotes; draft the script; revise several times; get feedback from writing critique partners; continue revising until the script is finalized. I always aim to keep my videos under thirty minutes, but seventeen is the sweet spot (although I'm trying to make more videos that are under ten minutes long).
2. Keynote Stage: Build out the individual slides in Keynote (Apple's version of PowerPoint), using a few sentences per video clip or image collage; I primarily use Pexels and Pixabay for stock footage because they're free for commercial use. Add transition and animation effects in Keynote. Record a dry run of the presentation and export it to an mp4.
3. iMovie Stage: Upload the video file to iMovie (another Apple software) and remove any pauses or glitches in the transitions. Record and rerecord narration in paragraph-level bursts using my Blue Yeti mic, foam windscreen, and pop filter.
4. Editing Stage: Time out the audio to match the visuals; remove any loud breaths or background noise; add background music from Vindsvept (his song "Clockwork" is my intro/outro music). Review video for the final time to catch any additional errors.
5. Upload Stage: Export the video to an mp4 and upload to YouTube; upload script for subtitles and set timings; add end cards; write a description with links to sources and personal webpages; post the text version of the video on Medium (with screenshots from the video itself); write my behind-the-scenes post for my Ko-fi blog with additional resources or factoids; share on my social pages like Twitter; respond to early comments.
And there you have it—a peek at the wizard behind the curtain. If you haven't watched my videos before, my "How to Show, Not Tell" video is my most popular pick.