Friday, 26 October 2018

Is Your WIP Ready to be Edited in 2019?

Looking Ahead

Hard to believe 2018 is almost at an end. It's been a positive and productive year for me, where I've had the opportunity to collaborate with interesting and motivated writers who kept me on my toes as we developed their WIPs to a ready-to-go status. Several of my authors self-published their novels, all to a high standard, while others have submitted to agents and publishers and are currently going through the waiting process - all part of the game we've come to know only too well.

My calendar fills pretty fast, and right now I'm looking into the new year with a view to ensuring my current and prospective clients are not left floundering for want of one of my editing slots. If your WIP is close to ready and you're looking for a professional editor known for caring for his clients, then you should contact me at so we can set the ball rolling.

If you haven't worked with me before, I don't accept commissions before seeing a chapter from your WIP. That gives me an idea of where you're at as a writer, and my sample edit allows you to determine if we're compatible - if my editing approach suits your requirements. Don't leave it too late. Drop me a line and we'll have a chat.

My website:

What my clients think of my services:

My Facebook page:

My Twitter page:

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Seán Ó Connor's Dublin Launch of The Mongrel

Dublin horror writer Seán Ó Connor launched his first published work, a novella called The Mongrel, at Dublin's Hodges Figgis last night (October 23rd), to what can only be described as an avid audience, who paid rapt attention, not just to Seán's sample reading, but to the glowing tributes from two fellow horror writers.

As Seán's editor, I hung around the fringes of the gathering before the event began, listening to the interaction as people warmed up with a glass of wine, and I was delighted to hear so many positive comments. A good start. And it got better.

It was lovely to meet Seán for the first time. He's a personable young man, with a sparkle in his eye when it comes to the subject of writing. I also met and chatted with his friend, graphic artist and writer, Barry Keegan, author of the graphic novel The Bog Road, which is for sale from most, if not all, good bookshops. Here's Barry Blog:

With Barry Keegan

The first speaker of the night was Jonathan Barry, author and renowned illustrator, who whilst giving a dazzling review of Seán's novella, was under strict orders from the author of the night not to throw any spoilers out. He did very well, leaving it up to those in attendance to find out for themselves by buying a signed copy of the book later. Here's the link to Jonathan's horror novel, The Devil's Hoof:

Jonathan Barry

Jonathan then introduced horror writer Matt Hayward, who provided an insightful background to how the genre has evolved over the past forty years or so. It's obvious that Matt is a fan of Sean's, which is great to see considering this writer comes with a solid reputation. He has novels, short-story collections, and an anthology of stories from an international collection of established horror writers. Fantastic to have a writer of his worth not just in attendance, but lauding Seán's novella. Plaudits that are well deserved in my opinion, biased though I might be. Here's the link to Matt's books:

Matt Hayward

With the audience thoroughly warmed up, Seán was called to the podium, where he managed his nerves very well and whetted the collective appetite with a reading from The Mongel that left everyone impressed, with several complimenting his acting ability. He certainly brought the chosen scene to life.

Next up came the queue to buy his novella, with Seán giving everyone his full attention as he signed each copy, standing for photos and enjoying the craic. An excellent event, and all the better with his family, friends, and lovers of the horror genre in attendance, making for a memorable beginning to the career of an Irish writer you'll do well to keep an eye on. Even better, follow this link and buy his debut novella:

Seán and family

author with proud editor

Monday, 16 July 2018

September Editing Slot Available

Edit: September slot has been filled. Time to focus on the New Year!

Cancelled Slot Available

Due to a client cancellation, an editing slot has opened up for the period from September 17th. Considering that's two months away, it's an ideal opportunity for you to book straight in as you complete preparations (if you're already a client), or send me in a chapter for a free sample edit.

My editing package is three-phase and comprehensive, seeing your work-in-progress brought from desktop to pre-release status. This includes a developmental line-edit, a deep-focus copy edit, and a shine-inducing proofread.

I take good care of my clients. Here are their views on my services...

As always, clients receive a 10% discount if their referral books in.

Friday, 18 May 2018

A Sample Edit - What To Expect

A sample edit allows the writer see if a particular editor’s approach suits their specific requirements. On the other hand, it gives the editor a chance to determine the writer’s level, how far the work has been developed, and how much work needs to be done to bring it forward.

It’s important to understand that a sample edit is just a partial view of the editor’s service, with mine being a three-phase operation entailing the developmental line-edit, followed by a deep-focus copy-edit, and finishing off with a comprehensive proofread that sees the work ready for pre-release/submission prepping.

What the writer receives in the sample edit is a step inside the first phase, where undeveloped material is shaped and cleansed of all first-fix issues. The recommendation, of course, and one I always make, is for the writer to connect with at least half-a-dozen editors so they can build a fairly solid comparison between several professionals’ work methods and approaches.

If the writer likes my sample, we then have a chat about fee and schedule. My schedule is always booked into the near-distant future, but time flies and it’s usually only a short hop before work begins. I expect half-payment up front, with the remainder due before the completed first-fix is returned. What happens after that is up to the client. If they have the time to focus on the rewrite, I’ll suggest a soft deadline to work towards. If life means work is stretched out, it’s not a problem – I know how things are in that department and will always work within the client’s timetable. If it takes a few weeks, months, or even a year or more, I’m good with that. My priority is to develop the work-in-progress to its full potential, and having the writer fully on board ensures that will happen.

What do you have to do? Decide which excerpt you want to submit (up to 3,000 words), then email it as a Word document to and I’ll take it from there.

See what my clients say about my services:

Friday, 27 April 2018

The Importance of Listening and Layering

The Importance of Listening and Layering

I took a short break from my heavy editing schedule to visit my hometown to top up on my accent and to let my family know that I’m still ticking. A short step away from the work station is always recommended, so a few days in Dublin was a real breath of fresh air, especially after a sustained period of intense work. I love my job, but a guy's got to get out into the light at some stage.

I come from a performing-arts' background and am quite used to being in the company of creative souls, never surprised by their (our) need to express, or even to climb into a dark hole, so I wasn’t bothered in the least when three chirpy young ladies sat at my table on the train home yesterday. They were happy, even festive, laden with large shoulder bags, and smelling quite wonderful, though I wouldn’t recommend lighting a flame anywhere nearby.

I couldn’t help smiling when the bags emptied and a wide variety of eye-shadows and make-up piled onto the table top. I thought this interesting, and told them so – in slightly more colourful language – and they explained that they’d just finished a year-long make-up course and were heading to a music festival (a rave) in Sligo to blow off a little post-exam steam.

So I quickly realised that I was in the company of three budding make-up aficionados, and about to witness what was to become a three-hour metamorphosis that would see three happy-go-lucky graduates apply their skills between slugs of gin and vodka (necessary lubrication by all accounts) until they transformed themselves into what one expects to see on the catwalk, or on the glossy cover of fashion magazines. In saying that, they still had to get to base to sort out hair and costume.

My point about all this is that I was seeing three creatives do exactly what a writer does with words. They created a basic outline, then built it up with carefully applied layers of colour and texture that developed and connected visuals and impressions, ultimately bringing together many disparate lines to produce the final multi-dimensional product. And during the whole process, they worked together to give and receive constructive (almost always) feedback that sometimes evoked screeches of frustration as they erased and reworked lines and shades. But they were always willing to hear what the others had to say, not always agreeing, but at least open to suggestion, because they simply couldn’t see things as well as the others, just like a writer, who needs another pair of eyes to see things from a broader, more objective perspective.

While my favourite phase when working with a writer is the first-fix—my initial deep-focus line-edit—I also love when they return their rewrite, which is not only a result of their application of my editing suggestions and notes, but also feedback from their beta-reading team, which gives them my professional view and reports from their peers—a dedicated reader’s perspective—essential advice in parallel with my own.

An attitude I encourage all my clients to adopt is a willingness to dig a little deeper and to at least be willing to listen to suggestions. If an idea works, great. If not, it takes no energy to disregard it and move on. In the end, the writer always has the final say, though I may fight my corner as we work through the process.

The three-hour journey flew by as my companions worked their personal canvases through several drafts and came out proofed to a T, ready to take Sligo by storm. A glowing example of the power of creative interaction. Thank you, ladies, for the colourful and somewhat eye-opening experience.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Open for Summer and Autumn Bookings

                                   Open for Summer and Autumn Bookings

A quick post to let you know that I have openings for fiction and memoir through Summer and Autumn. If you want to release or submit your work later in the year, you'll need to have it professionally edited over the next few months.

Once I put a call out, my slots fill up quite fast, so it's advisable to get in as soon as you can. If you're not already a client, simply submit a sample edit and you'll be able to decide if my editing approach suits your needs. My three-phase package includes a developmental line-edit that digs as deep as your wip requires, followed by a hard-focus copy edit that works out the kinks in your rewrite, then finishing off with a solid proofing that sees your wip ready for pre-release prepping.

My clients, thankfully, are not shy about sharing their opinion of my services. Read on...

Send your sample edit - not more that 3,000 words - to


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Be Prepared - Taking Bookings Now

So you've finished your first draft. Excellent. Many people begin the process full of the fever of a new story and live characters, but not everyone brings it to completion. You've done it, and that's no mean feat. Time to pat yourself on the back before moving forward with script-development and pre-release preparation. Of course, before you dive into the next draft, you'll want to make sure you have a good idea how to self-edit. That takes research and practice, studying up on the wide breadth of material available on the internet and also from recommended books in your library and local book shop. Becoming active in online writing forums is also a good way of not just receiving constructive feedback, but of honing your critiquing and editing skills, essential for being able to work through several rewrites as you bring your novel closer to its ready-to-go stage.
A lot to do, and good reason to ensure you're not caught out down the line when you'll require professional assistance in raising your work beyond the many who just write and release. You don't want to fall into that category, and thankfully things seem to be improving, with more and more writers seeking out professionals to help them bring a higher quality product to the reader.

The nature of the writing and editing business sees a constant flow of queries and bookings coming my way, some in the short term, but many taking advantage of booking their place several months down the line, if not longer. Most writers - not all - know the benefit of being prepared, of timing specific elements of pre-release so they won't find themselves under undue pressure - not just prepping for a professional edit, but with the likes of ensuring that a working team of beta-readers is in-situ to return broad-scope feedback, or that sufficient research has been carried out in locating a cover designer and formatter, not to mention developing the all-important social-media platform.
Once you have your editor booked, you can focus on self-editing and rewriting, applying pertinent points from your free sample edit to the rest of your manuscript. And because you've booked your spot, you'll have that unique charged focus brought on by a solid deadline. Nothing like it, to be honest.

I have calendar openings from April. Many slots from there are taken through hard or provisional bookings, but if you're looking for a reputable professional editor, I will do my best to accommodate you. Of course, that all depends on my sample edit of the chapter/extract you'll have submitted. Once it's returned to you, we'll both know where we stand - I'll have a pretty solid idea where you're at as a writer, and you'll know if I'm the editor for you.

You know what stage you're at in your script development, and that you have a substantial amount of work ahead of you. You'll also know that you don't want to be caught out down the line. Make it easier for yourself - send a sample chapter to and I'll start the ball rolling at my end.