Friday, 28 July 2017

Support Indie Authors

This is a simple but genuine shout-out to my clients, to let them know that they are always appreciated, and never far from my mind, both professionally and personally - I have your back. You know I'm here for you - an email away, or face-to-face if needs be.

Tweeters or bloggers passing this way will hopefully understand the importance of supporting independent authors, not just through buying their novels or collections, but by making the effort to leave an honest reader's review on their Amazon page, or on whatever platform you purchase their product. Reviews are like gold to the author, whose job is hard enough as it is. Your assistance in this regard is hugely appreciated. Support indie authors by leaving a review. Pass the word on, you never know when you might one day depend on the same yourself.

If an author isn't yet published, then you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook, shadowing their progress as they prepare their novel for release. What better way to get to know an upcoming writer than by visiting them on a regular basis to see how things are developing? Below are the Twitter and Amazon pages of several of my clients. Take some time out of your day to check them out, and to follow them. Being supportive will do you the world of good.

Ray Ronan

T. Hammond

Amy Tierney

Mary T. Bradford

Susan K. Nicholls

Frank Parker

Phillipa Vincent Connolly

Monica Mastrantonio

Gormla Hughes

Mary Angland

Micah Harris

Dreama Frisk

L. J. Ryan

Aisling Keogh

Vivienne Walls

Kathryn Estrada

Attracta Fahy

Friday, 7 July 2017

Taking bookings from October

If your manuscript is ready to be edited and you haven't yet found a professional editor to bring your work to a ready-to-go state before submission or self-publishing, I have openings from late October, so send a sample chapter to me at This is important as I don't take on new clients without doing a sample edit.

Check out my website to get a better idea of my editing approach:

Take a run through my blog to view my thoughts on editing, writing, and taking care of yourself as a creative artist:

Here's a link to one of my blog posts - a bit of a rant about taking shortcuts when prepping your work for release.

Visit my Facebook page: https: //

Thursday, 8 June 2017

A Gentle Reminder to Writers

A Gentle Reminder to Writers

This is just a short note – a gentle reminder. As I mentioned in an earlier post, writers need to be cognizant of their scheduling, especially when most of their focus is placed on completing the first draft of their work-in-progress (wip). It’s easy to lose sense of time and what lies ahead of the self-edit.

Whatever month it is as you develop your wip—say it’s June—you need to project ahead, possibly several months, maybe even a year, to when your work is ready to be professionally edited. You don’t want to be hanging around for too long, waiting, so it’s highly recommended, by this editor anyway, that you plan ahead and endeavour to book your slot to prevent disappointment.

I’m usually booked up into the near future, often longer, so be sure to contact me so we can block off those couple of weeks for your all-important first edit. Visit my website to get a better idea of my editing approach, or scroll through my blog for insights and tips on writing, self-editing, and keeping sane in this creative whirlwind we’re caught up in. You can also visit my Facebook page, where a supportive like is always appreciated, or follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Seeing the Bigger Picture

I’ve written before about the importance and benefits of taking time away from your workstation, especially if your schedule is at a level where not too much light or physicality gets a look in. I’m a freelance editor, thankfully a very busy freelance editor, so I needed to take my own advice before my innards seized up. What better opportunity than a wedding in the sunny climes of Portugal’s Albufeira? A busload of us scooted off to the airport and away we went for a glorious week of fun and total relaxation. I kid you not, while I checked my emails every evening, and even answered a couple, not a moment was spent actually working. Beautiful beaches were fully exploited, as were the restaurants and cultural establishments, so I didn’t suffer the effects of work withdrawal too much, if at all.
But now I’m back and the reality of life kicked in almost as our plane’s tyres hit the runway at Knock. My schedule is packed for the foreseeable, and I’m loving it. Being booked up like that is great for me, but can sometimes prove problematic for prospective clients, especially those who have it in their heads that now their work-in-progress is ready to be edited, then it should be edited without delay. Ah, if only that where the way of the world, but it doesn’t work that way, unless you’re lucky enough to find an editor who has nothing on the scheduling ramp.
Writers need to see the bigger picture. It takes a substantial chunk of your life to complete that first draft and then bring your manuscript to a level where it’s ready for a professional edit. While you’re sweating away at that, you’re visualising your novel on a prominent Best Seller shelf, even doing very well on Amazon, etc, and so it’s easy to believe the fantasy that it’s a simple hop, skip, and jump from one stage to the next. But that’s not the case. While you’re working through the self-editing phase, you should send your sample chapter out to your self-made shortlist of prospective editors. Having a half-dozen sample edits to hand will better enable you to decide which editor is for you, but more importantly, through correspondence, you’ll have a much clearer idea of scheduling – knowing when your chosen editor can fit you in for that first developmental or line edit.
I receive sample chapters from writers on a regular basis. The way I operate, I won’t take on a new client before providing a sample edit – I get to see what I’m working with, and the writer can decide if my editing approach suits them. Some balk at the prospect of having to wait several months for their editing slot to become active. But as we all know, time doesn’t stop, and what with work and life, that allocated date is upon you before you know it, and it comes all the faster if you’ve continued smoothing out the creases in your wip or have maybe embarked on the next book. Once my first edit begins, you’ll have your ms back within two to three weeks, sending you into full rewrite mode and bringing your wip closer to that prized shelf.

So, take stock of what stage your wip is at, then project to where you’ll have it self-edited and ready to be professionally edited. Once you have that timeframe established, you’ll have a better idea when to send out that chapter to your shortlist of editors for a free sample edit. Once you work through the returned edits, you’ll be in a much better position to decide which editor is for you. But most importantly, you’ll be able to schedule your edit and still have time to work on your wip during the inevitable waiting stage. Or you could just fish around for an editor who has a clear schedule sheet. I’m worth the wait, but it’s your call.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

New Writing, New Reading...

I'm always proud when my clients publish a new work, or even re-launch a newly edited novel. It's the end of an often intense period of editing and rewriting and the beginning of a new journey into the ever-expanding world of Indie publishing, where boundaries are always being pushed and reshaped. Below are some recently released works I'd encourage you to read, but especially to leave an honest review. As you know, such reviews are always welcome and go a long way to spreading the word and attracting other readers.

The first is Irishman Ray Ronan's re-launched Lynn Clarke thriller, Bombay Blood, a cracker of a read with a female protagonist who'd stand well beside Lee Child's Jack Reacher. Ray has the knack for creating a rip-roaring twister of a story that will leave you breathless and hungry for more. Enjoy!

Next up is Amy Tierney's second in the Calendar Days' series, April, a beautiful story of romance and the power of friendship, reintroducing us to Cathy, Sam, and their circle of close friends that will leave you smiling and longing to get your hands on the third in the series, already being written.

There are several novels in the works due for release later this year. I'll post links to them as they arrive on scene so keep an eye out. In the meantime, maybe you'd like to check out a few of my other clients who have some excellent choices for your to-be-read list.

Cork woman, Mary Bradford, has a wide, cross-genre oeuvre of romance, horror, historical, and erotica that will keep you riveted,

T. Hammond is a prolific writer of paranormal contemporary and fantasy. Seriously strong writing, with memorable characters and storylines. Her second in the Duoviri series is coming soon.

Susan Nicholls is the author of the popular Naked Alliances, the first in her Naked Eye series that introduces us to some wonderful and weird characters who make reading her work a pure pleasure.

You'll enjoy Frank Parker's writing, especially Transgression, a strongly drawn story of secrets and betrayal.

Be sure to check out my website to get a better idea of my approach to editing, or simply send me a sample chapter to


Monday, 30 January 2017

Taking Time Out to Recharge and Reconnect

I’ve written several times about the benefits of taking time out from work to appreciate the relaxing freedom of a nice walk and/or a deep breath or two, especially where you find yourself in the good company of mature trees, flowing water, rain, wind, and unbroken vistas that enable you to look into the distance to better appreciate perspective, and simply to give your head a break from the hard focus of writing and editing.
I add to that, family. And I include close friends in that category. Though we often breathe a sigh of relief at escaping family for a few welcome hours of creative work, it’s essential that we get away from the grindstone to spend time with family and/or friends. Good advice, in my opinion, which I managed to put to good use over the weekend. I put my red pen down, closed my laptop, and took a 737 across the Irish Sea to spend quality time with my beautiful son and his lovely wife and daughter.
To say it was a breath of fresh air would be the understatement of the month. We chat all the time, but don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. No better reason to make the best of a three-night stay, packing in family indoor and outdoor time, enjoying chats, discussing reading and writing with my word-hungry granddaughter, powerwalking through the nearby woods – searching for suitable natural-wood perches for my son’s budgie, Papa. Needless to say, my clean-eating regime got left in Ireland, and rightly so – I’ll write about hot chocolate pizza another time.

Being a freelance editor can be a bit of a funny old business. I’m always busy, working on first edits, or second or third returns, but one minute my immediate calendar had more free space than a field of prime grass in the middle of summer, then I’m booked up to July, with many other writers hinting in the near distance that they like what’s going on with my website and blog, plus, of course, many of my groovy clients continue to refer me to their writing friends and associates, which I really do appreciate (I reward this behaviour with good discount). It’s brilliant to have the work, and to have such positive feedback across the indie-writing spectrum. I’m delighted with it, especially so because I’m doing something that I love, and it’s wonderful to see so much original writing developed and released to the world.
And now I’m back in the land of saints and scholars, stuffed with love (and choc pizza), just itching to get back to work and what I do best, collaborating with indie writers to develop their hard-worked fiction and memoir, honing and polishing it until it’s ready to take the proverbial leap into the ever-expanding universe of the publishing world. My heart is full of love, my mind is well rested, and now I’m ready to go. If you have a work-in-progress that you’d like me to take a look at, send me a chapter and I’ll provide a free sample edit. After that, it’s up to you, but you know you’ll be in good company. Be sure to check out my website and blog, too.
My email address:


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Doing It Like A Boss

Almost everybody has New Year resolutions, generally aspiring to lead a healthier life, especially after the feasting and partying of the holiday period. It’s a time for taking a more positive attitude to your day, from getting out more, maybe walking or cycling, going for a swim and sauna, or maybe even improving how you perceive people and events surrounding you.
Whatever you do, becoming more involved and striving to meet objectives is an important aspect of the New Year approach. This is particularly true for writers, who are always involved in one project or another, whether that’s through actual writing or by getting out for that walk and daydreaming your way into your next chapter, action scene, or plot twist.
It’s about being active. We’re all well aware of the old adage – bums on seats – and we know only too well that nothing productive happens without the commitment to place ourselves in that seat, whether it’s typing or writing – nothing gets done by allowing distraction rule the roost.
That’s why you need to set a schedule that will at least box you into a potentially productive timeline. If your writing day starts after your work day has finished, you’re going to have to be strong as an ox so you don’t fall to the temptation of lounging on the couch in front of the demon television. TV kills productivity, as does the internet. Turn both off and banish yourself to a place where distraction takes a backseat.
If you’re a fulltime writer, then you have no excuses when it comes to timing your writing blocks from early morning. My workday schedule, as an editor, has me on the job by 7am, putting in two-hour blocks before allowing myself a break for a snack or to simply stretch the legs and eyeballs. As a writer, possibly working to a deadline, you need to be as disciplined, pushing through problems, even dumping material that’s just not doing it for you and starting again. You need to get into a strong working habit that will see you producing on a regular basis.
If you’re in a busy household, lock yourself in your room, or place a sign on the door, making it clear you’re not to be disturbed. Wear earphones and play suitable tunes if you’re easily distracted by youngsters or lonely buddies scratching at your door. Do what it takes to ensure you’re in a positive working environment, knowing that when you finish one writing block you’ll feel a real sense of achievement and will be rearing to leap into the next one.
Be positive, be disciplined, be productive. Take your desire to complete an objective by the proverbial horn and do it. Simple as – accept no excuses from your lazy self. Be your own instigator and do it like a boss, because that's what you are, your own boss. Now, go write, and when you’ve completed that novel, send me a chapter and a synopsis to for a free sample edit. Good luck!