Saturday, 2 July 2022

A Little Green Therapy Goes A Long Way

I took a well-deserved break from work today and drove out to the wonderful Hazelwood demesne in Yeats' Country, just outside Sligo Town. It has to be one of my favourite places in the world, a rustic walking trail around a woodland peninsula on Lough Gill. It doesn't matter what time of year I visit, when the forest is skeletal in winter, flushed with green life in summer, or in the height of autumn's ochre-rich decay, it still infuses me with its magic, soothing all the hard edges developed from hours of intense focus as I edit through my working day. 

The photo above is a view from the bench at Sector 13, a peaceful spot I've come to love over the twenty years I've walked the loop. Just sitting there, breathing it in, savouring all aspects of the moment: the birdsong; the rustling leaves; glinting ripples across the water; the ever-changing shadow vista of the hill opposite; and the otherworld held within reflections, it leaves me...connected, content, and relieved of the weighty stresses of real life.

All creative souls know the benefits of taking time away from the work station, and there's no better way to do that than by losing yourself in the arms of a green therapist. Breathe deep and allow the softness of the moment hug you, for as long as it takes. Believe me, it's worth it. After my visit, I'm ready once again for the world, and hungry to get back to work.

Visit my website, or read through my blog to get a better idea of my editing approach. If you want to chat about your work in progress and having it professionally edited, drop me a line at - I'm always happy to correspond about writing and editing.


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Taking Time to Step Away

Today, I took the morning off. Why? Simple, really, all work and no play makes one's brain shrink and one's nerves singe from the heat generated by the constant intense focus required to do my job. To make a novel, short story, or memoir the best it can be, I need to go deep and wide to ensure that nothing is missed, and sometimes an unscheduled stepping away from the workstation is necessary to keep the standard high, and to retain the enjoyment I get from my work. Seriously, if I didn't enjoy what I do, I'd close shop and start looking for a job in a... No, that wouldn't happen, mainly because I've traveled a long road to this point and know where my strengths lie - in righting the written word.

I phoned a friend and we drove to a nearby village for a late breakfast in the Nook, a small but wonderful restaurant in Collooney that takes pride in looking after lovers of good food. Believe me, we were well cared for. Then, accompanied by Cú, my trusty canine assistant, we made our way to the sublime Rosses Point, a curved beach that guarantees no cobwebs are left after a forty-minute walk, with lots of ball-throwing to keep Cú happy. Overlooked by the all-seeing Ben Bulben mountain, we were blasted out of it by fresh Atlantic winds, along with hail, rain, and sun showers, confirming what all Irish people know: that it's common to experience all the seasons in one outing.

So, my friends, by all means work hard, but look after your stress levels and mental health. Step away from the furnace of the job when needs be, and take yourself back to nature, whether that's watching ducks in the park, climbing a hill, or getting blasted out of it on a windy beach in the northwest of Ireland. It works. I'm ready to return to the grindstone to do what I'm good at, bringing manuscripts through the developmental process to a point where they're ready to be prepped for submission or release. I'm at if you need me.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Taking Bookings Now

I'm currently taking bookings for my late-summer/autumn schedule, so if your wip will be prepped for its professional edit by August, or after, and you wish to avail of my services, send a sample chapter (up to 3000 words) to and I'll return a free sample edit so you can decide if my editing approach suits your requirements. If you're already a client, you know what to do.

My editing package is three-phase. The first is a deep-focused developmental line-edit where everything is open to review, and I mean everything. This first fix digs into the very foundation of the story, ensuring you receive a solid framework back to build your rewrite from.

The second phase goes as deep as the first, making sure your rewrite works, continuing to develop character arcs, and generally bringing the holistic project forward.

My third phase, while not an official proofread (you'll need one before you submit or self-publish), is as comprehensive as the previous edits, this time with a sharp eye on surface elements. By the end of this, your wip will be highly developed, with your final rewrite all that's required to bring it forward to pre-release prepping.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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