Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Some books I loved this year, 2015 edition

Okay. So, this isn't meant to be a best of list, or anything numbered or specific or anything like that. Probably I will forget some! Almost certainly, in fact! But I am at the point of my own NewBook where if I ask my brain to work that hard on anything else, it will poof like smoke in my head, and leak out of my ears.

But! I read a lot of books this year. And I loved many of them! And it is a time of year when gifts are given, and maybe you want to give someone you love a book. Or give yourself a book, because you love yourself. So here we go:

Some excellent debut novels: Updraft by Fran Wilde. Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. The Daughters by Adrienne Celt. All of these books are lovely, and so well-written that I have debut-author envy. Some will make you laugh. Some will break your heart. All will make you glad you read them.

Some great nonfiction: H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Hammer Head by Nina MacLaughlin. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. All smart books. All books that opened up new spaces in my brain. The first two in particular I have pretty much raved about to anyone I can convince to listen.

Some books that were just damn good reads: Persona by Genevieve Valentine. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow.Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman. Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn. I mean, who doesn't like a damn good read?

Some amazing books written by good friends: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente. About a Girl by Sarah McCarry. Sometimes you get to read something in draft, and you think, yes. Yes, this is good. And then you read the finished version, and you think, Hot Damn, you beautiful genius, you did it! And yes, yes they did.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Manuscript editing services

Maybe you just finished your NaNo novel. (Hey, congratulations!) Maybe you've just finished a draft of a manuscript you've been working on for much longer than a month. (Hey, congratulations!) If you have a manuscript that you want a new set of eyes on, some professional assistance before you query agents, submit it to a publisher's open call, or publish it yourself, I can help you.

Here's who I am: I have over 30 professional short fiction sales. My work has been performed on NPR, included in year’s best and best of anthologies, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the WSFA Small Press Award. My novella with Maria Dahvana Headley, The End of the Sentence, was chosen as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014. I am a graduate of Clarion at UCSD, and am represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House. My debut novel, Roses and Rot, will be out from Saga Press in 2016. Additionally, I have a Ph.D. in English Literature, and have taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Minnesota, and Stonybrook University. I have also taught an Intro to Writing SFF course with LitReactor.

In other words, I have experience, both as a writer, and in helping other people make their writing better.

Here's what I do: I edit for content - so, this is not copy-editing, or line-editing, or the kind of thing where you have someone read over your manuscript for typos. In fact, unless I can't understand it, I'm going to leave your sentence-level prose alone. What I will do is offer you feedback on character, plot, theme, overall story, that sort of thing. I'll also be sure to include feedback on any specific questions that you have. 

What you need: A completed manuscript. This can be anywhere from your just-finished NaNo draft to something that you think is polished enough to start querying with. While I primarily write SFF, I'm happy to work with writers in any genre. I've worked with people who have self-published, and with people who have successfully pursued traditional publishing. You do not need any previous publications or credentials - I am happy to work with writers at any career stage, whether this is the first book you've finished or the 10th. I really mean this - there are always people who worry that they need writing credits, or to send me a writing sample, or to edit their manuscript again before I see it, and that's just not the case. I'm not here to judge your writing, I'm here to help you find ways to make it stronger. 

Edited to add: Yes, I do also work with short fiction. Please include your wordcount when you get in touch.

Also: The holidays are coming up. Maybe you're not a writer, but you know one, and you'd like to give them an edit as a gift. I'm happy to talk to you about that.

If you think you're interested: Contact me at We'll talk about exactly what you're looking for, my rates, and the turnaround time for your manuscript. Please note that these last two are based on manuscript length, so if you know your approximate word count, that will help me give you a quote. I'm happy to answer any questions.