Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Moving house

This is just to let you know that I now have a new website:

This blog will stay here, but will no longer be updated. I will be making occasional blog entries over at the new place.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Release day

When I think of beginning my writing career, I think of leaving for Clarion in the summer of 2008. I lived in Minneapolis at the time, and I was (and am) afraid of flying. So my dear friend Dot helped me drive to and from San Diego. I remember her husband dropping her off, and helping us load everything into my Volkswagen Beetle, and then handing me a fancy and elaborate plastic water gun - the traditional weapon of choice of Clarion students.

I remember feeling so loved, and so lucky.

My book, Roses and Rot, is officially out in the world today. I feel the same.

I have heard from so many people today - some people that I know, who have called and emailed and texted with love and congratulations. My parents sent flowers. Some of you have sent congratulations on twitter - posted pictures with my book! Proof that it is an actual thing, out in the world, and I am overcome with delight that people would take the time to do this. I appreciate it, so much.

And also today, my friend Dot sent a picture - her adorable son, standing in front of a set of shelves at a bookstore, pointing up. To my book.

I feel so loved, and so lucky. 

Writing is one of those weird things that you do it by yourself - it is, at the end of the day, just me and the pen and the notebook - but I don't feel like I could do it well on my own. Friends, family, readers - you are my help and support. Thank you for getting me to this day, and thank you for celebrating it with me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Editing openings in May

I got a couple of questions this weekend as to whether I would still be taking on editing clients in May, since I have a book coming out this month. (I have a book coming out this month!) The answer is yes, although probably fewer than usual, so if you're interested in working together, my advice is to get in touch sooner rather than later. I'll link to this post a couple of times during the month, and if I find myself fully scheduled, I'll take it down.

Here's some frequently asked questions, so if you're seeing this and thinking "what editing clients?" you'll know what I'm talking about.

What kind of writing do I work with?

Most kinds. I write on the SFF/ magical realist/ horror spectrum, and most of my clients tend to be in one of those areas, but I've also worked with people who write romance, or thrillers, or contemporary fiction, or lit fic, and I've worked on MG, YA, and adult fiction. I also work with clients on both short fiction and novels. I'm definitely not the right person for picture books or children's books.

What kind of editing is this?

This is not a line edit or a copy edit. So I won't fix your typos, though I will let you know if something is unclear. Basically, I read for things like character, voice, plot, pacing, worldbuilding, and let you know what is or isn't working. Also, if you want me to read for something specific, I'll be happy to do that. I see my job as helping you make your overall project stronger, more polished, and more like the story that you are trying to tell.

Does it need to be finished?

Yes. Mostly.

When I say finished - I've worked with clients who have done multiple rewrites, who have had input from beta readers, and who have extremely polished drafts. I've also worked with clients who have just finished what they know is a first or zero draft, and who want outside eyes on it right away, and who still have scene in brackets like [breakup happens here] or who have multiple versions of the same scene, and want to know which one works better. So if you have the bulk of things, the basic shape, but there are a couple of pieces missing, or if you know you're going to revise? Absolutely. If you only have a few chapters, perhaps later.

Do you need to have writing credits?

Nope. Not even a little bit. Nor do I need to see a sample or an excerpt or a link to your website. I've worked with clients who have sent me the first draft of the first book they've ever finished, and I've worked with people who have been writing for years.

What are my credentials?

I have approximately 40 professional short fiction sales, and I just sold a short fiction collection to Saga Press. 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 May of this year, and Publishers Weekly just named it one of the best books of Summer 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, and I've been working with writers on a one on one basis for about three years now.

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

Does this cost money?

Yes. The amount will depend on how long your project is and how much editing involvement you want from me. I will give you an exact quote before you are committed to anything. It costs nothing to ask questions, so if you're not sure that this is what you're looking for, please ask, and I'll be happy to answer.

Does this guarantee that you'll get published?

No. And honestly, I'd look askance at anyone who promised such a thing.

Interested? Here's how to get in touch:

Email me at Let me know in your email what your wordcount is, so I can give you a quote.