Benjamin Obler

Benjamin Obler - Editor

Kingston, New York, United States

25 years editorial exp. in Language Arts. Published novelist (Penguin). Award-winning story writer. Ten years classroom exp. and MS consult.

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Overview

My calling card in the editorial game is that I straddle both sides. I'm a writer myself and have been on the receiving end of critiques. In my younger days as a writer, I was very sensitive to criticism and felt my every line was precious. For this reason, I take care with my communication. At the same time, I address the work on its terms. I've had clients become daunted by the depth of my assessment, but ultimately ask for more. I always express an understanding of how the novel operates and who the characters are, and frame revision suggestions in this context.

“Ben has remained at the helm with me, coaching me. For nearly two years, Ben has guided me toward a deeper understanding of the symbiotic balance between knowledge, skill, and application, and is teaching me about the magic that is borne of thoughtful orchestration and fearless execution.” -- Stacy R., 2018, novelist

When it comes to edits, I don't deliver generalizations, and I can separate a pet peeves from a real editorial need. Some clients say my comments can be very funny. But what distinguishes me most is the tenor of my feedback. I write a lot in response, tracking my emotional and intellectual response to the work as I read. I believe there shouldn't be a single suggested change unexplained.

"Ben always gave great detailed feedback and I could tell that he sincerely cared about our progress as writers. He met each student where they were at, and I never felt judged. In terms of teaching style. Ben is great at giving explicit instructions and setting clear expectations, while maintaining a friendly comfortable tone."
---Brooke D., 2015

Though I've edited many genre novels, my specialty is literary fiction--novels and short stories.

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Short Story
Young Adult

Certifications

  • Masters of Letters, Glasgow University

Awards

  • First place, Short Fiction Contest, Puerto del Sol, 2015

Work experience

Editorial Manager

The College Board
January, 2015 – May, 2019 (over 4 years)

Various editorial roles overseeing production, copy editing, and content editing of textbooks and other classroom instructional materials in English Language Arts and others subjects. (I've also written and edited for the K-12 education market with 3 other companies for 15+ years, in New York and Minneapolis.)

Manuscript Editor

Gotham Writer's Workshop
August, 2013 – Present (over 6 years)

Providing primarily MS developmental edits and assessment to individual clients, primarily of novels. Manuscripts genres include comic literary , coming-of-age novels of a gay Muslim teen, YA, and literary.

Manuscript Editor

CreateSpace
March, 2012 – August, 2013 (over 1 year)

CreateSpace is Amazon's self-publishing arm. I was part of their early launch with the payment models that were unsustainable for everyone. Thriller, Fantasy, military memoir, zombie apocalypse, comic, SciFi, YA--I worked with many genres, providing both copy editing and developmental editing on every book.

Portfolio (17 selected works)

Everyone Leaves

Wendy Guerra

Nieve Guerra finds herself caught between the tides of her parents’ rocky relationship and a country in the midst of a revolution. Recording her daily thoughts and accounts of living with her abusive father, an alcoholic theater actor, Nieve uses her diary to express herself. From being sent away from her mother, her mother’s free-spirited and loving boyfriend, and her childhood city of Cienfu... read more

Nieve Guerra finds herself caught between the tides of her parents’ rocky relationship and a country in the midst of a revolution. Recording her daily thoughts and accounts of living with her abusive father, an alcoholic theater actor, Nieve uses her diary to express herself. From being sent away from her mother, her mother’s free-spirited and loving boyfriend, and her childhood city of Cienfu... read more

Blues Highway Blues (A Crossroads Thriller Book 1)

Eyre Price

Winner of the Best Book of the Year awarded by Blues411Music mogul Daniel Erickson’s life has come to a perilous crossroads. Literally. He has a ruthless pair of killers on his tail and is chasing a million dollars that he owes a Russian mobster.Standing along the same Mississippi highway where legend claims that bluesman Robert Johnson traded his immortal soul for matchless command of the gui... read more

Winner of the Best Book of the Year awarded by Blues411Music mogul Daniel Erickson’s life has come to a perilous crossroads. Literally. He has a ruthless pair of killers on his tail and is chasing a million dollars that he owes a Russian mobster.Standing along the same Mississippi highway where legend claims that bluesman Robert Johnson traded his immortal soul for matchless command of the gui... read more

Excalibur (Area 51 Book 6)

Bob Mayer

Book 6 in the Area 51 seriesIn his time at Area 51, Mike Turcotte has learned one thing: we are not alone. As part of an elite Special Forces team, the former Green Beret has encountered things that are well beyond human understanding. Now, two ancient rivals from another world are vying to dominate Earth, and Mike and his team must choose which army to side with. The key to averting the crisi... read more

Book 6 in the Area 51 seriesIn his time at Area 51, Mike Turcotte has learned one thing: we are not alone. As part of an elite Special Forces team, the former Green Beret has encountered things that are well beyond human understanding. Now, two ancient rivals from another world are vying to dominate Earth, and Mike and his team must choose which army to side with. The key to averting the crisi... read more

Kill Your Darlings (A Mallory Mystery)

Max Allan Collins

Roscoe Kane is one of the last—and, in Mallory’s opinion, best—of the old-school mystery writers. Back in the day, he turned out crime thrillers filled with babes, bullets, and tough-guy banter. But today Kane is filled with bitterness over the nosedive his career took after he sued a publisher. For Mallory, who learned his craft at Kane’s knee, it’s tough watching his literary hero drown his ... read more

Roscoe Kane is one of the last—and, in Mallory’s opinion, best—of the old-school mystery writers. Back in the day, he turned out crime thrillers filled with babes, bullets, and tough-guy banter. But today Kane is filled with bitterness over the nosedive his career took after he sued a publisher. For Mallory, who learned his craft at Kane’s knee, it’s tough watching his literary hero drown his ... read more

Shame

Alan Russell

Although it’s been many years since the death of his father—an infamous serial killer known as Shame—Caleb Parker still struggles to free himself from his father’s dark shadow. Caleb wishes only for a normal life without being branded a “killer’s son,” but his dreams are shattered when a new string of murders surfaces that are all too reminiscent of Shame’s terrible killings. When the police l... read more

Although it’s been many years since the death of his father—an infamous serial killer known as Shame—Caleb Parker still struggles to free himself from his father’s dark shadow. Caleb wishes only for a normal life without being branded a “killer’s son,” but his dreams are shattered when a new string of murders surfaces that are all too reminiscent of Shame’s terrible killings. When the police l... read more

A Shroud for Aquarius (A Mallory Mystery)

Max Allan Collins

The sixties are dead…and so is Ginnie Mullens. She was many things—free spirit, flower child, entrepreneur, gambler—but first and foremost she was mystery writer Mallory’s friend and confidant since childhood. So Mallory understands when Sheriff Brennan drags him out of bed in the dead of night and leads him to the last place he ever wanted to go: the scene of Ginnie’s last breath.A dead woman... read more

The sixties are dead…and so is Ginnie Mullens. She was many things—free spirit, flower child, entrepreneur, gambler—but first and foremost she was mystery writer Mallory’s friend and confidant since childhood. So Mallory understands when Sheriff Brennan drags him out of bed in the dead of night and leads him to the last place he ever wanted to go: the scene of Ginnie’s last breath.A dead woman... read more

What Our Eyes Have Witnessed (The Zombie Bible)

Stant Litore

Biblical tales retold as episodes in humanity's battle with the ravenous undead. This series can be read in any order.Ancient Rome. Regina endures a death-in-life as a slave in the Subura, the ancient world's most terrible ghetto -- until a strange man sees her suffering and gives her a coat, a new name, and a new life.The man is Polycarp, and he has the Gift of gazing into the eyes of the hun... read more

Biblical tales retold as episodes in humanity's battle with the ravenous undead. This series can be read in any order.Ancient Rome. Regina endures a death-in-life as a slave in the Subura, the ancient world's most terrible ghetto -- until a strange man sees her suffering and gives her a coat, a new name, and a new life.The man is Polycarp, and he has the Gift of gazing into the eyes of the hun... read more

Liliana & Felip

Adam Altman

Three years have passed since Liliana has come back from the Guardian Realm. She is now in eleventh grade, and her life has gotten back some sense of normalcy. She has grown up into a woman of substance and intellect. She is a good student, especially in science, mainly because of her experience in the field of botany. After all, she has been the protector of a fabulous tree for many years now... read more

Three years have passed since Liliana has come back from the Guardian Realm. She is now in eleventh grade, and her life has gotten back some sense of normalcy. She has grown up into a woman of substance and intellect. She is a good student, especially in science, mainly because of her experience in the field of botany. After all, she has been the protector of a fabulous tree for many years now... read more

Murder by the Gods: An Ancient Egyptian Mystery

William G. Collins

"Murder by the Gods" is a mystery thriller set in the glorious past of ancient Egypt. Narmer, the son of the Scorpion King, has become the first ruler of a united Egypt and founder of the country's First Dynasty. He has succeeded in uniting the peoples of Upper and Lower Egypt but is now under attack by forces unknown. When he suddenly collapses after receiving a mysterious threat from the god... read more

"Murder by the Gods" is a mystery thriller set in the glorious past of ancient Egypt. Narmer, the son of the Scorpion King, has become the first ruler of a united Egypt and founder of the country's First Dynasty. He has succeeded in uniting the peoples of Upper and Lower Egypt but is now under attack by forces unknown. When he suddenly collapses after receiving a mysterious threat from the god... read more

My Summer on Haight Street

Robert Rice Jr

It’s 1967, the Summer of Love. With the war in Vietnam raging and the draft hanging over their heads, three Milwaukee high school graduates set off on very different paths to seek their own destinies and discover that people, places, and things are neither what they expected, nor what they appear to be. Bob Ralston journeys to San Francisco—the epicenter of the hippie movement. John Haus enlis... read more

It’s 1967, the Summer of Love. With the war in Vietnam raging and the draft hanging over their heads, three Milwaukee high school graduates set off on very different paths to seek their own destinies and discover that people, places, and things are neither what they expected, nor what they appear to be. Bob Ralston journeys to San Francisco—the epicenter of the hippie movement. John Haus enlis... read more

No Regrets, No Apologies

MD, Michael Sinclair

No Regrets, No Apologies is an improbable memoir of a man who was a heart surgeon, a mountain climber and a doctor who worked for humanitarian organizations. The narrative takes the reader through a kaleidoscope of scenes--a troubled childhood in a small California town, cardiac surgery gone awry, a group of mountaineers trapped in a snow cave on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, a humanitarian surgic... read more

No Regrets, No Apologies is an improbable memoir of a man who was a heart surgeon, a mountain climber and a doctor who worked for humanitarian organizations. The narrative takes the reader through a kaleidoscope of scenes--a troubled childhood in a small California town, cardiac surgery gone awry, a group of mountaineers trapped in a snow cave on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, a humanitarian surgic... read more

Remnants of Deja Vu

Kalbie James

Auctions and estate sales are a relaxing, favorite pastime for Rachel Allen. Then one sunny Saturday at a sale, she encounters an old camelback trunk that seems to be calling her. She purchases the trunk and by accident finds hundreds of pieces of an aged manuscript hidden within. With help from her husband and friends, the manuscript is recontructed. The project compels Rachel on such a perso... read more

Auctions and estate sales are a relaxing, favorite pastime for Rachel Allen. Then one sunny Saturday at a sale, she encounters an old camelback trunk that seems to be calling her. She purchases the trunk and by accident finds hundreds of pieces of an aged manuscript hidden within. With help from her husband and friends, the manuscript is recontructed. The project compels Rachel on such a perso... read more

Destroyermen: Korean Hangfire (Destoyermen: Book 1)

Richard Tennent

In DESTROYERMEN: KOREAN HANGFIRE, author Richard Tennent introduces two newly commissioned Ensigns to the facts of life on a navy destroyer engaged in intensive battle-action during the closing months of the Korean War. In dramatic action within a plot of developing characters, the author weaves an unforgettable story of competing human conflict and comradierie amidst fierce combat that would ... read more

In DESTROYERMEN: KOREAN HANGFIRE, author Richard Tennent introduces two newly commissioned Ensigns to the facts of life on a navy destroyer engaged in intensive battle-action during the closing months of the Korean War. In dramatic action within a plot of developing characters, the author weaves an unforgettable story of competing human conflict and comradierie amidst fierce combat that would ... read more

Revered Moments

Altamese Moore

While growing up in the countryside in South Carolina, Dr. Altamese (Pelzer) Moore always attended church with her grandmother on Sunday mornings. The pastor’s sermons echoed with words like “God sees everything you do” and “God will always be with you.” As Dr. Moore continued her life’s journey, the pastor’s words were always close. Struggling with stints of unemployment, major personal decis... read more

While growing up in the countryside in South Carolina, Dr. Altamese (Pelzer) Moore always attended church with her grandmother on Sunday mornings. The pastor’s sermons echoed with words like “God sees everything you do” and “God will always be with you.” As Dr. Moore continued her life’s journey, the pastor’s words were always close. Struggling with stints of unemployment, major personal decis... read more

Siridean: Legend of the Faerie Cross

Joy Stephens

Thirteen years ago,Aishling Delaney was reclaimedfrom the realm of the unseen.Thirteen years later,the ancient curse that stalks Clan Delaneyseeks revenge on its princess.Thirteen days until,the Ten Colds Moon comes for her.Now exiled because of his sacrifice, Rafe, the salvager of Aishling’s soul, lurks in the shadows. For millennia, he was an angel, but because of a costly decision, he was c... read more

Thirteen years ago,Aishling Delaney was reclaimedfrom the realm of the unseen.Thirteen years later,the ancient curse that stalks Clan Delaneyseeks revenge on its princess.Thirteen days until,the Ten Colds Moon comes for her.Now exiled because of his sacrifice, Rafe, the salvager of Aishling’s soul, lurks in the shadows. For millennia, he was an angel, but because of a costly decision, he was c... read more

Teenagers: Growing Up and Sexuality

Carlos Ortiz Lee

During our adolescent years, we leave behind our childish ways to enter a long process to carry us into adulthood. Often times, we are not aware of exactly how often this phase of continuous change occurs. In this book, you will find answers to important questions regarding adolescence, like menses in girls and the first wet dream (ejaculation) in boys. Also, it will point out the ideal moment... read more

During our adolescent years, we leave behind our childish ways to enter a long process to carry us into adulthood. Often times, we are not aware of exactly how often this phase of continuous change occurs. In this book, you will find answers to important questions regarding adolescence, like menses in girls and the first wet dream (ejaculation) in boys. Also, it will point out the ideal moment... read more

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