I am an author of historical, biographical, literary fiction and short stories thus far, with plans for cozy mysteries and contemporary fiction in the years to come. I have found my favorite work offering professional editorial services, with enthusiastic acceptance from small presses and individual authors as soon as they saw what I could do for them. A recent special offering is the cost-effective manuscript assessment, offering detailed notes from a read-through and an editorial assessment document, the whole designed to guide an author's revision, usually allowing the author to move right to a copyedit as the next stage.
(Still on the rolls for future need of the college.) Taught one or two sections each semester of Foundations of Academic Discourse in the Writing Department to freshman students from all academic disciplines, conducting class lectures and exercises, interacting on a class message board for essay discussions, and extensively evaluating three essays and a final exam. Our curriculum includes critical thinking, grammar and style instruction, and the principles of academic writing of several types: exposition, persuasion, synthesis, and critical review, with a professional standard and citation of sources in all essays with journalistic attribution and MLA, Chicago, APA, and CSE style sheets.
Developed and taught Composition 2 to students in grades 8-12 for this online school, helping students learn grammar, style, and basic essay forms for description, persuasion, comparison, and narrative. In our online live class meetings I managed groups of up to 22 students, engaging them in discussion, writing exercises, peer critique, and imitation of great writing samples. Much of my instruction was in the form of individual essay evaluation in extensive comments for each student.
As a young mother watching the growth of homeschooling all around me and hearing the desires of homeschooling parents for quality writing instruction for their older children, I began teaching online when the technology allowed only exchange of simple files and emails. I developed many writing courses using the Great Books, ancient rhetoric exercises (Progymnasmata), and other high-quality resources, and in time I became a consultant for many private schools for their writing programs. It is wonderful to work with students throughout their secondary education and then watch many of them go on to become important writers, educators, and other professional in their own right.
In these different colleges, taught courses including remedial writing lab, freshman composition, freshman article and essay workshop, sophomore literature, written business communications, and business report writing part time (FSU, TCC, LPC) or full time (Auburn University) intermittently through these years.
Why did she edit her wedding-day journal? Almost-spinster schoolteacher Rosette Cordelia Ramsdell married Otis Churchill on a Michigan farm in 1857. Her real-life journal recounts two years of homesteading, history hints at the next six decades, and the novel explores the truth. We meet Rosette in 1888 as she revises the wedding-day page of her journal. In lush detail, in the voices of Rosette... read more
A homesteading farmer, his pregnant wife, their daughter, and the grandmother wake to a beautiful winter morning on the prairie. And then it descends upon them - the infamous Children's Blizzard of 1888. Who will survive? With characters from Rosette: A Novel of Pioneer Michigan, “Blizzard: A Story of Dakota Territory” captures in one sod shanty the dramatic effects of a storm on the bodies an... read more
Writers of historical fiction face a daunting creative challenge: that of shaping fresh and original stories from a verifiable and sometimes familiar past. Again and again, today's gifted historical fiction authors meet that challenge brilliantly. But readers rarely get to see how they tackle such an intricate task, or what happens to transform the first glimmer of an idea and a set of histori... read more
Across the savannah and into the green mountains, people shouted her name: “Nzinga, Nzinga, Child of the Flame!” “Nzinga, Daughter of the Old Ngola, Savior of Ndongo!” In the governor’s palace Luanda, the Portuguese courtiers whisper in shock: A woman! Sent to make a treaty with the invaders, Nzinga of Angola is swept into world history, a generation after Elizabeth I ruled England. For forty ... read more
D. R. Thatcher is recently retired with a loving wife and grown children. Adjusting to a different pace of life, he yearns to reconnect with his childhood memories. His Mom, Dad, and only bother have passed away leaving a lingering sense of regret and the realization that maybe life’s priorities should have been different. In his retrospective memoir, Douglas reflects on the experiences he had... read more
Sisters Claire and Susan have been noticing their independent, introverted mother is sort of… off. Discreet investigation reveals the appalling truth: Mom can’t find her way home, pay her bills or even get to the toilet anymore. The move to an assisted living facility only further highlights the many aspects of her life that have quietly fallen through the cracks. Assisted living doesn’t rende... read more
In every life, there is at least one “mentor that matters”: a person whose insights spark change and whose influence endures. It might be an educator whose knowledge ignites new passion. A family member whose wisdom steers us away from irreparable mistakes or encourages our boldest dreams. An expert whose training spurs us to do more than we could have imagined. A leader who elicits strength o... read more
Like all good Awakenings and revolutions, the Great Awakening and the American Revolution started with a good conversation. But when and with whom did that good conversation start? New England Transcendentalism started somewhere, but where and how? The seed of Civil Disobedience was planted by someone in Massachusetts, but by who and why? In the polemic spirit of Jane Anger’s The Protection fo... read more
Near the midpoint of the Upper Peninsula, along a Lake Michigan bend of shore, is the town of Manistique, Michigan. Mark had never heard of Manistique before the death of his estranged aunt, but as sole beneficiary of Vivian's estate, he travels there to settle her affairs. As Mark tours his aunt's house for the first time, the doorbell rings.Days after graduating medical school, Dr. Emily Dav... read more
Was it fate, destiny, or some divine plan that brought four very different travelers together in their struggle to survive what should have been a routine trip to Rome? Driven by events, these new friends and their family members found themselves playing pivotal roles at a focal point in the history of western civilization. For winds that had spread a great fire across Rome also carried embers... read more
Katie O’Toole’s epic adventure began in The Spirit Keeper (Plume 2013) when she was rescued from a 1747 frontier massacre in Pennsylvania only to find herself chosen as the “Spirit Keeper” of a dying Indian Seer. She hesitated to accept this mysterious obligation until she fell in love with the Seer’s bodyguard, an Indian man she called Hector.In The Gift of the Seer, Katie and Hector continue... read more
Odana was Crown Prince Lanico’s home… until he was forced to flee following his defeat in battle and the siege of his kingdom. After years of living hidden in the wilderness with his adopted son, Prince Lanico suddenly finds himself on a quest to return to his kingdom - to reclaim the lands that are rightfully his. During his journey, Lanico finds himself facing a myriad of threats, making all... read more
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Freelance book editor and writing/editing teacher with over fifteen years' publishing experience, specializing in manuscript development.
Associate editor at HMH, available for feedback on pitches, proposals, and nonfiction/poetry/memoir manuscripts.