Jeff Seymour

Jeff Seymour - Editor

Lexington, VA, USA

Developmental and line editor for New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, specializing in sci-fi and fantasy.

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Overview

As a freelancer and at Harlequin's Carina Press imprint, I've worked with top-notch indie and traditionally published authors on more than a hundred genre novels, including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. My clients have sold hundreds of thousands of books on Kindle (Jennifer Foehner Wells), landed agency representation and traditional publishing deals (Wayne Santos), and made the New York Times bestseller list (Felix R. Savage) after working with me. No matter where you are on your publishing journey, I can help you get better.

I look to help my authors answer three key questions: What are they writing? Why is it exciting? What do they need to do it better? I always put the client first, and make sure I identify what's working well and how we can strengthen it as well as what isn't working. Whether I'm doing a developmental edit on your first draft or proofreading right before publication, I will help you make your book its best self.

Working with me is a collaborative experience. In my editorial letters and manuscript notes, I explain potential issues and ask questions to help you engage with your work more deeply. Ultimately, I want to help you improve from book to book until you meet your goals, whether that means writing bestselling thrillers, award-winning literary fiction, heartrendingly beautiful experiments in storytelling, or something else. I am a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and as an author myself (published indie and with Penguin Random House), I aim with every project to be a writer's dream editor.

Helping authors succeed is the best part of my workday, and doing it full-time is the best part of my career. I love unraveling knotty questions of structure and characterization, teaching early career authors the tricks of the trade, helping veterans break new ground, and polishing prose until it gleams. I begin every project with the same enthusiasm I felt as a kid at the library, and I'd love to take a look at yours.

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Testimonials:
“Jeff is simply a fantastic editor. A joy to work with. His attention to detail is breathtaking, not only on micro-editing detail, but in the large-scale “what is this story trying to accomplish” sense. Hire him, and your story will shine.” - Nick Webb (USA Today-bestselling author of the PAX HUMANA SAGA)

"Great comments, as always. Thank you. This is always a good use of my time/money.” - Jennifer Foehner Wells (Kindle bestselling indie author of FLUENCY)

“You’re the BEST editor I have ever met, including all the editors I worked with lo these many years ago in my trad-pub period.” - Felix R. Savage (New York Times-bestselling indie author of the EARTH'S LAST GAMBIT and FLETCHER CONNOLLY series)


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One last housekeeping note: While I do offer copy editing, I'm primarily a language editor rather than a fact-checker. If your book requires heavy fact-checking (e.g. you've written historical fiction and you want to have all the history checked, or you've written hard science fiction and you want your orbital mechanics checked), you may want to look for another editor.
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Fantasy
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult

Work experience

Acquiring Editor

Harlequin/Carina Press
November, 2011 – October, 2014 (almost 3 years)

Editor

Self-employed
August, 2011 – Present (over 9 years)

Portfolio (22 selected works)

The Galaxy Chronicles (Future Chronicles Book 8)

Samuel Peralta, Nick Webb, Raymond L. Weil, Jasper T. Scott, Jennifer Foehner Wells, David Adams, G. S. Jennsen, Pippa DaCosta, Matthew Alan Thyer, Chris Reher, Felix R. Savage, Nicolas Wilson

Space. Some call it the ultimate frontier. Humans are the verge of breaking its bonds with Earth and reaching other planets, other worlds, other galaxies. And when we do, will we go forth in peace? Or take with us our conflicts, our battles, our wars? In this latest title in the acclaimed 'Future Chronicles' series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible j... read more

Space. Some call it the ultimate frontier. Humans are the verge of breaking its bonds with Earth and reaching other planets, other worlds, other galaxies. And when we do, will we go forth in peace? Or take with us our conflicts, our battles, our wars? In this latest title in the acclaimed 'Future Chronicles' series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible j... read more

Remanence (Confluence Book 2)

Jennifer Foehner Wells

In defiance of NASA, Jane Holloway, the linguist of the Providence expedition, commandeers the alien ship that her crew explored. She sets off to return that ship’s marooned navigator to his home world, determined to discover who was behind the genocide that destroyed his original crew.But when she gets there, she finds his world devastated by the same plague. The remaining members of his race... read more

In defiance of NASA, Jane Holloway, the linguist of the Providence expedition, commandeers the alien ship that her crew explored. She sets off to return that ship’s marooned navigator to his home world, determined to discover who was behind the genocide that destroyed his original crew.But when she gets there, she finds his world devastated by the same plague. The remaining members of his race... read more

Freefall: A First Contact Technothriller (Earth's Last Gambit Book 1)

Felix R. Savage, Bill Patterson

A stunning first contact thriller from the NY Times bestselling science fiction author whose books have sold more than 150,000 copies.A mysterious alien ship is orbiting Europa.A handful of astronauts must voyage to Jupiter to face the threat, alone.During a classified mission to the ISS, astronaut Jack Kildare picks up an eerie signal. An alien spaceship is orbiting distant, icy Europa. It lo... read more

A stunning first contact thriller from the NY Times bestselling science fiction author whose books have sold more than 150,000 copies.A mysterious alien ship is orbiting Europa.A handful of astronauts must voyage to Jupiter to face the threat, alone.During a classified mission to the ISS, astronaut Jack Kildare picks up an eerie signal. An alien spaceship is orbiting distant, icy Europa. It lo... read more

Inheritance: (previously titled: The Druid Gene) (Confluence Book 3)

Jennifer Foehner Wells

This novel was previously titled The Druid Gene.Abducted. Forced to fight. Darcy has a 10,000 year old secret buried in her genetic code. It makes her a target, but it may also save her.As a second year medical student, Darcy's life revolves around classes, studying, and her boyfriend Adam—until she treks through the desert, touches some mysterious stacked stones, and a network of glowing blue... read more

This novel was previously titled The Druid Gene.Abducted. Forced to fight. Darcy has a 10,000 year old secret buried in her genetic code. It makes her a target, but it may also save her.As a second year medical student, Darcy's life revolves around classes, studying, and her boyfriend Adam—until she treks through the desert, touches some mysterious stacked stones, and a network of glowing blue... read more

The Thief and The Demon

Roderick T. Macdonald

“Bargain with a wizard, or wrestle a lion? Wrestle the lion, my child, for then you have a chance at life. A wizard’s bargain is death.”Fistmar was living the good life, a successful thief in the glittering city of Aranvail. Then he got cocky.Now everyone wants him dead. His old Guildmaster, enraged over a theft too far. The duke who believes Fistmar killed his son. The demon he became bound t... read more

“Bargain with a wizard, or wrestle a lion? Wrestle the lion, my child, for then you have a chance at life. A wizard’s bargain is death.”Fistmar was living the good life, a successful thief in the glittering city of Aranvail. Then he got cocky.Now everyone wants him dead. His old Guildmaster, enraged over a theft too far. The duke who believes Fistmar killed his son. The demon he became bound t... read more

Translucid (Dragonfire Station Book 1)

Zen DiPietro

Emé isn't who she thinks she is. She's something else. Something far more dangerous. She can't prove it because she doesn't remember her past, but she's certain she's not the simple security officer people tell her she is. She has knowledge and skills the average PAC officer doesn't. Whoever she is, she's far more important than the people around her realize. In the process of figuring out who... read more

Emé isn't who she thinks she is. She's something else. Something far more dangerous. She can't prove it because she doesn't remember her past, but she's certain she's not the simple security officer people tell her she is. She has knowledge and skills the average PAC officer doesn't. Whoever she is, she's far more important than the people around her realize. In the process of figuring out who... read more

The Conscripts: Fight or Die (Blood War Book Book 3)

Rod Carstens

Merriam Webstercon·script- a person who is forced to served in the armed servicesThe Confederation is desperate for more troops to fight alien Xotoli and their human hybrids but there are not enough enlistments. So the Confederation institutes a draft for the first time in hundreds of years. Young men and women will be drafted into military service. But some systems in the Confederation allow ... read more

Merriam Webstercon·script- a person who is forced to served in the armed servicesThe Confederation is desperate for more troops to fight alien Xotoli and their human hybrids but there are not enough enlistments. So the Confederation institutes a draft for the first time in hundreds of years. Young men and women will be drafted into military service. But some systems in the Confederation allow ... read more

Ghost of Jupiter (Jade Saito - Action Sci-Fi Series Book 1)

Tom Jordan

Two years ago, Jade Saito graduated from flight school and purchased her own starship: Ghost of Jupiter. Freedom and profit awaited in her new life as an independent cargo trader.Now, she's sure her failing career will kill her.After a pirate encounter leaves her with a scorched hull, Jade finds herself struggling under the weight of repair bills and debt collection lockdowns.But Jade isn't re... read more

Two years ago, Jade Saito graduated from flight school and purchased her own starship: Ghost of Jupiter. Freedom and profit awaited in her new life as an independent cargo trader.Now, she's sure her failing career will kill her.After a pirate encounter leaves her with a scorched hull, Jade finds herself struggling under the weight of repair bills and debt collection lockdowns.But Jade isn't re... read more

The Adorned

John Tristan

My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offer... read more

My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offer... read more

Dispatches from a Future War

Rod Carstens

War has always be about living and dying. Until in the near future technology blurs the lines between life and death, of what was virtual and what was real. It had also upped the ante until it was a 24/7, hyper speed, meat grinding nightmare.This war was a straight-out, last-man-standing, in-your-face, toe-to-toe, hyper-combat. Fought in the ruins of Europe. The grunts lived on grunt candy and... read more

War has always be about living and dying. Until in the near future technology blurs the lines between life and death, of what was virtual and what was real. It had also upped the ante until it was a 24/7, hyper speed, meat grinding nightmare.This war was a straight-out, last-man-standing, in-your-face, toe-to-toe, hyper-combat. Fought in the ruins of Europe. The grunts lived on grunt candy and... read more

Trancehack (Magic Born Book 1)

Sonya Clark

It's 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He's had little experience with the Magic Born and isn't sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he'd be so d... read more

It's 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He's had little experience with the Magic Born and isn't sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he'd be so d... read more

The Sheltered City

John Tristan

Amon Vraja, last of the halfdead, tries to stay out of sight. His kind, twisted by the gift that grants them superhuman strength, are loathed and shunned. Under the enchanted leaves of the Last City, ruled by imperious elves whose love of beauty leaves little room for his ugliness, he's not much more than the ghost of a dragon-haunted past.When the young, headstrong elf-lord Caedian takes an i... read more

Amon Vraja, last of the halfdead, tries to stay out of sight. His kind, twisted by the gift that grants them superhuman strength, are loathed and shunned. Under the enchanted leaves of the Last City, ruled by imperious elves whose love of beauty leaves little room for his ugliness, he's not much more than the ghost of a dragon-haunted past.When the young, headstrong elf-lord Caedian takes an i... read more

The Freezer (The Tanner Sequence Book 2)

Timothy S. Johnston

A Tanner Sequence Novel2402 ADCCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you're as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.The mystery is a strange one—one man dead, a cryptic message his dying bre... read more

A Tanner Sequence Novel2402 ADCCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you're as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.The mystery is a strange one—one man dead, a cryptic message his dying bre... read more

Witchlight (Magic Born Book 2)

Sonya Clark

Book two of Magic BornIn 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies.Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she's a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw disc... read more

Book two of Magic BornIn 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies.Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she's a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw disc... read more

The Void (The Tanner Sequence Book 3)

Timothy S. Johnston

2403 ADIt would be easier to kill him than to trust him.Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he's ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.If he makes it.When his ship breaks down in dee... read more

2403 ADIt would be easier to kill him than to trust him.Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he's ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.If he makes it.When his ship breaks down in dee... read more

Firewall (Magic Born Book 3)

Sonya Clark

Book three of Magic BornShe was the only Magic Born to ever escape the Rangers. Now there’s a ten-million-dollar bounty for her return.Trancehacker Tuyet Caron could have left New Corinth for good, but instead uses her magic and risks her life on a daily basis to help the Magic Born. She’s been careful to avoid capture, but a careless glance at a video camera brings her face to face with the R... read more

Book three of Magic BornShe was the only Magic Born to ever escape the Rangers. Now there’s a ten-million-dollar bounty for her return.Trancehacker Tuyet Caron could have left New Corinth for good, but instead uses her magic and risks her life on a daily basis to help the Magic Born. She’s been careful to avoid capture, but a careless glance at a video camera brings her face to face with the R... read more

The Furnace (The Tanner Sequence Book 1)

Timothy S. Johnston

Dead Space, 2401 AD Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.When the CCF sent investigator Kyle Tanner to SOLEX One, a solar energy harvester past Mercury, he thought it would be an open-a... read more

Dead Space, 2401 AD Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.When the CCF sent investigator Kyle Tanner to SOLEX One, a solar energy harvester past Mercury, he thought it would be an open-a... read more

Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue

Jeff Seymour

From debut author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) comes this breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary new heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud ga... read more

From debut author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) comes this breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary new heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud ga... read more

Nadya Skylung and the Masked Kidnapper

Jeff Seymour

In this middle-grade sequel to Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist deliver another breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora: She lost her leg. But has she lost her ... read more

In this middle-grade sequel to Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist deliver another breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora: She lost her leg. But has she lost her ... read more

Waking Gabriel (Sleeping Tom Book 2)

E.V. Fairfall

Caden thought it was over; she thought Gabriel was gone for good. It only took a letter with a single plane ticket for reality to come crashing back. Gabriel’s awake and he needs her. Caden decides to sacrifice her family’s trust for the possibility of seeing him again. But her reunion with Gabriel is short lived. Gabriel isn’t in control anymore, Tom is. Tom, the boy who only appeared at nigh... read more

Caden thought it was over; she thought Gabriel was gone for good. It only took a letter with a single plane ticket for reality to come crashing back. Gabriel’s awake and he needs her. Caden decides to sacrifice her family’s trust for the possibility of seeing him again. But her reunion with Gabriel is short lived. Gabriel isn’t in control anymore, Tom is. Tom, the boy who only appeared at nigh... read more

Sleeping Tom

E.V. Fairfall

Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate. When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He's her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes... read more

Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate. When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He's her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes... read more

On The Clock: (A Kyle Simmons Thriller - Book 3)

E.G. Michaels

A shot rings out and someone inside a busy coffee shop is killed by a long-range sniper. The very next day, another victim is claimed by the sniper who simply goes by the name Vendetta. And the next day, there’s another victim. With each sniper killing, Philadelphia homicide detective Kyle Simmons has a disturbing gut feeling that keeps growing: Each victim is someone he personally knows.As th... read more

A shot rings out and someone inside a busy coffee shop is killed by a long-range sniper. The very next day, another victim is claimed by the sniper who simply goes by the name Vendetta. And the next day, there’s another victim. With each sniper killing, Philadelphia homicide detective Kyle Simmons has a disturbing gut feeling that keeps growing: Each victim is someone he personally knows.As th... read more

Jeff has 10 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Luciano Pesci
Jeff always impresses me with the depth of his knowledge and his ability to easily share that expertise with me through our collaborations. Best of the best. I will keep working with him however I can in the future.

Luciano Pesci, February 2020


Phil Brown
I am very pleased with my collaboration with Jeff. His editing improved the structure of my manuscript and his ideas improved the story. I am delighted with his work product. Moreover, as a first time author I certainly appreciated his gentle guidance. I highly recommend Jeff. He is an excellent editor.

Phil Brown, December 2019


Hannah Spraul
Working with Jeff was a wonderful experience. He's knowledgeable of the industry, punctual, and concise. Developmental edits from Jeff come with great suggestions and clear explanations, both of which are geared toward making your story the best it can be. His questions are insightful and written in a non-confrontational tone, which helps to circumvent the defensive feeling that comes with h...
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Hannah Spraul, December 2019


Mike Vaughn
I have worked with Jeff twice. He performed two edits on the same project. He is awesome! His work is top notch and thorough. He is also very encouraging to first-time writers like myself. I am very happy to have found Jeff and been able to work with him on my project. I can't say enough good stuff about my experience working with Jeff.

Mike Vaughn, November 2019


Duke York
Jeff did the most important thing a developmental editor could: see where my book didn't work. He took the qualms I had about my writing and enunciated them clearly (and kindly) so I could find ways to make them work.

Duke York, November 2019

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