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Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas - Editor

Perry Hall, MD, United States

Crafting a work of fiction is a gloriously arduous process. With over twenty years of experience at one of the big NYC houses, I can help.

Overview

After more than twenty years at Random House in New York City, I’m out on my own, specializing in what brought me to publishing in the first place: Editing.

It’s a passion. When you entrust your story to me, I dedicate myself to it, surrounding myself with your characters, living your plot arcs, hearing your voice, and tracking your themes. I study your story from the inside out to see what more it can be, and offer strategies for how to get there.

My particular area of expertise is fiction for middle-school and high-school kids, but as a freelancer I've worked with writers on everything from romance to cyber thriller. I treat each of my writers as if they’re destined to be the next New York Times bestseller.

Take a look at the webinar I recorded for Reedsy about the old writer's axiom "show, don't tell:" https://blog.reedsy.com/live/show-dont-tell-rule-reason

If you’re ready to invite a professional editor into your process, I’d love to hear from you. Let’s dive in!

“The gold standard of editors. Jim's sensitivity to divining an author’s intent is uncanny. He possesses the requisite skills of a midwife, and the bedside manner of a beloved small town doctor. I can’t envision the project that wouldn’t benefit from his discerning eye.”
—Mark Frost, New York Times bestselling author of The Paladin Prophecy, and co-creator of Twin Peaks

“Jim is an excellent coach, one gifted with an eye for potential and an intuition for how to realize it. He sees where I’m pulling my punches and shows me where I can jump higher. Dumbfoundingly, I jump higher, and then I do it again.”
—Rachel Hartman, New York Times bestselling author of Seraphina and Shadow Scale

“Jim Thomas achieves a perfect balance between an editor’s two contradictory jobs: to be thoroughly picky and at the same time constantly encouraging. He made me stop and think, and he made me eager to keep going. I could not have had a better editor.”
—Jeanne DuPrau, New York Times bestselling author of The City of Ember

Services
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (SA) English (UK) English (US)
Fiction
Adventure Children's - Middle Grade Crime & Mystery Fantasy Humor & Comedy Literature Romance Science Fiction Thriller Young Adult & Teen

Work experience

Editorial Director

Random House

January, 2007 – April, 2013 (about 6 years)

Editor

Random House

January, 1993 – January, 2007 (about 14 years)

Portfolio (17 selected works)

The City of Ember (The First Book of Ember)

Jeanne DuPrau

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ... read more

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ... read more

The People of Sparks (The City of Ember)

Jeanne DuPrau

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon have led the citizens of Ember to an exciting new world. When they discover a village called Sparks, they are welcomed, fed, and given places to sleep. But the town’... read more

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon have led the citizens of Ember to an exciting new world. When they discover a village called Sparks, they are welcomed, fed, and given places to sleep. But the town’... read more

The Prophet of Yonwood (Ember, Book 3)

Jeanne DuPrau

A prequel to the modern-day classic The City of Ember. This highly acclaimed adventure series has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she’s an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project. So when the oppor... read more

A prequel to the modern-day classic The City of Ember. This highly acclaimed adventure series has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she’s an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project. So when the oppor... read more

The Diamond of Darkhold (Ember, Book 4)

Jeanne DuPrau

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and led their people to the town of Sparks. But they soon discover that winter is harsh aboveground. When Doon finds a book with torn... read more

A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and led their people to the town of Sparks. But they soon discover that winter is harsh aboveground. When Doon finds a book with torn... read more

The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1

Mark Frost

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle... read more

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle... read more

Alliance: The Paladin Prophecy Book 2

Mark Frost

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Will West is a student of the Center—a school for an elite group of students. After exposing a sinister underground society of students known... read more

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Will West is a student of the Center—a school for an elite group of students. After exposing a sinister underground society of students known... read more

Rogue: The Paladin Prophecy Book 3

Mark Frost

Will West is playing a dangerous game. Months after uncovering the sinister Paladin Prophecy plot, Will continues to work with the mastermind behind the project—none other than his own grandfather, Franklin Greenwood. Will cooperates in order to keep his friends safe. But are they really secure in the hands of a madman? Under constant surveillance, Will and his friends secretly devise a plan t... read more

Will West is playing a dangerous game. Months after uncovering the sinister Paladin Prophecy plot, Will continues to work with the mastermind behind the project—none other than his own grandfather, Franklin Greenwood. Will cooperates in order to keep his friends safe. But are they really secure in the hands of a madman? Under constant surveillance, Will and his friends secretly devise a plan t... read more

Seraphina

Rachel Hartman

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed. Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before… In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer. The newest member of the royal court, a ... read more

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed. Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before… In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer. The newest member of the royal court, a ... read more

Shadow Scale (Seraphina)

Rachel Hartman

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons. The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part gir... read more

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons. The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part gir... read more

The Red Winter: Book Five of The Tapestry

Henry H. Neff

An inventive and action-packed mix of fantasy, science fiction, and mythology, all in a realistic contemporary setting. Rowan has won a battle, but not the war. With proper allies, Rowan’s armies could storm the demon stronghold, capture its ruler, and end the reign of demonkind. But while nations clash, a greater struggle lies elsewhere. In his desperate pursuit of Astaroth, Elias Bram scours... read more

An inventive and action-packed mix of fantasy, science fiction, and mythology, all in a realistic contemporary setting. Rowan has won a battle, but not the war. With proper allies, Rowan’s armies could storm the demon stronghold, capture its ruler, and end the reign of demonkind. But while nations clash, a greater struggle lies elsewhere. In his desperate pursuit of Astaroth, Elias Bram scours... read more

100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1)

N. D. Wilson

Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth!... read more

Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth!... read more

Heart of a Shepherd

Rosanne Parry

When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe return. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch, but also reveal his true calling.From the Hardcover edition.

When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe return. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch, but also reveal his true calling.From the Hardcover edition.

In This Life

Christine Brae

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, They’re in each other all along. RUMI It starts out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got ... read more

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, They’re in each other all along. RUMI It starts out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got ... read more

Archimedes Slaked (Volume 1)

H Scott Sturm

In an all-too-familiar alternative current day, America has been torn apart by extreme ideologies and political divisiveness. Countless millions are mesmerized by the rhetoric of media and internet pundit Topher Blue who promises the restoration of limited government and the elimination of dependency. Battling record unemployment and homelessness, the poor take to the streets under Mercy Green... read more

In an all-too-familiar alternative current day, America has been torn apart by extreme ideologies and political divisiveness. Countless millions are mesmerized by the rhetoric of media and internet pundit Topher Blue who promises the restoration of limited government and the elimination of dependency. Battling record unemployment and homelessness, the poor take to the streets under Mercy Green... read more

Brain Jack

Brian Falkner

A Top Ten YALSA Pick for Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults! Fans of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and M. T. Anderson's Feed will love this high-octane cyber thriller.In a dystopian near-future, neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it's the Internet at the speed of thought. For teen hacker Sam Wilson, a headset is a must. But as he masters the new tech... read more

A Top Ten YALSA Pick for Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults! Fans of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and M. T. Anderson's Feed will love this high-octane cyber thriller.In a dystopian near-future, neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it's the Internet at the speed of thought. For teen hacker Sam Wilson, a headset is a must. But as he masters the new tech... read more

Oxblood (Victoria Asher)

AnnaLisa Grant

How far would you go to save the only family you have left? Victoria “Vic” Asher is finally finding some balance in her life. Though she’s still reeling from her parents’ death in a plane crash, she’s content with waiting tables at the Clock; window shopping with her best friend, Tiffany; and hanging out with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Chad. But when she receives a mysterious package i... read more

How far would you go to save the only family you have left? Victoria “Vic” Asher is finally finding some balance in her life. Though she’s still reeling from her parents’ death in a plane crash, she’s content with waiting tables at the Clock; window shopping with her best friend, Tiffany; and hanging out with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Chad. But when she receives a mysterious package i... read more

Spanking Shakespeare

Jake Wizner

SHAKESPEARE SHAPIRO HAS ALWAYS hated his name. His parents bestowed it on him as some kind of sick joke when he was born, and his life has gone downhill from there, one embarrassing incident after another. Entering his senior year of high school, Shakespeare has never had a girlfriend, his younger brother is cooler than he is, and his best friend's favorite topic of conversation is his bowel m... read more

SHAKESPEARE SHAPIRO HAS ALWAYS hated his name. His parents bestowed it on him as some kind of sick joke when he was born, and his life has gone downhill from there, one embarrassing incident after another. Entering his senior year of high school, Shakespeare has never had a girlfriend, his younger brother is cooler than he is, and his best friend's favorite topic of conversation is his bowel m... read more

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