I'm an experienced freelance copy editor specializing in working with indie authors, especially within the genres of fantasy, dystopian, paranormal, and speculative fiction.
First and foremost, I am the editor, not the writer. My goal while editing is not to rewrite your work into something that I would write. Instead, I aim for a cleaner version of what you’ve written—the best version of itself, not my version.
I have a solid background in grammar. I know the rules. I understand the rules. I also know how and when to break them. I’m not going to be pedantic and insist on a change just for the sake of correctness if it is going to cause a problem with readability. Fiction is flexible—sometimes sentence fragments are useful, for example.
As a copy editor, I am focused on the details of the story—the sentence-level concerns. Although I do check for consistency (making sure Sally doesn’t suddenly change eye color, for example), I don’t make global comments about your book. I’m not going to give you a list of plot problems or places where characters/scenes should be more developed. That’s the job of a developmental editor (and something that should be done before sending the manuscript to me). If there’s something that really jumps out at me, I sometimes make a comment about it, but I’m not reading your book at that level. If that’s the kind of feedback you are looking for, please work with a developmental editor first. Then come back and let me clean things up at the sentence level.
But don’t take it from me. Here’s what a couple of the authors I’ve worked with have to say:
“In the course of a long career writing analytic reports and technical monographs, I became well acquainted with professional editors. Taking up writing fiction a few years ago, I had difficultly finding an editor who could satisfy my requirements, and so released three novels that were largely self-edited. Recently, a fellow author recommended Karen, and I could not be happier. She is responsive, diligent, meticulous without being overbearing, and affordable. Most importantly, she has a fine feeling for a writer’s style. In the past, I have had to ‘train’ editors to not attempt to reduce my writing to their notion of acceptable ‘lowest common denominator’ verbiage, which has generally not been a congenial exercise. Imagine, therefore, my delight that there was none of this with Karen. From the first, her suggestions enhanced the writing without altering the voice — a rare and wonderful thing in my experience. I recommend her services without reservation and look forward to working with her again in the future.”
~ Owen O’Neill, co-author of the Loralynn Kennakris series
“Look no further for the perfect editor. I initially chose Karen to edit my YA fantasy novel given her impressive education, skill sets, and that she had edited similar books. From our very first interaction, Karen demonstrated a strong, passionate editing philosophy and I immediately felt comfortable working with her. She made many skilled observations that allowed me to polish my novel without changing my voice, which is something of utmost importance to an author. Karen goes above and beyond the scope of an ordinary editor because she possesses a genuine interest in her client’s projects and wants to see them succeed. I highly recommend her and I can’t wait to work with her again.”
~ Amie Irene Winters, author of Strange Luck
Part of the editing team at INDIE Books Gone Wild.
Although I have done freelancing here and there since 1997, I started working full-time at freelancing in August 2012. I have copy edited everything from websites to cookbooks but my preferred focus is fiction.
Taught freshman composition and literature courses.
Copy edited and proofread articles; laid out articles for journal
Wrote documentation supporting in-house computer programs and other programs and revised existing documentation.
Taught courses in composition, literature, and Latin. Was a graduate student during this time and earned a PhD in English.
Taught courses in composition, literature, and technical writing.
Tutored students in one-on-one writing sessions
Worked with students in computer lab during developmental reading and writing courses as a teacher's aide.
Edited and proofread articles for four oncology journals
Edited financial documents
Daisy Darling embarks on a journey to save her ailing father, but instead lands in a dark world built on stolen memories. Now Daisy must risk her life to destroy the world and restore what is lost.
Creation is Doomed… Nyx, Queen of Hell, lies broken and burning in a box at the bottom of the Lake of Fire, put there but her lover Tribunal, who is God’s Son. Nyx’s daughter Epiphenia, has been slaughtered by Tribunal and Lucifer. Her companions, Persephone and Ishtar, were captured and are now suffering unspeakable torture. Lucifer, one Nyx’s second-in-command, has taken over Hell and is rul... read more
Gibben Nemesio is in trouble. His parents are dead, his sister is missing, and he's been left the sole provider for his two younger brothers. With a war brewing in the east and no guarantee of surviving another brutal winter, Gib's life is plagued by uncertainty. To make matters worse, he suddenly finds himself uprooted from his home and drafted into the army. Forced to leave his siblings behi... read more
An urban fantasy novel unlike any other.Ezra Keene is an artistic sixteen-year-old who wants nothing more than to settle in at his new school and put the tragedy of his brother's death behind him. He awakens one night, reeling from a hazy dream, to find his fingers blackened with pencil lead and a new drawing in his sketchbook--a drawing that depicts the grisly murder of someone he knows. The ... read more
A small memento, a universal power...At seventeen, Leda has her priorities in order: gaming first, real life second. She suffers through school, skips the extracurriculars, and runs home so that she can log-on to Renaria. High school parties? Yeah, right. Her weekends usually involve her prized headset, a pile of gummy bears, and her loyal feline companion, Sphinx, by her side.Unless her mothe... read more
Emelia must choose. Her sister or her soulmate.In a world not dissimilar to our own, the Administration have ensured that the human race should not have to live with any regrets.Like millions before her, Emelia now has the chance to go back and make the 'correct' decisions. The little envelope that contains her amendment will change not just her life, but that of the people she loves the most.... read more
Gibben Nemesio thought his life was over the day he received a conscription notice demanding he train to be a soldier. When he left his home for Silver City, he never expected he'd thwart a terrible plot to murder the King and become an overnight hero—and he definitely hadn't expected to find love in the form of a handsome mage trainee named Joel.Three years later, Gib has fought his way from ... read more
Five stars! San Francisco Book Review (August 2014) "A life-altering coming-of-age story filled with magic and imagination." Five Stars! Midwest Reviews, Diane Donovan (May 2014) "Those seeking powerful . . . sagas will find it engrossing." No BS Reviews in New World Authors, by Nick LeVar (June 2014) "This was one of the best novels I've read in a long time. It is a fast, easy read, and if yo... read more
There are two of everything in the Mirrored City, where two rival theocratic factions alternate control of the government. A routine treaty negotiation quickly sets off a chain of events that reveal the city’s deepest secrets.Something stirs in the ruins below. A string of shocking murders leaves mutilated victims posed in grisly tableaus. Parasitic monsters long-forgotten to history work to r... read more
The explosive debut by Lauren ParkesReviews"A chilling tale of love, deception, suspense and greed." "If you like YA fiction and a rollicking plot then this is going to be your cup of tea!" Jenny Knott, Goodreads“The next big thing in young adult thrillers.” Nicola Almond, Twitter advance reader"Startling debut novel from British author, Lauren Parkes." Liz Anne, beta-reader Book DescriptionIf... read more
Told by Mr. Jazz himself, an ordinary cat by his own admission, "Purr Prints of the Heart" is a touching meow-memoir that will strike a chord with anyone whose heart carries paw-prints of love as he shares the story of his life from kitten hood to his final days on earth in the physical sense. Cleverly written in cat likeness with incredible insight, candor, wisdom, and humor, Mr. Jazz takes r... read more
For Gibben Nemesio, life hasn’t been easy.Orphaned as a child and drafted into the army at thirteen, he’s no stranger to adversity. He’s fought hard for his coveted position as Seneschal Koal’s understudy and ever harder to make certain his young brothers live to see adulthood. Gib is prepared to sacrifice anything to ensure those closest to him, from his family and friends to his mentor and e... read more
An unwilling participant in a cryopreservation experiment, engineering student Miranda Donovan wakes after a century to find that basic rights in the post-American society must be earned. Genetic testing reveals her best chance of success lies in a brutal military flight academy, but time is short. She can only hide cryo's crippling effects on her body for so long. Feeling a stalker closing in... read more
Brought back from the dead, combat pilot Miranda Donovan finds the price for her resurrection is a steep one. The biomedical laboratory has creatively interpreted the law so the experiments on her can continue. Her determination to escape only intensifies after a horrific, blood-soaked night reveals how much their work has made her a target. The uneasy truce with the biotech lab hinges on her ... read more
Having escaped the biotech laboratory that rebuilt her, test subject Miranda Donovan celebrates her freedom by starting a life below the radar with Cris, a passionate engineer. Everything changes when a medical emergency proves that the effects of her being a clone-human hybrid may be far-reaching, not only for her but for everyone else. Torn between love and duty, she must choose between livi... read more
The White Seed Brings Life to WorldsThree thousand years ago, the seeds arrived from Earth on hundreds of worlds. The developed worlds formed the Network, connected only by radio and laser. Since the time of the seeds, nothing but information has traveled between the stars. Now a starship, The Child of Ambition, is changing that. Her first mission: to explore the dark worlds, the ones that fai... read more
No matter where Noah goes, tragedy strikes. As a banshee, only Noah can see it coming, but it’s all she can do to run away to lessen the damage her voice causes when she sings for the dead. Orphaned from birth, Noah has been trying to control her powers on her own with the help of her guardian Adele. But Noah’s powers are more out of control than ever, and Adele is out of options.As the final ... read more
Summer vacation was never supposed to be like this.It was bad enough Naomi had to be shipped off to her dad's home for the summer and deal with her half-brother Gavin, but when the siblings are forced to spend their break with their great-grandmother in upstate New York, everything changes. An investigation into the strange disappearance of their great-grandfather forces them to retrace his fo... read more
A desperate search leads to a new world.Naomi and Gavin are on the run. Having narrowly escaped Azzmon’s clutches, they find themselves hunted by Malick, another Shade Lord. He has amassed an army of foul creatures, and the city-state of Tarravale stands on the brink of chaos. Naomi’s ability to open Shadow Gates makes her an alluring target, and the Shade Lord will stop at nothing to possess ... read more
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Give me your dangling participles, your absent oxford commas, your run-on sentences yearning to be written correctly.
My editing helps authors develop polished writing, including personal finance, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and poetry.