I have a particular realm of experience in that I have worked nearly twenty years as an editor of others’ books while also forging a career of my own as a novelist, short story writer, and teacher of writing, along with one foray into creating a hybrid work of memoir and criticism. Thus I have an informed perspective on the varieties of challenges the writer faces in the effort to complete a work, be it a full-length project or something shorter. My practice is to identify such challenges and to assist the writer in overcoming them (not avoiding them), the goal always being to help achieve the writer’s original vision and voice.
As an editor and copyeditor I’ve helped bring into the world literary fiction, thrillers and mysteries, memoirs, and works of popular history and self-help. I am open to any genre, however, and would be happy to discuss your project no matter its subject.
My freelance services have exercised the breadth of my talents and experience. I have worked one-on-one with authors seeking creative assistance--at all levels of composition, from developmental editing to finalizing a manuscript and helping to prepare queries--and have worked directly with publishers at various stages of production: interior design and typesetting, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Presses with whom I've provided services most recently include Archipelago, Bloomsbury, Coffee House, Dalkey Archive, Prospect Park, Soho, and Central Recovery Press, among others.
Guided over 150 books from acquisition to publication. Evaluated all fiction submissions and took editorial lead throughout production. Designed exterior and interior, including 4-Color layouts. Created annual 4-Color catalogs, newsletters, and ads (print and web). Monitored production budgets. Reviewed and proofed all text before release to public.
Main editor on all prose titles after acquisition. Recent award-winning authors include Kyle Minor, Elena Passarello, Arna Bontemps Hemenway, Wendy S. Walters, John McManus, Lia Purpura.
From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler, a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. "Let me put it this way," he says. "Draw a number line, with zero is you never think abo... read more
From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott)In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questio... read more
"A novelist of daring creativity and passion."—Edmund WhiteA dying drug kingpin enslaved to the memory of his dead wife; a young woman torn between a promising future and the hardscrabble world she grew up in; a mother willing to do anything to fuel her addiction to pills; and her youngest son, searching for the truth behind his older brother's disappearance, are just some of the unforgettable... read more
The Bookmarked series focuses on a famous work of literature that left a powerful impression on an author (hence the name, Bookmarked—a book that left its mark). Each entry in the series will be a no-holds-barred personal narrative detailing how a particular novel influenced an author on their journey to becoming a writer, as well as the myriad directions where that journey has taken them.In t... read more
From a writer called “an important new voice in fiction” by Bret Lott and a “novelist of daring creativity and passion” by Edmund White, comes Our Napoleon in Rags. It’s the story of the regulars at the Don Quixote, a bar in a decaying Midwestern city, whose lives are torn apart when their self-appointed “Napoleon,” Haycraft Keebler, bipolar son of a famous local politician, falls in love with... read more
A collection of poetry, fiction, and essay where language isn’t strictly functional but comes at the world in its most intense states—in reverie, in revelry, in fine excess; writers who must have, as Paul West once termed it, the world written up. These are minds unavoidably alive on the page. And there they move freely, in particular musical fashion, often making unlikely connections, sometim... read more
A brilliantly observed prep school novel about fraught teacher-student relationships--and about coming into adulthood.Ben Jameson begins his teaching career in a small private school in Northern Virginia. He is idealistic, happy to have his first job after graduate school, and hoping some day to figure out what he really wants out of life. And in his two years teaching English at Glenn Acres P... read more
A moving celebration of what Bill Hayes calls "the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected" of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks. "A beautifully written once-in-a-lifetime book, about love, about life, soul, and the wonderful loving genius Oliver Sacks, and New York, and laughter and all of creation."--Anne LamottBill Hayes came ... read more
The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin.After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, t... read more
The story of the epic contest between shipping magnates Samuel Cunard and Edward Collins for mid-19th century control of the Atlantic. Between 1815 and the American Civil War, the greatest invention of the Industrial Revolution delivered a sea change in oceanic transportation. Steam travel transformed the Atlantic into a pulsating highway, dominated by ports in Liverpool and New York, as steam... read more
Smart, paranoid literary science fiction crossover for fans of Blake Crouch and Philip K. Dick, set in present-day Seattle Vin, a down-on-his-luck young tech entrepreneur forced out of the software company he started, takes a job house-sitting a beautiful Seattle mansion. There he discovers that the owner—who has been missing for a year—has built a secret basement lab. In the lab there are com... read more
"A phenomenal talent blazing up suddenly on the horizon. . . . precise, brilliant language that evokes without ever having to explain. . . . His transcendent vision gives us devastating glimpses."—Elle"John McManus writes visceral prose that explodes within the tight boundaries of the short story. These narratives possess a graceful internal logic and feature a wide range of gritty characters ... read more
"I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby."—Daniel HandlerThe characters in Praying Drunk speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. A man crushes pills on the bathroom counter while his son... read more
“Purpura is the real deal, and so is every successive sentence in this collection. A cornucopiac vocabulary is married to a strict economy of expression; an offbeat curiosity is married to the courage of difficult witnessing. . . .”—Albert Goldbarth“Purpura's prose is a system of delicate shocks—leaps and connections and syncopated revelations, all in the service of the spirit negotiating the ... read more
"David Martinez is like an algebra problem invented by America—he's polynomial, and fractioned, full of identity variables and unsolved narrative coefficients. . . . Hustle is full of dashing nerve, linguistic flair, and unfakeable heart."—Tony HoaglandThe dark peoples with things:for keys, coins, pencilsand pens our pockets grieve.No street lights or signs,no liquor stores or bars,only a ligh... read more
"So persuasive are Yoon's powers of invention that I went searching for his Solla Island somewhere off the mainland of South Korea—not realizing that it exists only in this breathtaking collection of eight interlinked stories...Yoon's writing results in a fully formed, deftly executed debut. The lost lives, while heartbreaking, prove illuminating in Yoon's made-up world, so convincing and real... read more
In this darkly funny work of literary nonfiction, a bookish young woman insinuates herself into the lives of two cage fighters—one a young prodigy, the other an aging journeyman. Acclaimed essayist Kerry Howley follows these men for three years through the bloody world of mixed martial arts as they starve themselves, break bones, fail their families and form new ones in the quest to rise from ... read more
Set in the author's homeland of West Virginia, this panoramic collection of stories traces the people and animals who live in precarious balance in the mountains of Appalachia over a span of two hundred years, in a disappearing rural world. With omniscient narration, rich detail, and lyrical prose, Matthew Neill Null brings his landscape and characters vividly to life."Allegheny Front has few ... read more
In the manner of Calvino's Invisible Cities, Wendy S. Walters's essays deftly explore the psyches of cities such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, Portsmouth, and Washington, D.C. In "Cleveland," she interviews an African-American playwright who draws great reviews, but can't muster an audience. An on-air telephone chat between a DJ and his listeners drives a discussion of race and nutrition in "... read more
From Farinelli, the eighteenth century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of "Johnny B. Goode" affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, Let Me Clear My Throat dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There are murders of punk rock crows, impressionists, and rebel yells; Howard Dean's "BYAH!" and Marlon Brando's... read more
"Heartfelt, lyrical, and moving, these stories make you feel the texture of your life alter while you're immersed in them. This remarkable book announces the arrival of a brilliant young writer."—Robert BoswellStories set in rural Georgia investigate small moments that illuminate life-altering struggles: a man slipping into dementia is abandoned at a diner with his granddaughters; a farmer's s... read more
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I am an editor with three years of experience at Penguin Random House. I specialize in YA/middle grade, romance, and mystery.
Sandy is a seasoned editor of non-fiction and fiction titles, and has been helping authors 'give birth' to their books for 20 years.