Alice McVeigh

Alice McVeigh - Editor


Your experience: my expertise. Twice-published novelist with 17 years full-time editing experience available for editing and ghost writing.

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I am a twice-published novelist (Orion /Hachette), an elected member of the Society of Authors, the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders - as well as a full-time ghost writer and copy-editor.
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  • B. Mus with distinction in performance, Indiana University School of Music

Work experience

full-time editor and ghost writer

Alice McVeigh
January, 1998 – Present (about 23 years)

Alice McVeigh is an elected member of the Society of Authors, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and the Editorial Freelancers Association. A well-reviewed novelist with a major publisher (Orion), she has also had articles published in The Guardian newspaper, Verbatim, The Contemporary Review and Strad magazines. Over the past 19 years she has worked as a full-time ghost writer and copy-editor, completing over 70 full-length books. These include fiction, memoirs and non-fiction as well as academic works published by Cambridge University Press and Indiana University Press. Under her own name, she has—in addition to her novels—had a non-fiction work published, and also a play. (The play has also been fully staged, at the Lewisham Theatre, in London - though not in the West End!)

Alice's first two novels (While the Music Lasts and Ghost Music) were published in both hardback and paperback by Orion Publishing Group, London, and her first play (Beating Time) by New Theatre Productions. A non-fiction book (All Risks Musical) was published by Pocket Press. She is currently finishing her second play.

She started professional editing by working her husband's book, Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn (Cambridge University Press). Since 1998 she has ghostwritten and copy-edited full-time, mostly, but not exclusively, full-length books. She is in constant demand by other authors and academics, along with fiction and non-fiction book clients, some listed below. (Please note: this is not a complete list, due to agreements with several well-known clients.)

Alice writes a weekly column for the daily classical music internet magazine Music and Vision. She also enjoys playing cello in string quartets and tennis, and visits her second home Crete whenever work allows. She also runs writers workshops in both Crete (by the Mediterranean) and in Orpington (London).


Alice's published works:

While the Music Lasts (a novel, Orion Publishing House, London)

Ghost Music (a novel, Orion Publishing House, London)

All Risks Musical, an Irreverent Guide to the Music Profession (Pocket Press, Surrey, cartoons by Noel Ford)

Beating Time (a play, published by New Theatre Publications, London, and put on in full production at the Lewisham Theatre, London)


Alice’s published academic copy-editing:

Cambridge University Press: Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn (Simon McVeigh)

Indiana University Press: Tonal Space in the Music of Antonio Vivaldi (Bella Brover-Lubovsky)

The Boydell Press: The Italian Solo Concerto 1700-1760 (McVeigh and Jehoash Hirshberg)

Clarendon Paperbacks: Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880-1948: A Social History (Hirshberg)

Israel Music Institute: Paul Ben-Haim, His Life and Works (Jehoash Hirshberg)


Alice’s published fiction (substantive editing, ghostwriting):

The Grand International (Fergus Wilson and Alice McVeigh)

Paradox Lost (Adrian L. Youseman)

Stretching It (Mandy Sutter)

By a Rat’s Tail (Harry Chance)


Alice’s published non-fiction (substantive editing):

Juggling the Big 3 for Lawyers (Jennifer Overhaus)

The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence (D.C. Gonzalez)

My Memoirs from 1885 to 1948 (reconstructed history with Jad Boutros Ghawi)

How mothers with postnatal depression create narcissists and psychopaths (Hans R. Arnold)

First to Fall (Wayne G. Sayles)

Out of Iraq, Escape from Saddam and Al-Qaeda (Mahmoud Albayati)

Operation Hope, a Chaplain's Journal on Hurricane Katrina (M.D. Taylor)

How to be an Inspiring Godparent (Wendy Haynes)


Testimonials to Alice's editing and ghost writing:

‘I will always be grateful to Alice McVeigh, who copy-edited the whole, for her constant advice and encouragement.’ (Jennifer Overhaus, in her Juggling the Big 3 for Lawyers)

'The style is excellent: elegant, witty and urbane.' (Indiana University reader's report on book substantively edited by Alice McVeigh)

'Alice McVeigh not only rewrote the book in precisely the style of the period but also located, organized and paid a researcher for me. Who could have done more?' ( Gilbert Gargour, author of Jad Boutros Ghawi, novelised by Alice McVeigh)

‘This book would not have been possible with the loving support of my wife and the editorial skills of Alice McVeigh.’ (dedication of Adrian L. Youseman’s novel, Paradox Lost)

'Alice McVeigh co-wrote my book on the psychology of martial arts. This was a new departure for me, but she took me through every step with ease, constantly encouraging me and always there when I needed her. I cannot recommend Alice too highly!' (Daniel Gonzalez, author and martial arts expert, on The Art of Mental Training, a Guide to Performance Excellence)

'Alice is an absolute pleasure. She is quick, witty and a complete professional. Her ability to understand and adapt to my "voice" was incredible. In addition, her advice and genuine interest in my project bolstered me and gave me confidence to continue what I was doing. She even drafted a synopsis and covering letter--and even made out a list of agents likely to be receptive to my book, including personal contacts.' (Vanessa La Santa, author of Second Life, a novel)

‘Alice is a marvellous editor: tireless, enthusiastic, inspiring, always with new options of making the structure work at her fingertips.’ (Hans Arnold, author of How mothers with post-natal depression create narcissists and psychopaths)

'At last a contract! Alice, you bring me luck!' (email to Alice, from Bella Brover-Lubovsky, on receiving book contract from IUP for Tonal Space in the Music of Antonio Vivaldi, substantively edited by Alice McVeigh)

'Alice puts life into her words; she is a wonderful writer, with sensitivity and imagination. Very professional and a joy to work with: timely and honest and trustworthy. I look forward to a long collaboration.' (Sheila Pryce, Printworks Press)

'The writing is clear and approachable, at times even lively, which for an academic study of this kind is both unusual and refreshing.' ( Review of Indiana University Press book substantially edited by Alice McVeigh)

'Alice is very attentive to the customer's wishes and needs, and unfailingly patient. She has been a huge help in getting my project organized in a way that serves the ultimate goal, and, in some chapters, I believe that her touch made all the difference.' (Wayne G. Sayles, Author of First to Fall)

'My memoir Out of Iraq was ghosted by Alice McVeigh. Never would I have gotten a publisher without her support and belief in my story. From the structure to the order of the words, there is not a sentence in the book without her art behind it.' (Mahmoud Albayati, author of Out of Iraq)

'I needed a ghost writer for my book (now published as Operation Hope) of being the first chaplain on the scene after Hurricane Katrina demolished New Orleans. Alice took my notes and turned them into something anyone would be proud of, without changing my style or character. She is extremely easy to work with, with a talent for weaving ideas together. She knows how to ask the right questions in order to dig missing detail out of stored memory . . . Thanks to her, my dream became a reality.' (Mike Taylor, author of Operation Hope)

'Alice amazed me. She took a manuscript without shape and, with a couple of inspired tweaks, turned it into something amazing. Of course she's quick and accurate, but a lot of editors are quick and accurate. What Alice has got is pure flair.' (Harry Chant, children's writer)

‘Alice is supportive and quite simply a genius with words. I am more grateful to her than any words (or any fee!) can really express.' (Professor Jehoash Hirshberg, author and musicologist)

'Finally I should like to express my thanks to my wife Alice, without whose constant encouragement and tireless search for the mot juste this book would have been immeasurably the poorer.' (Professor Simon McVeigh, author of Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn, Cambridge University Press)


Reviews of Alice's own books:

The Sunday Times: 'Characters rise and fall to McVeigh’s superbly controlled conductor's baton. The orchestra becomes a universe in microcosm; all human life is here . . . McVeigh succeeds in harmonising a supremely comic tone with much darker notes.' (While the Music Lasts)

The Sunday Telegraph: 'McVeigh is a professional cellist and is thus able to describe with wry authority the extraordinary life of a London orchestra. This is a very enjoyable novel, and not quite as light as it pretends to be.' (While the Music Lasts)

Prof. Lisa Jardine on BBC Radio 3: 'This is an intense and intriguing novel that gives a sense of the throbbing heart of an orchestra. For Radio 3 listeners, it is unmissable.' (While the Music Lasts)

The Good Book Guide: 'The author is a professional cellist and a highly intelligent novelist. In the hothouse atmosphere of a group welded together but battered by individual stresses, relationships blossom and painfully disintegrate. Almost as enraptured by the sensuous sound of words as by music itself, McVeigh spins her sentences across the page, carrying the reader with them.' (While the Music Lasts)

Publisher's Weekly: 'McVeigh's captivating, witty debut offers uncanny insights into music, love, and the human heart. Her portrayal sings with lyrical intensity and eloquent feeling.' (While the Music Lasts)

Daily Mail: 'Ever wondered what goes on in the backstage life of a symphony orchestra? This racy novel was written by someone who knows.' (Ghost Music)

The Yorkshire Post: 'McVeigh holds nothing back in her account of the backstage life of an orchestra. Although there is no overriding voice, orchestra manager Pete Hegal emerges as the reader's friend. A disillusioned violinist, Pete speaks with McVeigh's wry perception. The story takes a while to reach its crescendo, hindered perhaps by the introduction of many disparate characters, each deserving the depth they are afforded. But the tempo certainly rises on the Royal Sinfonia's Greek tour: a musical world that many see as staid and disciplined is turned upside down by McVeigh. The Last Night of the Proms will never seem the same again.' (Ghost Music)

Western Morning News: 'Aspiring authors are advised to write about a subject they know, but few will match Alice McVeigh's accomplishment here. She is a freelance cellist playing with numerous orchestras, including the BBC Symphony. Orchestral life must have been an obvious choice for her, but who would guess the backstage life of a symphony orchestra would provide such a gem of a book? . . . McVeigh writes amusingly but with authority about the chaotic life of a London orchestra. Even for readers with no interest in music, she entertainingly reveals all aspects of life.' (While the Music Lasts)

Vladimir Ashkenazy: 'Wonderful!--even better than your first novel. And even more true!' (letter to Alice McVeigh)

Miles Kington in The Oldie magazine: 'Alice McVeigh knows her orchestras and conductors from close to, and knows about sex and love -- and she can write.' (While the Music Lasts)

David Owen Norris on Radio 3: 'Brilliant! This is a book everyone interested in orchestras should read.' (While the Music Lasts)

Libby Purves: (The Times): 'Sharp, wise and perfectly in tune. A consolation for the put-upon musician and highly instructive for us in the audience too.' (All Risks Musical)

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