Michelle Dunbar

Michelle Dunbar - Editor

Glasgow, UK

I am a developmental editor of science fiction and fantasy. I work with independent authors and focus on story, structure, and technique.

Request a quote
Verified identity

Overview

I am an avid reader, (life-long) writer, and developmental editor of science fiction and fantasy. I grew up on a diet of Battlestar Galactica, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Monkey, and Robin of Sherwood (to name but a few) and always imagined that by the time I reached adulthood there would be day trips to the moon and/or Mars.

I have been editing since 2014, but I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I have not yet published, but I am working on my first novel.

Since 2014, I have edited over 100 books (138 at the last count, although not all of them have been published). Many of my clients are new authors, so while editing, I am also coaching and mentoring, with a view to helping clients attain the high standards expected in a published book.

I work very closely with my clients and have an exceptional memory when it comes to plot and character details (up to about a year). This comes in handy when we are working on a series, although I make copious notes on everything as a backup. I encourage questions because I would hate for anyone to sit and struggle with something when I can (usually) answer straight away.

My ideal client is an author who wants the best for their book, who can take my suggestions 'on the chin', but who isn't afraid to tell me if I misinterpret something (which can happen - usually a tweak of the wording fixes this though). My aim is to work 'with' an author, not dictate to them.


Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (NZ)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Fantasy
Plays & Screenplays
Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy

Certifications

  • BA English Literature with creative writing (Hons)
  • Developmental Editing - Introduction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing - Intermediate (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing - Advanced (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Book Mapping (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Copy Editing (Society of Editors and Proofreaders))
  • Ongoing professional developing: reading, writing articles
  • Current paid up member of the Editorial Freelancers Association (to August 2019)

Awards

  • Grave Measures by R.R.Virdi - Dragon Award-Nomination finalist
  • Grave Dealings by R.R. Virdi - Dragon Award-Nomination finalist
  • Age of Order by Julian North - awarded a starred review by Kirkus

Work experience

Freelance Book Editor (Developmental)

Self-employed
April, 2014 – Present (over 5 years)

Michelle Dunbar Editing Services was established in 2014. I chose to specialise in Science Fiction and Fantasy (and developmental editing) as these are the genres/editing level I am interested in.

I work with full-length novels. although I do occasionally edit a short story or novella. I also provide formatting services.

My developmental editing service includes three reads and two edits, so you have the opportunity to work on your manuscript after the first round, and also have it rechecked. I do not, however, copy edit.

Intern (editorial)

Hawkins Publishing Group
August, 2013 – June, 2014 (10 months)

I was an online intern and was involved in assessing submitted manuscripts and then had the opportunity to assist with first-round edits of three successful manuscripts.

Writer

Blue Cat Screenwriting Contest
January, 2012 – January, 2012 (less than a minute)

A short screenplay I submitted to this contest was shortlisted (top 10 per cent) before being knocked out of the next stage of the contest.

Student

Open University (UK)
October, 2009 – June, 2015 (over 5 years)

Undergraduate student at the Open University. I studied modules in creative writing and English Literature.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

Grave Beginnings: An Urban Fantasy Detective Novel (The Grave Report Book 1)

R.R. Virdi

Another day, another hijacked body. And just 13 hours to solve a murder… “His stuff is badass!” —Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling authorDetective Vincent Graves has made a habit of dying. Waking up in someone else’s body isn’t pleasant, especially when it's inside a coffin with tons of dirt pressing down on it. Once he’s out, he learns his soul has 13 hours to find the borrowed body’s... read more

Another day, another hijacked body. And just 13 hours to solve a murder… “His stuff is badass!” —Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling authorDetective Vincent Graves has made a habit of dying. Waking up in someone else’s body isn’t pleasant, especially when it's inside a coffin with tons of dirt pressing down on it. Once he’s out, he learns his soul has 13 hours to find the borrowed body’s... read more

Fragmented (Untamed Series Book 2)

Madeline Dyer

Arranged marriages. Evil spirits. Devastating lies.After the terrible battle against the Enhanced Ones, Seven and Corin find themselves on the run. With the Enhanced closing in, Seven knows they need to find other people on their side. So, when the opportunity arises to join the Zharat, one of the last surviving Untamed tribes, it seems like the perfect solution.But the Zharat lifestyle is a f... read more

Arranged marriages. Evil spirits. Devastating lies.After the terrible battle against the Enhanced Ones, Seven and Corin find themselves on the run. With the Enhanced closing in, Seven knows they need to find other people on their side. So, when the opportunity arises to join the Zharat, one of the last surviving Untamed tribes, it seems like the perfect solution.But the Zharat lifestyle is a f... read more

Age of Order (Age of Order Saga Book 1)

Julian North

“Readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review). Daniela Machados can run. She’s the track star of Bronx City and an ace student, but that isn’t enough for a nope like her to get out of the barrio.The Orderist movement has spawned a society that rewards those who supposedly possess “merit,” which includes America’s wealthiest. Manhattan has become the capital of th... read more

“Readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review). Daniela Machados can run. She’s the track star of Bronx City and an ace student, but that isn’t enough for a nope like her to get out of the barrio.The Orderist movement has spawned a society that rewards those who supposedly possess “merit,” which includes America’s wealthiest. Manhattan has become the capital of th... read more

Dangerous Ways (The Books of Winter, Book 1)

R.R. Virdi

2017 Dragon Award-nominated novel for Best Fantasy (Paranormal)Jonathan Hawthorne has lived over a century beholden to one rule: do not meddle in mortal affairs. He's broken it twice. So when he crosses paths with Cassidy Winters, he's forced to interfere again.Strike three. And the third time's not the charm.Hawthorne is swept along as Cassidy slips through the cracks in reality.And being hun... read more

2017 Dragon Award-nominated novel for Best Fantasy (Paranormal)Jonathan Hawthorne has lived over a century beholden to one rule: do not meddle in mortal affairs. He's broken it twice. So when he crosses paths with Cassidy Winters, he's forced to interfere again.Strike three. And the third time's not the charm.Hawthorne is swept along as Cassidy slips through the cracks in reality.And being hun... read more

Illusional Reality

Karina Kantas

Illusional Reality romantic fantasy. ‘Romance, Magic, Action…Illusional Reality has it all.’ Emily Woodmansee Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.Becky will soon learn that h... read more

Illusional Reality romantic fantasy. ‘Romance, Magic, Action…Illusional Reality has it all.’ Emily Woodmansee Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.Becky will soon learn that h... read more

The Fuller's Apprentice (The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 1)

Angela Holder

All Josiah wants is a little excitement. His work as an apprentice fuller is boring, and playing in the mill’s machinery isn’t that dangerous. Everything goes fine—at first.All right, he’s lucky the wizard Elkan and his familiar, a donkey named Sar, are there to save his life. Even better, when his furious master fires him, Elkan offers him a job as his assistant. Josiah jumps at the chance. T... read more

All Josiah wants is a little excitement. His work as an apprentice fuller is boring, and playing in the mill’s machinery isn’t that dangerous. Everything goes fine—at first.All right, he’s lucky the wizard Elkan and his familiar, a donkey named Sar, are there to save his life. Even better, when his furious master fires him, Elkan offers him a job as his assistant. Josiah jumps at the chance. T... read more

Starbirth Assignment SHIFTER (Starbirth series Book 1)

J M Johnson

An illegal mind-restructuring drug threatens chaos. A black ops team searches for the source. Lock Harford is only one of two ‘Shifters’ – capable of moving through a different dimension using the power of thought and invaluable to military and intelligence organisations – at least until Starbirth appears on the streets of America and Britain.As distribution spreads across the world the result... read more

An illegal mind-restructuring drug threatens chaos. A black ops team searches for the source. Lock Harford is only one of two ‘Shifters’ – capable of moving through a different dimension using the power of thought and invaluable to military and intelligence organisations – at least until Starbirth appears on the streets of America and Britain.As distribution spreads across the world the result... read more

Mathematics Of Eternity: Joe Ballen, Book One

David M. Kelly

You can ask Joe Ballen anything, except to give up.Joe Ballen dreams of returning to space, but after an accident left him half-crippled, those days are over. Luckily for Joe, Geneering gave him new limbs. Better than nothing, but not enough to allow him to go back to his old job as a space engineer. A natural loner, he now scrapes a living by illegally flying cabs in flooded-out Baltimore.But... read more

You can ask Joe Ballen anything, except to give up.Joe Ballen dreams of returning to space, but after an accident left him half-crippled, those days are over. Luckily for Joe, Geneering gave him new limbs. Better than nothing, but not enough to allow him to go back to his old job as a space engineer. A natural loner, he now scrapes a living by illegally flying cabs in flooded-out Baltimore.But... read more

Chaos Wolf: A Jordan Abbey Novel

Sheryl R. Hayes

Bitten by a werewolf. Taught by a vampire. At this rate, she’s going to start a war.Literature major Jordan Abbey ordered a double mocha latte, but it wasn't supposed to come with a side order bite by a love-sick werewolf. When a vampire comes to her rescue, gut instinct tells her he has questionable motives. But he’s the only one she can trust to help get in touch with her inner animal.Within... read more

Bitten by a werewolf. Taught by a vampire. At this rate, she’s going to start a war.Literature major Jordan Abbey ordered a double mocha latte, but it wasn't supposed to come with a side order bite by a love-sick werewolf. When a vampire comes to her rescue, gut instinct tells her he has questionable motives. But he’s the only one she can trust to help get in touch with her inner animal.Within... read more

The Vampire wants a Wife (Supernatural Dating Agency Book 1)

Andie M. Long

"The Vampire Wants a Wife was a fun, corky and totally British read that will make you wish supernaturals were really out there looking for love and one was your match." - USA Today Bestselling Author, Kimberly Knight."The Vampire Wants a Wife is a fast-paced, easy to follow, well-crafted, standalone paranormal romance with a beautifully written dual first person narrative, a cast of quirky ch... read more

"The Vampire Wants a Wife was a fun, corky and totally British read that will make you wish supernaturals were really out there looking for love and one was your match." - USA Today Bestselling Author, Kimberly Knight."The Vampire Wants a Wife is a fast-paced, easy to follow, well-crafted, standalone paranormal romance with a beautifully written dual first person narrative, a cast of quirky ch... read more

Grave Dealings (The Grave Report Book 3)

R.R. Virdi

"His stuff is badass!" – New York Times bestselling author, Hugo-nominee, and two-time Dragon Award-winner, Larry Correia.Don't make deals with the paranormal. They're better at it than you, and they never play fair.Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, did just that—a deal made in desperation. Now it's coming back to bite him in the middle of a case.He has 57 hours ... read more

"His stuff is badass!" – New York Times bestselling author, Hugo-nominee, and two-time Dragon Award-winner, Larry Correia.Don't make deals with the paranormal. They're better at it than you, and they never play fair.Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, did just that—a deal made in desperation. Now it's coming back to bite him in the middle of a case.He has 57 hours ... read more

Grave Measures (The Grave Report Book 2)

R.R. Virdi

2016 Finalist - DragonCon Dragon Awards -- Best Fantasy (Paranormal)Finalist alongside, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, N.K. Jemisin, James Osiris Baldwin, and Dave Freer.What do shadows darting across the walls, cryptic writing, black fog, and a little girl who can see ghosts have in common? Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, has forty-four hours to find out.To make ... read more

2016 Finalist - DragonCon Dragon Awards -- Best Fantasy (Paranormal)Finalist alongside, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, N.K. Jemisin, James Osiris Baldwin, and Dave Freer.What do shadows darting across the walls, cryptic writing, black fog, and a little girl who can see ghosts have in common? Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, has forty-four hours to find out.To make ... read more

State of Order (Age of Order Saga Book 2)

Julian North

If you are not at the top, you are at the bottom.In the heart of Orderist Manhattan darkness strikes. In a single night, the president and many of his supporters are killed. Order must be restored. The innocent will pay the price.For some among the elite, order through punishment is no longer enough. They seek to follow the example of the slave countries and bring human chipping to America. As... read more

If you are not at the top, you are at the bottom.In the heart of Orderist Manhattan darkness strikes. In a single night, the president and many of his supporters are killed. Order must be restored. The innocent will pay the price.For some among the elite, order through punishment is no longer enough. They seek to follow the example of the slave countries and bring human chipping to America. As... read more

Fate of Order (Age of Order Saga Book 3)

Julian North

Blood soaks the soil of America as the new civil war rages. A seemingly unstoppable wave of darkness is sweeping down from Manhattan to consume the nation. The last vestiges of genuine freedom are dimming as the South’s rag tag army is decimated by defection and defeat, and no place is safe, not even in the Republic of California. A last, desperate mission is Daniela's only to chance to surviv... read more

Blood soaks the soil of America as the new civil war rages. A seemingly unstoppable wave of darkness is sweeping down from Manhattan to consume the nation. The last vestiges of genuine freedom are dimming as the South’s rag tag army is decimated by defection and defeat, and no place is safe, not even in the Republic of California. A last, desperate mission is Daniela's only to chance to surviv... read more

Divided (Untamed Series Book 3)

Madeline Dyer

EXPLOITATION. MANIPULATION. DESPERATION.Having been tricked into binding herself to the Enhanced Ones in the War of Humanity, Untamed human Seven Sarr has never felt more exploited or used. When Raleigh forces her to develop her Seer powers and use them on a most innocent target, Seven knows it's only a matter of time before the Enhanced Ones use her to wipe out the rest of her people.Certain ... read more

EXPLOITATION. MANIPULATION. DESPERATION.Having been tricked into binding herself to the Enhanced Ones in the War of Humanity, Untamed human Seven Sarr has never felt more exploited or used. When Raleigh forces her to develop her Seer powers and use them on a most innocent target, Seven knows it's only a matter of time before the Enhanced Ones use her to wipe out the rest of her people.Certain ... read more

Destroyed (Untamed Series Book 4)

Madeline Dyer

LOVE. DEATH. SACRIFICE.THE LAST NIGHT HAS BEGUN.Seven Sarr, the most powerful human in the world, is alive--and she's on the run from her enemy. With the Dream Land gone, the Gods and Goddesses dead, and the Untamed's number of Seers at a record low, Seven knows she must attempt to control the Lost Souls--including the most volatile and dangerous spirits--if her people are to have a chance at ... read more

LOVE. DEATH. SACRIFICE.THE LAST NIGHT HAS BEGUN.Seven Sarr, the most powerful human in the world, is alive--and she's on the run from her enemy. With the Dream Land gone, the Gods and Goddesses dead, and the Untamed's number of Seers at a record low, Seven knows she must attempt to control the Lost Souls--including the most volatile and dangerous spirits--if her people are to have a chance at ... read more

A Dangerous Game (The Dangerous Ones Book 1)

Madeline Dyer

A thrilling new adult dystopian adventure...All her life, adrenaline-junkie Keelie Lin-Sykes has known what she wants: to protect her brother and sisters by killing as many of the soulless Enhanced Ones as she can. Oh, and to have fun while she's doing it. After all, hiding in a secret Untamed community, while the group's Seer warns them of danger, shouldn't mean that life can only be serious,... read more

A thrilling new adult dystopian adventure...All her life, adrenaline-junkie Keelie Lin-Sykes has known what she wants: to protect her brother and sisters by killing as many of the soulless Enhanced Ones as she can. Oh, and to have fun while she's doing it. After all, hiding in a secret Untamed community, while the group's Seer warns them of danger, shouldn't mean that life can only be serious,... read more

Emperors of Time

James Wilson Penn

Tim’s a nerd, Julie’s popular, Billy’s a jock, and Rose is quirky. You can find teens like them at any high school in America. So why has a mysterious time-traveler chosen them to take on the Emperors of Time? To fix the damage they’ve caused, the four teens must make sure that the 1916 Presidential Election ends the way it should. If they fail, the self-proclaimed Emperors of Time will contro... read more

Tim’s a nerd, Julie’s popular, Billy’s a jock, and Rose is quirky. You can find teens like them at any high school in America. So why has a mysterious time-traveler chosen them to take on the Emperors of Time? To fix the damage they’ve caused, the four teens must make sure that the 1916 Presidential Election ends the way it should. If they fail, the self-proclaimed Emperors of Time will contro... read more

Incanta - Soul-Catcher: Dark Gothic Fantasy (Lost Souls Book 1)

Avie Adams

Darkness rules her life. A Daemon craves her body and heart.Cytriah's songs can enslave souls in dead bodies. It's not a gift, or a curse.It's what's expected of girls born on Daemon-controlled Malvaar Island, where failure is punishable with the worst any woman can fear.Whilst Cytriah strives to join the elite of soul-catchers, a chilling secret from her past rips her life apart. Trapped betw... read more

Darkness rules her life. A Daemon craves her body and heart.Cytriah's songs can enslave souls in dead bodies. It's not a gift, or a curse.It's what's expected of girls born on Daemon-controlled Malvaar Island, where failure is punishable with the worst any woman can fear.Whilst Cytriah strives to join the elite of soul-catchers, a chilling secret from her past rips her life apart. Trapped betw... read more

Beyond the Boundary Stones (The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 3)

Angela Holder

Wizards have returned to Ravanetha a thousand years after the Mother took her power away. Josiah and Elkan must deal with the overwhelming need for their healing powers, and that's just the beginning. The Matriarch, desperate for an heir, seeks to control them. The Purifiers abhor their familiars as demons. The Dualists consider their powers evil. And every faction hungers to possess vulnerabl... read more

Wizards have returned to Ravanetha a thousand years after the Mother took her power away. Josiah and Elkan must deal with the overwhelming need for their healing powers, and that's just the beginning. The Matriarch, desperate for an heir, seeks to control them. The Purifiers abhor their familiars as demons. The Dualists consider their powers evil. And every faction hungers to possess vulnerabl... read more

The Law of Isolation (The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 2)

Angela Holder

Two lands, separated for a millennium by divine decree. Each holds the key to the other’s survival.The Matriarch of Ramunna needs an heir. Only the lost healing magic of the ancient wizards can help her conceive and bear the daughter who will ensure Ramunna’s future. She sends an expedition to seek the wizards who legends say still dwell somewhere far across the uncharted ocean.Tevenar hovers ... read more

Two lands, separated for a millennium by divine decree. Each holds the key to the other’s survival.The Matriarch of Ramunna needs an heir. Only the lost healing magic of the ancient wizards can help her conceive and bear the daughter who will ensure Ramunna’s future. She sends an expedition to seek the wizards who legends say still dwell somewhere far across the uncharted ocean.Tevenar hovers ... read more

Beyond the Boundary Stones (The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 3)

Angela Holder

Wizards have returned to Ravanetha a thousand years after the Mother took her power away. Josiah and Elkan must deal with the overwhelming need for their healing powers, and that's just the beginning. The Matriarch, desperate for an heir, seeks to control them. The Purifiers abhor their familiars as demons. The Dualists consider their powers evil. And every faction hungers to possess vulnerabl... read more

Wizards have returned to Ravanetha a thousand years after the Mother took her power away. Josiah and Elkan must deal with the overwhelming need for their healing powers, and that's just the beginning. The Matriarch, desperate for an heir, seeks to control them. The Purifiers abhor their familiars as demons. The Dualists consider their powers evil. And every faction hungers to possess vulnerabl... read more

The Wizards' War (The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 4)

Angela Holder

For the first time in its history, Tevenar is at war. The Matriarch of Ramunna, furious with the wizards she believes betrayed her, has sent the Armada to conquer and destroy. Armed with a secret weapon that makes them the unchallenged terror of the seas, the ships of the Armada descend on vulnerable Tevenar.Elkan and Josiah, along with the rest of the Wizard’s Guild, scramble to rally the peo... read more

For the first time in its history, Tevenar is at war. The Matriarch of Ramunna, furious with the wizards she believes betrayed her, has sent the Armada to conquer and destroy. Armed with a secret weapon that makes them the unchallenged terror of the seas, the ships of the Armada descend on vulnerable Tevenar.Elkan and Josiah, along with the rest of the Wizard’s Guild, scramble to rally the peo... read more

Scalding Ice and Goldfire: Dark Malvaarian Romance (Lost Souls Series Standalone)

Avie Adams

A girl of fire should never fall for a man of ice.When Lyvie accepts a silly bet to kiss a random Reviver in the Tower of Whims, she doesn’t know the first thing about men. Then she chances upon one who becomes her obsession.In hot pursuit of a man as handsome as he is cold, she abandons her best friend, ultimately sacrificing her pride to secure his attention. Blinded by infatuation, she over... read more

A girl of fire should never fall for a man of ice.When Lyvie accepts a silly bet to kiss a random Reviver in the Tower of Whims, she doesn’t know the first thing about men. Then she chances upon one who becomes her obsession.In hot pursuit of a man as handsome as he is cold, she abandons her best friend, ultimately sacrificing her pride to secure his attention. Blinded by infatuation, she over... read more

If We Had No Winter: A College Coming-of-Age Story (Billie Dixon)

D. L. Pitchford

Does a father who abandoned his family deserve a second chance?Can an unwanted daughter restore her faith in men?Or has Billie already sabotaged her chance at first love?After her parents' divorce, introverted Billie Dixon buries herself in her studies. Her plan? To stay out of sight, out of mind, and out of trouble. But that plan fails when she starts at Bradford College.While hopeful to rene... read more

Does a father who abandoned his family deserve a second chance?Can an unwanted daughter restore her faith in men?Or has Billie already sabotaged her chance at first love?After her parents' divorce, introverted Billie Dixon buries herself in her studies. Her plan? To stay out of sight, out of mind, and out of trouble. But that plan fails when she starts at Bradford College.While hopeful to rene... read more

Reviver Amond - A Prequel to Lost Souls Series: Dark Gothic Fantasy Romance

Avie Adams

To get close to her, he will have to betray all his principles...Forced into a bitter dismissal of his Incanta, Reviver Amond grudgingly sets out to find another, but his cynicism cracks as he chances upon an innocent girl with a pure voice.His luck, however, is tinged with misfortune.Reviver Grym, his corrupt, sworn enemy is also hell-bent on winning the girl called Cytriah. Amidst the fierce... read more

To get close to her, he will have to betray all his principles...Forced into a bitter dismissal of his Incanta, Reviver Amond grudgingly sets out to find another, but his cynicism cracks as he chances upon an innocent girl with a pure voice.His luck, however, is tinged with misfortune.Reviver Grym, his corrupt, sworn enemy is also hell-bent on winning the girl called Cytriah. Amidst the fierce... read more

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Conor Welter

A transplant from Hollywood, I love working w/ writers of all formats to take stories to the next level, particularly in speculative fiction

San Francisco, CA, USA

Jim Spivey

An editor with over twenty years of publishing experience at major houses, who has a sweet spot for genre fiction and comic books.

Beaverton, United States

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy