Ray Rhamey

Ray Rhamey - Editor

Ashland, Oregon, USA

Experienced editor, workshop teacher, and author. Work includes science/speculative fiction, fantasy, romantic suspense, humor & more.

Request a quote
Verified identity

Overview

I’ve been editing book-length commercial fiction for about fourteen years, working with authors around the world, including in the U.S., Sweden, Greece, Mexico, and Lebanon. My authors have ranged from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to humor to romantic suspense. I offer a free critique of your first chapter or prologue that includes line-editing of the first five pages. The reason is to see if my approach resonates with you and if your project is something I believe I can help you with--t I don't take every project that comes in. My editing is substantive/developmental and includes detailed line editing.

And I’m an author of commercial fiction – my genres (so far) are speculative fiction, science fiction, coming-of-age mystery, and paranormal satire/humor. Dealing with the same challenges you face in your writing informs my editing and the suggestions I make. Before devoting myself to fiction, as a professional writer I've earned a good living in advertising, screenwriting, and web content.

I’m also the author of ‘Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling,’ non-fiction on writing craft. I teach writing craft workshops at writers conferences, primarily in the U.S. but also at the San Miguel Writers Conference in Mexico. I’ve written a blog on writing craft, Flogging the Quill (floggingthequill.com) for fourteen years. And I’ve been a monthly contributor to the fabulous Writer Unboxed blog (writerunboxed.com) for about twelve years.

WHAT MY AUTHORS SAY

A number of my clients come back again and again--for 3 novels, for 4, for 5, and I've worked with one writer, who is also an editor, on 8 of her novels. Here are some endorsements:

“I'd combed over my manuscript countless times (I’m also an editor). I’d asked my eight critique partners to read and edit it for me. And then I sent it to Ray. I was shocked at how many things he found that the nine of us had missed. Big things, like timeline inconsistencies and places where I’d typed the wrong name. Little things, like typos and repeated words. I was so pleased with Ray’s edit that I came back to him for the other novels in the series “

“Ray always pushes me to make my work better. Although I’ve been a professional editor since the seventies, I would never send my own words into the world without an expert looking over my shoulder. I had to find a professional whose style meshed with mine—and someone who knew what he was doing. I queried only editors willing to provide a sample of their work. As soon as I read Ray’s take on my latest Carolina Coast novel, Heavy Weather, I knew he was good. His edit aimed his blowtorch at a chapter or two, his shears at the ending, and a fine-tooth comb at individual sentences. I was so pleased with his professionalism and eagle eye I hired him for my entire series.”

"Some editors try to impose their own style and taste upon a writer's work. Ray doesn't. His job is to make you the best writer you can be. He has an eagle eye for plot inconsistencies--the minor (and sometimes major) goofs that make a reader stumble. His suggestions were invariably helpful in polishing my manuscript. I recommend Ray to any writer who wants a professional, sharp, and considerate editor."

"I'm quite stunned, really. because your edit and advice are so utterly fantastic! I paid for an edit of a different novel a few years ago and was thoroughly disappointed, but you really hit the mark with everything you said (and you spotted straight away one of my main weaknesses: scene-setting—I can see it in my head and struggle to get it onto the page!). I was really blown away.”

"Ray pays attention. He invested more work, more expertise, and more insight than I have learned to expect from editors. His observations on everything from sentence construction to story line showed me where I wasn't doing what I intended. His suggestions were helpful in simplifying the narrative and isolating problems. He was able to see where I was saying too much and where I had said too little. He brought my attention to factual details that needed research. He spotted lazy word usage. He kept me aware of the work's strengths as well as its weaknesses. In short, Ray brought understanding, curiosity, and a broad competence to his task. I was paid to edit for a number of years, and I fully recognize the focus and intensity that Ray gives to the job."

"When I finished writing my novel, I knew I needed a pair of experienced eyes. I sent my manuscript to Ray, and when I received his edit, I was simply amazed. Apart from his fantastic editing, Ray gave me an intensive and comprehensive lesson on writing. He improved the pace of my story, pointed out errors in grammar, plot, and point of view. His critique was honest, encouraging, and straightforward. Ray does not hold back. I recommend Ray to all serious writers in search of keen eyes to dissect their manuscripts and make them the best they can be."

“Ray's editing has been invaluable in helping me clarify my story, tighten the pace, and deepen the characters. His advice is apt and considerate to my writing style. Ray has not only helped me improve my story, but has also helped me improve as a writer. “

“What should I thank you for the most? Being always there for me to hammer you with questions? Encouraging and coaching me? Teaching me the ropes in a way no business-weary pro would? Going way beyond our agreement and your duties just to make sure everything was the best it could be? Giving me fair and blunt criticism at all times? Suggesting ways to fix the many problems you pointed out? No. That would be incomplete. It would only recognize you as the professional that you are. I want to thank you for making polishing my book--given the shape of the first draft, a daunting and apparently impossible job--a real pleasure.”
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Fantasy
Humor & Comedy
Romance
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Urban Fantasy

Certifications

  • NONE

Work experience

Director of Video Services and Editor

Washington State University
February, 2005 – April, 2011 (about 6 years)

Created a video production unit at the university, managing employees, creating scripts, and supervising production and editing of award-winning promotional videos. Was also the content editor for the university's main website for two of those years.

Freelance editor

Flogging the Quill LLC
January, 2003 – Present (over 17 years)

I do substantive editing for book-length commercial fiction in most genres. My edits go deep, looking at not only story but characterization and structure--I've been known to reorganize a manuscript and to suggest new endings (which were adopted). On the line-editing side, I'm a continuity hawk, frequently spotting when the details of a story disagree from point to point. While respecting an author's voice at all times, I work to tighten the narrative and help that voice sing. In addition, I design book covers and interiors for small publishers and indie authors, sometimes doing both the edit and the book design for indie publishers.

Screenwriter and story editor

Filmation
August, 1990 – August, 1992 (about 2 years)

Wrote half-hour screenplays for animated TV shows, and edited the work of outside writers. Also wrote the screenplay for an adaptation of "The Little Engine that Could" for Warner Bros. Home Video.

Copywriter to Creative Director

A number of advertising agencies, including Leo Burnett, D'Arcy
June, 1976 – February, 2005 (over 28 years)

Started as a copywriter and grew to be the creative director (read "editor"), senior VP and director of a medium-sized Chicago ad agency. Along the way I held writing and creative director positions at major agencies including Leo Burnett and D'Arcy. I wrote and produced more than 70 television commercials and countless ads. Creating ads and supervising writers and art directors honed my skills at making every word--and choice of word--have an effect. Those writing and editing skills, along with coaching writers to improve their copy, inform the skill set I bring to editing today. Note: during this span, two years were with Filmation, not advertising.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling: Coaching from Flogging the Quill

Ray Rhamey

Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling is•a one-book remedy for a host of beginner-novelist ailments•a tune-up for published authors•a resource for editors and their clientsTess Gerritsen, bestselling author of Die Again: “Whether you’re writing your first novel or your twentieth, this book is a must-have for any novelist. And it’s one of the most readable, entertaining books on writin... read more

Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling is•a one-book remedy for a host of beginner-novelist ailments•a tune-up for published authors•a resource for editors and their clientsTess Gerritsen, bestselling author of Die Again: “Whether you’re writing your first novel or your twentieth, this book is a must-have for any novelist. And it’s one of the most readable, entertaining books on writin... read more

The Thirteenth Tower (Tree and Tower Book 1)

Sara C. Snider

In adversity lies strength beyond imagining.Abandoned as a baby, young Emelyn’s life as a housemaid in the quiet village of Fallow is unremarkable—and empty. That is, until a host of magical creatures arrives and inflicts terrible misdeeds on the townsfolk. Inexplicably immune to their enchantments, Emelyn joins a pair of Magi intent on stopping the cause of the trouble—and who claim to know o... read more

In adversity lies strength beyond imagining.Abandoned as a baby, young Emelyn’s life as a housemaid in the quiet village of Fallow is unremarkable—and empty. That is, until a host of magical creatures arrives and inflicts terrible misdeeds on the townsfolk. Inexplicably immune to their enchantments, Emelyn joins a pair of Magi intent on stopping the cause of the trouble—and who claim to know o... read more

Heavy Weather: A Carolina Coast Novel (Carolina Coast Stories Book 2)

Normandie Fischer

A single cop and a childless woman team up to keep an abusive father from stealing his little girl.Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers.Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discover... read more

A single cop and a childless woman team up to keep an abusive father from stealing his little girl.Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers.Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discover... read more

NanoStrike

Pete Barber

**** Indie Book Awards Finalist ****Terrorists attack a London Underground train, slaughtering two-hundred innocents in seconds with a nanoweapon small enough to hide in a hint of perfume.Detective Chief Inspector Quinnborne, defies orders and hunts for the weapon's unhinged genius creator. The authorities label Quinnborne a traitor, but when the nanotechnology spirals out of control, his grit... read more

**** Indie Book Awards Finalist ****Terrorists attack a London Underground train, slaughtering two-hundred innocents in seconds with a nanoweapon small enough to hide in a hint of perfume.Detective Chief Inspector Quinnborne, defies orders and hunts for the weapon's unhinged genius creator. The authorities label Quinnborne a traitor, but when the nanotechnology spirals out of control, his grit... read more

Keepers of Arden: The Brothers, Volume 1

L.K. Evans

Over a thousand years have passed since the Long Wars ended and the higher gods abandoned the lands of Arden. Divided and fearful, Arden has managed to secure a restless peace.But peace never lasts. Darkness creeps through the lands once more.Salvarias, a man born of shadow and fire, will become hunted for his magic and a power that can grant a vile god instant victory. Only his brother, Wilhe... read more

Over a thousand years have passed since the Long Wars ended and the higher gods abandoned the lands of Arden. Divided and fearful, Arden has managed to secure a restless peace.But peace never lasts. Darkness creeps through the lands once more.Salvarias, a man born of shadow and fire, will become hunted for his magic and a power that can grant a vile god instant victory. Only his brother, Wilhe... read more

Convenient Lies (Hidden Truth Book 1)

Robin Patchen

“Of course, no matter where in the world she was, she could never have stayed hidden, not as long as he was willing to kill innocent people until he found her. The question was, had he stopped killing people, or was she next on his list?”--Robin Patchen, award winning author of Finding Amanda and Twisted Lies. About CONVENIENT LIES:She married her enemy.When investigative journalist Reagan McA... read more

“Of course, no matter where in the world she was, she could never have stayed hidden, not as long as he was willing to kill innocent people until he found her. The question was, had he stopped killing people, or was she next on his list?”--Robin Patchen, award winning author of Finding Amanda and Twisted Lies. About CONVENIENT LIES:She married her enemy.When investigative journalist Reagan McA... read more

Caught Up In RAINE (Caught Up In Love Book 1)

L.G. O'Connor

"Unique women's fiction story packed with emotion, humor and sexiness. I could not turn the pages quickly enough..." ~Caridad Pineiro, NYT Times & USA Today Bestselling Romance Author2017 Independent Publishers Award in Romance (Bronze)Forty-two and widowed, romance writer Jillian Grant believes hospitals equal death. Plagued by loss and convinced more is imminent, she has come to equate the a... read more

"Unique women's fiction story packed with emotion, humor and sexiness. I could not turn the pages quickly enough..." ~Caridad Pineiro, NYT Times & USA Today Bestselling Romance Author2017 Independent Publishers Award in Romance (Bronze)Forty-two and widowed, romance writer Jillian Grant believes hospitals equal death. Plagued by loss and convinced more is imminent, she has come to equate the a... read more

Hazel and Holly: A Fantasy Adventure

Sara C Snider

Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel's long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother's soul.That simply won't do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. N... read more

Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel's long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother's soul.That simply won't do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. N... read more

Brotherland

Georges Melhem

Palestine, 1948. As the war ravages the now divided nation, twin infant brothers in a burned-up convoy are unknowingly separated. One is collected by a Palestinian family on the run, the other by a freshly settled Jewish couple. The twins spend their lives on either side of the divide, fearing, hating, and fighting the enemy in an ever increasing spiral of violence where death and sorrow are p... read more

Palestine, 1948. As the war ravages the now divided nation, twin infant brothers in a burned-up convoy are unknowingly separated. One is collected by a Palestinian family on the run, the other by a freshly settled Jewish couple. The twins spend their lives on either side of the divide, fearing, hating, and fighting the enemy in an ever increasing spiral of violence where death and sorrow are p... read more

Hope's Prelude: The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #2.5

L.G. O'Connor

While dealing with visions of her death, Dr. Sandra Wilson races against the clock to develop a genetic vaccine that will, in the future, save the life of the one who will lead the final battle between angels and demons.Enter the world of the Angelorum and meet the Nephilim Rogue who has been dogging Simon, and get a view into the genetics project that started it all as destinies entwine to de... read more

While dealing with visions of her death, Dr. Sandra Wilson races against the clock to develop a genetic vaccine that will, in the future, save the life of the one who will lead the final battle between angels and demons.Enter the world of the Angelorum and meet the Nephilim Rogue who has been dogging Simon, and get a view into the genetics project that started it all as destinies entwine to de... read more

Explore the Reedsy Community

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

Tammy Salyer

Editor specializing in fantasy and science fiction and their many subgenres. As dedicated to words as a hobbit to breakfast.

California, United States

Susan Barnes

A former Hachette editor of SF/F, romance, and commercial fiction. Lover of all things nerdy, steamy, and everything in between.

Chicago, IL, USA

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy