Shannon O'Neill

Shannon O'Neill - Editor Tick

I'm an editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant specializing in narrative nonfiction and commercial fiction.

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Overview

I work with thought leaders, public personalities, experts, and novelists to craft award-winning books that inform, intrigue, and inspire. A former literary agent, I also help writers navigate the publishing industry, especially through query letter critiques and review of proposals.

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Self-help & Self-improvement
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Fiction
Crime & Mystery
Literature
Thriller
Women's Fiction

Certifications

  • MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins

Work experience

Freelance Editor, Ghostwriter, Publishing Consultant

Self-employed
January, 2009 – Present (over 9 years)

Literary Agent

Lippincott Massie McQuilkin
January, 2014 – December, 2015 (almost 2 years)

Editorial Director

The Sagalyn Literary Agency
July, 2007 – December, 2013 (over 6 years)

Portfolio (12 selected works)

Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

Nick Pyenson

A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of scienceWhales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fil... read more

A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of scienceWhales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fil... read more

Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life

Lea Berman, Jeremy Bernard

A guide to personal and professional empowerment through civility and social skills, written by two White House Social Secretaries who offer an important fundamental message—everyone is important and everyone deserves to be treated well.Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama, have writ... read more

A guide to personal and professional empowerment through civility and social skills, written by two White House Social Secretaries who offer an important fundamental message—everyone is important and everyone deserves to be treated well.Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama, have writ... read more

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea

Masaji Ishikawa

An Amazon Charts Most Read and Most Sold book.The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirtee... read more

An Amazon Charts Most Read and Most Sold book.The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirtee... read more

Four Seasons of Loneliness: A Lawyer's Case Stories

J. W. Freiberg

What happens when loneliness engulfs us? How do we manage life when the absence of adequate connections becomes an excruciating hunger?During his extraordinary decades-long career as an attorney, J. W. Freiberg consulted on hundreds of cases involving clients affected by chronic and debilitating loneliness. Here, in four adapted stories from his practice, he reveals how loneliness can impact u... read more

What happens when loneliness engulfs us? How do we manage life when the absence of adequate connections becomes an excruciating hunger?During his extraordinary decades-long career as an attorney, J. W. Freiberg consulted on hundreds of cases involving clients affected by chronic and debilitating loneliness. Here, in four adapted stories from his practice, he reveals how loneliness can impact u... read more

My Old Man and the Mountain: A Memoir

Leif Whittaker

In 1963, the world followed the first American Mount Everest Expedition, and watched as "Big Jim" Whittaker became the first American to stand on top of the world. He returned home a hero. My Old Man and the Mountain is Leif Whittaker's engaging and humorous story of what it was like to "grow up Whittaker"―the youngest son of Jim Whittaker and Dianne Roberts, in an extended family of accomplis... read more

In 1963, the world followed the first American Mount Everest Expedition, and watched as "Big Jim" Whittaker became the first American to stand on top of the world. He returned home a hero. My Old Man and the Mountain is Leif Whittaker's engaging and humorous story of what it was like to "grow up Whittaker"―the youngest son of Jim Whittaker and Dianne Roberts, in an extended family of accomplis... read more

Wildfire: On The Front Lines With Station 8

Heather Hansen

Every year wildfires ravage forests, destroy communities, and devastate human lives, with only the bravery of dedicated firefighters creating a barrier against even greater destruction. Throughout the 2016 wildfire season, journalist Heather Hansen witnessed firsthand the heroics of the Station 8 crew in Boulder, Colorado. She tells that story here, layered with the added context of the histor... read more

Every year wildfires ravage forests, destroy communities, and devastate human lives, with only the bravery of dedicated firefighters creating a barrier against even greater destruction. Throughout the 2016 wildfire season, journalist Heather Hansen witnessed firsthand the heroics of the Station 8 crew in Boulder, Colorado. She tells that story here, layered with the added context of the histor... read more

The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are

Matthew Hertenstein

Every day we make predictions based on limited information, in business and at home. Will this company's stock performance continue? Will the job candidate I just interviewed be a good employee? What kind of adult will my child grow up to be? We tend to dismiss our predictive minds as prone to bias and mistakes, but in The Tell, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein reveals that our intuition is su... read more

Every day we make predictions based on limited information, in business and at home. Will this company's stock performance continue? Will the job candidate I just interviewed be a good employee? What kind of adult will my child grow up to be? We tend to dismiss our predictive minds as prone to bias and mistakes, but in The Tell, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein reveals that our intuition is su... read more

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estran... read more

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estran... read more

The Weight of Lies: A Novel

Emily Carpenter

In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker realit... read more

In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker realit... read more

Rapid Falls

Amber Cowie

Forgive and forget? In this twisty thriller of psychological suspense, the past and present collide for two sisters who survived a tragedy—and must now survive the truth behind it.It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and... read more

Forgive and forget? In this twisty thriller of psychological suspense, the past and present collide for two sisters who survived a tragedy—and must now survive the truth behind it.It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and... read more

Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled On by Hawking Became Loved

Marcia Bartusiak

The contentious history of the idea of the black hole—the most fascinating and bizarre celestial object in the heavens For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapes—not even light—seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing book t... read more

The contentious history of the idea of the black hole—the most fascinating and bizarre celestial object in the heavens For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapes—not even light—seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing book t... read more

Yellow Dirt: A Poisoned Land and the Betrayal of the Navajos

Judy Pasternak

This investigative feat tells the shocking, heartbreaking story of uranium mining on the Navajo reservation and its terrible legacy of sickness and government neglect, documenting one of the darker chapters in 20th century American history.Now in paperback, the critically acclaimed Yellow Dirt, “will break your heart. An enormous achievement—literally, a piece of groundbreaking investigative j... read more

This investigative feat tells the shocking, heartbreaking story of uranium mining on the Navajo reservation and its terrible legacy of sickness and government neglect, documenting one of the darker chapters in 20th century American history.Now in paperback, the critically acclaimed Yellow Dirt, “will break your heart. An enormous achievement—literally, a piece of groundbreaking investigative j... read more

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