I love sentences. I love the music of words; John Updike was said to admire the phrase "four-door Ford," and--really--who could not? I love words' endless combinations and recombinations, the process of subordination, through which we instantly recognize what is at the heart of a particular sentence and what is ancillary to it. I love the way that sentences can be rewritten or restructured to change the emphasis. Word order is everything, though not everything is word order.
Annie Dillard writes, in the opening of The Writing Life, "When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner's pick, a woodcarver's gouge, a surgeon's probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow." She is right in this--though wrong about other things--and I like the precision of the tools she mentions. They are physical tools to deal with the physical world, and I love the physicality of words and the physical world they create. I love to help other writers say as clearly and cleanly and directly as possible what it is they want to say. Or, alternately, I love to help writers discover and celebrate their own particular vision of the language, their own way of writing sentences, their style.
I'm an expert developmental, line and copy editor.
I'm also the author of SATYRDAY (Putnam's), THE RIVER (Ace), AMAZING STORIES 1 & 2 (Ace), DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (Gibbs Smith), THE STRANGE AND WONDERFUL STORY OF ROBERT MCDOODLE (THE BOY WHO WANTED TO BE A DOG) (Simon &Schuster), and A CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR (Random House/Delacorte).
Taught creative writing, fiction writing, contemporary literature, and courses on the publishing industry
Taught poetry writing, fiction writing, and American literature
Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is ... read more
In these collected stories of deeply human, flawed men and women in search of connection, consolation and better odds, Dallas Hudgens once again taps into the powerful and resonant view of ordinary lives made less so that has earned him national praise for his novels, Drive Like Hell and Season of Gene. In a Nation's Capital fully occupied by the ninety-nine percent, going about the business o... read more
AFTER A DISASTROUS SIXTH GRADE, Jake Herndon is anxiously awaiting his Big Do-Over, starting with his new school's notorious seventh grade sleepover. Awkward team-building games and forced fun quickly become the least of his problems, however, when a dangerous organization invades and the night takes a shocking turn. Jake and two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, barely escape, only to find themsel... read more
Set against Arizona’s political and cultural vortex at the start of 2010, "The Intersect" explores the issues of the day by weaving together the lives of disparate characters striving to survive in a world where the strongest link, and most lasting connection, is made among strangers. When Dave and Charlie relocate from the Bay Area to Phoenix, tensions ratchet up in their relationship as Char... read more
Letters from Germany keep the Reinhart family connected to a son serving as a soldier in 1945. An empty mailbox is a worry. Though they are a tight-knit clan and look out for one another, there are subterranean angers and resentments, missed opportunities and lingering regrets—all of which thirteen year-old Lily only vaguely comprehends. When a marriage unravels, more relatives move into the R... read more
When Curva Peligrosa arrives in Weed, Alberta, after a twenty-year trek on the Old North Trail from southern Mexico, she stops its residents in their tracks. With a parrot on each shoulder, a glittering gold tooth, and a wicked trigger finger, she is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Curva is ready to settle down, but are the inhabitants of Weed ready for her? Possessed of an insatia... read more
In this stirring new collection, Ronna Wineberg explores our essential bonds to partners, children, parents, and friends. Intimacy, marriage, parenthood, adultery, divorce, and the legacies left by the past unfold in these beautifully written stories. Men and women search for happiness and love, yet face longing, disappointment, and loss. The characters in Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life ... read more
Breaking Bread in Galilee - A Culinary Journey into the Promised Land, by Abbie Rosner, takes the reader along a journey the author has made, exploring local foods and age-old culinary traditions that are described in the Hebrew Bible, and still being practiced in the Galilee today. In the process, she, and the reader, experiences how sharing foodways is a powerful means for overcoming suspici... read more
A riveting love story that plays out against the background of one of the most intriguing chapters in aviation history. David Dennington weaves a fascinating web of romance, courage, tragedy and shattered dreams and gives the reader a front row seat to eye-opening, high-stakes political battles on two continents. A real page turner with the constant feeling that something new and unexpected is... read more
In this masterful novel of inheritance and loss, Sonya Chung (Long for This World) proves herself a worthy heir to Marguerite Duras, Hwang Sun-won, and James Salter. Spanning generations and divergent cultures, The Loved Ones maps the intimate politics of unlikely attractions, illicit love, and costly reconciliations. Charles Lee, the young African American patriarch of a biracial family, seek... read more
Shortlisted for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for WritingIt is 1554 in the desert of Rajasthan, and a new Mughal emperor is expanding his territory. On a rare night of rain, a daughter, Adhira, is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers. Fearing a bleak future, her father―against his wife and sons’ protests―puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the ... read more
In 1989 Dave Bricker set off across the Gulf Stream in a small sailboat with $30 in his pocket. His voyages aboard The Blue Monk through the Bahamas and across the Atlantic to Gibraltar are recounted in vivid prose. The Blue Monk is a journey of self-discovery set in a world of saturated colors, remarkable people, hazardous reefs, and transcendent beauty. Bricker chronicles a little-known frag... read more
On Bittersweet Place is the powerful coming-of-age story of Lena Czernitski, a young Russian Jew whose family flees their homeland in the Ukraine after the October Revolution. The story unfolds in Chicago during the Jazz Age of the 1920's, where Lena's impoverished family has settled and where she must traverse the early years of adolescence. Lena's new world is large and beautiful and full of... read more
Art, demons, and death. Seattle is On the Verge.2016 BookLife Prize Quarterfinalist"The sinewy plot...provides a solid matrix for imaginative insights into the relationship between art, creativity, and myth that hold the tale together." - Critic's Report, 2016 BookLife PrizeFreya is just a university student worried about grades and tuition until a gorgeous succubus interrupts her post-exam la... read more
St. Helena Island slaves speak English, but African drums still throb in their veins; they hear the whispers of their ancestors. From this arises a girl of unusual strength, whose pampered life ends when her kindly mistress dies, and she moves to a shanty in the quarters. Kedzie soon learns that the punishing fields aren't nearly as grim as her master's abuse. Enter Rio, a young man without a ... read more
It is 1857 and Tilmon Goodwyn wields absolute power over his plantation on St. Helena Island, South Carolina which hardly makes a profit because of his profligate spending and gambling. He has maneuvered to secure financial benefits from his wealthy widowed mother. When she becomes interested in a Charleston artist who has his eye on her fortune, Tilmon meets head-on with a threat to his inher... read more
A bold, mesmerizing novel that interweaves the story of two slaves with the characters in Bonnie Stanard’s previous novels, Master of Westfall Plantation and Kedzie, Saint Helena Island Slave. Slavery was a system that separated black families. Even benevolent plantation owners in the old South were responsible for taking babies from their mothers. The story of Sonny is not documented history,... read more
Peter can tell you how to run a great marketing campaign. He can tell you everything there is to know about successful trade show programs. He can tell you stories about the thousands of people he has met, miles he has flown, hotel rooms he has stayed in, and ways to work the system to your advantage when you travel. But he can’t tell the woman he loves how he feels.
LUBA’S TRAVELS is the first-person account of Luba Ruzicka. The daughter of an eminent Slovakian cardiologist, she is born on Christmas Eve 1940 in Bratislava and spends her earliest years in the shadow of World War II. LUBA’S TRAVELS is much more than the classic immigrant’s story and will appeal not only to the millions of people who have traveled from far away to make America their home. It... read more
With Malice Toward None is the self-portrait of a young medical student grappling with the turmoil of the American South during the late 1960s. Peter Rogers leaves Ohio to study in Memphis at a time when civil rights marches, workers' strikes, and institutional segregation create an atmosphere of conflict and division. He attends a KKK meeting and experiences the full force of ignorance and in... read more
Jay Hall needs more than her pepper spray and cue ball on a chain. Sergei Shannin is watching when she puts moves on a Silicon Valley CEO. Sergei promised to deliver the CEO's trade secrets to an offshore client, but can't get inside the company. He makes Jay an offer. She knows a kept woman is one kick away from a graceless exit, and so follows him into the shadows of espionage. Jay believes ... read more
Thomas lands bewildered in Kathmandu, to find a place to scatter the ashes of his older brother Paul, who was a Peace Corps volunteer decades before in Nepal. He meets an American cohort of Paul’s and her parents who work with Tibetan refugees. Things happened after Paul left. His friend Helen stayed and became a Buddhist nun. His encounter with them is awkward but his mother in Seattle is thr... read more
Imagine what would happen if you made different choices..."This sci-fi historical novel... is great fun and an awesome read." (James A. Anderson, Amazon reviewer)"...combination of styles such as HG Wells and George Lucas." (Tesla, Amazon reviewer)"An absolute must have for lovers of time travel! Fascinating look at pre-Civil War America." (Crystal, Amazon reviewer)HE MAJORED IN SCIENCE AND MI... read more
Praise for Dream Cat: "A smart, sassy tale, skillfully told, that will make kids excited about history. It's a book that cries out for a porch, a swing, and some lemonade on a quiet afternoon. Enjoy." STEVE BERRY, bestselling author of historical thrillers, including The Jefferson Key. Dream Cat synopsis: Elizabeth is about to get a terrible surprise birthday present. Lucifer is going to send ... read more
Stories of men and women confronted by the Vietnam War. Contains personal stories of Vietnam War Veterans, people who fled the country, people who refused to go to war, people who beat the draft, people who obtained Conscientious Objector status, and people who loved and supported them.
John Fleming grew up in the 1940’s and ‘50’s in Hell’s Kitchen, a New York City slum, now gentrified. He wanted to show how it was at that time, since no writer he was aware of had told this story with the voice of one who had lived the experience. In this candid and often humorous memoir, Fleming shows it all. The dark side includes dirt, roaches, alcoholism, promiscuity, fighting, bullying, ... read more
Uttering the name Mr. Memory evokes the live performances and talk show appearances when he would impress the world with his abilities of recollection. His clarity of remembrance has kept listeners captivated for days while sharing the adventures of his life. In this collection of short stories, we learn the truth about Mr. Memory, the fantastic gone unseen, and a world of wonder which can ins... read more
It is 1944, and on Grandpa's farm lives an extended family including twelve year-old Lily whose child-like understanding of her mother and family becomes more confusing as her sensibilities mature. When her uncle is drafted and sent to Germany, the family's worry about him heightens after a neighboring boy is killed fighting in Luzon. The presence of death hovers near when Clio the cow is shot... read more
The ambitious and damned whites and blacks on Westfall plantation take us down the perilous path to an end of plantation life in the south as well as its customs and beliefs that involved the buying, selling, and exploitation of an entire class and race of people. Westfall’s owner, a man very much of his time and place, faces events that turn his world upside down, events brought on by an aggr... read more
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and twenty-nine-year-old business owner Hank Hanson is about to tackle the annual challenge of visiting every one of his relatives. The product of a blended family, Hank has parents, stepparents, and former stepparents—not to mention an assortment of siblings—and feels the responsibility to see them all.To give structure to his unconventional network, Hank comp... read more
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Traditionally published biographer and ghostwriter, now working as an editor of memoirs, how-tos, and fiction ... with a twist.
As a trusted freelance editor, I've edited well over 100 books: memoir, travel, current events, food/wine, relationships/sexuality, novels.