With thirty years of experience in publishing, I am a literary consultant and editor and award-winning children's author (my most recent novel 'The Earth is Singing' was Carnegie-listed and won the Historical Young Quills Award. My first novel won the Manchester Children's Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize). I have been working as an editor for over twenty years and have edited the literary 'Virginia Woolf Bulletin' (journal of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain). I run successful workshops on 'how to get published' for adults and have been a contributing consultant for an organisation where I advised new novelists on how to improve their books and submit them for publication. My book reviews and articles have appeared in the Times, TLS, Spectator, Guardian, Mail on Sunday and Jewish Chronicle. As a literary consultant, I have helped many writers become more confident with their work by providing in-depth editorial assessments and reports and I also offer one-to-one mentoring. Although as an award-winning Young Adult writer I specialise in this genre, I also work with clients who write literary fiction, women's contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and biography. I can focus on many areas of writing - characterisation, plot development, sentence construction, pace and tension and how to put together a unique selling package for agents and publishers. At all times I am sensitive to the needs and ambitions of the writer I am working with and like to feel that I inspire my authors to rework their books with renewed confidence and ambition. My clients often return to me with further commissions and I like to think that this is because I offer a friendly, professional and value-for-money experience.
Over the past twenty years I have helped many novelists, new and experienced, to rewrite and hone their books and novels to a high standard. I have published over ten of my own books (details can be found further down this page) and have won several awards for them. As the editor of a literary magazine and also a contributing book reviewer to the national newspaper, I have a keen eye for what sells and for current trends in publishing. I specialise in editorial assessment and developmental editing. My developmental editing takes the form of an in-depth report on your novel which can be tailored to suit your requirements but will generally give you feedback on the following aspects of improving your novel/book:
Characterisation - how to create really compelling, memorable characters
Plotting - I use a particular template which is fantastic for plotting out taut, fast-moving fiction
Sentence construction - how to avoid over-writing and repetition etc
Dialogue - how to make it believable and to use it to avoid passive writing
Similes and metaphors - how to use them to avoid 'telling' rather than 'showing' in your work
Believability - how to create fully-rounded, believable characters
Originality - how to write as only you, the author, can, so that your submission stands out in the slush-pile
I also have an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry so can also help you put together a succinct, professional query or selling letter to an agent/publisher, along with a professional package designed to put you, the author, in the best possible light.
I look forward to working with you!
Lilah May used to be angry. VERY angry. But not any more. She's got her temper - and her life - back under control.Or has she?Things with her best friend, Bindi, are going from bad to worse. The whereabouts of her brother Jay is still a mystery. And gorgeous Adam Carter is still out of reach. Groo!Can Lilah sort out her family, her friendship and her love life? Or is her anger about to reach a... read more
I'm Lilah May and I'm ANGRY. So angry that I'm about to be excluded from school, my parents can't control me, and only one person in the world understands me. And that's my best friend, Bindi. I haven't always been this way. It all started with my brother Jay. And what no one realises is that it's all my fault.
I've just moved into a creepy old manor house with my family. And it feels like the house is waiting for something. I can't explain all the things that are happening here. The maids I hear sobbing... The cold breath of... Life? Death? I don't know. I can't tell Dad or Mum. But least I've got my little brother Ben to talk to.
The wonderful second in Vanessa Curtis’s books for teens about one girl and her uncontrollable obsession. Ideal for girls nearly ready for Jodi Picoult.My name is Zelah Green – and I’m still here. Summer’s supposed to be good, right? But I’m stuck at home with a lousy laptop, stacks of homework to start and dad being more useless than ever. And then Caro turns up out of the blue, all heavy met... read more
Baking Life of Amelie Day
A wonderful book for teens about one girl and her uncontrollable obsession. Ideal for girls nearly ready for Jodi Picoult.My Name is Zelah Green and I’m a cleanaholic. I spend most of my life running away from germs. And dirt. And people. And I’m just about doing OK and then my stepmother packs me off to some kind of hospital to live with a load of strangers. It’s stuck in the middle of nowher... read more
The Hidden Houses of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell Presents a biography of place that studies the 'hidden houses' in conjunction with the novels of Virginia Woolf and the diaries and letters of both Woolf, and her sister Vanessa Bell. This book provides a glimpse into the world of the upper-middle-class Victorian/Edwardian holidaymakers, whilst giving an insight into their minds.
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I am an editor with over fifteen years’ experience working for three major houses across a broad spectrum of commercial fiction titles.
I am a freelance editor with 30 years' experience in copyediting and proofreading for major publishers, including Penguin and HarperCollins.