March 3rd, 2013:

THE ADVENTURE OF EDITING BOOKS

I’ve been an avid reader since age five, as I remember, and I’ve never lost the passion for it. My joy expanded when I started writing—I wrote a story about a lost dog when I was about ten. At fourteen, I was writing articles for the school newspaper The Barracan at Wheelus Air Force Base High School in Tripoli, Libya. As the years went by and I moved to Southern California, I wrote columns for weekly newspapers and eventually became the editor of several newspapers and magazines.

When my book, Melaynie’s Masquerade, didn’t go on to fame and fortune, I needed to consider other avenues of moneymaking. I had had enough of newspapers and thought editing books was the next step since I had already done a few. I had self-published Melaynie with 1st Books (now Author House) and I applied to have them list me on their website as a private editor.

AndyWalksWithMe

It was a great beginning to a private editing career and an education in itself. In the next 15 years, I edited about 100 books and am still at it! I vividly remember each trip through a client’s imagination. Some authors had experience but most didn’t, and the level of education greatly varied. There were books I essentially wrote but I didn’t ask for co-writer credit. I had to pull the information out of various authors’ memories, especially Ralph Heidler, whose disturbed father had severely abused him. That book, Andy Walks With Me, has since been used in a university psychology course in Pennsylvania.

 

Stan Papell's book translated into Russian

Stan Papell’s book translated into Russian

My client, Stan Papell, who has since passed on, was an experienced writer of screenplays. But everyone needs an editor! His exciting adventure, The Second Confirmation, set in the US and Russia and involving an alien from another planet, was published in Russia a few years back. When Stan’s widow sent me a copy of his book, she underlined my name in the acknowledgments since it was written in Cyrillic.

Richard Lee, a retired Marine and a US government employee, was so moved by the World Trade Center catastrophe, he wrote an exciting story, Personal Justice, about a few New York police and firemen who get special training and hunt down Osama bin Laden. These fictional heroes killed bin Laden in the book long before US Seals managed to do the deed.

PersonalJustice

Wendy Wong was born and raised in Hong Kong but is now a US citizen living in Honolulu. I helped her expand the memoir of her challenging and successful life, When the Phoenix Rises. She felt I was able to really relate to her life as a Chinese woman. I didn’t think that was difficult—we humans are all more alike than different.

A few clients keep writing and come back to me for editing. Pat Sendejas, an expert in the Chinese practice of Feng Shui and the Feng Shui personality types, started with Letting Go to Create a Magical Life and keeps on writing.

Debra Pauli has used me for several books, starting with the memoir of surviving her horrific childhood: A Survivor’s Closet. Now she’s working on a humorous but serious book on surviving life as a single woman.

 

 

 

 

 

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