I have always loved to read; fantasy novels are my favorite. It wasn’t until 2005, when an author friend asked me to read and critique his book, that I became interested in reading books in a different way. I began beta reading and offering insights on my friend’s books; he wrote steadily, so I was not at a loss for practice.
While I was beta reading, I found I had an eye for detail. I was picking up inconsistencies within the narrative and spelling usages, and finding errors in grammar. Once I noticed I was picking up on these new aspects, I began proofreading (more accurately a very light copyedit) for my friend to help correct these errors.
I proofread for my friend for many years in an unofficial capacity. I really enjoyed what I was doing and decided that I wanted to be a copyeditor. I was fortunate to have my friend to fall back on. He allowed me to look over some of his work that I had beta read years earlier, and I gained practical experience in this manner.
In 2014, I decided to take the certificate program, Professional Sequence in Editing, offered by UC Berkeley Extension. I completed the sequence in 2016 with an A and received my certificate. While I was working on completing my certificate program, I began working with Wyrding Ways Press in July of 2014 and still offer my services there.
Through UC Berkeley Extension, I was introduced to Lorna Partington Walsh, founder of the Embark Editorial Agency, an agency that allows new copyeditors to gain experience by working pro bono. The agency has helped broaden my copyediting horizons. With them, I’ve gained experience editing nonfiction, blog posts, and short stories for a literary magazine. Working closely with a team of editors has allowed me to ask questions that I wouldn’t normally be able to ask.
I love working closely with my authors, it allows me to ask detailed questions that help me do a better job copyediting. Copyediting is always about the author and retaining their voice, so the more one-on-one time I can get with the author, the more I can understand their writing style when making decisions about style and word choices.