My passion is to partner with authors at any stage of their writing/publishing journey—providing feedback, guidance, and encouragement to help them reach their writing potential.
I loved my job at Bethany House, but in recent years I developed a passion for authors/writers who are looking for publishing-professional feedback that for various valid reasons couldn't be provided by agents or editors at publishing houses. After eighteen years at Bethany House, working with successful Christian authors, I have the tools and experience to come alongside authors with varied needs—from those just starting their writing journey to those who have many years of experience, with multiple published books.
Each writer has different needs and is at a different stage—no situation is the same. I like to start with a conversation to get an idea of where you are at, where you are seeking to go, and what obstacles are in your way. Sometimes the need is as straightforward as a full or partial manuscript review or an edit. But at other times it might be an author simply needing input here and there, working through a story roadblock, or gaining a better understanding of the basic concepts of effective fiction writing.
If we decide to work together, we will devise a plan for how I can best assist you. It is possible that our relationship will not so much be about getting the manuscript you are currently working on published, but rather working through the concepts and skills that will bring your writing to the next level.
I would never suggest that, after working with you for X amount of time and Y amount of dollars, I can guarantee you will receive a publishing contact, but I am confident that my part in your journey will enhance your writing and give you the tools for stronger writing and story-building.
If it is your goal to be published by a traditional publishing house, you don't want a complete edit of your manuscript before seeking submission. Agents and editors are looking for the best manuscript that you can create, not a manuscript that has been professionally edited. But that doesn't mean you can't get input to improve your manuscript before submission. Most authors eventually grow too close to their manuscript to effectively identify its strengths and weaknesses. The input of friends, family, and other writers can be helpful, but often you will achieve greater success by receiving feedback and guidance from an experienced editor. We can arrange a system/plan for us to work together as you travel the writing journey.
I believe that your relationship with your publishing house and your agent is primary—their opinions and feedback are your most valuable resource, and I would never seek to undermine that. That being said, if you're struggling with the concept/premise, plot details, or character development for a new book or series or have hit a rut in your work-in-progress, I have the experience to help you work through those roadblocks.
"In the beginning it was unnerving to think of someone else making changes to my work. But Karen was so patient with me, so good at what she does, that now I can’t imagine not having her there to find all the clunks and logic gaps and wrong turns and to gently suggest I take another look."
Karen Hancock—Author of the award-winning Legends of the Guardian-King series and member of the Christy Award Hall of Fame.