What's with the name?
I'm based in Hackney, east London, and I'd like to help as many local writers as I can. That's partly because I like meeting people, but also because I believe it gets better results. I'll do a better job of helping you perfect your literary 'voice' if I'm familiar with your real-life voice, so to speak.
Do I have to travel to Hackney to meet you?
No, there's no need. I'm happy to communicate by email, Skype, phone, Facebook messenger … whatever suits you.
How soon will I get my report?
Usually, a manuscript critique takes at least two weeks to prepare, a developmental edit at least four. But I do get booked up, so please get in touch sooner rather than later.
But I'm on deadline!
Obviously, if you'd like me to look over a magazine feature, a CV or something shorter, I can get it back to you more quickly – perhaps even the next day.
I only have 20,000 words and a half-finished plot summary. Can we make a deal?
Why not? Drop me a line and we'll talk it over.
What genres do you work in?
I like all sorts of fiction: literary, crime, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, LGBTQ, romance, historical... you name it. I also work on narrative non-fiction. But I'm not too strong on short stories, poetry or children's books. Nor am I a good choice for academic writing.
Is my work safe with you?
Copyright of all your work remains with you, of course. I treat all projects in the strictest confidentiality.
How should I send it?
Electronically, ideally as a Word document, or by sharing a Google document. If you only have a paper copy, you can post it, or we can meet. Please don't give me originals, only copies. If you post your manuscript and you'd like it back, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Do you put in the corrections?
Microsoft Word and Google Docs both have a 'track changes' mode that lets you see what edits I've suggested. You can then click 'accept' or 'reject' as you like. Any queries will be made as Comments in the margin.
Will you help me with my synopsis, cover letter or back-cover blurb?
Yes, I'm happy to help with those. No extra charge.
When will my novel get published?
Unfortunately, publishing is a tough business. I can't guarantee you a book deal, or even an agent. But I'll do my best to set you on the path. If you plan on self-publishing, we can discuss the best ways to go about it.
When do you require payment?
For developmental editing and manuscript assessment, a 50% deposit must be paid before I start the project (via cheque, Paypal or bank transfer). The other 50% is payable upon completion. With copy-editing, I will invoice you when I return the edited manuscript.
If I find I can't work on your project, for whatever reason, I retain the right to cancel the arrangement and return the payment in full.
What if I change my mind?
If, after we meet and talk it over, you decide you'd rather not go ahead, we'll just leave it at that. If I spend time reading your manuscript and/or writing about it, I'll have to bill you for the time, but it won't be the full rate.