Do you ghostwrite manuscripts?
Strictly speaking, no. There are, however, exceptions. If I’m asked to collaborate on a book project in which the author is compromised in some way (an older person or non-native English speaker aiming to capture some remarkable story or stories from their life, for instance), then I am open to collaborating with them and their caretaker or translator to document the essential facts, anecdotes, etc.needed to launch the project. My rate for this type of service is higher than that of my normal holistic editing services. I also periodically offer to “ghostwrite” select portions of creative manuscripts, though this is usually with a rough draft or highly detailed outline (penned by the author) in hand as a reference point or basis for a rewrite.
What is your typical time frame to holistically edit a manuscript?
As you might expect, this is something we’ll determine together after our first meeting and a review of some portion of your manuscript. The scope and depth of a project varies on a case-by-case basis, so I will offer you an honest estimate of the timeline/costs and talk with you about my expectations from you, as well. That being said, if you have a particular (and realistic) deadline in mind at the start of the project, we’ll make it happen.
What are some of your favorite books? Why?
Sampling this website’s content will give you a sense of my readerly leanings, but when it comes to fiction, I have to mention my dear and indispensable Czech companions, namely Skvorecky’s The Engineer of Human Souls, Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud a Solitude, Jiri Weil’s Life with a Star, and Ota Pavel’s How I Came to Know Fish, as well as an innumerable cache of books in translation. Why? Well, I think the writers I’ve just mentioned focus on voicing, a complimentary synthesis of formal and colloquial language, and the irreplaceability of individual characters who are embedded in historical circumstances that should figuratively or literally efface them; the texts themselves document not just survival, but a celebration of rich, courageous, individual minds persisting against barbarism. Among the Americans, I thoroughly appreciate the novels of Jazz-Agers like Nathanael West, Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and even value the much-maligned Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville. Shout-outs likewise to Carson McCullers (who O’Connor hated), Doctorow (who hated Poe, but whose Ragtime is exceptional) and Ralph Ellison, who wrote the most uniformly and lovingly condemning satire of American culture to date. Honorable mentions include W.G. Sebald, Heinrich von Kleist, Giovanna Verga, Cesare Pavese, Paul Valery, Barry Hannah, Bulgakov, Dostoevksy, Dickens (duh), Evgeniya Ginzburg, and many, many more.