About Steph

leah
One of my two canine office assistants

I’ve been passionate about books since I was four years old and, around the same time, I figured out how to hunt and peck on my parents’ electric typewriter – which, I assure you, was the height of technology at the time – and began attempting to create my own stories.

I’ve always been an avid reader, devouring everything from Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy to paperback romances and everything in between. I have a particular weakness for memoirs, literary fiction, mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy.

My passion for words, ideas, and storytelling, among other things, led me to become a freelance editor. However, for me, being an editor and writing coach are, above all, about relationships. I enjoy my budding relationships with authors, becoming acquainted with each writer’s style and voice, exploring your ideas, and helping you continue to strengthen your skills. I’ve been coaching and editing for 11 years and am continually meeting new authors and publishers.

I’m also a homeschooling mom, living in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my husband, three kids, two dogs, and a blue-tongued skink named Samwise Gamgee.

Background:

I have a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; my undergraduate majors were English and political science. I also have a master’s degree in counseling. As a graduate assistant, I was chosen to edit professors’ articles for publication in professional journals. Throughout my career, I’ve worn many hats, including being a journalist, substance abuse prevention specialist, adolescent therapist, teacher, writing coach, and publicist for authors and business owners.

I have taken – and continue to pursue — courses in copyediting, developmental editing, and fiction writing, including:

  • University-Level Courses in Fiction Writing and Literature (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Greensboro)
  • Writing for Publication (Blue Ridge Community College)
  • Mystery Writing (Blue Ridge Community College)
  • Keys to Effective Editing (Blue Ridge Community College)
  • Proofreading (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Copyediting: Beginning (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Copyediting: Intermediate (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Copyediting: Advanced (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing: Fiction Theory (Liminal Pages)
  • Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing of Fiction: Intermediate (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing of Fiction: Advanced (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Issues in Developmental Editing (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Mentoring in Developmental Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Book Mapping for Developmental Editing (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • The Business of Developmental Editing (Author-Editor Clinic)

Random Facts About Me:

  1. I’m an avid reader and film buff, and I’m constantly seeking out other bibliophiles and cinema lovers online.
  2. I tend to strew movie quotes liberally in conversation.
  3. I give both my parents credit for my curiosity and love of words. I owe my abiding addiction to novels and my unwholesome obsession with the fine points of grammar to my mom.
  4. My idea of “home decorating” is wall-to-wall bookshelves. My husband finally felt compelled to declare a moratorium on building new bookcases.
  5. I relish living near the Blue Ridge Mountains, but my ideal home would be near both the mountains and the beach.
  6. I have a weakness for rescued dogs.
  7. Every year I plant a garden only to find, once again, that plants rarely thrive under my care. But hope springs eternal.
  8. My favorite television shows include Firefly, Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, and Doctor Who.
  9. I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 13 years. My favorite “curricula” are library books, movies, cooking, arts and crafts, and card and board games.
  10. I developed an interest in history, when I was about 13 years old, after perusing my grandma’s historical romances. I started by scouting out the coveted dirty parts. However I soon fell in love with Tudor England and, after that, other historical periods. Never underestimate the potential usefulness of prurient interests. 🙂

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