I started because I missed teaching, and I was trying to travel less. Over the last decade, editing anthologies has helped with that urge, as has beta reading/critiquing for various authors. So I offer limited editorial services. I only accept a few books or short stories per month. If you're interested, the information--and endorsements--can be found by using the pull down menu.
If you aren't interested in editorial services/ended up here accidentally, please return to the author pages :)
HOW IT WORKS/PROCESS:
Step 1: You send me an email with a brief note on what you're seeking and any timeline information. I will reply with an address to send an excerpt of your text if I can possibly take on the project.
Step 2: Once I receive the excerpt, I will give you a quote (hours expected and estimated rate) if I can be of use to you. 50% of the fee is due in order for me to start.
Step 3: Once I receive that deposit, I will read the manuscript, inserting notes via Track Changes or on paper. These notes are focused on story development, world building, character, pacing, and point of view. I often cannot resist light copyediting; however, this is a developmental edit not copyedit.
Step 4: If the hours increase as I am further into your manuscript, I will notify you prior to continuing. Think of it like dealing with a mechanic. You can opt to have me continue to the estimated number of hours in the initial quote or increase hours. If I finish in fewer hours than estimated, I will also let you know that.
Step 5: I will notify you that I am done. You will send the other 50%. Upon receipt of that, I will send your notes.
Step 6: OPTIONAL. After you revise, you can request a copyedit round via my partner.
ALT: Just hire her. Amber is a certified copyeditor.
I am best known for fantasy, often dark and folklore based, as well as romance. In the past eight years, I’ve been a judge for various awards, including romance (Romance Writers of America), YA thrillers (International Thriller Writers), and YA horror (Horror Writers of America). I am very open to all of those genres.
I am a voracious reader of most types of romance, most YA, MG, and contemporary fiction.
I’ve edited several well regarded anthologies and taught short fiction at university. I am very open to short fiction.
At this time, I will not edit erotica, hard SF, military fiction of any sort, picture books, technical thrillers, inspirational fiction, most nonfiction, or screenplays. I also do not read or edit any sort of “eye dialect.”
If in doubt, ask. This is a side business, so I have to feel that I can be beneficial to your writing. Further, in order to offer my services, I must feel an interest in the text.
Please note that I have no bias against the individual or types of texts I cannot edit. Selection is entirely based on my ability to help you and to enjoy the process. I am a believer that work—while taxing at times—should also be fun and educational in some way. I’ve chosen my careers and jobs (university teacher, outreach teacher, writer, mother, bartender, archaeology site laborer, waitress) with that belief in mind for twenty-plus years. I see no need to change it.
Further, please also note that my editorial services do not come with introductions or quotes for use with agents, editors, or authors.
You can reserve a spot on my calendar up to six months in advance with a deposit. Refer to the process information at the top of this page, and when you reach out, please note that you are requesting a reservation for X month. If that month is still open, I'll let you know when I reply.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCES:
In addition to copyedits, I am happy to answer realism questions in the areas of my academic pursuits, career experiences, or assorted life experiences. I understand that sometimes writers want first-hand knowledge to make characters real.
I studied Animal Science and Agro-business, as well as World Religions and Christian Ministry. I love learning, however, so I continued to take various courses in my free time after completing my degrees.
I served deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, I was stationed in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces where I worked with members of various international intelligence agencies and high-level military officials. I traveled within Iraq via helicopter, accompanied by Army Special Forces. I analyzed the feed provided by various drones (the MQ-1 Predator, RQ-11 Raven, and the MQ-9 Reapers) to determine potential threats, enemy movement and activity. My pattern detection became the standard taught at the Army School of Intelligence.
If you are writing about weaponry, I am well-versed in the M4A1 carbine, as well as the M16 rifle and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, the M2A1 .50 caliber machine gun, the M240B 7.62mm medium machine gun, and small arms (pistols). I also practice Historical European Martial Arts, specifically the longsword.
I have gone skydiving, and I am an avid kayaker, zipliner, and hiker.
I've traveled to South Africa, Guatemala, Haiti, Canada, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, China, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Within the United States, I've lived in the south (North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia), the Midwest (Kansas and Missouri), the Southwest (Arizona), the West Coast (California), and Texas.
I've traveled by military helicopters (CH-47F Chinook and the UH-60 Blackhawk), and I've lived in Japan and England, as well as military bases in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am currently in a long-term committed relationship with Melissa (who is a novelist, graphic novel writer, and picturebook writer).
STANDARD COPYEDIT INCLUDES CHECKING FOR:
Amber has completed a copyediting certification course & test during the pandemic in order to work from home. She has been working with Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, & Paranormal Romance authors (traditional & indie), but she is also an avid reader of thrillers, NF, Christian Fiction, and Children's Fiction.
After growing up a "military brat" whose parents were Navy & Marine, Amber became an Army Intelligence Analyst, whose work included high-profile intel analysis in Iraq and Afghanistan and even tracking a serial killer.
She has a certification in Copyediting, as well as degrees in Animal Science (B.S.) and Ministry (M.A.), and assorted courses in Data Analytics, Conservation Biology & Environmental Sustainability. Her former jobs included work for veterans affairs, financial crime analysis, and security work. She can also read texts for factual accuracy in the above areas (and military matters), as well as sensitivity reads in LGBQ matters.
Contact Amber for quotes or queries at: Amber.L.Elrod @ gmail. com