About Me

Why am I an editor and critiquer? Because I’ve been writing professionally for more than 30 years, and teaching creative writing for 25 of those years. I have more than 75 books published, including 73 children’s and YA titles, and four crime novels as well as a number of short stories and poems.

I’ve helped many writers towards publication. Nothing makes me prouder and happier than to see one of my students achieve a lifelong dream and see their first book in print. And their second, and third.

But I know that many writers receive rejection after rejection without really understanding why. Often they have a great idea but the execution of it on paper just isn’t working. A good critique can help to sort out the problems and offer solutions.

This is what I can offer:

  • Wide knowledge of the publishing industry, how it works, new trends, experience of agents, submission requirements, self publishing.
  • Practical experience and a sound knowledge of what makes a story or novel work and how to fix it if it’s not working – I don’t just tell you the problems, I can help you fix them.
  • A deep understanding of the ups and downs of a writer’s life, the dreams and struggles, the need for motivation and discipline, the usefulness of goals and rewards, the value of true support and encouragement.

I spent many years teaching Professional Writing & Editing subjects at Victoria University TAFE in Melbourne, Australia. My main areas of expertise are fiction writing, poetry, and writing for children and young adults. I’ve also taught nonfiction writing, industry knowledge, self publishing, myths and symbols and editing.

I graduated from Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota, with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I also have completed a PhD creative writing thesis at Victoria University on fairy tales.

I have my own author’s website, as well as a writing blog called Books and Writing with more than 680 posts since 2005. This blog averages 500-600 readers a week. Ebooks4writers is where I post articles on the craft of writing, including series on Life Writing, Creating Characters and the DPR of Writing (determination, perseverance and resilience). You will find my crime novels on my Crime Writer website.

I also teach writing and professional development classes around Australia, and overseas. I’ve spoken at conferences and festivals in Australia, Portugal and at the Pima Writers’ Workshop in Arizona. I do school visits on a regular basis, talking to kids about my children’s and YA books.

I love the craft of writing and the challenge of making the next piece even better than the last. One of my main interests in the craft area is the use of structure – I often recommend to writers that they investigate the three-act structure and see how it might assist them in their novel redrafting. And like many writers, I suffer from procrastination, so I know how that can hold you back.

If you are a writer looking for guidance and support, or needing a manuscript assessed, take a look at my Mentoring and Critiques pages, and email me with any questions. I’m a tough editor and I will point out your issues, whether they be few or many, but I also offer lots of suggestions.

Thanks for dropping by!