After answering the same question about 200 times in the last week, I thought it might be a good idea to make an FAQ page. I’ve also updated some of the links at the top of my page.
Here’s the gist of it for any new followers and apologies to old friends who already know all of this <3
1. How did you become an Editor and what do I need to do to become one?:
accident mostly. I graduated in the UK with my BA in English Literature
and Linguistics, right at the same time my friend was promoted to
Senior Editor in her publishing house. She needed an assistant to cope
with her workload, and I needed a job.
I started at the bottom and worked my way up to being a final line editor, gaining experience in copy edit and formatting along the way. Usually a publishing house these days will require you to have a Masters in Publishing, but I got my know-how the old fashioned way through good old hands on learning, giving me a wealth of experience. Unfortunately I don’t have the shiny bit of paper, so unless I go back to school, I will likely never work for another publishing house again.
I’ve been working on and off as freelance over the years, but compared to an actual editing gig in a real publishing house, it’s hardly worth the effort and money. So if you’re serious about doing this as a career, talk to you career guidance councilor and look into post grad degrees in publishing and editing. There are also independent certifications you can get in proofreading and editing—I got mine from Publishing Scotland back in 2010, and if memory serves it wasn’t all that expensive, which will help you along the way. They won’t qualify you in the same way a Masters will, but it will help you toward becoming a more desirable candidate for the position you are hunting for.
2. Why did you move to the US from Scotland?:
a boy online almost a decade ago— before Tinder was a thing— and we
really hit it off as friends. As things progressed we realized that we
really, really liked each other, met up in person to see if we
really liked Liked each other, then proceeded to date long distance over
the ocean for 6-7 years. We got married in May 2013 and I moved to the
US to be with him in 2014 and I’ve been here ever since.
3. Are your stories true?:
I get asked this fairly
often, and people have gotten quite aggressive over it in the past. Yes,
my stories are true, the one about Hugh Scott, the one about Crucifix
Nail Nipples, the ones about my dad, the ones about husband and myself,
yes, they are all true. I genuinely have had these experiences and wrote
them down, either for my own enjoyment or figuring some of my friends
might get a kick out of them. I never expected any of them to go viral,
but such is the Internet. (I can only assume it’s because of my writing
As for the common “no one has this much shit happen to them” rebuttal I tend to get a lot, I’m sorry you feel that way, but some people do lead eventful lives. For instance very few people would long distance date for 7 years over the ocean and wind up marrying that person and moving continents for them. That’s the stuff of romance novels and day time television. And yet I’ve got the expensive paperwork and the shiny new green-card as testament that it can and does happen. I’ve also got the scars, the signed copies of books from authors I’ve met, the family pictures and the testimony of friends that really, This Is My Life And Sometimes It Is Bananas. You can call bullshit and be skeptical all you want, but that doesn’t change the world from being round.
4. Please post Crucifix Nail Nipples, I want to read it!:
stated previously, many, many times, I no longer have a full copy of
the manuscript besides what is seared into my brain. It was nuked from
orbit the moment the head publisher read it and made pterodactyl
screeching noises of distress. And even if I did still have a copy, I am
not about to steal someone else’s work and post it online without their
consent. It’s one thing for me to vague bitch about it, it’d be quite
another for me to take a manuscript in it’s entirety and post it online
for free. That’d really ensure I’d never work in editing ever
again. So no, I don’t have any copies, and please stop asking me to do
something which is actually theft and illegal.
5. Will you edit my story?:
Sure! My fees start at $25 per hour for anything under 10,000 words, going up to $50 per hour thereafter. Oh you meant for free?
Haha, unless I have already offered to help you with your writing or
you’ve summoned me here by ways of black magic, then no, I will not edit
your work for free. That’s not actually what the term “freelancer”
My general fees are as previously stated:
-$25 per hour for anything less than 10k
-$50 per hour for anything over 10k
-and depending on your length of script, if it’s over 10k I charge a minimum $50 ($100 if it’s a 100k+ manuscript) reading fee to tell you what I think of it and how much work I think will need done. This helps me give you a better quote of how much I think your actual editing work will come to, and also perhaps save you some money in the long run if I am able to point out small mistakes here and there which are easily fixed by you so you don’t have to pay me or anyone else to do it.
If you want to negotiate fees with me or need help with something (say a grad application) and are worried you wouldn’t be able to afford it, come talk to me, I still might be able to help. But please don’t try to email me a 100k manuscript and wave a $50 bill under my nose. You wouldn’t ask a structural engineer to just “do whatever you need to do” and slip them a $20 and hope your house wont fall down, why would you do the same with the manuscript you hope to one day make a living by?
6. You’re a writer, right? Where can I buy something you have written?:
yet, but I hope to change that soon. I do create a lot of fanfic and
people have been kind enough to throw a few dollars here and there into
my Tip Jar (links to both in my description) if they’ve enjoyed my work.
This helps me to keep writing as I have some serious medical issues
that are hindering my ability to work, so throwing the equivalent of a
coffee my way every so often really helps me to keep continue writing
stories for you. And also y'know, not die.
7. Can I make a fic request?
Sure, ask box is open.
8. What exactly is wrong with you?:
long do you have? Asking about my health is kind of a loaded question,
because at the moment, we don’t really know what is wrong with me, and
we’re still trying to find out. That’s why I have so many horrendous
medical bills, testing is expensive. The basic gist of it is, two years
ago my health finally fell apart completely after a gradual decline.
Food which had never previously hurt me started to make me severely ill
resulting in chronic digestive problems, and the sporadic bouts of
joint/muscle pain which I’ve had most of my life pretty much became
permanent. I’m exhausted 90% of the time and sort of functional the
I also suffer from a general anxiety disorder which I should be getting help with but the thought of getting help makes my anxiety worse soooo there’s that to deal with. I also suffer from depression and have done for probably the last twenty years, and am prone to panic attacks and ocular migraines (not in fact oracular as I previously mistyped, I am not in fact Mrs Cake), so there’s just some days when I don’t have enough spoons to Person and need to sleep through it. If I take forever in posting something or replying to you, this is likely why.
9. Have you tried yoga/vegan dieting/gf/paleo/green tea/positive thinking? It really helped me when I was feeling down/I had a friend who…
I know you mean well, but telling a chronically ill person that yoga can fix them when you have no medical idea of what is wrong with them is not only pretentious unsolicited advice, but also potentially hazardous to their health. Yes, really, yoga. There are certain exercises and stretches I cannot do without risking my joints and I’ve been doing yoga for well over a decade. There are certain foods I cannot eat because they will literally kill me, most of them vegan. I cannot drink green tea or “detox” because it fucks with the fragile balance of my internal organs which I have spent the last two years trying to scrape back together by sheer force of will, and believe me, if I wasn’t already thinking positively I wouldn’t still be here typing this.
There’s a general belief that chronically ill
people, physical or mental, are just lazy and haven’t sought out the
correct medical help or even bothered to try helping themselves because
they enjoy being ill, which is a bit like saying you enjoy standing in a
burning house because you like the warmth. People with chronic illness
know their condition better than you do. We have tried everything, from
mindful thinking to the $100 pill which took away one symptom and
replaced it with another. Sometimes we find things which work for us,
which you may not regard as actual recovery. But you have to realize
that for some of us, even reaching a point where we can live with our
illness and not despite of it, is a huge milestone not to be sneered at.
So if you are of this persuasion then I urge you to take some of your
advice, and be mindful of others. Be kind. You never know what someone
else might be going through.
10. What’s your scone recipe?:
40g slightly salted butter (room temp, not melted)
225g self-raising flour
25g caster/baking sugar
large pinch of salt
150ml milk or cream if you want to be really indulgent.
In a medium to large sized bowl, mix the flour and salt together and then rub in the butter until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. Next add the sugar and then the milk until you have a soft dough (it should be sticky but not runny). Turn it out onto a floured board and knead v lightly until it stops being sticky and you can roll it out to about ¾ of an inch. Using a scone cutter or a round cookie cutter if you have one, cut into the dough and place your rounds onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly knead the remaining dough back together and repeat until you have used it all.
(Alternatively you can do what I do in a hurry and skip the rolling and work the dough until it’s easy to handle then pinch sections off and roll them into individual dough balls. You get a more rustic farmhouse shape but it still works well.) next brush the tops of the scones with milk, and then bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated over at 220c or 425 until well risen* and golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then serve with filling of choice. Cream and jam is a personal preference.
*if they didn’t rise you might have over kneaded it. Try sieving the flour and salt at the start to create air pockets, and use a spatula to work the rest in. This isn’t a yeast bread, it doesn’t need too much kneading to make it stick. Think of it instead as a very crumbly cake mix. If you want to make them look shiny and professional use an egg wash on the top rather than milk.