Thank you for visiting roughseasinthemed. I’m British, and I live in Spain and Gibraltar.
I’m an award-winning journalist, writer, editor, with 30 years in the business of journalism, public relations and publishing. I now work freelance in both fiction and non-fiction as a writer, editor, and reviewer.
After leaving university I worked as a researcher/writer in our county archaeology department on a book about the development of local towns.
I then gained an apprenticeship with a newspaper as a graduate trainee journalist, and passed my national qualification first time, when the average first-time pass rate was around 40%. Qualifying examinations included 100wpm shorthand, law, public administration, and a project – I chose education. These were gained on an intensive block-release course.
Our final exam consisted of four exams in a day, bashing everything out on a typewriter. Interview, council report, speech, and practical journalism. It was a long day.
Following that, I worked in sub-editing and took specialist courses in subbing and graphic design for newspapers and magazines.
I moved into public relations as a government information officer working in HMG press offices, (health and safety, agriculture, food, and fisheries, and Downing Street – Prime Minister’s office) and after another spell in journalism, gained a job as a communications specialist with the National Health Service.
In the NHS, I wrote, edited and published everything from patient leaflets, to board papers, to consultation documents, to quarterly newspapers to annual reports.
I also dealt with MPs, royal visits, acted as company secretary to the board, led business planning, performance management and complaints. Oh, and I managed cancer services and cancer screening too. Somewhere in there I achieved my MBA.
Editing and writing services
Editing for manuscripts and re-edits of published books, fiction
A sample edit of a few pages is provided free.
Full edits cost from £100 (euro/dollar exchange rate set at time of transaction, eg $130 US, $175 Aus and Canadian, $180 NZ) depending on page length, and work required.
This can include, for example, any or all of the following, depending on the author’s requirements:
- comments on overall structure and areas of strengths and weaknesses
- suggested rewrites of individual sections of prose
- identifying repetition and plot holes
- tightening dialogue and removing unnecessary ‘tags’ (eg he chuckled)
- highlighting clichés
- suggesting alternatives to overuse of passive verbs and gerunds/participles
- correcting inconsistent tenses, punctuation, compound words and hyphenation, possessive nouns, use of apostrophes, capitalisation, and spelling
plus liaison with the author, factual checking etc and a number of final proofreads.
Style to be determined by the author.
Novellas, short stories, by arrangement.
An edit of a raw manuscript invariably includes a beta read, but I do offer a beta-read only service. The beta read report looks primarily at:
- character development
- and can also include any particular author requirements
- examples of grammatical and spelling errors are also included
The report is usually around 4–6,000 words, approximately half of which is analysis, and the other half identifies specific errors and suggested changes.
Prices from £50, $65 US, $88 Canadian and Australian, NZ $90, depending on the rate on the day.
Post-publication report, fiction
For authors who have already published one or more books but would like more in-depth feedback than a short book review. This looks at the areas of editing covered above, in the form of a summary report, with examples of errors/areas to improve. This is similar to a beta read. Probably the beta read you should have had!
Cost: around £50. (International prices as above)
Editing for manuscripts and re-edits of published books, non-fiction
Identifying clarity, purpose, direction, structure and headings, and commenting on prose depending on target audience. Other editing as for fiction above regarding all grammatical construction. Factual checking and references as required.
Style to be agreed regarding appropriate guide, ie in-house or external, or both.
Post-publication reports are also available for non-fiction, individual pricing applies.
A copy of a manuscript/epub/mobi is needed to give a price for all services.
Editing/writing for other works
CVs, letters, papers, corporate reports, academic text/theses, press releases, newsletters/newspapers, websites, blogs.
Price for editing is dependent on length and errors. A full copy/full text should be provided.
For writing, a clear brief is required prior to quoting.
With a background as a general reporter, I have a wide portfolio and specialise in government and corporate writing, and individual subjects such as: history/archaeology, health, cancer, construction, and Land Rovers.
I review books on Goodreads/Amazon and here on my blog. If I think a book is unlikely to be of interest to my readers, I’ll publish on Goodreads/Amazon only.
I’m a blog host and reviewer for iRead book tours and I’m a reviewer for an international independent book site. No unsolicited free book reviews currently accepted. Prices between £30 and £50. As above, dollar rates agreed at time of transaction.
National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Proficiency Certificate, authorised by the Printing and Publishing Industry Training Board (PPITB)
BA (Hons) Ancient and Medieval History and Archaeology
Certificate in Managing Health Services (Cert MHS), accredited by the Institute of Health Services Management (IHSM)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
I speak, read and write English, French and Spanish. And the odd bit of Latin.
Please fill in the form if you are interested in any of the above.