As a child, I loved to read. I would read dozens of books every summer. Every year I participated in Pizza Hut’s Book It Program. I would read my books, write a list, and take it in to redeem my free personal pan. Those were the good old days.
Fast forward to middle school, I came across a poetry contest. I decided to give it a shot. I submitted the following poem:
The balloons are as colorful as the rainbow
the clouds white as pearls
the love sweet as candy
the poetry as beautiful as the world
My poem was selected to be part of an anthology and the rest is history. A poet was born. Basically, my love affair with reading and writing is lifelong. In 2016, a friend of mine (Ebony Nicole Smith) who is also a publisher told me she needed an editor. I submitted a sample edit for her, she hired me and started referring me to her publishing clients. Five years later we are still friends and business colleagues.
Jumping into editing was a no-brainer for me. I have always had a knack for cleaning up a story or making an essay better. As a new editor, I had a lot to learn. I checked out books at the library, watched YouTube videos, and listened to podcasts. Now in my fourth year, I perfected a fine balance between critique and encouragement. I garnered numerous glowing testimonials that speak to my skill, professionalism, and effectiveness.
My primary reasons for being an editor are:
1) Telling Black stories by Black people in an accurate, empowering, and respectful manner.
2) Encourage writers to produce excellent, top-notch work. Perfection is not the goal.
3) To draw inspiration from authors’ stories, wisdom, and experiences.
With each passing year, I appreciate these reasons as I work with authors. I help them navigate the self-publishing world with tough love. I point out how the manuscript can be better. More importantly, I acknowledge the strengths of the author. This balance fosters an authentic collaborative relationship between myself and my clients. My clients and their book babies inspire me to keep going. Special thanks to the book parents who have entrusted me with their literary offspring and those who will in the future.