With an engineer father and illustrator mother (Elizabeth Fuller – Mrs Wishy Washy, My Brown Bear Barney, Best Loved Bear...), I tend to balance logic and creativity in a way that keeps me permanently enthused about my job.
Over the years, I've had a wide variety of jobs and life experience, including firefighting, submarine building, digital marketing, event coordination, waiting, bartending, acting in films and ads, small-time security work, as well as many years' work experience in the CNG industry.
Kiwi, born and raised in Auckland (don't hold it against me), I found in my mid-20s a love for travel and adventure. While my home will always be here in New Zealand, I've taken The Book Editor with me in the form of a laptop squished into a backpack to some of the most incredible places in the world.
The Genesis of The Book Editor
Working and travelling in Southeast Asia for most of 2016, I returned broken-footed to New Zealand after a motorbike crash on a mountain pass in Vietnam. After another year-long stint in the marketing industry, I decided I no longer wanted to be cooped up in a stuffy office cubicle, wanting to return to the big wide world in a way that put the best of my skills and interests to work. And so I started The Book Editor.
Working with an American editor and publisher in the early stages of TBE, I inevitably left my home country and took the business with me to South America. Backpacking through Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Honduras, I was on my way down Central America when Covid hit.
Isolated in the hills of Guatemala for 7 months, I eventually retired my backpack and returned to NZ to travel another day. Two years later, I'm ready to hit the road again. Asia? Europe? Back to Latin America? You're coming with me. Let's see where the road takes us.
Writing is a part of me
At five years old I was put up a year because I was said to be reading like a sixteen-year-old, and at eleven I had the unforgettable embarrassment of having my creative writing homework read out in front of the class. But despite it haunting my mind for all the wrong reasons, it also stuck as a reminder of my natural love and intuition for storytelling (thanks, Mr Finn!).
As you yourself might relate to, writing for me is an extension of self. I can't help but do it! It's expression, it's outlet, it's therapy. To me, it's meaning – my life purpose. And through this passion, I aim to reach a point of excellence in my writing that will continue to develop over the long years of my life.
But already, in my early 30s, my confidence and ability have grown to a point in my journey where I am able to help others like me improve their writing. My role as an editor is one as a teacher, but also as a friendly support role in helping other people create their books, which is often one of their life goals. Some people put their lives, their souls, their entire savings into their books, and it's a huge privilege to be a part of that process. I don't take such a thing for granted, and if I think I can help you, I will do my best.
Education & Work Experience
Formally, I've got a King's College and University of Canterbury education behind me, which has given me a solid grasp of English and helped me discover my passion for literature. However, the bulk of my experience and understanding of writing and editing has been self-taught. My study of writing theory and style guides has grown over approximately a decade, reading books and taking online courses to hone my skills as both writer and editor.
With qualifications in business and marketing, I left my career in 2017 in pursuit of something freer, more creatively flexible, and ultimately more fulfilling. Searching my feelings for what I loved and what I was good at, editing was the natural answer. While I had a lot to learn at the start, I threw myself into any genre or project that came my way. Now, several years and countless manuscripts later, I have the knowledge and skills to help other people refine their writing to a publishable state.
My marketing training and experience, however, has been invaluable in my journey. Not only has it allowed me to successfully build and market a business, but it's allowed me to apply the learned psychology and mass communication theory to book-writing and appealing to a specific target audience. In book editing, this is quite a rare combination of skills, and it allows a fascinating and potentially lucrative bridge between the worlds of creativity and money-making. While my philosophy isn't at all to simply write for money, I do take seriously the prospect of being able to live off one's writing. There are approaches to writing and book creation that are more likely to work than others, and it is this strategy and psychology that brings one more set of layers of intricacy to this artform.