Who I Am and What I Do
I see the world in stories. A weeping willow, a mail carrier, a droplet of water, a mythological being—
I want to know their stories. Where and from what did they originate? What have they experienced and learned? What can they teach me? What stories can they give me that I can then help give to the rest of the world? These are questions I ask the world around me. I am a story-gatherer and -giver.
Perhaps my fondness for storytelling is in part due to a lifetime of moving and of meeting many new people. I’ve moved twenty-one times so far, so it’s understandable that I’m used to the whole process. I’ve lived in multiple states, and my other places of residence have included Madrid and Moscow. (Speaking of which, if you’re struggling with my last name, don’t sweat it; no matter how you pronounce it, you’ll be at least almost correct in either English, Russian, Ukrainian, or Czech. I’m American born and bred, though.) This mobility is part of what makes me an adaptable person, especially when it comes to understanding other people's stories. Every person has an engaging tale waiting to be told. I help people get their stories into others' hands.
So, what led me to editing? One powerful entity: books, the ultimate form of storytelling. When I was seven I started to live and breathe books. I read anything I could get my little hands on—picture books, fiction, magazines, religious texts, and even textbooks. Thankfully I was homeschooled and had plenty of time to read, and my family encouraged my hunger for the written word. Then one day, when I was in my junior year of homeschool high school, I discovered that I was subconsciously editing everything
I read. That was when I decided it would be fun to become an editor.
After that decision everything has seemed to just work out with my career. I attended Brigham Young University, enrolling in one of the few undergraduate editing and publishing programs in the United States. At the university I studied Russian on the side. I became the project manager for an on-campus internship project where my team and I translated and edited a book about the history of Jews in Latvia. At work I designed flyers for activities and wrote content for social media. On the side I did amateur freelance work editing essays and short stories for other students.
I’ve found many opportunities to learn the ins and outs of the world of writing and publishing. For over a decade now I have pounced on every book I could find about fiction and nonfiction writing. A few of my favorites include How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Orson Scott Card; Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Bickham; and Writing Secrets, by LDS Storymakers. Along with using books like these to learn as much as possible about writing, I have been a writing and editing consultant for award-winning author Sandra Grey. I’m also currently writing my own novel, and I've self-published a booklet about how to write memorable villains. Thanks to all these experiences, I understand both the editor’s and the writer’s point of view, I work well with writers, and I help writers feel confident in their work and their talent.
I'm excited to hear from you!