Me and Coaltrane

I’m a novelist, a copyeditor, a writing coach, a mom, a backpacker, and a whole bunch of other things.

I love keeping busy, but I especially love writing, teaching, and helping writers.

I’m the fiction track director at the prestigious San Francisco Writers’ Conference. I teach workshops on writing craft at writers’ conferences and retreats around the country. If your writers’ group would like to have me teach, drop me a line. I live in California, near San Francisco, just so you know how far away I am from you and your writer friends. I also have online video courses on writing, editing, and marketing. Check out my online school HERE. If you’d like to chat with me via phone or Skype to discuss your project, schedule an appointment with me.

If you’re self-publishing, be sure to head over to my site The Self Publisher! There you’ll find lots of articles on the most important topics that will help you become a successful self-published author!

I also enjoy guest blogging, so contact me if you’d like me to write a post on writing, editing, or Labrador retrievers. I am also quite the expert on pygmy goats. I ran a commercial pygmy goat farm for ten years and delivered a lot of kids! So, if you need some goat advice, I’m your gal.

I Really Love My Day Job!

I love to help writers with their novels. I specialize in thorough annotated critiques (I do more than 200 partial and full manuscripts a year), so if you have a manuscript that needs some work or you’re not sure if it does, check out my site specifically dedicated to my critique services. You’ll find a lot of informative articles on why you might need a critique and how to choose the right editor for your needs. Not many copyeditors are writers, and few know how to critique all the major elements that hold a novel together.

If you would like me to edit your manuscript, I do it allfrom substantive editing to proofreading. I’m fast, dependable, and dedicated to helping you write your best book!

If You’re Not Sure What Help You Need

If you’re not sure what kinds of editing services are available, the description on my editing page will help you figure that out.

Say What front coverI highly recommend beginning novelists have a full manuscript critique before considering any editing.

Don’t waste years and gobs of money trying to sell and promote a book that really isn’t ready for publication. And how can you be sure it is ready? By having a professional critique done either before you go from outline to first draft, or after that draft (or tenth rewrite) is done.

The earlier in the writing stage you can get a critique, the better. And if you are not sure if you are even close to a professional, well-structured novel, have the first few (critical) chapters critiqued, and once you get back the comments, you’ll have a clearer picture of where you are on the learning curve.

You can save a lot of money, time, and heartache by having a scene outline critique. Email me and I’ll explain how to put that together. You’ll be glad you did. All my most successful writing clients go through this process before digging into writing their novels.

Most authors will tell you a critique has been the most invaluable feedback they’ve ever received and perhaps the best money spent in their writing journey.

And I’ve Written a Few Books . . .

I hadn’t meant to write a dozen or so nonfiction books on writing craft and productivity, but I had to. Over the years I’ve seen way too many aspiring writers struggle with the craft and their writing life. So in addition to sharing more than a million words on my instructive blog, I decided to do what I could to make writing books as easy and clear as possible.

And while there are lots of books on how to write a novel, I have my own methods. Over the last thirty years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work for me and for other writers. I want to help save writers time and aggravation by providing blueprints that lay out a clear framework for structuring novels. Check out my many books in The Writer’s Toolbox HERE.

I’ve also written twenty novels in some different genres, most traditionally published and a few that are only in ebook format. I was told to stick to one genre by many agents and publishers, but I just don’t listen, and so write what I love to write, which suits my eclectic tastes. You can actually buy them and read them too! I also have a sweet historical Western series under my pen name Charlene Whitman.

Here’s a brief video in which I talk about branding and writing in various genres. This should give you a feel for what I’m about!

 Contemporary Fiction

You can check out descriptions and links to purchasing my contemporary fiction in various forms (printed book, eBook, audio book) at my Facebook Author Page here.

Someone to Blame Conundrum A Thin Film of Lies


Here are some of the books in my fantasy series:

Young Adult Sci-Fi

My very cool Young Adult Sci-Fi Time Travel Adventure chock-full of physics and romance! A bit reminiscent of A Wrinkle in Time.