Alice McVeigh, who has had two contemporary novels published by a “top five” publisher (Hachette), has been editing full-time for over twenty years. She is also an elected member of the UK’s prestigious Society of Authors, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and the Editorial Freelancers Association. Alice has had articles published in The Guardian newspaper, Verbatim, The Contemporary Review and Strad magazines, but has also edited over 75 books for other authors, mostly memoir and fiction. She has had a non-fiction work published, and also a play. (The play has also had a ‘run’, fully staged, at the Lewisham Theatre, south London.)
What Alice can do for your manuscript:
Alice can copy-edit your manuscript. (Copy-editing does not refer to merely correcting grammar, content and spelling but also takes into account organisation, clarity of thought and flow.)
Alice can ghostwrite, taking your idea of a story (or your family history) and turn it into a novel or a play for you to self-publish or to submit to agents or publishers for publication.
Alice can ensure that your book reaches publication-standard. (Note: she cannot guarantee publication. No editor or ghostwriter can do that, and those who imply that they can are not being completely honest with you.)
In detail, Alice can:
- Assist with plot, which ideally ought to be character-driven rather than idea-driven, so that the reader is drawn effortlessly into your world
- Sharpen up any function-free, wordy or limp dialogue. (We all know about “showing” rather than “telling”: but our dialogue is the ultimate proof of whether or not we can do it!)
- De-clutter scientific or academic jargon to open up your ideas to a wider market
- Work with you on character development: ensuring that every character is as consistent and believable as possible
- “Translate,” with pinpoint accuracy, British English into American English (or vice-versa!)
- Proofread (Not a glamorous skill, but a necessary one!)
- very experienced. Over the past 21 years she has worked full-time as a ghostwriter and copy-editor, completing over 75 full-length books. These include fiction, memoirs and non-fiction as well as academic works that were published by Cambridge University Press and Indiana University Press.
- available. Alice works from home. (One client writes: ‘At crisis point, Alice worked with me on a scene for a half-hour on the phone. Was mortified the next day to remember that, for her, this was at half-eleven p.m., London time. That’s the kind of interest she takes!’)
- flexible. Lots of editors do a bit of copy-editing ‘on the side’ or as a second income. Alice does it for a living. And she’ll work in whatever method works best for you. She has travelled as far as China and the US to work with clients, but normally it’s a combination of email, phone, Skype and/or face-to-face meetings in London.
- reliable. As Professor Bella Brover-Lubovsky wrote, ‘If she says it’ll take a week, it takes a week. There are lots of editors who promise the earth and don’t deliver. Alice delivers.’
- empathetic. Most editors have never been published themselves. Alice has not only ‘been there’ in terms of having her own novels published by a top publisher, but is also wonderfully supportive throughout the entire book-writing process.
- Quotes from clients include: ‘Alice was almost always on the end of a phone’. . . ‘Alice gave me the self-belief to do this, would have made a great life-coach in my opinion’ . . . ‘She made the whole business fun. She does great quips. Some of her comments on my first draft cracked me up!’ (Quotes from authors Daniel Ogilvie, Hans Arnold, and Julie Bremer.)
- not the cheapest — or the priciest, either. ‘There are loads of creative writing students in London or hard-pressed editors on the Indian subcontinent who can—more or less—put a book together, but for quality and style Alice McVeigh is unbeatable.’ And this: ‘Alice is entirely professional: she gave me an exact running total of hours accounted for, week by week, for my husband’s records.’ (Quotes from authors Jennifer Overhaus and Daniel Streaton).
- Also: Alice owns a second home on the Mediterranean, in western Crete, which is sometimes available for clients/coached writers. Own pool, only fifty metres of rock between the pool and the Mediterranean, three bedrooms, stunning views: the best place in the world in which to write!