Michelle Dunbar Developmental Editor
Author Services,  Editor,  Interview

Friendly Neighborhood Friday with Michelle Dunbar!

Unleash the dragon on your manuscript! Michelle is an editor, providing meticulous and amazing editing. Here’s a bit about her:

Michelle Dunbar is a writer, reader and developmental editor of science fiction and fantasy. She assists authors from the very first draft and up to (but not including) copyediting. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and is an entry level member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK). She has been a freelance editor since August 2015, but editing since June 2014 (prior to which she worked (online) as an intern for an overseas (American) independent publisher for one year.

I know a few of her clients and they tell me she’s like an editing superhero, rescuing manuscripts and plotlines from mistakes and holes.


Anyway, Here’s her interview! The initials are fun, because together we are Dr. and MD. Crazy, right? And plenty of super heroes are doctors also. Hmm, maybe Michelle can teach me a thing or five…

D.R.- Coffee or tea?
M.D.- I’m English, so it’s tea for me. Always tea.

Marvel or DC?
M.D.- Star Wars! I’ve never been into Marvel or DC and only know Batman from Spiderman because the costumes give it away. I grew up on science fiction – Star Trek, Flash Gordon and Battlestar Galactica being my favourites.

D.R.- Dogs or cats?
M.D.- Dogs. I have two border collies to keep me on my toes.

D.R.- Cake or pie?
M.D.- Oh, cake. Chocolate. Preferably with a nice cup of tea.

D.R.- Where’d you get the idea for your business/goods/services?
M.D.- Well, my business is developmental (and line) editing, which came about after I spent a year working as an intern for an independent publisher (online placement). I received excellent feedback from the publisher and by the time the internship came to an end, I’d already that I wanted to be an editor. I spent the following year beta reading and editing for free as I ‘practiced’ on many a manuscript, using the feedback I received from authors to fine tune the working practice and service I wanted to offer. In August last year, I took my first steps towards becoming a freelance editor, and haven’t stopped reading and editing since.

D.R.- What genres do you feel comfortable supporting?
M.D.- I decided early on in my editing ‘career’ to specialise in science fiction and fantasy genres (and sub-genres thereof), to only do developmental and line editing, and to only work with independent authors.

D.R.- What do you have to offer authors?
M.D.- I’m particular about high standards as I believe indie authors need to aim high, to produce their very best work, and to never shrug their shoulders and say ‘well, it’s self-published, so it’s bound to have mistakes…’
I’d like to think that what I offer authors is a friendly, respectful, yet honest round of edits. It’s not in my nature to engage in a brutal, nasty, rip-it-to-shreds style edit, but that doesn’t mean I won’t turn a manuscript blood-red. I would much rather explain how specific effects can be achieved using a section of the author’s writing as an example and encourage discussion. It also brings me great job satisfaction to watch that writer’s craft strengthen and develop and know that I helped in some small way.

D.R.- Do you have any goods/services that might benefit readers or other artists?
M.D.- In addition to editing, I also run a sort of book promotion site. I say sort of as I’m not a professional book promoter. Although I sell the occasion ad, most of what I do is free. Its purpose is to help independent and small press authors spread word of book releases and their achievements. Oh, and – surprise, surprise – it’s dedicated to books within science fiction and fantasy genres.

D.R.- Where can we find your goods/services on the Internet?
M.D.- My editing website can be found here and my ‘sort-of’ book promotion website can be found here.

D.R.- Tell us about your partner/helper/staff/assistant.
M.D.- I don’t have any official partners or assistants, but I do have three new editors under my wings at the moment: two developmental editors, and one who will edit through all stages of the editing process. They have been assisting me with some of my work (for which I sought the authors’ permission), thus gaining experience, testimonials, but most importantly, I can vouch personally for each of them.

You can find Michelle on Facebook and Twitter as well as her websites listed above. Click here or on the lovely pot of tea to find Michelle’s website and hire her for developmental editing.

D.R. Perry lives in Rhode Island and attends Dragon Con each year. She is also a member of the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA).

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