Let’s wait a bit on all the dull, dry details – my education, credentials, experience, projects, and so on. Instead, let’s talk about the more important and more interesting stuff first. Okay? Here goes then . . .
I really do believe that, to a large degree, people who love and work with words are either born writers or born editors. Yes, there’s a huge overlap, but the fact remains: you are born pretty much one or the other.
Me? I was born an editor, no doubt about it. Oh, sure, I write too. I write both fiction and non-fiction and even sell a few books. But editing is where my talent and heart lie.
I’m the kind of person who when handed anything with writing on it, immediately begins to find the errors and flaws and sets to work thinking of ways to make it better. And that means anything – thank-you note, to-do list (for you’ve got to have parallelism), whatever. Being that kind of nitpicker makes it difficult for those you live with, but it does make you an outstanding editor.
And I love – absolutely love – helping people improve their writing and so helping them to become better writers in the process. So for me, then, editing isn’t just a job: it’s also a passion.
Other Important Stuff
When you hire an editor, you’re not just paying someone to fix a piece of writing. Not at all. You are forming a partnership, entering into a relationship. You and your editor work together to make your novel or non-fiction book as good as it possibly can be. And, generally, we want to know something about the person we form a relationship with. So . . .
I live on a few acres in northeastern Oklahoma with four horses, four dogs, and one wife, to whom I’ve been married for 30 years (but not without some, well, “interesting” times). We have three children, two boys and one girl, and seven grandchildren who are absolutely delightful. (But when they’re not, we just send ’em back home.)
My favorite pastime is reading (just about anything I can get my hands on, including cereal boxes and TV Guides, even though I seldom watch TV), with fishing and vegetable gardening coming in a close second and third. My wife’s passion is the horses: that’s what she lives and breathes. I’m a little older than I’d like to be, but still healthy and full of plans for the future.
I also write both fiction and non-fiction. The fiction doesn’t really fit into any genre category, so it doesn’t sell much. The point is, though, that I’m an author, too. I know how you feel about your work and will respect that.
I’ve got well over 20 years in this freelance-editing game. I’ve proofread, copy edited, and substantive edited everything from novels to IT college textbooks, from short stories to trade journals.
I worked for 10 years as a writing coach/tutor and 14 years as a college-level Composition and World Lit teacher.
I have a BA in English, with minors in classical Greek and philosophy, and about half an MA in English.
What all this amounts to is that I love editing, and I’m very good at it. And for you that means no worries.
“Prior to submitting my manuscript, Serenity: It’s a God Deal, to my publisher, I enlisted the editorial services of M. L. (Michael) Hearing. . . . I was impressed with Michael from the start. He asked for a single chapter to edit, and then sent it back. He suggested that if I liked his style, we would continue. If not, no harm done. I most certainly liked his style; straight-forward editing while enhancing me as the author. If there was something he questioned, needed expanding, or just didn’t like, he stayed on it until it flowed properly – even if it took two or three edits. Michael pre-edited my first book and most assuredly will be involved in my future endeavors.”
―Bill Hanks, Author