Hello there! I'm Emily, your guide through the many rites of passage that come with the business of writing.
That’s me, to the left, to the left. (Everything you own is in a box to the left.) Ahem . . . I’m an author and editor for Gelato Books, an award winning writer, and an editor of editors. I’m that good. 😉
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until 13 years ago. I was fresh home, and dewy eyed, from New York City, where I had spent the previous year and a half as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was looking for something else I could devote my life to–something I could be proud of, something worthwhile.
Like many of us in this business, I felt pulled to writing. The idea of entertaining the masses with my words appealed like nothing else. Who else has been there?
But I needed to make money, (wah wah,) so I worked lots of different jobs: in a real estate school, as a driver’s ed teacher, as a ghost tour guide, and in a nursery (flowers not children).
Meanwhile, I wrote. And rewrote. I rewrote my first manuscript about 50 times (I know I’m not the only one who’s done this). I like to call it my “learning book.” And, man, was my “learning book” a crucible by fire.
It was from this manuscript that I first discovered that I was horrible at spelling and grammar. Whaaat?
My dreams of becoming the next J.K. Rowling came crashing to the earth. Having spent years writing short stories and screenplays, I couldn’t believe it. Why hadn’t anyone told me?!
Because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
After that, I took it as a challenge to fix those weaknesses and make them strengths. Now, more than a decade later, I edit for a publishing house, several authors who are also editors, and as a freelance editor. (Check my Work With Me page to see my rates.) I feel pretty good about how far I’ve come. And that’s part of what I want to share with you.
You can see a little of my editing awesomeness in my freebie, What Editors Want & What They Don’t: Get the Best Finished Manuscript Possible With the Help of Over 30 Professional Editors.
Another thing I came to understand from my “learning book” was that I was pretty great at coming up with compelling story ideas (yay!) but still needed a lot of help with the craft of writing (boo!). This too became an obsession.
I went to writer conference after writer conference, took classes at university, where I eventually graduated top of my class, and constantly submitted my stories for peer review. To say it was a long, hard, and painful process would be putting it lightly.
Eleven years later, Gelato Books optioned my series, The Contemporary Reboot Series, which I write under pen name, Ellie Thornton. At the time, Gelato only published sweet romance, but opened another branch called Hallow Orchard so they could publish my cozy mystery series.
To date, all of the books in my series have an average of 4.8 stars on Amazon. Not bad, eh?
(I now own the rights to this series, and am doing an anthology with Gelato.)
All this work fostered in me a love of learning, taught me how to craft stories that keep people turning the page, and grew a desire in me to help others do the same. I’m far from perfect, but I’m doing pretty dang well, if I do say so myself.
And I want to share my hard-earned knowledge with you.
I have three main goals that I want to accomplish with this website:
1.) I want to have fun.
As creatives, we can be prone to stress and being overly sensitive. (I bet you’re nodding your head right now. Ammirite?)
I want to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with the business of being an author, create a community of like-minded individuals, and a place where we can gather to work hard together.
And I want to help you have fun in the process. Because if storytelling isn’t fun, then what’s the point?
2.) I want to make things figureoutable. (Yes, I know that’s not a word, but you totally know what I mean.)
If there’s one thing I can say is my superpower, it’s that I can figure anything out.
Sure, I might scratch my head at first, get frustrated, throw things, become nauseated, (does this sound contradictory to the first goal?) but I always figure things out in the end.
I want to help you do the same–hopefully with less frustration and nausea. You can thank me later.
3.) I want to pass on the kindness shown me.
In this business being strong and growing a thick skin is not only imperative, it’s inevitable. That doesn’t mean it should strip us of our kindness.
I’ve lost count of all the people who have helped me over the years–bestsellers, some of the best editors in the business, marketers, and more.
These people have taken me under their wings, given me their time and energy to help me get just a little bit farther down the authoring path.
These people are my heroes. Not only because they helped me in this often cutthroat business, but because they showed me they cared. And they have a devoted and loyal fan in me because of it.
Kindness really is key.
I plan to accomplish these goals by:
- Providing you with the best editing tips I know
- Sharing the writing lessons I’ve learned over the years that have helped me to write a stellar story
- Teaching you some marketing basics that I learned in my own journey, at school while getting my communications degree, and from being a marketing virtual assistant. I’ll cover branding, social media best practices, creating an email list, giveaways, ads, and more
- Helping you to learn the business side of being an author, from budgeting and bookkeeping, to paying taxes, to running a small business, and more. Because if you’re an author, you’re a small business
- Anything and everything that might be helpful to us as writers and authors
- And, because I’m a forever learner myself, I intend to have a monthly guest post, maybe more, to learn from some of the best editors, writers, marketers, publishers, and agents in the business
Don’t forget to grab your handy dandy copy, that I compiled with the help of some of those super kind people I was talking about above, of What Editors Want & What They Don’t: Get the Best Finished Manuscript Possible With The Help of Over 30 Professional Authors.
You’ll be glad you did.
Best wishes for your success,