Magill’s Quill

Why Specialize in Mystery, Thriller, and Horror? 

When I finished my first novel, I was advised to have a developmental editor work on it. I knew nothing about what editors did or what they cost. I wanted the best and assumed that someone who charged a lot would know my chosen genre. It was one of the most frustrating experiences on my road to publication. The editor knew nothing of mystery conventions and tropes. The suggested changes were not only wrong but downright inconceivable. Your editor MUST know your genre! I do.

Most of my reading is in the genres of mystery, thriller, and horror, and I have done extensive research along the path to gaining my Masters in English/Creative Writing. Additional background includes: reserve police academy; working in the Fire Department, Police Department, and Communications (9-1-1); proficiency in firearms and martial arts; a BS in Criminal Justice and another in Occupational Safety & Health; and 25+ years as a first aid and basic life support instructor…and what seems like a gazillion seminars and classes in these genres and policing/investigation methods.

Why hire an editor at all? Won’t the publisher make it spiffy? I learned the hard way. It is almost impossible to accurately edit your own work. With the competition out there, an agent might not even take your project if it is not cleanly edited. If you plan on self-publishing, an editor is especially critical to the success of your work.