In part four of my interview with Emma Walton Hamilton, which was recently featured in a Thursday series, we talked about her editing services. Emma offers a range of editing services for writers of children’s books, including manuscript evaluations and line edits of picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels, query critiques, even one-to-one mentoring sessions.
Today we’re going to hear from two writers who have great things to say about Emma’s editing expertise, Brooks Olbrys and Ed Raarup.
Brooks is the author of Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose, a picture book (2011) and The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Journey Begins, an early chapter book (2013).
A graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Brooks is the founder of Children’s Success Unlimited and a managing director at investment bank Ion Partners. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.
You met Ed on Monday, when I featured his book Fireflies and Shooting Stars. Ed studied vocal music and theatre at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, and has worked as an actor in several projects on stage and television. In writing both the text of Fireflies and Shooting Stars as well as writing the music and lyrics for songs on the accompanying CD, he has discovered yet another mode of expression for his multiple creative talents.
Let’s see what they have to say about their work with Emma —
When I was a kid, my mom often told me that I was lucky. Having Emma Walton Hamilton as the editor of my Blue Ocean Bob children’s book series proves that my luck has not run out. I am a lawyer and investment banker by training so when I embarked on a project to incorporate timeless achievement principles that had helped me so much in my life into a children’s book series, I was probably not Emma’s typical editing client. Yet as many others have highlighted, Emma is not a typical editor. She has a gift for seeing the essence of a story and then working with her clients to develop and enhance it. Emma has given me constructive, in depth feedback on all aspects of my writing from story arc and character development to line editing and word choice.
My book series presents the additional challenge of being written in rhyme by a novice poet. With her deep expertise in verse and meter and her fundamental understanding of the messages in my stories (about an island boy, his hummingbird guardian and some wise sea creatures), Emma is an irreplaceable contributor to my book series project.
In addition, Emma has served as my children’s book industry guru and has led me to so many resources that have increased my understanding and enjoyment of children’s book writing and publishing. These include SCBWI, her Children’s Book Hub and the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference (where I attended an inspiring and enriching workshop with Peter H Reynolds).
I am working on the next book in my series now, and I feel compelled at times to move it forward to the illustration and publishing phases more quickly. But I have learned from Emma that good writing needs to be great writing and that great writing takes time, effort and inspiration. The wise sea creatures in my books would say that luck is nothing more than when preparation meets opportunity. So to keep my luck running, I just need to be prepared; for in Emma Walton Hamilton, I have met opportunity.
After completing the first draft of my debut work as an author, I began to do considerable research in the process of turning my story into a published and marketable book. Time and again, the importance of a good editor was presented as a crucial factor for the process. In Emma, I found a great editor! Her evaluations and editorial advice were honest, forthright and clever. The manner in which she presented her critiques and thought-provoking questions was always professional and kind. Her insight and guidance for character development ultimately took my story to a level beyond what I had ever imagined. In fact, her invaluable suggestions helped solidify the very message and platform for my work. Emma’s style of editing never created roadblocks for my writing; rather, it opened doors and presented possibilities that made me rush back to my desk to keep writing. Her skillful talent has given me the opportunity to be a better writer, and for that I am truly grateful.
You can learn more about Ed and his book at his website, http://www.firefliesandshootingstars.com
Thank you both for your wonderful accolades for Emma!
To learn more about Emma’s work, please check out her website: