Developmental editor, copy editor, and copywriter with a background in law and academics
Apocalyptic fiction, autobiography, memoir, science fiction and fantasy, literary, police procedural, and short stories
Karin Graham is a trained editor. She has a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from the University of Virginia, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley Extension. Karin honed her skills in turning facts and events into a coherent story in the crucible of the courtroom and her years as an attorney make her utterly attuned to the way that just the right (or wrong) word can change everything. She uses those skills to bring out the best in your work.
If your novel has fight scenes or involves any aspect of police procedures or the law, Karin is your specialist. Karin is a trained martial artist, with a third degree black belt in tae kwon do and years of training in hapkido and Krav Maga (which is a street-fighting self-defense system designed by a man fighting to survive in 1930s Eastern Europe). This means that Karin is uniquely able to evaluate the realism of your fight scenes. She has accompanied police on search warrants, observed autopsies, and been to countless crime scenes. She has training in arson prosecution and investigations and has given lectures to investigors on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense.
Karin understands that just because editors can change a manuscript doesn't mean they should. An editor's job is to make the author's manuscript stand out, not to remake it as their own.
Karin specializes in apocalyptic fiction, autobiography/memoir, fantasy, literary, police procedural, science fiction, and short story anthology.
This work is at the manuscript level. It involves editing a document, book, scientific paper, or dissertation for structure, organization, and planning. Sometimes there is a lot of good writing but it makes the main ideas harder to identify. Sometimes the pacing needs to be changed. Or a major character or critical ideas surface too late in the manuscript. The developmental editor makes suggestions to the author about how to improve the work.
This involves inspecting a document for grammar, usage, and mechanics. Other things I check for include the following: Is the document written formally in parts and more colloquially in other parts? Do the footnotes or endnotes numbers appear in the right place in the right order in the right sequence? Are the illustrations labelled properly? Do you spell a word one way in portions of the manuscript and a different way in others? Is your bibliography complete? Is the document clearly worded? This is not an exhaustive list; but it is safe to say that a copy edit will enhance the clarity, effectiveness, accuracy, and readability of your document.
How realistic is that fight scene? Can you get DNA off of the piece of evidence your main character finds? You've written your story, but you need a skilled, professional researcher to help with your facts.
Qualifications and training:
- Editing certificate from the University of California Berkeley Extension.
- B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Virginia.
- J.D. degree from William and Mary Law School.
- First academic publication in 1988 (the first of twelve such publications).
- Almost twenty years of complex legal writing for courts, involving thorough research and accurate writing about medical, scientific, or behavioral health evidence.
- Past subjects edited: fiction, nanotechnology, epidemiology, social sciences, bioengineering, self-help, memoirs, and international law.
"As an author, you rely on your editor to identify the issues that you're too close to see--which goes far beyond the basics of grammar and spelling. That's exactly what Karin brings to the table. Sure, she has an eye for detail to fix the typos and errors, but it was her professionalism, reliability, and honest feedback about my manuscript that I appreciated the most." – Jake Poinier, writer, editor, author, and publisher - Dr. Freelance