Historical Fiction Book Editors

Dictionary.com defines “historical fiction” as:

noun
1. the genre of literature, film, etc., comprising narratives that take place in the past and are characterized chiefly by an imaginative reconstruction of historical events and personages.
2. works of this genre, as novels and plays.

For historical fiction writers, the challenge is bringing the past to life, and writing with accuracy. Historical fiction writers have special challenges because anachronistic errors will doom the book. Some of the research and writing challenges include:

  • The historical setting and world building
  • Characters appropriate for the time
  • Realistic dialogue for the time, region, and social class
  • A story/plot that is feasible for the time period

Details matter in all writing, but especially in historical fiction.  If your passion is to write historical fiction, you’ll need to spend a lot of time, and possibly a lot of money, making sure your historical facts are accurate. Using speech inflections is a delicate art that can be used seamlessly or be overly jarring to readers.

Here are other areas you should research about your historical time period:

Culture and social norms, home life, laws, occupations, language including slang/idioms, methods of travel, methods of communication, clothing for the social classes, the politics of the day, famines and diseases, scandals, food and cooking methods, domesticated animals and how they’re used, weather, wars, armies, militias, and much more.

Book editors who specialize in historical fiction know what works and what needs to be researched and reviewed. They help give characters personalized voices, vocabulary, and inflections that add to realism. Historical fiction editors question everything and will catch errors that editors outside this genre may miss.

David Alan

David Alan

Line editing, copy editing, content/developmental editing, proofreading, query letters

DAVID ALAN has edited more than 200 books and authored nearly 100 books for 30 publishers, including St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Lyons Press, Random House, Running Press, Warner Books, Total/Sports Illustrated, and Scholastic.

His books have generated more than $20 million in revenue and have appeared on the Today show, The Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. His rating on Goodreads.com is 4.21 based on nearly 3,000 ratings.

Theodora Bryant

Theodora Bryant

Book Editor - Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Romance

Experience

  • Owner, award-winning publishing company, 1994-2001
  • Freelance developmental editor (with the Book Editing Associates network only) since 2002
  • Critiqued and edited hundreds of manuscripts
  • Dozens of authors now happily selling their books

Editing Specialties

  • Detailed written critique/evaluation of your manuscript that asks questions, points out conflicts, confused timelines, characterization difficulties, etc., in the manuscript itself so the guide is always there for you to follow as you rework it.
  • Mentor you with creative ideas, and guide you through the whole gamut of what’s what in the publishing industry (i.e.: whether traditional or self-publishing is best for you).
  • Hands on content edit (aka copy-edit, aka line edit), structural/stylistic edit of your manuscript, doing everything to get your manuscript ready for a traditional agent, a traditional editor, a self-publishing company, or ready for submission to an e-publisher.
  • Work with you on a query and/or synopsis when the manuscript is ready for publication, should you want that.
Carly Cantor

Carly Cantor

Developmental Editing, Manuscript Evaluations and Critiques, Manuscript Assessment Services, Ghostwriting

200+ books edited for major publishers and independent authors

CARLY CANTOR is a published author and publishing industry veteran who worked for several years as an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher where she acquired and edited numerous hardcover and trade paperback titles every year on a variety of nonfiction subjects, mostly in the areas of current events, how-to, and pop culture. She is currently a meticulous, hands-on independent editor who “becomes one” with every project, paying close attention to both the big picture and the small details. Her extensive experience includes critiquing and development editing of fiction and nonfiction projects.

Caroline Hiley

Caroline Hiley

Fiction Editor and Proofreader

CAROLINE HILEY specializes in editing novels for independent authors and traditional publishers, including small press and Big Five. She also handles novellas, short stories, and memoirs.

From decades of experience as an editor, along with her experience as an award-winning novelist, Caroline understands the entire writing process from first draft to publication. She helps novice and seasoned authors prepare their novels for self- or traditional publishing, including help not only with storycraft and production but also book submission documents, such as queries and synopses.

Ana Howard

Ana Howard

Book Editor and Author of Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade Fiction, Memoirs, Historical Fiction

Ana specializes in fiction and offers a unique editorial perspective as the author of eight novels. Her books include contemporary and historical children’s, young adult, and adult literature. She has worked with both small independent publishers, such as Roberts Rinehart and Brown Barn Books, and large publishing houses, such as Penguin Putnam and American Girl.

She has seen one of her novels made into film and has won numerous literary awards.

She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of others writers and/or editors.

John David Kudrick

John David Kudrick

Christian Fiction and Nonfiction

With a BA in theology, an MA focused on fiction, and nearly two decades of editorial/writing experience, John David has been privileged to work with some of the finest publishers in the nation, including Bethany House, David C Cook, Barbour, NavPress, Realms Fiction, Marcher Lord Press, and Whitaker House – where, as senior editor, he worked on James Byron Huggins’ Nightbringer, a book that Library Journal named one of its annual top five Christian novels.

To date, John David has had the opportunity to serve as an editor on more than 175 published titles and to work with authors from across the US and around the world.

Andrea Robb

Andrea Robb

New York Times Bestselling and Award-Winning Book Editor

Fiction and Nonfiction: Literary, Historical, Mystery, Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Erotica, Humor, New Age, Spirituality

Andrea Robb spent over a decade as an acquiring editor at Penguin Random House, working on key titles for Knopf, Doubleday, Pantheon, Vintage and Anchor Books. Prior to that, she was on the editorial team at The Book of the Month Club, where she evaluated hundreds of titles for club inclusion.

Notable fiction projects that Andrea has edited have included Jennifer McMahon's NY Times bestselling novels The Winter People, The Night Sister, and Burntown; the NY Times bestselling Veronica Mars mystery series; the Harvard Lampoon's NY Times bestselling parody Nightlight; the translations of Paulo Coelho's internationally bestselling novels The Spy, Adultery, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Aleph; Whiting Award-winner Melanie Sumner's How to Write a Novel; and Latifah Salom's debut suspense novel, The Cake House.

Nonfiction projects include blogger and comedian Samantha Irby's We Are Never Meeting in Real Life; Vela magazine founder Sarah Menkedick's debut essay collection Homing Instincts; multiple anthologies in the bestselling Foxfire series on Appalachian history and culture; the political travel guide The Nation Guide to the Nation; and new editions of Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey's Driven to Distraction and Answers to Distraction.

SJ Sutton

SJ Sutton

Book Editor, Script and Screenplay Story Consultant

Publishing Consultant, Television and Film Industry Veteran

DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, HBO

S.J. Sutton has worked in the book publishing and the film industries for thirty years-on the front lines and behind the scenes-finding projects to publish and/or produce, and developing and editing them, seeing them through to completion on the page or screen. In the book publishing industry, she was a developmental editor, copy editor, and proofreader for large publishers. In the film industry she worked as a story analyst and development consultant on feature film and television projects for DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, among others, and worked on the development of films such as L.A. Confidential (Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), Get On Up, Enigma, HBO’s Vinyl, and countless others. She assisted writer/director Albert Brooks on Defending Your Life.

Thomas Wray

Thomas Wray

Christian Book Editor and Bookcrafter

I'm a veteran editor and writer, with four decades of full-time work in book publishing, focusing especially on Christian books of all kinds. I’ve also edited numerous business and leadership books, memoirs, and fiction titles.

I’ve partnerered with dozens of respected communicators in bringing out many notable works. These authors have included Louie Giglio, Carolyn Castleberry, Henry Blackaby, J. I. Packer, C. J. Mahaney, Ruth Myers, Randy Alcorn, Thelma Wells, Richard Blackaby, Tony Evans, John MacArthur, Larry Crabb, Larry Osborne, Andy Stanley, and Dave Harvey, to name just a few.

Many of my editing projects have involved extensive collaborative writing—especially developing content from various author sources such as sermon transcripts, message outlines, letters, and journal entries. I’ve worked to maintain the author’s voice and style, and I’m grateful to have often been commended by authors for doing exactly that.

As an author, I’m currently writing the third novel in a trilogy of historical fiction (currently being agented for consideration by publishers). I’ve also written extensively for children (using a pen name), with more than twenty books published. Three of my books were winners of the Christian Book Award (the “Gold Medallion”) from the ECPA trade publishers association.