Karin Cather – Book Editor


Developmental editor, copy editor, and writer with a background in criminal law and academics.

Karin specializes in apocalyptic fiction, autobiography, memoir, police procedural, narrative nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, and true crime.

Karin Cather has a BA in comparative literature, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley. If your novel has fight scenes or involves 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. 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 investigators on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense. She can help add realism to your writing.

In creative nonfiction, as someone who spent over a dozen years as a prosecutor, Karin know how many stories law enforcement officers, other first responders, and prosecutors have to tell. Karin edits autobiography and memoir of these professionals—current or retired—who write under their own names or use pseudonyms.

Karin brings her rich and varied background to bear on crime thrillers, police procedurals, and true crime, as well as dystopian and apocalyptic fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy.

Book Editing Services

Developmental Editing

This work is at the manuscript level. It involves editing a document, book, scientific paper, or dissertation for structure, organization, and planning. Perhaps there are events in one chapter that should occur earlier or later in the work (or in a different book). Sometimes the pacing needs to be changed. Perhaps it takes too long to get from point A to point B, or you take the reader the long way around and they get lost. The developmental editor makes suggestions to the author about how to improve the work.

Line Editing or Stylistic Editing

This is editing at the paragraph or sentence level. It addresses wordiness, voice, tone, and “sound.” It addresses realism in dialogue, sentence length, word choice, and readability.


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.

Fact Checking

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.

Published Writer:

(selected titles)

“Guarding the Gates: Expert Witness Testimony after Daubert.” Ed. Kitaeff, J. Malingering, Lies and Junk Science in the Courtroom. Cambria Press (2007).

“The Way to Brady is Through Sony; Procedures to more effectively utilize informant assistance,” The Prosecutor, Vol. 39, No. 3 (May/June 2005) 18.

“Vincent Bugliosi Speaks Out About Prosecuting Cases,” The Prosecutor, Vol. 38, No. 6 (November/December 2004) 22.

“Using the Elliot Ness Strategy against International Terrorists,” The Prosecutor, Vol. 38, No. 5 (September/October 2004) 13.

“Creative Prosecution: Turn Losing Cases into Winners,”The Prosecutor, Vol. 38, No. 3 (May/June 2004) 22.

“The CSI Effect: Fake TV and Its Impact on Jurors in Criminal Cases,” The Prosecutor, Vol. 38, No. 2 (March/April 2004) 9.

“Serial Killers, Hidden Murders: The Prosecution of Health Care Professionals Who Kill Patients,” The Prosecutor, Vol. 38, No. 1 (January/February 2004) 18.

“Footprints in the Snow: The Prosecution of Arson Crimes,” in The Prosecutor’s Deskbook, 3rd Ed., Ed. John E. Brigham. Virginia: American Prosecutor’s Research Institute (2001).

“An Attorney Is Not a Rolls-Royce: The Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984 and the Sixth Amendment Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel after United States v. Monsanto,” 1 William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal (1992) 128.

“Food and the Adulterous Woman: Sexual and Social Morality in Anna Karenina.” Language and Literature 13 (1988): 35-67.

“The Shamanic Complex in the Pentecostal Church,” Ethos, Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 16:2 (1988) 128.

McCarty, Horwatt & Konarska, “Chronic Stress and Sympathetic Adrenal-Medullary Responsiveness,” Social Science in Medicine 26:3 (1988) 333.

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.

Book Editor Reviews

“Karin is brilliant. She has a keen eye for detail, picking up on things that I didn’t even notice. I’m not talking about grammar here (although she’s obviously flawless with that), I’m talking about her ability to pick out those little issues – a word, a plot point, all those things that are definitely ‘working’ but aren’t. Karin has a vast amount of knowledge to share and I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

“Karin’s vast knowledge and expertise was invaluable. Her work was punctual and thorough. I’m completely confident she made my manuscript the best it could be.” – Raphael

“I was referred to Karin when seeking an editor for my master’s thesis. She was able to meet and exceed all of my expectations. She was able to work within my budget and time-frame. Karin also provided me with feedback on my writing, references for her recommendations, and was open to questions throughout the process. Karin was professional and responded promptly to all of my questions. She was also understanding and open to incorporating the feedback from my supervisor and the requirements for my thesis. She is very personable, adaptive, and encouraging. I am very grateful for her services.” – Syler Hayes, B.Sc. (Hons), Master of Arts Student, Counselling Psychology, Adler University

“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

Your Free Gift!

Your Free Gift!

Self-publishing means keeping track of all the details. Your free checklist will help ensure that your self-publishing efforts are a success.

Subscribe and get it now.

You have Successfully Subscribed!