History is told by the victors.
Stories are told by the heroes.
In every tale from myth, legend, or faerie there are the voiceless: those characters who live in the silent, untold spaces, or whose inner worlds are never visited. This collection retells 14 classic stories you may think you already know, from perspectives you never thought to consider.
The unexamined life is not worth living, or so the saying goes. No longer will we let those voices go unheard.
This is Heads and Tales: because like the flip of a coin, the stories can change. Take a shot, and see where it takes you.
2021 has been a fascinating, busy year for me. Sitting in the house, watching the new Australian Shepherd pups – Ms. Moneypenny and Mr. James Bond snore on the dining room floor, Christmas tree in the background, I’m reminded that a number of successes have happened to get to this point.
It all started with Chris Van Dyke of Skullgate Media reaching out on Twitter to see if anyone would want to partner up with him to write an anthology. Then Renee Gendron and Nicki Mitchell joined suit with theirs. These were all back in 2020. It was great fun writing stories at that time with everyone. The authors were asked to help edit, a way to keep the burden off the publisher. I kept backing away from it, because I had some high standards and didn’t want people to get mad at me for putting in 200-300 edit comments on a 5K story. That could come off as rather insulting.
In 2021, in between anthologies with other people, I decided to host one myself and acquired a great group of authors. This was my one big chance where I could show people what it was that I did when it came to editing and figured I couldn’t insult anyone with the massive amounts of editing I do, seeing as I was hosting.
During this time, I had Chris Durston in the group – he wrote Each Little Universe, a great book I’d suggest to most people. Anyways. He does proof reading and was contemplating getting into freelance editing. I didn’t have the money at that time to have him edit the books I had brought out, but it was a fascinating working experience with him to realize that he made a great proof reader and I enjoyed line and substantive editing.
The rest of the authors from the anthology I hosted – Heads and Tales: The Other Side of the Story – took the editing commentary very well, to my surprise. Some asked if I did it professionally. Having seen from Chris that I could also freelance edit, I went in 2021 to see a lawyer and get my LLC put together for Chapel Orahamm, an Editing Service.
This anthology was a fantastic learning experience that taught me what it was to edit a full 100K manuscript, work with individual authors and their visions, and compose typesetting for a novel. I loved it. I really did. I found the deadline stressful only because I self-impose deadlines and like to see the product be perfect by the deadline. I learned that I desperately want my authors happy and for the book to be as perfect as feasibly possible.
I also learned that wayward commas were the bane of my existence. So, when I decided to run another anthology in the fall of 2021 – Welcome to Simmins, Detective Spencer -, I invested in a software program called Grammarly specifically to spot those pesky commas and double periods that sometimes show up. Combining it with my passion for line-by-line editing and substantively rearranging paragraphs or asking the authors to expand and delete large sections of text is so fulfilling. I feel like I can really provide a comprehensive service at this point.
The knowledge that I can do right by my authors, seeing as I allow impostor syndrome to the get the better of me often, is a really great feeling to finally have.
To my authors who let me put together an anthology not once, but twice with them, and trust me with their work, thank you so much for encouraging me to officially become a professional line and substantive editor. It is turning out to be a wonderful journey.