Alex James - photo

What I do

I’m a qualified freelance copy editor and proofreader based in Leeds, and fiction is my speciality. I have experience copy editing and proofreading stories for independent authors in the genres fantasy and horror. I help authors prepare their books for publishing and submission; or for releasing a new edition. I’m happy to work on most genres, at any length, from short stories to novellas and full-length novels.

Who I am

Indie publishing background

Having written, formatted, and self-published my own books from 2012, I know what it’s like to write, self-edit, prepare a cover, and format a book for publishing. As an author I contacted reviewers, booked stalls at events, and knew some of the legal and insurance requirements. My experience did teach me about the quality and presentation readers expect of writing and I subsequently became well-versed in fiction editing.

Though my self-publishing has stopped for the time being; while I focus on writing, copy editing, and proofreading; it still informs my thinking and is a strong foundation.

Science fiction and fantasy

My interest in science fiction and fantasy began when I dropped out of university, having struggled to cope with the group system of learning, among other things. I used to pop down to local libraries to satisfy my intellectual stimulation, picking up books with the nicest covers then seeing if the descriptions struck a chord with me. I discovered Alastair Reynolds, Peter F Hamilton, R Scott Bakker, Drew Karpyshyn, Philip K Dick and Mark Charan Newton. I identified with their stories, opening my interest and imagination, and paving the way for self-discovery and self-expression in the form of writing.

I’ve been writing since 2009, when I wanted to explore an idea about beings that thought and interacted differently. Originally I wanted to explore neurological differences in the hope of understanding mine. The end result, The Antpod Faction, was a science fiction spy story about unusual antpods that were semi-organic robots, perhaps to show they weren’t too robotic and weren’t too human either. I decided to publish it in 2012. This was the beginning of my self-publishing journey. When I first started selling The Antpod Faction at stalls I became convinced it was my signature story.

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is different for everyone who has the condition. They say if you’ve met one person on the spectrum then you’ve met one person, and I suppose that’s a way of saying we’re still individual human beings – no hive mind. Asperger Syndrome is a form of high-functioning autism. It’s a diagnosis and label to some, but to people like me it is a way of identifying and understanding myself that has led to self-growth through awareness of strengths and weaknesses. And it’d be untruthful to say I got to this stage solely through my own resources, by myself. I’ve had help, and I still have help. It is my hope that, in the same way I’ve been helped and inspired by those with the condition and those who help others who have the condition, I can also be a source of strength and inspiration in my chosen field.

Proofreading for Fiction Authors
Copy editing for Fiction Authors


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