I have provided traditional editorial services since . . . oh, crikey, who can remember that far back? Twenty plus years, anyway. However, imagine a book editor tired of editing textbooks . . . remedial, freshman English, college textbooks. That would be me, trying to start up again after having two children and taking five years off.
Hello . . . helloooo? I’m back. Anyone there? Anyone who knows me, that is?
Hm, people move fast in publishing, switching from company to company. I should know; I had done some of that moving myself. I started at Time-Life Books, fresh out of college, in 1988. (Good times, my friends. Good times.) And then I went back to school to get my master’s degree. (English Lit. with a concentration in 18th- & 19th-century Romanticism—is that a career breaker, or what?) Next, I found myself as the editor of Weiser Books, and then I got married.
Well, some stuff must have happened in between. But I knew I was ready to go freelance, to jump off into the great unknown of no steady paycheck, no health insurance, no paid vacations . . . ah, the promised land!
That’s how I ended up producing textbooks on just about every subject — English, psychology, education, computer technology, medical (hope those doctors didn’t believe every word I edited), and even play writing. There were smatterings of fiction editing projects, as well.
Then I had children and took a “break.” When I started up again, most of my old contacts were gone and I transitioned from a book producer to a book editor, working on mysteries and romance novels and contemporary suspense and more romance and, yes, still some nonfiction, too.
Sometime a while back, I discovered web design. (Well, I certainly didn’t “discover” it, not in the way Columbus discovered America or Al Gore discovered the Internet!) I was introduced to such cool things as HTML, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, WordPress, and Flash. And some not so cool things like php, databases, e-commerce software, and . . . computer viruses. (Honestly, what is with those people? If only they’d use their smarts for niceness instead of evil!)
So, you’re caught up with how Cat Whisker Studio came into being. Now I pick and choose awesome copy editing assignments, both online and on paper, and I am always looking for new opportunities to use my skills as a meticulous editor and master wordsmith. And I continue to create websites, which is always fun, interesting, frustrating, challenging, and rewarding. I get to meet various and sundry people who are doing all sorts of remarkable things and who need a place of their own on the web. Additionally, I write fiction, as Sydney Jane Baily.
—Sydney J. Baily