Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

Q: How long have you been a published writer?
A: My first published piece was in 1982 in the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper. As of this FAQ, over three decades.

Q: What do you write?
A: I write or have written a lot of things, including articles, blogs, features, reviews, blurbs, press releases, short stories, business copy, SEO keyword copy, books, chapbooks, and other things I’ve probably forgotten about already.

Q: What are your pen names?
A: Bev Walton~Porter, Star Ferris, and a couple others I won’t reveal yet.

Q: Why do you use pen names?
A: Before I got married in 2008, my name was Bev Walton-Porter. I had already branded myself with that name. I’m loathe to change it at this point.

In addition, since I write many different types of articles, blogs, books, and stories, it’s important to let people know what they’re getting so they don’t pick up a romance novel and expect the same type of content as, say, a non-fiction book. For instance, I write articles and blogs under Bev Sninchak, non-fiction books under Bev Walton-Porter, and contemporary romance under Star Ferris.

Finally, my married name, Sninchak, can be tricky to pronounce and hard to remember for some people. Authors should have names that readers don’t have to struggle to remember, spell, or pronounce.

Q: Will you read my manuscript?
A: Unfortunately, no. I have limited time and if I spent all of my time reading other people’s work, I wouldn’t have time to work on my own creative projects or help existing clients. When I have free time, I prefer to spend it with my family. Thanks for understanding ;-).

Q: Will you edit or proofread my story or book manuscript?
A: Sure. Go here to find out about the services I offer and how to hire me. You can also e-mail me at nocturnaleditor -at – gmail.com.

Q: Would you collaborate with me?
A: I’ve had wonderful experiences collaborating with other authors, but I am uninterested in doing so at this time. Nothing against you—promise!

Q: What are your favorite genres?
A: Non-fiction, fantasy, dark fiction, paranormal romance, erotica, and poetry.

Q: What books have you published?
A: Sun Signs for Writers, Secrets of the Professional Freelancer, Aim To Write: Tips & Tricks for Freeing the Scribe Within, Shadows of the Soul, and Nocturnal Musings: Collected Ponderings, Essays, and Stories. I co-authored The Complete Writer: A Guide To Tapping Your Full Potential. I’ve also published Mending Fences and Hidden Fire under my pen name Star Ferris.

You can find all my books at Amazon.com.

Q: Have you used traditional publishers or are you strictly an indie author?
A: My first four books were released through traditional publishers, such as Writer’s Digest Books. I have since reclaimed the publishing rights to all of those books and have become an indie author, publishing them through )0( Triple Crow Publishing )0(.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: A non-fiction book, a fiction book, a collection of short stories, and various articles/blog posts.

Q: What makes you think you know everything about writing, editing, or publishing?
A: I don’t. I can only share my experiences, but your mileage may vary (YMMV). Nobody knows everything about writing, editing, or publishing. If they tell you they do, they’re delusional or lying to you. I’m human and I make mistakes like everyone else. The difference is that I try to learn from those mistakes (because I give a shit).

Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: From life. Look around you. How could you not have countless ideas on a daily basis?

Q: What is your educational background?
A: I graduated from Widefield High School in Security, Colorado, attended Phillips University in Enid, OK, and majored in Applied Communication & Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I love learning, so I continue to take online college courses through Coursera, FutureLearn, KhanAcademy, and edX, among others.

Have other questions? Contact me at scribequill -at- gmail.com or visit my author page at http://www.facebook.com/Bev.Walton.Porter

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[Blog post from The Writer’s Dominatrix] Are you a give-a-shit writer?

Originally published at The Writer’s Dominatrix

Look, I get that writing a book manuscript isn’t easy. I know it takes countless hours of your life and it can drain your brain like nothing else. If writing were an easy feat, every person would do it. But that’s no excuse for sloppy manuscript submissions. At the minimum, you should have punctuation in your manuscript, as well as paragraphs. Who the hell thinks having NO PARAGRAPHS in a manuscript is a good idea?!*

(*Interrobangs are so much fun to use, aren’t they?)

Please, respect your editor and publisher. Don’t send them a manuscript that’s laden with errors and half-assed efforts like missing quotation marks (really?). Does a person who never uses quotation marks realize that dialogue requires such marks, or were they too damned lazy to bother with it in the first place? I’m betting on the latter.

While you’re at it, why don’t you run a cursory spell check so it appears you made an attempt to check your work in some small way before you shunted it off to your editor or publisher? Yeah, that would be nice. Oh, wait. Is that too much to ask? For many so-called writers, it is. Learning the craft of writing is SO last century, isn’t it? I mean, who has the TIME? *insert hair flip*

You can always tell the difference between writers who sling together a manuscript in hopes of selling a bunch of books to make a wad of cash versus a writer who takes the craft of writing seriously. The latter will obsess over every. little. detaileven after the manuscript is out of his or her hands. In fact, once the book is published, the caring writer will still regret not making even more changes before the book found its way onto the bookshelves. This type of writer gives a shit.

And the slapdash writer? This is the kind I want to strangle (not really, but the angry emotion is there). Well, that writer doesn’t give a damn about much of anything. They’ll serve up a pile of prosaic poop and expect their editor to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Who needs to know anything about spelling and grammar, right? The editor should fix all of it, so why does the writer need to know the difference between their/there/they’re? Who has time for figuring out and learning homophones, right? This type of writer gives no shits…at all. They’re the type who will fling crap at a wall and then expect others to turn it into a Picasso. If you’re this type of writer, you’re an asshole. Yep, I said it because it’s true.

The funny thing is, once writers who don’t give a shit have their books published, they’re shocked to learn they’re not outselling J.K. Rowling. Take it from me: these writers almost always go out of their way to tell you how they are the next big thing in the literary world and how all their books will be bestsellers.

Conversely, the writer who gives a shit hardly, if ever, allows those words pass his or her lips. It all leads back to thinking of writing as a craft and something you do for your entire life, as opposed to something you do on a lark to see if you can rake in money so you can brag about it to your Aunt Martha at Christmas time.

Writers who care will write no matter what. Most of the time, they want to earn a living with their words so they can keep writing as a career instead of being stuck in a hellish cubicle doing something they absolutely hate. They cannot NOT write. It’s not possible. Writing is not just what they do, but is an essential part of who they ARE.

People who masquerade as writers only give a shit about writing when they can get something superficial out of it. You won’t find these types at literary meet-ups or discussing the wonders of Shakespeare or Murakami. They won’t know who Jack Kerouac is, nor will they know the difference between David Sedaris and David Copperfield (he’s an author, right?). Because, heck, they probably don’t read much. Reading is for boring people, you see. They may even brag that they haven’t read a book since high school or college. They aren’t concerned with the importance of literature OR the art and craft of writing. They’re concerned with the potential for fame and quick cash to use for their next casino trip to Las Vegas.

It pains me to say it, but the people I’ve described in the previous paragraph are still considered writers. If you write, you’re a writer. But not all writers are the same. This type of writer never earns my respect, nor will they ever. They use writing like it’s little more than a White Chapel whore for their personal pleasure. They use it, wring out what pleasure or benefit they can, and then toss it to the side with nary a backward glance. They don’t truly care about books, writing, literature, authors, readers, or anything of the sort. It’s all about what’s in it for them — that’s it. They’re users, not givers.

Do me a favor, will ya? Strive to become the type of writer who gives a shit, not the kind who doesn’t. If you don’t have the proper respect for books and writing, find another hobby. We need more givers and fewer takers. Which one are you?

Proud of ALL of my roots!

Proud of ALL my roots, from the HUGE Northern European percentage (Scottish/Welsh/Irish, French, German, Norwegian), to the bits of Russian, Swiss, and Italian strands of DNA woven in there as well. You can’t get much more European in ancestry than I am, basically.

Still, I honor the Tuckahoe Cherokee ancestry contributed from my Great Grandmother, Lucy Anetta Ray. I recognize and honor ALL of my ancestors and am proud of those connections.

Had it not been for DNA testing, I would’ve never known about all the parts that make up who I am. When you’re adopted, there’s a big hole in your past. At least that’s how I felt. It was important to fill in the blanks as much as I could. Not only for me, but also for my children. They needed to know the info about their history, too.

Gotta love science and technology! Think of all the wonderful things — and knowledge — it’s brought to us! I have connected with cousins I never knew I had. Thank you, science and technology, for all the wonderful and amazing things you bring to life!

norsk roots

Need an editor or proofreader? Hire me.

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for nearly two decades. If you have a book manuscript you need edited or proofread, I can assist you. You’ll get a professional copy edit or proofread at a reasonable price. Plus, I tell great jokes if you catch me on the right day. 😉 I may also share virtual coffee, tea, and chocolate, depending on your preferences.

But seriously, if you’ve written something for publication and you need a professional edit or proofread without a lot of hassle and without breaking the proverbial bank, I’m your best choice.

Not sure if you need copy editing or proofreading? Here’s a link that will help you make that determination: http://thewriteoneblog.com/substantive-editing-copy-editing-proofreading/

Once you’re clear on what you need, here’s what I charge for services I provide:

Copy editing – $2 per double-spaced page (must adhere to standard ms. format)

Proofreading – $1.50 per double-spaced page (must adhere to standard ms. format)

Coaching sessions for writers (Skype or telephone) – $20 per half-hour session

Professional writing courses – $20 per week and up. Go here for more info: https://www.facebook.com/Abraxas.Writing.Courses

I DO NOT provide developmental editing services.

I DO NOT provide ghostwriting services.

I am NOT a literary agent.

Anything else I might agree to do for you – Hourly fee – $25 per hour
(Hint: paying a flat fee is easier on your wallet).

Before you contact me, please note:

  • I’m an editor and proofreader, not a ghostwriter. I will NOT rewrite or write your manuscript.
  • I’m not your therapist. I will edit or proofread your manuscript.
  • If I don’t know you well or you’re not a close friend, please do not friend me on Facebook.
  • I do not work for free or for a promised share of royalties.
  • A deposit of half my editing or proofreading fee is expected upfront.
  • You are paying for my time as well as my knowledge and expertise.
  • I work during the week, but not on weekends.
  • Rush jobs are not welcome. I don’t do rush jobs. I often work with more than one client at a time and I won’t cut corners for existing clients to satisfy rush jobs.

I’m a nice, patient person under most circumstances. Do not take advantage of my jocular nature 😉

If you have other questions, drop me a line.

If you think we’ll make a good fit, proceed to the contact form below.

Ready to get started? E-mail me at nocturnaleditor (at) gmail.com. I’ll need no fewer than five pages of your work to determine if I will agree to edit or proofread it. Unfortunately for some people, but fortunately for me, I have minimum standards for manuscripts I will edit or proofread. To get a clue what those standards might be, see this post.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Szeretlek means…

Szeretlek means “I love you” in Hungarian 😉

Paul is German, Hungarian, and…not sure what else until we do his DNA ancestry test (it may be a while, for obvious reasons). Anyway, when we got married, our talented seamstress, Mari, used Hungarian lace in my dress.

It’s also fortunate that I’ve always loved paprika, since it’s used a lot in Hungarian food. Speaking of which, I LOVE Chicken Paprikash and methinks it’s past time to make it again.

But I digress…

I want to take Paul to Europe so he can visit the places where his ancestors came from, including Germany and Hungary. I’ve found records online showing his great grandparents, Janos (John) Krupla and Zsofia(Sophie) Nagy, were in Bremen, Germany, and they immigrated to the US, arriving in New York City.

Paul has very little info on his birth father, but we know his name was Bill Sykes and he was from the Cleveland, OH area. I am hoping a DNA ancestry test will help him fill in some of the gaps like it did for me.

Paul’s birth name was supposed to be Eric Sykes, by the way. Far as I can tell, it’s possible that Sykes can be traced to Yorkshire, England. But as I said, we can’t pin more down in a definitive way until we get his DNA test done — hopefully in the near future.

So, in another world and at another time, I would be Star Ferris and Paul would be Eric Sykes. Those were our intended birth names (my birth mother still calls me Star, not Bev). How weird would it be to know us not as Paul & Bev Sninchak, but Eric & Star Sykes? Wouldn’t that be strange?!