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Profile Summary
Star Rating
Completed Orders 24
Revisions/Order 0.21
Repeat Clients 16%
Last Login 9/27/2016
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Education Masters Degree
Status Available
Endorsements
Blog Post1
Technology1
Industry
Asset Type
Expertise
Experience
Summary of Experience
Twenty years of engineering experience in the semiconductor (14), defense (3), and medical device (3) industries combine with twenty years of writing experience to create a freelance writer ideal for the tech sector. A Bachelors degree in physics and mathematics, as well as a Masters degree in engineering solidify Rick's technical competence.

Rick has written white papers, online content, popular magazine non-fiction, and more. His Masters thesis won the engineering school prize for best thesis of the semester at San Jose State University for spring of 1998. His non-fiction topics range from tropical fishes to history, and from astronomical observatories to how to create an ebook manually.

On the fiction side, he is a member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and has nearly 50 published short stories. His three novels are in print and available, and the two fiction anthologies he edited are also still in print and available.

Rick writes using an active voice whenever possible, which helps to make the text flow. Rick's style does not call attention to itself, preferring to allow the ideas, not the sentences, to bask in the spotlight.

In addition to content creation of all kinds, Rick works closely with internet marketing experts and helped develop a process to benchmark a company's online presence against competitors. Through this effort, Rick has evaluated thousands of websites in great detail.
Specialties
White Papers, Case Studies, Web Content
Interests
Semiconductors, Electronics, Manufacturing Companies, Physical Science
Education
San Jose State University Engineering, Master of Science

Degree was through the General Engineering Department. It was a custom curriculum centered around signal processing, but also included some engineering management, systems engineering, statistical design of experiments, and random variables.

Thesis "Characterizing Elevation Effects of a Prolate Spheroidal HRTF Model" won the engineering school prize for best thesis in the semester of graduation. (HRTF = Head-Related Transfer Function)


University of Wisconsin at Whitewater Physics & Mathematics, Bachelor of Science

Double major of physics and mathematics. Physics coursework was a well-rounded curriculum. Mathematics emphasis was on applied mathematics, so included partial differential equations, complex variable theory, and special functions.


Honors and Awards
D.G.K. Goldberg Award for Best Horror Story of 2007 Mar 2008
Rick's story "The Cosmology" was voted best horror story of 2007 by AnotheRealm magazine.

Best Thesis of Semester May 1998
Masters thesis won the engineering school prize for best thesis of the semester.

Association Memberships
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) May 2007
Speculative fiction professional organization. This organization is gated, requiring publication in an approved professional-level venue to qualify.

Certificates
Orson Scott Card's Literary Boot Camp Orson Scott Card
Jun 2005
This was a week-long *auditioned* writing workshop run by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Orson Scott Card.

Breaking Into Print Long Ridge Writers Group
Dec 1999
Introductory writing course designed to help the student produce publishable-quality documents by the end of the course. Rick's first article, a star-gazing piece called "After the Campfire Dies," was published in Dakota Outdoors magazine in May 1996. (He used a leave of absence half-way through this certification course due to pursuing a masters degree. That is why the published piece appeared so many years before the completion of the course.)

Projects by Industry
Electronics

Writing articles and white papers from provided or researched sources. The electronics industry is a natural fit based on Rick's 14 years as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. Rick has no objection to working under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

What follows is a quote from a LinkedIn recommendation: "His written voice and ability to simplify complex processes is a welcome change from other writers I've tried to work with. I highly recommend him, both for technical, and non-technical audiences."

Construction

Worked with a building materials supply company on providing content for their monthly newsletter. The content is a 500-word summary of the developments over the past 30 days, and a bit of futurism in the form of market and building supply projections.

What follows is a quote from the client. "Compared to the other copy writers, your work stands out. Almost to the point that I feel guilty changing anything…. writing is a work of art and I feel like my changes blow the chi of your writing."

Technology

The below excerpt came from a position white paper describing the client's official position on a certain standardization with the potential to negatively impact their business.

Projects by SEO Skill
SEO Keyword Requirements

SEO is an important part of content marketing, but is no magic elixir. Search engines get better every year at separating content meant to be read by humans and content attempting to game the system. Content intended for humans to read still needs search engine optimization, and inserting keywords in a transparent way is an art as well as a science. SEO content is always tested via Yoast. Google's improving ability to capture content from inexact matches means content can be written with a much more natural flow than it could be in even the recent past.

Projects by Asset Type
Article

Articles written include both corporate work and commercial publication work. Expertise and subject matter vary from technical to popular.

White Paper

White papers are among the most challenging documents to create, but they are also among the most interesting and satisfying. A long document such as a white paper requires somebody able to perform research. It also requires good decisions on what to use and what to leave out. It requires a thoroughness to enable the paper to stand up to scrutiny by a skeptical reader. These documents are intended for technical readers who are unafraid to do a little research of their own.

A prize-winning Masters thesis trained Rick for the rigors of white papers, and his ability to condense technical information into readable copy allows for a variety of target audiences. His fiction track record trained him for writing in active voice.

Web Page

Content marketing is critical to competing in the 21st century. As the main fully-owned online property, a company's website is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Rick has built and maintained his own websites for two decades, and did the same for dial-up bulletin boards before the internet was fully integrated into society. Originally, he built his own websites in HTML code, but has since converted to Wordpress.

Content is the most important aspect of a website because it is intended to convert a prospect into a customer or client. It also builds trust with the prospect.

Working with some of the best internet marketing professionals for several years has driven home the importance of integrating SEO strategies into any online content. SEO is important, but it isn't a magic elixir. Search engines want to produce a satisfying experience for their users, so the best way to rank well is produce content people want to read. SEO keywords are a part of that, but they are a part that should remain transparent to the human reader.

Projects By Expertise
Technical Writer

Technical writing encompasses a wide range of projects, from manuals to white papers and journal articles. Technical writing in some contexts is dry, but in a white paper or journal article, using active voice helps keep the reader interested.

Rick's prize-winning Masters thesis demonstrates expertise in both technical writing and keeping the reader's interest.

Copywriter

Copywriting is the generic name for anything not falling under the other listed categories. The language must be professional and lead the reader to the intended conclusion. The writing must be natural and flow smoothly to maintain reader interest.

Projects by Writing Style
Authoritative

Authoritative voice is often found in technical writing, or in articles appearing in trade journals. This type of writing requires a good understanding of the subject matter, as the reader assumes expertise.

Conversational

A conversational style is the best approach when trying to build rapport with the reader. This style can be used in any industry, and is often appropriate to online material. Rick has extensive training in fiction, which allows for active rather than passive writing. It also is good training for conversational style in non-fiction.

Projects by Company Size
Small Business

Working with small companies often requires educating the client on best practices. Rick has worked with companies as small as a single individual in fields as diverse as medicine and retail consumer electronics. The project is important to the client regardless of the size of company, so best effort is always called for.

Medium Business

Medium-sized businesses may or may not have a content creator on staff. A freelance writer could be supplementing internal capacity or be the only source of content. Either way, the client expects only the best from the writer. It's important to remember the contact person at the company may not be the decision-maker, so revision cycles are expected.

Large Business

Working with a large company often means adhering to a rigorous house style. There can also be difficulty reaching subject-matter experts or company contacts due to other commitments on their end. When working with a large company, patience is key. Often, this is a "hurry up and wait" situation, where much of the time is consumed waiting for input. That means the writer must work quickly when the information does come available to avoid missing deadlines. Working under NDA is far more likely with a large company, as well.

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