Brooks specializes in making science and other topics understandable and interesting to the general reader. He is familiar with deeply researched work, and his editing is amenable to a variety of styles such as blogging, web content, brochures, long- or short-form articles, press releases, and ad copy writing. He's well-versed not just in words, but in presentation including photos, illustrations, and layout, and he has a working knowledge of SEO, HTML, and CSS.
Brooks is most fond of science topics, general features, scholarly research, the humanities including anthropology and other social sciences, short form, and opinion that is of a humanitarian nature. His writing and editing skills are broad, as are his interests. Key to his philosophy is making text easily readable and understandable, a skill honed by a life in newspaper work.
For Brooks, writing and editing in the science field involves two crucial elements: delivering complex information in an interesting package; and making that data easily understandable. It’s often during the editing process that a single item or angle jumps out, offering a dramatic entry into the story. A very large body of work, through editing and guidance during the writing phase, can be broken into smaller, more easily digested parts. Such was the case with Brooks’ investigations into street-weapons ballistics, and into rare earth elements, which became a multi-part series and was essentially America’s first primer on these few atomic elements that made the Age of Technology possible.
Whether editing or writing (or both), Brooks can simplify complex issues and present them in new and interesting ways. His analysis of the revival of the hemp industry portrays a crop that is changing the future of cosmetics, dry goods, pharmaceuticals, and high technology. During the editing process, this extensively researched article was tightened, the angle more defined, and the lead, or introduction was intensified to hook the reader. It’s also at this stage that breaking off companion stories can occur.
A book synopsis, like many promotional publishing aspects, distills and condenses the content of hundreds of pages, touching on everything from theme and plot to characters and setting — all in an atmosphere of marketing and promotion. In the case of the self-published book, the synopsis also is the calling card when seeking a book review, a major marketing element. As author and editor, Brooks has a number of such efforts behind him, including synopses, “blurbs,” copy writing for ads, social media posts, etc.
Like science, technology involves highly precise processes, which require careful description by the writer and delicate work by the editor. This is one of Brooks’ specialties. In many cases, the writer and editor’s collaboration, when complete, should be cross-checked by knowledgeable sources to prevent errors.
With more than thirty years editing and writing for newspapers, Brooks has a solid handle on presenting even difficult information to an audience, whether a general readership or specialists. A case in point is his editing of a successful doctoral dissertation in 2016 in the field of anthropological linguistics. The audience, of course, was a highly specialized panel of scholars.
Brooks has written ad copy promoting books and retail products such as rubber stamps, greeting cards, collectibles, and other products. He also creates all the visual elements for magazine and brochure ads as well as online ads including banner, business card, and other shapes and sizes.
Brooks has written and edited several fiction books, specifically mysteries. In his Yarn Woman mystery series, the editing process keeps the storyline on track, the characters “in character,” and eliminates errors in text, timing, and general inconsistencies that arise during the writing process.
Brooks formats commercial e-books through Amazon, which requires specific text formatting but eliminates the complexities existing in other systems of e-book creation. Brooks created e-book versions of all three of his hard-copy editions.
For Brooks, covering science involves two crucial elements: delivering complex information in an interesting package; and making that data easily understandable. Such was the case in his series on robots. During the editing process, hundreds of pages of research and interviews were condensed, separated, and arranged into a series of articles on lethal autonomous weapons — battlefield robots with artificial intelligence.
People don’t read lengthy online text posts. Brooks’ long-time work editing for newspapers and writing eye-catching headlines helps him distill text for a readable post — but don’t forget, online readership lags without an image like a photo or illustration. Brooks posts for his own author website as well as having created a Facebook page highlighting offbeat news items.