Although Patti "paid her dues" by editing academic and professional books for more than 10 years, for the last 16 years she has specialized in editing and writing/rewriting "reader friendly" mass-market nonfiction and fiction. She loves doing intensive line editing to chop away the deadwood in a sentence and let the author's meaning shine forth. This involves changing passive voice to active whenever possible, getting rid of too many clunky prepositional phrases that slow down the flow and make the sentence sound choppy if read aloud, changing unnecessary repetition of words and phrases, choosing more appropriate words, and so on. Of course, she will also make any necessary grammatical and punctuation changes. She does substantive editing as well, working on the actual content of the text. She may point out instances when authors contradict themselves in the text or take the wrong tone with readers (too strident, judgmental, arrogant, or anything that might make the authors unlikable to the target audience). In fiction, she aims to heighten the drama and impact of the story, sometimes by rearranging the timeline or speeding up action scenes. She doesn't draw a clear line between these types of editing. She just jumps in and does what needs to be done. Most authors she has worked with are grateful, rather than irritated or offended at her edits. They thank her for making them seem like better writers than they are. Writing well is a learning experience that never ends, and she and the author both become more skilled as they go on. It's useful to strive for perfection, while at the same time knowing it's never attainable. Hopefully, the result will be writing that touches the hearts and minds of readers.
Patti W.'s main interests include psychology, comparative religions, Asian philosophy, Buddhism (especially Tibetan), Zen, artists and the fine arts (especially painting), nutrition and organic foods, health and wellness, yoga, meditation, fiction (especially thrillers and mysteries), wild animals, dogs (their behavior, training, and psychology), theoretical physics, evolutionary biology, spirituality, anything related to Rupert Sheldrake's theories of morphogenetic fields, near death experiences, herbal supplements and natural remedies, Christian kabbalah, the Southwestern U.S. states, ecology and wilderness areas, and do-it-yourself (DIY) home renovation (tiling, stonework, carpentry, painting, etc.).
She became interested in psychology back in college, especially some of the more novel approaches such as Esalen, Wilhelm Reich's orgone therapy, the "primal scream," and Gestalt/transactional practices. She continued reading books on psychology during her entire life, and for a few years she edited psychology books for several traditional publishers.
As for Eastern philosophy/Buddhism/meditation/yoga, they've been a part of her practice for many decades.
Since her 20s, she has usually needed a good dog companion to enrich her life, so she has read a lot about their "care and maintenance."
She has lived and traveled in the Southwestern United States for 27 years.
And for the last 8 years, she has dabbled in DIY home renovation after buying a run-down mountain cabin and undertaking most of the work on it herself. She relied on YouTube instructional videos and asking random men at Home Depot for advice.
Her non-interests (or possibly non-talents) are math and any of the hard sciences that require an understanding of advanced mathematics. She is fine when the science books are theoretical, but when they use math to support the theories, she is lost.
Patti W. received a full four-year scholarship at Philadelphia College of Art. Classes included liberal arts in addition to fine arts. In addition to painting, she specialized in psychology, literature, Asian philosophy, 2D design, drawing, photography, and sculpture. She graduated in 1973.
Patti W. received a full four-year scholarship at Philadelphia College of Art. Classes included liberal arts in addition to fine arts. In addition to painting, she specialized in psychology, literature, and Asian philosophy, 2D design, drawing, photography, and sculpture. She graduated in 1973.
Patti W. has worked as a freelance book editor for 26 years, editing more than 600 books for traditional book publishers and private authors. The books ranged from academic and professional to mass-market nonfiction and fiction. The topics included lifestyle and wellness, the arts and entertainment, politics and political commentary, Judaism, psychology (a huge preponderance of both professional and self-help books), science, science fiction and fantasy, true crime, multicultural perspectives, self-help, history, military first-person accounts, pop culture, business and finance, and sports.
Patti W. has edited hundreds of books on Judaism and other religions for Jason Aronson, Inc., and John Wiley & Sons. As a Buddhist, she has read countless books on Asian religions and philosophy. She is interested in comparative religions and focuses on their mystical forms: Zen, Taoism, Hinduism, Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, Sufism, Gnosticism, and Kabbalah.
Patti W. has edited multiple books on nutrition over the years, on cutting-edge topics that she was fortunate to work on about five years before these discoveries were picked up by the mainstream media and became common knowledge. As a result, her own health has benefited. The topics of these books included how food influences one's mood, diet and nutrition to overcome candida yeast, diet for Type-2 diabetes, chocolate's health benefits, the Paleo Diet, the Hamptons Diet, the Rice Diet, Weight Watchers, diet and PMS, nutritional cancer cures, the marketing of milk, diet to improve blood pressure, toxins in seafood, gluten-free diets, nutrition to combat fatigue, and more.
Patti W. has edited dozens of self-help books for Prima Publishing, John Wiley & Sons' now-defunct Lifestyles Division, Carol Publishing, and private authors. Many of these were written by experts in their fields who were not professional writers, so she had to do heavy editing and almost total rewrites of some. The topics included homeopathy for women, kava and anxiety, effective business leadership, natural beauty salon secrets, yoga, kids' anxiety cure, the Hamptons Diet, women's fitness, how food affects your mood, healing fibromyalgia, celebrity makeover tips, Weight Watchers, hormones and health, having cancer in your twenties, fitness workouts, caring for Black women's hair, the Rice Diet, relationships with your significant other, living gluten-free, the Paleo Diet, overcoming fatigue, Dr. Ruth on sex, facing one's fears, women and addiction recovery, anger management, how to de-stress, and more.
Patti W. has edited six humorous books to polish the delivery of the jokes and the funny stories: one was a memoir by a Hollywood comedy writer; four were by a Canadian author living in Italy; and her two novels have a lot of humor in them (the rom-com especially).
Patti W. is an artist (primarily a painter), so she has dabbled in multiple crafts herself and is fairly accomplished with various techniques. She also renovated a run-down mountain cabin doing most of the work herself: tiling, stonework, carpentry, painting, drywall plus faux plaster, etc.
Patti W. wrote an article on adopting a dog through a breed rescue group, detailing the quirks, benefits, and drawbacks of many popular breeds. In addition, she has edited a few books on raising a puppy, the compassion of animals, and related topics.
Patti W.'s experience in this area comes from a lifetime of reading books on health and wellness. She wrote a magazine article on the herbal supplement gotu kola (unpublished). However, her main work was in editing health books for various traditional publishers. The books' topics included how to de-stress, how to improve high blood pressure, how food affects your anxiety/mood, yoga, fitness and workouts, various weight-loss diets, alternative cancer cures, living gluten-free, overcoming fatigue, and nutritional diets for Type-2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, candida yeast, and PMS.
Patti W. wrote an article on the herb gotu kola and how it boosts one's memory. She also has first-hand experience with the health value of many supplements, and she has edited many books on herbal supplements for Prima Publishing and John Wiley & Sons' now-defunct Lifestyles Division: books on homeopathy, kava, 5-HTP, natural cures for cancer, health remedies for pain management, women's hormones, the health benefits of chocolate, vitamin D cures, and more.
Patti W. has edited multiple eBooks for private clients in the last 10 years, on topics that range from teaching your kids about money to making healthy lifestyle choices, achieving business success, cultivating inspirational body-building habits, hiring an attorney for your will and estate planning, and more.
Patti W. has written four articles, one of which was published in a Canadian magazine (profiling a well-known spiritual teacher). She didn't try to get the others published; their topics were adopting a dog through a rescue group, taking the herbal supplement gotu kola to boost one's memory, and instructing artists who want to create their own website.
Patti W. has written an 80,000-word thriller, and she co-wrote a 90,000-word romantic comedy with a writing partner. In addition, she has edited more than 600 books in 26 years for both traditional publishers and private authors.