Helen is a strange combination of fiction editor and web strategist. That’s because she loves fiction and the internet – and analytics! A former business analyst and IT support manager, Helen now spends her time parenting her three children as well as running her editing and web agency businesses. As a book reviewer and fiction editor, her one true love and specialty is Christian romance fiction.
Some of you may know I’ve been rather busy the last two months. I’ve been keeping it mostly a secret, but I’m going to let you all in on it now.
When Jess and I started Book Review Sisters, our intentions were to share our love of books, help promote Christian fiction and use the blog to start networking for our writing careers.
But along the way, something else has developed for me. And I’m convinced this has been part of God’s plan the whole time.
A few months ago I started praying about what I should do about working again. My background is in IT. But since we’ve moved to a rural location, the work just isn’t available to me. And in all honesty, I don’t want to go back into the industry – even though it’s an industry I love. It isn’t the right fit for me at this stage of my life.
So anyway, I was praying and over a few days the same idea kept coming back at me.
It wasn’t a new idea, actually. Over the last year and a half of running this blog, quite often I’d joked to Jess that I wanted to be an editor.
Well, I kept hearing ‘editing’ whispering in my ear. And I’d found an editing course some time back that I’d wanted to do. I’d dismissed it as impossible. It would mean travelling 6 hours each way, every week for 8 weeks. Just for one class. Never mind the expenses … the logistics of that alone … ludicrous, right?
Not so. Turns out I had the funds for the actual course. One hurdle solved. I trusted God for the rest. And let me tell you, He provided in so many ways. From finances, to accommodation and wonderful friends who picked me up from the train, leant me their car, fed me dinners and gave me their encouragement and support. My mum was amazing looking after the kids – who also handled the disruption very well.
With every class I took, I just knew this was the right fit for me. Initially I thought that editing was a polar opposite to IT. But I soon realised that my technical and analytical skills will transpose over to editing very nicely. I’ve always been a details kind of person – I’m pedantic about accuracy, I can spot errors at fifty-paces. In previous work I’ve spent hours upon hours pouring over thousands of data records, cleaning them up, sorting them, transposing them … not so different to editing, when you think about it.
Last week I finished my course! Sure the whole exercise was exhausting, and in many ways, the hard work is just starting. I’m not sure where the work is going to come from, but I know that God started this, and He will see me through the rest of the way.
I’m very excited about this new phase in my life! I plan on freelance editing, and will be setting up a website shortly. More details to come!
Where does this leave my writing plans? They’re still there. It’s a longer term goal – and this move into editing hasn’t diminished my desire to write – it’s enhanced it. During the many hours of travelling I’ve had so much time to think about my story and work through the plot problems. And many other story ideas have surfaced as well 🙂 Lots to keep me busy for a long time to come!
Helen’s favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element. She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA. She’s not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.
Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.