One of my earliest memories involves my having my nose stuck in a book, and in that respect nothing much has changed, except that these days I have turned reading into a career. Because I'm an avid reader I will always consider the material I'm working on from both perspectives: helping the author communicate their intentions to the reader, and evaluating whether this objective has been achieved, especially when I'm working as a copy-editor or development editor.
Before embarking on a career in publishing I was a nurse for nineteen years in various disciplines and I still retain more than a passing interest in anything relating to medicine or science, but I'm equally at home in the humanities, especially history. Additionally, I enjoy flexing my language muscles by working on titles teaching German to English speakers or English to German speakers. However, I have a particular love for fiction, especially children's/YA fiction, historical fiction and fantasy.
To date I have worked on over 200 projects for publishers, organisations and private individuals, ranging from adult fiction and general non-fiction to GCSE revision and German language teaching, from nursing assignments and journal articles to a range of marketing materials. For a full list of subjects I'm offering, please see my Portfolio page or visit my entry in the SfEP's online directory of editorial freelances, in addition to my LinkedIn profile page; you can find the link to both below. I've been an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders since 1 March 2017 and have professional indemnity insurance through Bluefin.
In November 2013 I set up the Three Counties group, one of the SfEP's local groups, encompassing the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and was its coordinator until November 2017. The same month I was appointed tutor for some of the SfEP's online training courses (proofreading and copy-editing), and I've started tutoring students in early January.
“I was delighted to have Petra proofread my manuscript – the fifth edition of How to Market Books. No author likes to think they need editing, and having the obvious errors (single noun, plural verb – did I really write that?) pointed out can be a stressful, if not humiliating experience. Petra was tactful and considerate throughout, and her list of queries showed how deeply she was concentrating. At one point, while going through her list, I had to resort to a cup of tea in order to fully admire the extent of her engagement. In short, my work was better for her involvement, and I am very grateful to Routledge for allocating her to me.”
Alison Baverstock, author of How to Market Books (5th edn)