Jessica West


The Reader….

My love of reading started early, before I can remember, but my obsession began with R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. In my teens, I graduated to Clive Barker, to my mom’s dismay. One year, a copy of his Books of Blood was all I wanted for Christmas. Though my mom may not have agreed with my preferences, she always accepted me for who I was, and encouraged me to be that person. She saw me through my brief Anne Rice Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned phase, my Stephen King’s Dark Tower phase, and my Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth phase. (And the trilogy that shall not be named, the one with sparkly vamps. What? It was a phase!) It shouldn’t have come as any surprise that I’d write a few stories of my own someday. Speaking of which….

The Writer….

In March 2013, my youngest daughter was born. I’d worked full-time jobs while my older two children stayed with a sitter, but decided to stay home with the last one. With much more time on my hands than I’d expected, I took an online writing class, out of which a whole new world opened up for me. At the encouragement of our instructor, I started a blog and started tweeting. Within months, I’d found lots of new connections, people who were also pursuing this writing thing. Within a year or so, I’d started publishing my own short works.

Now, four years later, I’ve finally nailed down my voice and style. I love stories with paranormal elements, especially those that relate to the afterlife or alternate biblical histories, the darker the better. I also have a soft spot for romance, thanks to Grandma.

The Editor….

In 2014, I eased into editing. A critique group made its way onto my priority list. If a writer buddy needed a beta read, I jumped at the chance to apply a critical eye as well as positive reinforcement to the task. With every project I worked on, whether writing or offering constructive criticism, I aimed to improve my craft as I helped my fellow author. Becoming an editor wasn’t my goal, but as I learned more about the mechanics of writing, a natural evolution occurred. My editing skills grew at a much more rapid pace than my writing skills did.

Since 2014, I’ve edited countless anthologies, novels, and independent short works from various authors. I wish I had counted. That number would be pretty handy right about now. My primary focus is on speculative fiction, but I’m also interested in women’s fiction and romance.


Edited or Co-Edited by Jessica West:

Emily Gerren


I love sharing stories with the world. On any given day, that might mean editing a brilliant manuscript, writing my own books, or shamelessly throwing my favorite published novels in a friend’s general direction.

My editing career kicked off with an internship at a literary agency, where my favorite projects always involved realizing the full potential of client manuscripts. I specialize in young adult of all flavors, fantasy, and science fiction.

When not editing, I enjoy sewing, photography, ice skating, and hanging out with a very noisy cockatiel.


Edited or Co-Edited by Emily Gerren:

Becky Stephens


WebsiteButton-AuthorWebsite2 WebsiteButton-Facebook WebsiteButton-Twitter
I was born a bibliophile, but it wasn’t until high school that I discovered my knack for editing and decided I wanted to edit fiction. I love the feel of a book in my hands, and I may or may not be one of those crazy book sniffers.

In my spare time (which is in short supply), I enjoy playing board games and card games with my husband and two teen boys, perusing antique shops, and, of course, reading.

What I love most about editing is cultivating relationships with authors. I feel fortunate to be able to share in their creative vision as an editorial partner. I am inspired by their dedication and I enjoy helping them achieve their goals.


AVAILABLE NOW: Edited or Co-Edited by Becky Stephens:

Brandon Sanford


WebsiteButton-AuthorWebsite2 WebsiteButton-Facebook WebsiteButton-Twitter WebsiteButton-LinkedIn
I have loved books since I was too young to remember, my love of books a folktale itself, one told by my mother at family gatherings. I have dim impressions of my mother recounting the stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey, spinning them from memory like a classical orator, and my dad reading me Treasure Island. My mother was an English teacher, and so inevitably she supported my desire to read.

I graduated from Whitman College with a degree in English, and graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Book Publishing. At Whitman I worked as a writing tutor, and at PSU I focused on editing.

My goal as an editor is to help clarify the writer’s vision and polish their story into the best version of itself. Above all, my goal as an editor is communication: helping a writer to translate their thoughts into a form that others can understand.

When not editing, I freelance write for Portland Book Review. I believe a good book review will not only give information about the book, but describe what the book meant to the reviewer–and also say something about the reviewer. A reviewer is, in some ways, no different from a character in a book. If the reader identifies and sympathizes with my point of view as a reviewer, then the reader will be more invested in the review–and more likely to buy the book.

I also enjoy marketing, and work as Marketing Director for AudaVoxx, a newsletter that suggests audiobooks to its subscribers and provides in-house audiobook reviews. I view marketing as having a conversation. It is not a one-way process; or at least, it shouldn’t be. It is an interaction between the company and someone who has a similar interest. In short, a potential friend. Forging that relationship is what creates happy, loyal listeners and customers, and makes a book or event successful (or not). People know if you are just trying to sell them something, or if you are trying to share something in which you believe.

In my spare time, which I don’t really have, I play board games–because I am geeky like that. I should get out of my apartment more. I live in Portland with a very loving and lovely partner, who also writes and arts.


Edited or Co-Edited by Brandon Sanford:

Lina Rivera


I caught the writing bug early on in elementary school after my teacher showed me how to make my own book. Excited by this idea, I ran home and made my first picture book on notebook paper and bound with yarn. I majored in creative writing at the University of Southern California, and entered the world of editing through educational publishing while working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

I love getting lost in a great story, whether it be literary, science fiction, or coming-of-age. In critique groups and workshops, I’ve had the privilege of reading works-in-progress and being a part of a great story from its inception through revisions and beyond. If I can ever help an author along in their process, then I consider that a success for both of us.

When I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually at a concert, on the beach, traveling, or spoiling my two cats. When I am reading, I’m usually reading dystopian novels, young adult, or a literary classic.


Edited or Co-Edited by Lina Rivera: