Hi there. I’m Donna Frazier Glynn.
I’m an editor, a writer and a writers’ coach. I work with people who are driven to write books, and know they need help to finish.
They know they can’t do their best work alone—no author can. Whether they’ve never published a book or are seasoned pros, they’re looking for a partner who can help them get their fully realized vision onto the page.
New writers often have a list of questions running through their heads: How do you finish a book if you’ve never done it before? I've got the messiest first draft in the world—now what? Will anybody read my 500-page memoir? And the famous David Letterman question: Is this anything?
Experienced writers often call me saying: Is this working? I can't see it anymore. How do I make the story move? I've got great stuff, so how come publishers aren't biting? What's missing?
Together, we figure it out.
The art of making it memorable
I’ve had decades of experience working with writers and experts of every sort. I spent much of my career at newspapers across the country, making stops in Des Moines, Buffalo, Denver and Seattle before landing at the Los Angeles Times. I’ve edited, developed and rewritten stories on an endless array of topics. I've written 10 books as well.
That means quickly mastering the ins and outs of the Star Wars missile defense system and “Star Wars” the movie. The physics and metaphysics of light. Politics, punditry and soil erosion. Crime, psychology, incest and anorexia. Business and books. Home design and hip-hop. Food, fashion and health. The entertainment industry. Sex.
I was the kid in journalism school who could get a great story out of a sewer board meeting while everyone else was dozing off. That's still me. I can find my way to what’s fascinating about most any subject.
I’ve learned to help anyone with a story to tell move past jargon, blind spots, overwhelm and jumbled thinking to arrive at clarity. Then we dive into the art of connecting with what’s memorable.
The process involves much more than words alone. Curiosity, compassion and humor all come into play. Patience, too. Plus coffee. And occasionally, funny hats.
The secret sauce: Logic plus intuition.
For me, editing has always involved asking questions and listening until I hear what’s authentic and true, then steering toward it.
The process is a mix of logic and intuition, and what I can tell you about the intuition part is that as people tell me their ideas, I can sense and then see the shape of their books and know what a book wants to be.
We go where the energy—and sometimes the fear—are the strongest.
The process of working with me has given some of my “non-writer” clients the confidence and experience to write books on their own.
For the writers, it’s often cleared away longstanding problems that have kept a book stalled so we could move treasured projects to publication.
You’re not a beginner at what you do. Neither am I.
By the time I left the Times to work full-time with authors, I’d spent some 15 years there collaborating with writers like Mike Nichols and Cameron Crowe, David Foster Wallace and Edna O’Brien, Rick Bass and Robert Scheer—people of incomparable talent who needed an objective eye on their work, an honest response, a challenge.
I’ve also worked regularly with writers and non-writers who need close guidance, inspiration, mentoring and, sometimes, a good rewrite.
Those layers of experience—plus that fabled 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell talks about—have made me a zone of calm, good humor and clear vision for all my clients.
Your book. With ease.
Today I specialize in helping people with great stories and a sense of mission write and edit nonfiction books, along with the book proposals that have sold many projects to major publishers. I also edit fiction.
My clients and I work together to find the spark and voice of the book, and we develop strategies for pulling readers in, always taking care never to lose touch with the passion at the core.
These close partnerships have produced rich memoirs, self-help titles that have sold tens of thousands of copies, and privately published books and e-books aimed at niche audiences.
When I work with you, my job is to keep seeing the forest—the big themes, the structure, the connections you might not have made—while helping you move confidently through the trees along the path to your book, going deep and saying exactly what you want to say.
Through it all, we have a great time. You get a solid plan, a clear-eyed response to your work and the words you need, all delivered with a sense of ease, and a Zen-like lack of drama.
Your book can be everything you want it to be. To learn more about how I can help you dive in and get it done, please take a look at the What We Do page.
Banner image by torbakhopper via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons. Office photo: David Glynn.