by Ellie Maas Davis
Strangely, over the years, I’ve found I rather appreciate finding an author bio enclosed at the tail end of a manuscript I’m about to edit. An author photo, which long ago might frustrate me for poking a hole through the veil of anonymity, now brings me pleasure.
It isn’t as if I plan for us to meet—you, wordsmith, I conjurer-protector-enforcer—but once I’ve edited your work I’m smitten; you somehow become one of the family (even if I think of you as the crazy cousin who drinks too much at reunions or the great aunt who pinches cheeks as if she’s plucking a trout from the river). You probably won’t like me, not at first. Most of the authors I work with don’t appreciate my pestering and policing until their second, even third book. But you’ll come around.
And, really, it’s a two-way street. I learn something from authors every day of the workweek. I get paid to review, edit, rewrite, and ghostwrite. I’ve learned about money management and grief counseling. I’ve learned how to flip houses, lose weight, grow the perfect container garden, sail around the world, and tap into past lives. I’ve learned what it’s like to be a combat photographer (even wore all the gear so I could get a feel for things) and what it was like to work with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement—and these are only a few cars on my nonfiction train.
‘Tis true I sign ironclad non-disclosure agreements, so mums the word, but you should know this: your effort is important. You didn’t commit things to memory. You took the time to write something down in order to share it. I’m simply fortunate enough to get the first peek. So, for what it’s worth, I’m glad for the details you might send. No more than a paragraph—this short bio—but it helps me approach your work; it allows me to invest in your overall vision and legacy.
Ellie Maas Davis
Ellie Maas Davis is the owner of Pressque, a publishing consultation firm based in Charleston, South Carolina that offers editing, ghostwriting, and marketing services to authors and publishers. She is the author of Shooter: A Woman’s Journey in Combat from Behind the Camera, The Humours of Folly, See Charleston in a Day, and over twenty ghostwritten works of fiction and nonfiction. http://www.pressque.com
About Ellie Maas Davis
Educated at Southern Methodist University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, Ellie Maas Davis has written extensively on the environment and issues of human rights. She is the owner of Pressque, a publishing consultation firm located in downtown Charleston that offers editing, ghostwriting, and marketing services to authors and publishers. She is a founding board member of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, a former curator and host of Charleston's longest running weekly literary series, Monday Night Blues, and serves as a mentor to senior writing students at Charleston County School of the Arts. Published in a number of anthologies and journals, she is the author of The Humours of Folly, See Charleston in a Day, 100, over a dozen ghostwritten works of fiction and nonfiction, and often reviews books for The Post and Courier. When she's not living somewhere else, she makes her home on Daniel Island with her family.