Over the past three decades, I’ve been involved in the publishing industry from two sides—first as a publishing professional and later as an author of fiction and nonfiction books. During that time, I accumulated experience with large mainstream publishers, small presses, and university presses. In addition, I have almost 10 years of experience teaching fiction writing at the university level. Under my guidance, authors of fiction and memoir develop their drafts into polished manuscripts ready for querying publishers and agents. My particular areas of expertise are historical, women’s, and LGBTQ+ fiction.
- Coaching: You have a plot idea, characters, and maybe even some research, but you haven’t written any or much of the book. Monthly coaching keeps you focused on completing chapters or stories while learning to master craft techniques.
- Developmental editing: You have a complete draft that needs a professional eye on craft issues such as characterization, dialogue, plot, setting, POV, voice, and style. This service includes a close reading and extensive notes on both the strengths and shortcomings of the manuscript; you receive a detailed editorial letter plus margin notes. No line editing, copy editing, or proofreading.
- Representation reading: You have a complete manuscript that needs a professional eye on issues related to inadvertent stereotyping or misrepresentation of a specific community. I read and comment on fiction for LGBTQ+, gender, race, and class content.
“For over a year, Paula Martinac effortlessly alternated between serving as my writing coach, cheerleader, and character whisperer. She encouraged my progress and became curious about the characters I developed, challenging the thoughts and positions I told using their points of view. This led to my deeper understanding of a character’s motivation and how to slowly reveal it to my readers. Paula’s well-placed feedback, gleaned from her extensive historical fiction and playwriting experience, helped shape my storytelling skills into a better book.”Meredith Ritchie, author of Poster Girls (2022), a selection of North Carolina Reads 2024
“I had a great experience working with Paula. She was my developmental editor for my forthcoming novel, What it Meant to Survive, which will be published by Bywater Books in October 2024. Paula gave me clear and concise feedback that quickly helped me understand the novel’s plot holes and inconsistent character development. She gave me strong suggestions about how to strengthen my delivery. I also appreciate how Paula was sensitive to the different cultural elements of my book; my main characters are Indian-American and Nigerian women, and most of the story takes place on the African continent. I highly recommend Paula!”Mala Kumar, author of The Paths of Marriage (2014) and What It Meant to Survive (2024)
“Paula Martinac’s extensive knowledge of historical fiction and her comments on my pages were of great value as I was revising my first adult historical novel, Between the Sky and the Sea. Her feedback was thoughtful and thorough, and at one point she did not hesitate to say to me (in a kind way), “This is not working.” Her developmental editorial services were quite reasonable and worth every penny. Not long after I made the revisions she suggested, I received a publication offer.”Lisa Williams Kline, author of Between the Sky and the Sea (2023)
“I had the great good fortune of being paired with Paula as my mentor during a two-year fiction writing lab at the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts. At the time, I had never written fiction, although I had extensive experience writing and editing nonfiction. As the author of historical fiction, Paula quickly identified the things that had no place in a novel, most egregiously, my tendency to over-share historical research and period detail at the expense of moving the story forward. I have since studied her historical novels for best practices.”Tamela Rich, author of Hit the Road: A Woman’s Guide to Solo Motorcycle Touring (2018)
“Paula was recommended to me by the Charlotte Writers Club. She was exactly the editor I was looking for. Her suggestions on the writing and organization of my memoir were spot on. I am excited about completing the book utilizing her suggestions. I have already recommended Paula to another author and will contact her again for my next project.”Jack McCabe, author of Those Left Behind (2021) and Pioneer Avenue (forthcoming)