Kelly Barr, Professional Freelance Editor

I am a Professional Freelance Editor. I have five years of experience editing fiction. If you have a fiction manuscript or short story you would like edited, check out my “Editing Services” page for more details–simply click on the “Editing Services” tab at the top of the page.

Here are some books I have worked on:

The Sorcerer's Bane (The Seven Words Book 1) by [Wachter, C. S. ]     Bride Tree (Secrets of Versailles Book 2) by [Robinson, JP]     Gods They Had Never Known by [Helms, J. S.]

For more books I’ve edited, click the “Editing Services” link at the top of the page.

Here is what some of my clients have to say about my work:

“Kelly is a pleasure to work with. She is well-versed enough to understand the nuances of my genre (Christian Speculative) even though she doesn’t write Speculative. She knows her craft and is sensitive and gentle when giving input about things that need to be corrected or rewritten. Her notes are thoughtful and her suggestions made my book a better read and a more polished final product. ‘The Sorcerer’s Bane‘, book one of my series The Seven Words, is slated to be released soon and I will continue to seek her professional help on future manuscripts.  — C. S. Wachter

Kelly Barr did a very thorough job, generating a final product that truly expresses what I had in mind. Also, they shortened it by about 1600 words and that’s always a plus! 🙂 There were some that I chose not to apply, but the vast majority of the edits proposed were golden. — J. P. Robinson

Traiven’s Pass by Jessica Marinos

Traiven’s Pass by Jessica Marinos is a debut novel and also the first book in the “Trimont Trilogy”. It is set in medieval times in a land where the king is missing, but a steward king is ruling the land. There are knights and peasants. There is mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure, and through all of that, there is good and evil at work.

I struggled through reading the first four chapters of Traiven’s Pass because it is told in first person, which I am not a fan of. However, it wasn’t just the fact that it is told in first person, but that the first person Point of View changes from character to character, although each chapter is told from a different character’s first person Point of View. However, after getting through the first four chapters, there were more chapters told from the same character’s first person Point of View–the character’s didn’t change so often.

Because the story is told so well, and Ms. Marinos did such an excellent job of creating well-developed characters, after chapter four, the first person Point of View character switching ceased to bother me. I became so caught up in the characters’ lives and the story that it was quite difficult to put the book down. Ms. Marinos did an excellent job creating and describing her world without overdoing it, and she is quite masterful at weaving back story throughout the story and not simply dumping paragraphs of information from the back story in the middle of an important scene.

Ms. Marinos did such an excellent job showing her character’s emotions that I felt them with them. I have to say that my heart broke over Sir Danek, as I understood his character and so hoped that he could soften. I love Lydia and felt all of her joys and pains throughout the book. Galen has spent his life in a small town and has a lot to learn. I loved the children of Trimont and Meklon and Lady Vala and Rose. I could go on and on. Even after putting the book down, I would think about the characters and the struggles they were going through. They became real, living, breathing people to me, and I can’t wait to read more about them.

It was also wonderful to read a novel all the way through without finding grammatical and typographical errors. This book was obviously, painstakingly well edited.

This is the best debut novel I’ve read in quite a while. It will remain a favorite of mine for years to come. I cannot wait for the next installment of the “Trimont Trilogy”.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves medieval stories, and though, I rarely give a book five stars, in my opinion, Traiven’s Pass definitely deserves five stars!

Flash Fiction Friday: “Love Can Wait”

tobias-tullius-1410378-unsplashPhoto by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

 

Clara listened for noises in the house—silence. She tiptoed to her bedroom door, opened it a crack, and placed her ear to the crack. The only sound came from her parents’ bedroom—the sound of her father’s snoring. Now was the time to make her move.

She gathered the sheets she had tied together and took them to her bedroom window. She opened the window. She tied one end of the sheets to her bedpost, yanking on it to be sure it was secure. She slid the bed closer to the window, flinching at the scraping noise it made on the hardwood floor. She crept to the door and listened. Her father was still snoring. She padded back to the window and tossed the sheets out, then leaned out to be sure they reached the ground—just about three feet shy. No problem, she could make that jump without injury.

Clara sat on the windowsill, her legs outside. She managed to turn over so that her stomach rested on the windowsill, and she clasped sheet between her feet as well as in her hands. She began her descent from one knot to the next.

Halfway down, a noise to her left caught her attention. She turned toward the sound and made eye contact with Gilpin, the tailor’s son. He was climbing from a window in the house next door. Why was Gilpin climbing out a window? She didn’t have time to worry about that now. She needed to be as far away as possible before her parents discovered her missing in the morning.

Clara reached the end of her sheet rope and dropped to the ground below. She turned and ran but soon heard someone behind her.

“Clara! Clara, wait!”

She stopped, turned to face Gilpin, who wasn’t an ugly young man, but she wouldn’t call him handsome either. His dark brown, almost black eyes, were intense and held her eyes captive whenever he looked at her.

“Clara, where are you going?”

“I’m running away, if you must know. My father is forcing me to marry tomorrow, I know not whom, and I refuse to marry a stranger.” She raised her chin. “And what are you doing climbing from a window in the middle of the night?”

Gilpin’s brow wrinkled, and he tapped a finger on his chin, then he shook his head. “No, it couldn’t be … could it?”

“Gilpin, really, what are you mumbling about? I don’t have time to waste.” Clara glared at him.

“I am running away because I, too, am to marry tomorrow to I know not whom.” He raised an eyebrow at her. “You don’t suppose…”

Clara’s lower jaw went slack.

“Clara, you don’t suppose our fathers have in mind that you and I are to marry tomorrow, do you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous! If that was their plan, why wouldn’t they have told either of us? We’ve known each other for years! Do you think they thought we would refuse?” Clara’s eyes searched Gilpin’s face. Would she refuse if she were to marry Gilpin?

“What if your father had told you he expects you to marry me tomorrow? Would you still be running away?”

Would she be running away? Surely she knew Gilpin, but she certainly had no romantic aspirations toward him. His eyes bored into hers, waiting for her answer.

“What about you? Would you be running away if you knew you were supposed to marry me tomorrow?” She challenged him.

He ran the backs of his fingers down the side of her face. “Clara, you know I’ve been in love with you for years … but you’ve never shown any special fondness for me. I would consider it an honor to marry you … if I were a knight. That is why I am running off. I am going to Sir Tobyn’s castle to beg him to train me so that I may be worthy to marry a lady like you.”

“Hmph! Lady? I am a peasant, same as you!”

“Clara, answer the question—would you be running away if you were to marry me tomorrow?”

She broke eye contact. “I don’t know.” She met his eyes again. “We both aspire to rise above our positions in life.”

Gilpin kissed her. “May we both rise and one day meet again!” He ran toward Sir Tobyn’s castle.

Clara’s fingers brushed her lips. Gilpin’s kiss had been sweet. But neither he nor she were ready to marry and continue in a life of drudgery like the one they had grown up in. They would each go their own way in hopes of becoming more. Were they destined to meet again, to marry as a knight and a lady? With the memory of Gilpin’s kiss so fresh on her lips, she almost hoped so.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tidbit:

I am sort of a tea addict. I structure my day by cups of tea.  —  S. T. Joshi

A Real Book
by Kelly F. Barr

Ah, the feel of a real book —
The smooth eye-catching cover,
The crisp or brittle pages.
The smell of new paper and fresh ink
Or yellowed paper scented with age
And maybe a bit of mustiness.
These are my treasures —
Each one taking me on a grand adventure
Or teaching me something new
Or introducing me to a new person or place;
They allow me to travel anytime, anywhere
To times past, present, or future;
To places near, far, or simply imagined.
The characters becoming friends —
My desire that the story never end.
My favorite most comfortable place
Is in a room surrounded by shelves of books;
A cozy place filled with stories I’ve read
Or have yet to explore.
No matter my age or social status,
As long as I have my real books
I’ll feel like a queen in her palace.

Join Me at Super Saturday Writer’s Conference

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If you are within a distance that allows you to travel to Lancaster, PA for a one-day writer’s conference, I hope you will register for this one and join me. I have been attending this one-day conference every year since 2013 and have not been disappointed. A writer’s conference is a great way to learn more about the writing craft, publishing, and marketing. It’s also a great way to meet other writers and connect with publishers.

If you want more information on this upcoming conference, check out the following links:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16ow101gRjEFbsifps0KMzeBrtq9kX4oY/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_WoGYW3MWsdeK-fnaLOhWjDZJb5m8msq/view

If you do attend, please be sure to stop me sometime during the day and say “Hi”. I hope to see you there!

Flash Fiction Friday: “Through the Love of Books”

Photo by Aung-Soe-Min on Unsplash

 

Janet perused the book spines on the library shelves. She searched for a suspense novel she hadn’t yet read.

Someone entered the aisle from the opposite end. From the corner of her eye, Janet  examined the tall young man. His snug-fitting green t-shirt displayed his sculpted chest muscles as his biceps bulged beneath the short sleeves. His sandy-brown hair waved over the top of his head but was clipped close around his ears. Several waves rested on the top of his crew collar.

Janet turned her attention back to the books.

A few minutes later, she reached for a suspense novel on the shelf above her head. Another set of fingers touched her own, sending a jolt of electricity through her. She looked up into sapphire blue eyes. “Oh, excuse me.”

A dimpled smile spread across the young man’s lips. “Are you a Dean Koontz fan too?”

“I’ve read just about everything he’s written. His books are real nail-biters, but I love most suspense novels.” Heat crept into her cheeks at their close proximity.

He pulled down the book, they had both reached for, and handed it to her. “Have you read this one?”

She studied read the first paragraph on the back cover. “No.”

“Then you check it out first. I’ll wait until you finish it.” His eyes locked on hers. “After we’ve both read it, maybe we can get together and discuss it?”

Janet smiled. “That sounds like fun. I should be able to finish it within a week.”

He took a step back but kept his eyes on hers. “Maybe we could discuss other suspense novels we’ve read over coffee?”

“I suppose we could do that, but I’m not a coffee drinker. When were you thinking?”

He grinned, his dimples like too deep finger indentations in his cheeks. “How about as soon as we finish here?”

She nodded and moved toward the check-out desk.

The young man stepped up behind her in line. He held a suspense novel by Lisa Scottoline.

After checking out their books, they walked toward the exit together. “By the way, my name’s Matthew Stevens. You can call me Matt.”

“I’m Janet Brady.”

“Well, Janet Brady, it’s a pleasure to meet you. There’s a coffee shop around the corner. Shall we walk?”

She nodded.

They entered the coffee shop, and Matt turned toward her. “So, what is your drink of choice?”

“A chai latte topped with whipped cream.”

“Coming right up. Why don’t you grab us a table and I’ll get our drinks?”

Janet found a table for two by the window. She sat down, placed her hands in her lap, and, using thumb and forefinger of one hand, pinched her other arm just above the wrist. She flinched. No, she wasn’t dreaming.

Matt joined her, and they discussed their favorite suspense novels while enjoying their beverages. When their cups were empty, Matt looked at her for a few minutes. “Janet, I know we just met, but are you available to go out for dinner this evening? I’d like to talk with you about more substantial things.”

When her eyes grew wide, Matt hit his forehead with the heel of his palm. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to sound quite like that.” This made them both laugh. “It’s just … I think you’re beautiful, and I’d like to get to know more about you.”

Janet relaxed. “Yes, I’m available for dinner.”

They agreed on a time and place to meet.

After placing their orders, Matt said, “I work in construction. What do you do?”

“I’m a writer.”

Matt leaned forward. “Really? I’d like to read something you’ve written.”

The waiter set their food before them.

“Janet, what do you like to do for fun?”

“I like to take walks, go dancing, go to the movies or the theater.”

“Do walks include hikes in the woods?” Matt raised an eyebrow.

“Of course.”

Dinner ended and Janet shared her address and phone number with Matt and agreed to see him again soon.

The next day, Janet couldn’t focus on writing. She couldn’t stop thinking about Matt. She took a break, and her doorbell rang. The postman handed a box to her. She placed it on the table and opened it. A hardcover copy of The Watchers, the book she and Matt had agreed was their favorite Dean Koontz novel lay open with several pages from either side curled inward and tucked into the seam, forming a heart. A note in the box read: I had a wonderful time last night. I look forward to spending more time with you. You’ve already captured my heart. Matt

She clasped the note to her chest. Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of him. She smiled, hoping Matt would prove to be her lifelong love.