I chose to be an editor and writing coach because I believe conversations between writers and editors are necessary to the creation of clear, powerful, meaningful writing.
With my business partner, Myles Schrag, I opened Soulstice Publishing in 2019. We create projects and help writers (especially those who live in our home territory on the Colorado Plateau) tell their stories. Our first book, To Imogene, a Flagstaff Love Letter: One town’s long-distance romance with an iconic trail race, was published in September of last year. Our most recent book, Voices of Navajo Mothers and Daughters: Portraits of Beauty, is available now.
Some of my favorite writers are nature writers, and it’s been a pleasure to help a handful of the best see their works into print. Expert birder and writer Charles Babbitt invited me to help him finish the manuscript that became Birding Arizona: What to Know, Where to Go (R.W. Morse). The book answered many birding questions I’d always wondered about. I worked with Ellen West, widow of George C. West, to complete his useful book Guide to the Plants of Arizona’s White Mountains, published by the University of New Mexico Press. I also worked with Eli J. Knapp, Ph.D., on organizing his fine and funny nature essays into book form, a process that forged a rich and enduring friendship. We’re both very proud of The Delightful Horror of Family Birding: Sharing Nature With the Next Generation (Torrey House Press). Here’s my review.
As an editor, I focus on nonfiction and memoir. My favorite topics are science, nature, travel, the arts, history, and sports (especially running). My other specialty is editing technical writing. I learned how to work collaboratively with scientists while on the staff of a wildlife magazine, so I have particular expertise with wildlife-related topics. But I love to help scientists of all kinds reach a popular audience. Learn more about my specialties here.
I have more than three 13 years’ experience with the AP Stylebook and have edited three books using the Chicago Manual of Style. Over time, I’ve developed an editing philosophy that guides my work.
On a personal note: my dad, Jim Hammonds, was a devoted painter. I’ve posted a page to my website in tribute. If you’re interested in seeing his paintings, here they are: Paintings by JRH.