Writer | Editor | Creative Collaborator
Gretchen has worked on over 700 books that have been published by traditional publishing houses (including New York Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly bestsellers; NPR Best Books; Best Books from Bustle and Paste Magazine; and those with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal), and she's worked on writing at every stage, from development and book doctoring to copyediting and proofreading. She has a BA in English from Ball State University, an MA in writing from Portland State University; training in Australian, American, and British English editing; and nearly two decades of experience working with writers. Though she has also ghost written both fiction and nonfiction, she currently writes only under her own name but is happy to collaborate on any creative project involving writing. She scouts projects for a few agencies and indie publishers and is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Editorial Freelancers Association, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.
The longer version is that, same as most editors and writers, when I was a child, I was the one with her nose in a book. My parents had to negotiate with me at dinner to get me to put my Nancy Drew down. (My mispronunciation of "khaki" is still told as a hilarious family tale—seriously, if you've never heard it aloud, it can be difficult to figure out, and you want to know who wore khakis a lot? Ned, Nancy Drew's boyfriend. That dude was ALWAYS in khakis.)
So when I got to university (Ball State) and found out I could major in reading (okay, English), I was thrilled. Unfortunately, as graduation approached, I realized that a BA in English did not automatically equal having a career of any kind. Unsure what to do next, I took the GREs and the LSATs, applied to law school (officially enrolled for a week!) and graduate school (studied English again for a semester!), and then found a program that seemed to fit what I wanted to do with my life: a master's in writing, editing, and publishing.
In 2004, I moved to Brisbane, Australia, and attended the University of Queensland for that program. While there, I gained training and experience in American, Australian, and British punctuation, spelling, slang, and grammar. I loved it, but I got homesick for seasons and found a nascent but promising program at Portland State University: a master's in writing with an emphasis in book publishing (where the students run an actual publishing house!).
A few months before graduating from PSU, I launched a literary agency (Baker's Mark) with a classmate, where I worked for five years. As the agency grew, I decided to focus more on the creative side, so I sold my part of the business and parted quite amicably with my partner (we still work together to this day) and started writing and editing full-time.
I have now worked on over 700 titles published by legacy houses (including Kirkus Best Books, NYT and USA Today bestsellers, and NPR's Book Concierge Best Books), written articles and essays for websites and magazines (and was included in this recently published essay collection), and ghost written for companies and publishers. I am also part of the collective Cogitate Studios.
I write. I edit. I develop and organize content. By collaborating with you on your creative project, I can help you take it to the next level.