In my first professional job, I was a reporter for a midsize Texas newspaper, where I observed talented editors polishing writers' prose, including mine, without removing their voice from it.
When I moved to the publishing industry, I was determined to do the same thing that those editors had done, but for book and journal authors. It has been a wonderful journey, beginning with editing theater play scripts and moving on through fiction, popular nonfiction, biography, how-to books, and consumer health and psychology to medical textbooks and biomedical journals. While working for a medical publisher, I developed a special talent for editing manuscripts written by non-native English speakers—a skill also known as ESL (English as a second language) editing.
In 1995 I established KOK Edit as a sole proprietorship to provide editorial services to publishers and authors. Although I continue to edit nonmedical books, today my main focus is medical editing, both books and journal articles. It is enormously satisfying to help authors who are non-native English speakers communicate their research to their peers worldwide. I like to believe that what I do makes at least a small difference in the world in two ways:
- Helping physicians communicate research that will enable other physicians to treat their patients more effectively
- Increasing cross-cultural cooperation and communication one pair of people (an author and me) at a time
It is a privilege to be entrusted with polishing an author's work, one for which I am always deeply grateful. I can often be found drinking a cup of tea brewed using fresh tea leaves from China, Japan, Taiwan, or India in honor of my authors' publishing successes.