Guest Author/Editor: Ally Robertson/Alicia Dean

This year, for my author interview weeks, I decided I’d shine a spotlight on authors who also perform other writing related tasks. I posed this proposition in one of my author support groups, and the first to respond was Ally Robertson, founder of the Authors Helping Authors group, who edits books for The Wild Rose Press in addition to penning horror stories as author Alicia Dean. I asked her a few questions, and she kindly responded.

PK: I would love to know how you began editing. Did you do that first, before you started writing, or did you begin as an author?
AR: I began as an author. I’d been writing for years, although I hadn’t published. One day in around 2004, I think it was, I came across a contest on Harlequin’s website where authors could enter a kiss scene. I didn’t have a book with a kiss scene, but I wrote a random scene and submitted. I was shocked and delighted to be chosen as one of the three winners. I reached out to congratulate the other two winners and ended up striking up an online friendship with one of them. We became critique partners and friends even though she was in Upstate New York and I was in Oklahoma. A few years later, she and a friend of hers launched a publishing company. She asked me to head up the suspense line, because she knew I was into the creepy, weird and murdery stuff, which she could not stand. 🙂 I readily agreed. Her name is Rhonda Penders and the company she started is The Wild Rose Press. And, it is still thriving to this day, and I’m still with the company. I branched out to freelance editing and have edited hundreds of manuscripts over the years.

PK: How do you balance your time between writing editing, and your other job (do you still work a 9 to 5 job)? 
AR: It’s not easy, believe me. Yes, I have a 9 to 5 job as a legal assistant. I have found that I end up letting my own writing get pushed to the back burner in order to take care of the editing projects (and many other irons I have in the fire), but in 2023, my goal is to find time, daily, to at least write a little. 

PK: What are some of the biggest mistakes authors make? 
AR: Some of the recurring mistakes I see are head hopping (this is one of my pet peeves 🙂), backstory dumps where an author, especially novice authors, attempt to ‘tell’ everything about the character and their history in the opening pages. We don’t need to know all of that up front. We want to  be dropped into the action and learn about the character by being ‘shown’ as we go along. Also, I have found the authors don’t usually self-edit very well, and they often submit manuscripts that are not ready to be seen by an editor. They are under the misguided impression that the editor will like their book enough to overlook the flaws and that it’s the editor’s job to ‘fix’ the mistakes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We editors want a clean, well-written book and we need to see from the get-go that an author takes pride in their work and is willing to present the best product possible. Lastly, many authors feel they shouldn’t have to promote their work, that it is the job of the publishing house. While it’s true that publishers to a certain amount of marketing for their authors, ultimately, the author bears the responsibility of getting the word out about their book, so a strong marketing plan is important, whether you are self-published or traditionally published. This fact was brought home to me in a big way years ago when I heard a keynote address from NYT best-selling author, Eloisa James. She stated that she was fifty percent author, fifty percent business woman and that she put a lot of work into marketing her books. If someone of her status has to promote her work, then all of the rest of us most definitely do.

PK: Do you edit only romance with all its sub-genres? 
AR: I edit all genres. My main love is suspense, but I edit several genres for The Wild Rose Press and as a freelance editor. I have even freelance edited many non-fiction books, and I was surprised to find how much I’ve enjoyed editing memoirs.

PK: Do you have an editing and/or writing project you’d like to tell us about?

I’m excited to share the latest Friday the 13th Series. 13 authors ~ 13 different stories of Friday the 13th Murder and Mayhem – I have two stories in the series, Mister 13 and another, House on 13th, which I wrote under a different pseudonym, Dex Rivers.

You can view all the books in the series HERE.

ALERT FOR AUTHORS NEEDING AN EDITOR! Ally is offering an Editing Special!

For the month of January, I’m offering a freelance editing special. If your book is not ready but you’d like to get in on the special rate, you can pay now and send the manuscript whenever it’s ready. Contact me at

Content Edit or Proofread: 
Under 50,000 words – $300.00 
50,000 to 100,000 words – $350.00 
101,000 words to 150,000 words – $400.00 
Above 150k, please contact for quote. 

Ally Robertson has been an editor with The Wild Rose Press since they opened in 2006. She is also a writing coach, freelance editor, and author, under the pen name Alicia Dean, with more than twenty-five published titles. She’s partial to all things dark and creepy…the scarier the better. She loves meeting authors, discovering fabulous new stories and helping authors realize their dreams. Many years divorced, with three grown children, she lives alone in Edmond, Oklahoma. She adores editing, writing, reading, Elvis Presley, the MLB, the NFL, and watching her favorite television shows–which she calls ‘research’ so it doesn’t seem as though she’s wasting time. 

You can find Ally/Alicia/Dex at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, BookBub, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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15 Responses to Guest Author/Editor: Ally Robertson/Alicia Dean

  1. Welcome, Ally! I do love seeing down-to-earth advice. I see so many mistakes being made when people ask me to read what they have written/are writing. I agree that in any genre that being wordy, especially up front, is a problem.
    All the best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia Dean says:

    Thank you for having me on your lovely blog!


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Pleased to meet you, Ally.
    Your points are well taken (by me). I continue to be amazed at how many writers — mostly unpublished to that point, but also (surprisingly) authors with released titles — crank out what is evidently a first draft… and immediately send it off. Whether that destination is an editor or a direct upload to release, I’m not completely clear. In my own case, I (typically) won’t even show a story to my reliable beta reader until it’s in it’s 3rd draft.
    It would be quite rare for me to send a novel ms. to an editor unless that version is a 4th or 5th draft. And, as I’m sure you’ll realize, I can still find typos (and other issues) during the various phases of edits.
    So, my advice (whether asked for or not) to other authors or aspiring writers: is to edit, revise, and edit again before you allow your ms. to depart your hands. To them I would say, “If you type THE END and then hit UPLOAD, you are almost certainly making a mistake.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Diana Stout says:

    Your career is impressive! It’s easy to see with all of that editing how your own writing gets pushed back. Your energy is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Payne says:

    So many hats – and they all look good on you! Thank you personally for helping authors find inspiration and less ‘pricey’ promo help. I don’t know how you do it al. Thank you, susan payne

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    You’re one busy lady! I’ve read some of your books and enjoyed them very much. I agree that editing makes a big difference in a book. I edit mine and reedit, but there are still errors that my editors have caught.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alicia Dean says:

      Thank you…that’s so kind. Yes, it’s almost impossible to catch every error, even for us editors. But the more eyes and the more times you go over it. the better. Although…sometimes we have a tendencey to revise our work to death, and that’s not good either. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. fancifulwriter says:

    Ally–you’re my favorite editor! And so talented!–xo Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been out of the loop over the holidays but I’m glad to catch up with one of my favorite people from Authors Helping Authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome Ally,
    I have to admit that I have been guilty of not editing my book enough before sending it off before. It is something that I have since worked on. When I first got published I didn’t realize how much editing needs to be done before it gets sent to someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

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