#atozchallenge: About Susan at West of Mars


In all my years of blogging — and I started in 2006 — I’ve never done a blog challenge quite like this one. A post a day, and every day’s theme has to start with a different letter from the alphabet.

I was going to do this last year, over at The Rock of Pages, and it was going to be all Rock Fiction focused, of course. But then January 2 happened and so very little blogging got done about anything other than my ordeal.

And I’ll be honest: I’d started to move this challenge over there this year, too. And then decided not to, because hey, I’m an editor first and a Rock Fiction lover second. And it’s a greater challenge to come up with topics that are germane to authors for letters like Q and Z and X. And dude. I’m struggling with N right now. N!

So. For you who are new around here, maybe dropping in to see what’s going on at West of Mars and is it really all science fiction-themed and stuff, let me do a quick intro.

I’m Susan Helene Gottfried, or Susan at West of Mars. I’m a freelance editor to authors of fiction. I’ve got some books I’ve published, too, and some more I’m working on bringing into the world hopefully fairly soon. My editing clients hit best-seller lists, and only partly because I am that good as an editor. But partly because like attracts like and my clients are all willing to work as hard as I do to make their books the best possible. And I protect the privacy of the editor-client relationship and the names of my clients. If they want to tell you who they are, they will.

I’m also a champion of books I haven’t edited. I run two features here, when I’m not doing the A to Z Challenge, and both are free to any author who’s not picky about when their post goes up. If you’re an author, I encourage you to take advantage and join the fun.

This month, my posts will come from underneath my editor’s cap. Some may seem familiar to longtime readers, but not all. While the topics may be familiar, none are re-runs; they’ve all been written specifically for A to Z 2017. So I encourage you stop in and send your author friends of all ilk for some editorial advice. I’ve been editing since the early ’90s, so there’s a lot of wisdom I’ve accrued (and yet, I’m still only 35. Don’t think too hard about that.)

There’s more to me, of course, and I encourage you to join us over at Facebook for quickie updates and conversations about books, too. Know that I friend very few people on my personal page, but West of Mars Fans is the spot to talk books and editing and anything else you’d like to. Come join in.

Be sure to leave a comment; I’m old-school, as you can imagine about someone who’s been blogging as long as I have been, and I’ll return any comment you leave. Be sure to leave your link!



  1. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

    April 1, 2017 7:41 am

    Hi Susan! It’s always good to meet more editors. I’ll have to check out those features you mention when I have more time. If you like rock fiction, you might be interested in my permafree story Lyon’s Legacy, which is about a family trying to clone their rock star ancestor. My A-Z theme this year is about my fantasy Season Avatar series. Hope you come check it out! Good luck with the A-Z Challenge!

    Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, Science Fiction/Fantasy Author

  2. Carol Kilgore

    April 1, 2017 11:10 am

    Happy A to Z 🙂

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