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Christie Stratos

Christie Stratos is the author of the historical suspense series the Dark Victoriana Collection and the historical fantasy episode series Grimoire Society of Dark Acts. She owns her own editing company, Proof Positive, where she works one-on-one with authors as well as with small presses as a freelance editor. Christie co-hosts the once-a-week (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Facebook) interactive videocast Lurking for Legends with award-winning epic fantasy author Richard H. Stephens. Connect with Christie @ https://christiestratos.com/

Leave Your Pain and Follow Your Passion, Christie Stratos

Tell us a little something about your business...

I started my own book editing business (both fiction and nonfiction books) while I had a full-time corporate job as a project manager (read: 24/7 nonstop work and stress). Juggling my full-time job while getting my business up and running AND writing historical suspense books all at the same time was terribly overwhelming. Finally I reached a breaking point—a panic attack brought on by an impossible amount of work and no way to definitely accomplish all of it. I chose to drop the corporate job and stick with editing and writing only. It was the best decision I ever made.
As of the writing of this post (November 2021), I’ve had Proof Positive (http://proofpositivepro.com) for almost 9 years and have been a published award-winning author of novels, short stories, and poetry for even longer. I absolutely love working with authors of all genres to make their books the best they can be. I have many long-time clients, some of whom have had their books edited exclusively by me from the very first year my business was open. I’ve given presentations on both finding a great editor and writing creatively, which I truly enjoy doing, and I’ve been featured on podcasts, videocasts, and even the radio often, as well as hosting my own podcasts. It’s a joy and I’ve never been happier!
As for my books, my main series is the Dark Victoriana Collection, which includes (so far) two novels and two short stories set in the Victorian era, all brimming with suspense. I also write the episode series Grimoire Society of Dark Acts, historical fantasy on Kindle Vella that is also set in the Victorian era and is heavily based in fantasy.
Living a wholly creative life and being my own boss has given me so much happiness and relief from the extreme stress of my corporate job; it changed my life and mindset for the better.

When was your lightbulb moment?

In terms of my business, I noticed that a lot of authors, particularly self-published, complained about the prices of editors and the quality of their work. In college, I had edited the school magazine and worked as a writing tutor, plus I had a degree in English Literature and Business. It was a perfect storm. I set myself up in my own business and word of mouth spread fast. An affordable editor who does high-quality work was, as I hoped, what everyone was looking for.
For my dark writings, I got sick of reading books that stretched tough situations into happy endings that weren’t realistic, and I also wanted to explore the darker side of the Victorian era since the beautiful side is highlighted so often. Put those two things together with a heavy dose of psychology and suspense and you end up with the Dark Victoriana Collection, a series I’ve loved writing so much, I have no plan to ever stop.

What are your three words of advice?

Listen to what your body is telling you. If you notice your health is tanking because of the stress of a situation, whether it’s a job or a relationship or something else, start weighing your options. Your body is showing your stress level, and not enough people take that seriously until something terrible happens. I’m guilty of this myself, and if I could go back in time, that’s the advice I would give myself. I could have saved myself a lot of turmoil and pain, emotionally and physically, if I’d known this sooner. By the same token, if you love doing something, find ways to infuse it into your life more often. Think broadly and creatively about how you can integrate it more and more. The health benefits of happiness and joy are not touted enough.

Three words of advice...

Relax, destress, find your joy

Christie Stratos is the author of the historical suspense series the Dark Victoriana Collection and the historical fantasy episode series Grimoire Society of Dark Acts. She owns her own editing company, Proof Positive, where she works one-on-one with authors as well as with small presses as a freelance editor. Christie co-hosts the once-a-week (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Facebook) interactive videocast Lurking for Legends with award-winning epic fantasy author Richard H. Stephens. Connect with Christie @ https://christiestratos.com/

“May your legacy create a footprint of success for the next person who steps into your shoes”

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