Meet Our Proofers

Amber

Amber Snoek

Amber’s love for reading began at a young age; soon after learning to read, she converted her playhouse into a library.

She also has a passion for people. She earned her masters in human services and worked for several years as a supervisor in homes for teenagers and adults with developmental disabilities. Amber currently resides in Chicago and enjoys exploring the city with her adorable son and husband.

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Bethany Leach

As a child, Bethany Leach drove her family a bit crazy by constantly reading aloud and correcting everyone’s grammar.  She was referred to, somewhat affectionately, as…

“the grammar police.” Her love of language has led her to live in various countries and earn a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics. She puts her love for language to use by teaching English as a Second Language, as well as audio proofing. Her current adventure finds her in Edinburgh, Scotland, where her husband is a student at the Divinity School. Perhaps her favorite hobby is travel, so much so that she backpacked through Europe and visited 22 countries while pregnant with her daughter.

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Cheryl Hughes

Hughes as a grade-schooler read nearly every volume of the Childhood of Famous Americans series in the school library, and the encyclopedia articles on U.S. presidents.

A self-acknowledged perfectionist by age five, she observes and does things with an awareness of symmetry and detail (even food preparation – because the eye eats first!) Cheryl pursued a career in physical therapy, disregarding an interest in words and literature, so initially her proofreading was limited to ergonomic evaluation reports and research proposals; she is still passionate about wellness and movement science. Yet she observes that even seemingly insignificant events along the way were preparatory to what she’s doing now. Cheryl has long watched movies and read with a dictionary or search engine at hand to look things up, and she is writing a book on the history of her childhood home, Burke Hollow, the land having been a grant to an ancestor in return for his Revolutionary War service. Cheryl finds it amusing that she came home from the first day of first grade and sat on the back porch with her mom, crying inconsolably because it seemed impossible that she would learn to READ!

Deanna Atkins

Deanna has always been the bookworm of her family. Growing up, she would often be reading a book while her siblings played basketball games outside. She regularly devoured entire series of books, and was a regular fixture at the local bookmobile.

The bookmobile librarian would often bring a stack of books that she knew Deanna would enjoy. Deanna became a licensed teacher and worked in public schools for several years writing IEPs and lesson plans galore. Realizing that she was an introvert and needed more time alone, Deanna began working in school based social services. Meeting with clients in a smaller setting was great and it allowed Deanna to read all kinds of medical reports. A great deal of detailed documentation was required for this position. Deanna is thrilled about this next adventure which allows her to get back to her passion of reading. She is also teaching herself how to play guitar thanks to the many tools online.

Jovan Johnson

Jovan is a book and science loving, all around nerd with an eclectic taste in stories, film and music. She recognized early on that her love of tree diagrams and grammatical rules made her the life of any party!

While dedicating her college years to earning her B.S. in biology and working predominantly in the cancer research field, her love of literature and immersing herself in what Stephen King referred to as the “uniquely portable magic” of books never waned. This love, coupled with her *slightly* perfectionist personality and the dedication to accuracy, precision and efficiency honed in the laboratory, soon translated into an acute awareness of and desire to fix flaws she detected in audiobooks. When the opportunity arose to translate that desire into the actionable ability to offer narrators the possibility of creating audiobooks that are as near to pristine as possible, she quickly jumped at the chance.

In her spare time, Jovan volunteers, takes an assortment of classes to learn new things (from software programming to music theory), reviews books for websites like Joyfully Jay, and of course, spends as much time as possible in her safe haven—that repository of the human condition which has the power to enlighten, energize, and encourage. . .books.

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Judith Cope

Judith Cope is a former documentation specialist at Hewlett-Packard, where she created award-winning user manuals. Judith Cope has over 25 years’ experience as a freelance editor.

Her editing contains a perspective informed by a rich experiential and educational background. She holds a B.A. (History) from Wells College in Aurora, NY, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s in Holistic Psychology from the University for Humanistic Studies in San Diego. An avid rower, she competes in regattas and enjoys imparting her love of the sport to adult and teenage novices.

Megan

Megan Cooper

Megan grew up with the double whammy of having a grammar obsessed mother and studying classical music, a discipline in which getting 97% of the notes correct meant that the music was still unrecognizable.

Both of these taught her to become very detail oriented.  Megan’s love of stories propelled her into pursuing a Master’s in Theatre from East 15 Acting School in the UK and being a docent at a museum and library in Philadelphia, which specializes in antiquarian books.  Currently, she works as a stage director, actor and singer, splitting her time between Northern California and New York City, where she curates an arts salon, providing a platform for others to share their stories, experiences and viewpoints.

Otis Riggins

“If you want to hide something from most people, put it in a book!” Famous words told to a very young Otis by his grandfather. That began the spark and later became the inspiration for a lifelong love affair with reading.

Always the curious chap, Otis was most often seen walking around town or school with a paperback poking out of his back pocket like an old man with a wallet too big for his trousers or a rolled up comic book clutched between his hands as he ran throughout the neighborhood with his friends. Never limiting himself to one subject or genre, Otis devoured books encompassing a wide variety of subjects and disciplines. As a young man, while working his way through college as an editorial assistant for a music trade company, as well as stints as a production/writer’s assistant for a couple of syndicated television sitcoms, Otis developed a fondness for music, poetry/spoken word and performance art. Ever eager to learn all aspects of interested disciplines, Otis began to write, record, as well as perform his “art” in its many forms. He also began recording and engineering projects for other budding artists and performers. During this time Otis began his career in education, spending the next fifteen plus years with the Los Angeles Unified School District, working in the special education department, facilitating and supplementing the education of children with severe learning disabilities, autism and mental retardation. Patience, discipline and attention to fine detail are just some of the many skills Otis honed while working with such a diverse student population. Along the way Otis became a husband and later a father. Still reading and ever expanding his informational base, Otis and his wife decided that it was time for a major change in life’s direction. They both took an early retirement, sold all their belongings and along with their three-year-old daughter, packed up and moved out of the United States in early 2015 and relocated to South America in search of the “simple life”. They bought a piece of land, built themselves a home and a charming rental property, had another child and started anew. Homeschooling, homesteading and organic gardening now encompass the bulk of most days. There is now plenty of time for sunshine, love, family and books.

Ryan

Ryan Jacobs

Ryan is a Canadian playwright with a BFA from the University of Florida.

An avid reader since he was child, it seemed only natural to pursue a career in story-telling and imagination. Ryan has spent the past thirteen summers working at The French Woods Festival of Performing Arts, which is largest performing arts camp in North America. Throughout his time at the festival he has written and directed numerous productions and developed a passion for working with youth in artistic settings. Ryan is also the Artistic Director of Suitcase Theatre, which is a Theatre for Young Audiences company based in Toronto which provides arts education to schools in need.

Amber

Sarah Scanlon

Sarah loved books, music, and science equally while growing up, and had a difficult time choosing which field to pursue as an adult.

After obtaining degrees in music performance and astrophysics at the University of Michigan, she eventually found her way to Chile, where she plays viola in the nation’s opera house, as a full-time member of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago. Being a proofer has given the detail-oriented part of her brain a healthy outlet, and at the same time gives her an excuse to read more books! In her spare time she spoils her rescue dog, is learning to sew clothes, and is attempting to improve her Spanish.

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Shannon Pestock

Shannon Pestock went to film school, then decided that life was simply too glamorous. She’s a librarian by day, a novelist and screenwriter by…

all the times that aren’t day (and sometimes also by day). A lifelong lover of books, Shannon finds working in a library a terrible temptation, since she found out they’re not actually paying her to sit at her desk and read. She took French in college and promptly forgot most of it, except for, perhaps, “I like to eat sandwiches.” She is currently teaching herself Latin, because she is just that cool.

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Stephenie Kelley

Stephenie Kelley loves stories, of all kinds. She fell in love with reading and literature in high school, after reading Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”.

It was a full immersion experience. After that she was never without a book in hand. During college she worked for a non-profit group that put on camps and day trips for people with developmental disabilities, and continued to volunteer after moving into her career as an educator. She worked for a number of years in the classroom with the goal of imparting the same love of learning and literature in her students, as she experienced. Stephenie currently lives in Scotland with her husband and very new daughter, and she is looking forward to instilling a love of language, literature, and learning in her daughter’s life.