Michael Edits

About Michael Edits and Michael LaRocca

The Short Version

I earned an A.S. degree in Electronics Technology in 1983, then promptly became a computer programmer instead. The company closed in 1985. I finally started working as an electronics tech in 1988. I left that field in 1991 to become a technical editor, which I've been doing ever since. Electronic engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, facilities management, medical papers, civil engineering, environmental engineering. In 2006 I added bids, proposals, tenders, and sales & marketing literature to my repertoire. Simply put, editing is what I was meant to do.

The Long Version

I started writing comic books in 1972. I was nine years old. The kids in the neighborhood loved them. I wrote my first published short story in 1979, won my first award in 1980, and never stopped writing.

I took two programming classes in high school, Computer Math in 1979-1980 and Advanced Computer Math in 1980-1981. This is also when I became a Dungeons & Dragons junkie, allegedly because the role-playing aspect was good practice for my writing but really because, hey, it's Dungeons & Dragons. I also enjoyed Champions, Top Secret (remember the termite bomb?), Car Wars, playing Othello against a computer and/or writing the program, all NFL-related computer simulations, Eliza, and playing Star Trek on the school's Teletype.

I earned an A.S. degree in Electronics Technology in 1983, then promptly became a computer programmer instead. GW-BASIC. Back when Sundays meant backing up the hard drive on 8" floppies. I learned CP/M and MS-DOS side by side and knew CP/M would win.

I became a Military Electronics Specialist at Honeywell DCPD (Defense Communications and Production Division) in 1988. Crypto stuff, with a side order of robotics. It was a three-month temporary job, but I managed to return from two layoffs and hang onto that job for over 18 months. This was because, before the first layoff, I was moved into a one-person Facilities Management department so I could be given the "indispensable" label. In my spare time, I became a BBS junkie. 300 baud. A coworker showed me that his Altos computer could run Windows, and we heartily agreed that pointing and clicking could never replace a DOS prompt.

Honeywell DCPD sacked 60% of its work force by certified mail one day, and I was in that majority. After a few years of repairing copy machines for Danka's coin-op division in Florida and then Three D Copying Systems in NC, I became a technical editor for Eastern Instruments (an R&D/Engineering firm in Wilmington NC) from 1991-1999. We learned that editing is what I'm meant to do.

In December 1999, I lived in Hong Kong on a tourist visa, which meant I couldn't legally work in Hong Kong. That's how and when Michael Edits was born. I edited over 300 published novels. After I got a better visa, I edited an educational magazine in Hong Kong. When we moved to mainland China, I taught Advanced English Writing to university students. I also did legal transcription and quality control for the court systems of Hong Kong and Singapore.

I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2006 and spent five years editing medical reports by doctors and medical students for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Meanwhile, my word-of-mouth campaign at Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok overwhelmed me. I got so many engineering dissertations that I briefly had to outsource the pre-editing to Canada, Australia, and the U.S. This is also when I began editing business books, blogs, newsletters, and Cigar Snob Magazine.

I've been back in North Carolina since 2011. My twin focuses are technical editing services and business editing services. Larger companies have in-house editing and proofreading departments. Individuals and smaller businesses have me. At Eastern Instruments, we learned that I think like an electronics technician and a computer programmer, but that I also think like an end user and write for a layman. That oddball dichotomy has never left me. Nor has my single-minded focus on whatever I'm reading.

In 2000, I adopted a calico cat from the Hong Kong SPCA and I married a lovely Australian lady. Both live with me here in Durham, which proves that I bring home the best souvenirs.

A Lifetime of Learning

Duke University - OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute)
2017 - present Durham Technical Community College
2017 Alamance Community College
2016 – 2017 Piedmont Community College
2014 – 2015 Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
2013 – 2014 Central Piedmont Community College
2013 – 2013 Universal Class
2013 – 2013

Web CEO University
2007 – 2007
Competent Internet Marketer

July 2002 – July 2003
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor
Grade 93%

Rockhurst College
The Essentials of Effective Web Site Development & Design

United Electronics Institute
Sept 1981 – Sept 1983
Associate of Science Degree
Electronics Technology
Grade 3.7

Chamberlain High School
Sept 1978 – June 1981
Diploma with Honors
College/University Preparatory and Advanced High School/Secondary Diploma Program
Grade 3.9
Top 4% of class (32 of 772)
Top 2% SAT
Top 0.25% PSAT – National Merit Scholar
Beta Club
National Honor Society
Mu Alpha Theta
Model United Nations

I Was Not Always an Editor

I was, however, always a reading junkie. The cereal box stereotype fits.

I was born in 1963.

I got my first typewriter as a Christmas present, in 1978. It was a Royal. It was manual. It was ancient. I loved it.

I started editing and proofreading in 1991, and I established Michael Edits in 1999.

But before I was an editor, I was an author.

1 Short Story Collection

  1. The Chronicles of a Lost Soul (literary)

11 Novels

  1. Skull Dance (political thriller)
  2. Descent Into Madness (horror)
  3. Vigilante Justice (police drama)
  4. The Lazarus Effect (medical thriller)
  5. Conundrum (science fiction)
  6. Enigma (science fiction)
  7. Sandlot (football)
  8. The Last Titan (Greek mythology in a modern setting)
  9. The God Who Kicked Fate in the Ass (Greek mythology in a modern setting)
  10. Gridiron (football)
  11. Paradox (science fiction) - Work in Progress

7 Nonfiction Books

  1. Rising From The Ashes (biography/women's)
  2. How Red Is My Neck? (memoir/humor)
  3. Who Moved My Rice? (memoir/humor/Asian travel)
  4. Make Money Editing From Home (how-to/business)
  5. Teach Yourself Creative Writing (how-to/writing)
  6. Make A Difference: From Being Successful to Being Significant (personal development/business)
  7. Why Is My Life So Boring? (personal development/self-help)

I write this mainly to remind myself. People at networking events ask me to tell them about my books and I draw a blank because my elevator speech is all about my editing and proofreading.

Isaac Asimov published over 500 books. How did he remember them all?

Other Jobs I've Had

I’ve also been paid to masturbate hogs, but I made sure nobody took photos.

Updated December 11, 2018
© Copyright 2000-2018, Michael LaRocca
Durham, North Carolina 27707

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Twitter (@MichaelEdits)
Michael LaRocca, Amazon Author