Sid McLean is a subeditor and journalist who, during his early career, specialised in exposing corruption within local government. His work in print news media has since taken him to Yorkshire, Wiltshire, London and the Bahamas. He holds a degree in Theology.
Among his extensive contributions to the book, Sid is my grammar guru. In the two years between the end of 2007 and the end of 2009, he taught me more about syntax and morphology (not to mention spelling) than all the teachers I ever had. During a series of full-immersion evening and weekend wordsmithing sessions from the summer of 2008, he provided front-line editorial services on every section of the manuscript. I have never explored the poetry and rhythm of English prose with as much intimacy and intensity as I did with Sid during those meetings.
He has counselled me on matters including the use and overuse of triplets, methods of sentence structuring and the conjugation of particular words. He provided advice on narrative form, acted as a sounding board regarding the various literary devices employed in The Jolly Pilgrim and helped with the arrangement of long arguments.
Sid also reviewed early drafts of the elements of the book pertaining to human power systems, decision-making systems and spiritual systems – an area where his training in theology made him an invaluable point of reference (for example, with respect to the difference between Pauline and Jesus’ Christianity). He also came up with some of the statistics, one or two of the quotes and several of the really good one-liners.
In addition to his work on the manuscript, Sid also copyedited the website prior to its launch, my sales documents (two versions thereof) and my first batch of correspondence to the literary agencies.
Sid regularly endures phone calls at odd times of the day and night, in which I ask him obscure questions about compound adjectives. On several occasions he’s been relaxing over dinner, or with friends in the pub, only to have me call, read out phrases to him down the phone, then demand to be informed if they are grammatically acceptable – impositions he endures with unshakeable grace and good humour.
Sid lives in London, where he is about to commence a Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law. His hobbies include tenor saxophone, photography, cookery and cinema. He also collects and restores antique swords.