About Me

First of all, some of you may remember me as Abby Egerter and are probably wondering abby_painting_crop4what prompted me to change my name. Suffice it to say that my life was completely overturned in 2015, and a close friend suggested that I mark the beginning of my new life with a new name. After giving it a little thought, I agreed, and Una Verdandi was officially born on September 23, 2016.

But a lot of things have stayed the same, too. Toronto is still my home, and sometimes I still crave the quiet, open spaces of the rural Southern Ontario landscape I grew up in. I had plenty of time to read and miles of fields to explore, and the night sky was lousy with stars. As a result, my ambitions constantly alternated between becoming a scientist and becoming a writer.

I took the first steps towards becoming a scientist and kicked off my university career in the theoretical physics stream that McMaster University offered at the time. However, after three brutal semesters of science, I realized that I was much happier investigating concepts than integrating formulae. Two philosophy degrees later, I am now an editor.

(What was that thing someone said about life and making other plans…?)

What I Do

Most of the time, I edit books, theses, and websites in Canadian history, philosophy and the humanities in general, and financial documents, among other things.  I also edit novels and short stories in speculative fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy.

Additionally, I have volunteered for Editors Canada (formerly known as the Editors’ Association of Canada, or EAC). At the association’s national level, I was the chair of the members services committee from summer 2015 until spring 2017, and I have previously done research, editing, and copywriting for the marketing and public relations committee.  For the 2013-2014 year, I was the communications chair of the association’s Toronto branch and the assistant editor of the branch’s blog, BoldFace.

How I Got Here

I never expected to become an editor, but the choice was a natural one for me. During my undergraduate years at McMaster, I worked for Hamilton Heritage Arts, a small non-commercial outfit dedicated to publishing the letters, news clippings, and photographs that had been hoarded like precious treasure by members of the proud but unfortunate McQuesten family of Whitehern. I was a content editor, or what some might call a senior editor: my job was to select content for the site, transcribe documents, and contribute researched content about the McQuestens and the historical events of their time.

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So much Being, so little Time.

When I started my graduate work at the post-secondary institution formerly known as the University of Western Ontario, editing disappeared from my life while I considered a career in academia. However, I decided that the ivory tower was just not the right place for me. I spent time trying different things, including a one-year contract teaching English in South Korea, but I still hadn’t found my niche.

Shortly after I returned from Asia, I visited a friend in Kitchener. We spent an afternoon at The Word On The Street festival, where we passed by a table promoting EAC. My friend, a fiction writer and editor, stopped to talk to a colleague who was holding the fort. As I listened in on the conversation and read through some of the pamphlets on display, I realized that I had already done similar work and really loved it. Suddenly, the fog that had enveloped my life lifted a little, revealing the path before my feet.

To get started,  I took courses and seminars, and joined EAC. With a little luck and a lot of work, I landed an in-house job in Toronto, where I worked for two years. I adored my coworkers and my boss was a dream, but I needed new challenges, so in November 2012, I started my own freelance editing business. I now work on a wide range of projects for many wonderful clients in addition to my own writing, and I can hardly imagine doing anything else.

Una Verdandi
una.verdandi@gmail.com