Malcolm Manness has written complicated, tech texts in English together with me, Åsa Stenström, since the beginning of 2017. I trust him to always help me, also with short notice.
I make the interviews and write the first draft. Then Malcolm checks the language and the tech facts. We send the texts many times over the Atlantic ocean before both of us are content with the result.
It’s a really interesting writing process. It makes my work fun and in the end, I’m proud of the results we deliver and to have Malcolm as my writing partner.
I asked him to answer a couple of questions about himself for this blog:
Some facts about you: Who are you? Background, interests?
Well, I was born and raised in New York City.
I was always interested in storytelling as my father would tell us stories at bedtime, some of them made up on the spot. In 1973 I moved to Oregon. I worked in the woods for about five years in a forestry workers cooperative, planting trees and fighting forest fires. I have planted over 500,000 little trees in my career.
After this time, I returned to my studies and completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master in Computer Science. For almost twenty years I worked in the industry as a developer, software Quality Assurance engineer, and technical writer. Finally, I decided to turn my attention fully to writing fiction and photography.
I now live in Colombia half the year and the other half in Portland, Oregon – home to some of the world’s best microbrew beer.
As a sideline, I was writing for a couple of investment blogs, where Åsa took notice of me. One day I got a note: would I like to do English language editing for her? We have been working together since then. I have been pleased that we get along so well.
Why do you think our work is appreciated? What’s the secret?
One reason we get along so well is that we both have a desire for excellence in our products, and are willing to work diligently to achieve it, refining text many times if necessary. Additionally, we both are familiar with technical issues. I believe this is seen by the client who also shares our goals. So the secret lies on both ends of the job.
The jobs you have done so far is about tech. Are there other subjects you find interesting to write about?
Well, I would love to write about photography. And of course, I have my fiction writing. These two art forms give me great satisfaction.
Why should someone ask us to write a text for them?
I think that we make an excellent team. Åsa works closely with the customer to get the details and write the core material. Then I help, but not just with English grammar. My knowledge of tech allows me to see some errors or to explain in a deeper fashion. (Even though I studied software engineering, I took a couple of hardware classes, including Integrated Circuit chip design, so I have an understanding of electronics down to the gate level.)
Finally, what’s happening in your life right now?
Right now I devote most of my time to photography and fiction. I am trying to find a publisher for my mytho-fantasy novel The Songbook of Suomi. It’s based on Finnish mythology (The Kalevala). I spent five years researching to write it.
I am also working on my photography. I recently finished my new gallery of around 1200 best photos. In the past, I have exhibited in three countries, and now am adding a fourth as I will have four photos in a rotating exhibit by the local art museum where I live in Colombia.
And, of course, I hope to continue collaborating with Åsa Stenström.