Meet Our Beta Readers
Lee is the co-host of a popular genre fiction podcast, a mental health researcher, social worker, psychology Ph.D. candidate, and an all-around genre fiction enthusiast.
With over 100 podcast episodes on iTunes and upwards of 100,000 downloads worldwide, Crime Time Podcast has read, reviewed, and interviewed over 200 authors to date. Each month a mountain of books land on the Crime Time desk fresh from authors, publishers, and promotion agencies far and wide. Lee is charged with the incredible task of sorting the good from the great, and they know an exceptional read when they find one. Better yet, they are equipped to identify the tweaks and twists needed to strengthen a character, plotline, or narrative arc in order to elevate a manuscript to its fullest potential.
Lee specializes in reading crime fiction, psychological thrillers, mystery, memoirs, true crime, and horror.
Favourite authors to read are Rachel Caine, Stephen King, Kazuo Ishiguro, Shari Lapena, Helen Callaghan, Jane Harper, William Peter Blatty, and Shirley Jackson.
Lee also has a deep interest in written depictions of psychological issues, with a particular focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, DID, and agoraphobia.
Sensitivity specialties include mental illness, queer and trans character development, and psychological narratives.
Sam Wren is what we refer to as a ‘good old fashioned triple threat,’ a co-host on Crime Time Podcast, a literary scholar undertaking a Ph.D. in English Literature, and a qualified Sign Language interpreter and translator.
They bring their critical and theoretical expertise to the table when approaching any text: be it philosophical or fantasy! Their work focuses primarily on the experience of reading a text, so manuscripts in the hands of Sam Wren will be looked at from the perspective of what the reader experiences when reading a book! Putting a critical literary lens on genre fiction is a particular passion of theirs, and they absolutely love fine detail.
Favourites authors to read are Anne Radcliffe, Sue Grafton, Ouyang Yu, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Jane Austen, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sarah Waters, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and Eileen Myles.
They specialize in reading realism, bildungsroman (coming of age stories), postmodern literature, crime fiction, science fiction, experimental fiction, and verse novels.
Sam Wren has a Chinese and European background and has a particular love of Chinese diaspora narrative and characters. They also specialize in sensitivity reading themes related to mixed-race characters, LGBTIQ characters, chronic illness, and Deaf culture.
Shari is a literary scholar with a double major in Literature and Linguistics.
Shari has a knack for ironing out that awkward dialogue or feeling for when the flow of a novel isn’t quite coming together. She enjoys tweaking language to improve its aesthetic qualities, making for a more enjoyable read. Her background in Linguistics also spills over into speech development and learning, making her the perfect candidate to beta read children’s books, or to help you create robust and believable young characters that jump off the page.
Shari has a particular interest in constructed languages like J.R.R Tolkien’s Quenya and Sindarin, Marten’s Dothraki and Peter Hawkins’ Oddle Poddle from beloved children’s show Bill & Ben (Flower Pot Men). She makes the perfect addition to fantasy language and world-building in any text.
Her favourite authors include J.R.R Tolkien, Tim Winton, Leonard Cohen, Henry Rollins, Jim Morrison, Allen Ginsberg, Kathleen Kemarre Wallace, Alison Whittaker, A.A Milne, C.S Lewis, Gertrude Stein, and Dylan Thomas.
Shari specializes in Indigenous literature, Australian literature, postcolonial theory, poetry, American Jewish literature, and 20th-century American literature.
Her sensitivity specialties include race, family violence, public health systems, physical illnesses, depression, anxiety, Indigenous representation, and female representation.