I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end, requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition, the faults of the first.—Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to Compass Rose Horizons.
We offer expert proofreading, editing, book design, and transcription services.

Resume of Joanne Asala, Book and Manuscript Editor

“A Girl Writing” by Henriette Browne.

A Girl Writing by Henriette Browne. Henriette Browne was the pseudonym for artist Sophie Boutellier (1829-1901). She was an engraver and painter who specialized in genre scenes and religious subjects, as well as portraits.

I am a Chicago-area freelance proofreader, copy editor, and author. Prior to becoming a full-time freelance professional, I worked as an in-house editor for a regional book publisher, a magazine company, and an academic publisher. When you have finished reading my resume, I invite you to read some testimonials regarding my work.

Career Summary

Meticulous, accomplished writer, editor, and proofreader with more than 20 years of experience in book, magazine, academic, and business publishing. Skilled in print and on-line editing. Regularly edit fiction and non-fiction book manuscripts, academic and medical transcriptions, manuals, annual reports, proposals, newsletters, business communications, Web sites, and e-books. Certified in technical writing. Proficient in InDesign®, Photoshop®, Acrobat®, and Microsoft® Word. Author of more than forty books.

Partial List of Published Books, Articles, and Other Resources

Academic Editing and Proofreading

I’ve edited over 150 essays, dissertations, theses, and capstone projects, using APA, MLA, and Chicago style guides.


Books I’ve written, compiled, or edited.

  • Celtic Folklore Cooking (Author / Compiler; book has been translated into Czech, Russian)
  • Ukrainian Recipes (Compiler / Editor)
  • Recipes of Ireland (Compiler / Editor)
  • German Recipes: Old World Specialties and Photography from the Amana Colonies (Co-Author)
  • German Regional Recipes (Contributor)
  • Christmas in the Midwest (Co-Author)
  • License to Cook Kansas Style (Editor)
  • Definitely Danish (Editor)
  • Food, Folklore, Mythology: Peru (Compiler / Editor, Available Soon)
  • Culinary Campaign (Co-Author and Editor, Available Soon)
  • The Green Fairy Book of Absinthe Cocktail Recipes: Over 700 Drink Creations to Celebrate the Green Hour (Co-Author and Editor)

Folklore Collections

Books I’ve written, compiled, or edited. Each of these titles features retellings of ancient folktales and folklore. The Legend of St. Urho is a major folklore study, the first to tackle the subject.

  • The Piper Came to Our Town: Bagpipe Folklore, Legends, and Fairy Tales
  • Celtic Tales of the Strange
  • Trolls Remembering Norway
  • Fairy Tales of the Slav Peasants and Herdsmen
  • Irish Saints and Sinners
  • Whistling Jigs to the Moon: Tales of Irish and Scottish Pipers
  • Scandinavian Ghost Stories and Other Tales of Terror
  • German Legends of the Rhine
  • Polish Myth and Legend
  • Finnish-American Folklore: The Legend of St. Urho

Classic Cocktail Guides and Retro Bartender Books

I was the series editor for this collection. All books in this series are available on Amazon.com.

  • Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them
  • Daly’s Bartenders’ Encyclopedia: A Pre-Prohibition Cocktail Book
  • Jack’s Manual of Recipes for Fancy Mixed Drinks and How to Serve Them
  • Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks: A Collection of 19th-Century Cocktails Perfect for Civil War Reenactments and Victorian Theme Parties
  • Home Made Beverages: The Manufacture of Non-Alcoholic and Alcoholic Drinks in the Household, Including Recipes for Essences, Extracts, and Syrups
  • The Complete Bartender: The Art of Mixing Cocktails, Punches, Egg Noggs, Smashes, Sangarees, Slings, Cobblers, The Fizz, Juleps, Toddys, Crustas, and All Plain and Fancy Drinks in the Most Approved Style
  • The Ideal Bartender: Cocktails and Mixed Drinks from the Years of the First World War
  • Nineteenth-Century Cocktail Creations
  • The Twentieth-Century Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks
  • Oxford Night Caps: A Collection of Recipes for Making Various Cups, Beverages, and Cocktails Used in the University
  • What to Drink: Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails Served During Prohibition
  • Beverages and Sauces of Colonial Virginia
  • Cups and Their Customs: A Study of Bacchanology with Recipes for Cocktails and Mixed Drinks of the 1800s
  • American and Other Drinks: Recipes for Making the Principal Beverages Used in the United States and Elsewhere
  • Modern American Drinks: How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups, Cocktails, and Fancy Mixed Drinks

Historic Cookbooks of the World

I was the series editor for this collection. All books in this series are available on Amazon.com.

  • Recipes of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland: A Classic Scottish Cookbook
  • Recipes of Sweden: A Classic Swedish Cookbook

Folklore and Mythology Archive

I was the series editor for this collection. All titles in this series are available on Amazon.com.

  • The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts: Saint Francis of Assisi and Other Saints Who Loved Animals
  • Swedish Fairy Tales: Legends of Trolls, Elves, Fairies, and Giants
  • Turf Fire Stories and Fairy Tales of Ireland: A Collection of Irish Myth and Legend
  • Tales and Legends of Sweden and Norway
  • Myths and Folk Tales of Celtic France: Legends and Romances of Brittany
  • A Book of Giants: Tales of Very Tall Men of Myth, Legend, History, and Science
  • Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards: Pagan Mythology, Shamanism, and Magic from Finland, Lapland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
  • Wonder Tales of Ancient Wales: Celtic Myth and Welsh Fairy Folklore
  • Legends of Saints and Birds
  • Pagan Origins of the Calendar: Stories of the Months and Days
  • The Legend of St. Patrick’s Purgatory
  • Old-Fashioned Halloween Fun: History, Legends, Games, Recipes, and Charms

Small-Format Books

I wrote or compiled each of the following titles for American Media, Inc., as part of their Digest Series. Each book is between 96 and 128 pages in length.

  • Love Spells from Around the World
  • Healing Spells, Charms & Cures from Around the World
  • Healing Prayers: Words of Hope and Inspiration from Around the World
  • Sleep Like a Baby: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
  • The Magic of Vinegar
  • Miracles from the Bible
  • Kitchen Magic (Also translated into Spanish)
  • We the People (Reprinted twice )
  • Prayers for Peace from Around the World (Reprinted twice)

Travel Guides

  • Thirsty? Chicago: The Lowdown on Where the Real People Drink (Contributor)
  • TravelFit Paris (Editor)

Books for Kids

  • The Green Knight: A Tale of Ancient Britain

Illustrated Proverb Collections

I was the compiler/editor for each of these proverb collections published by Penfield Press.

  • Words of Wisdom from H.C. Andersen
  • Proverbs of the Brothers Grimm
  • Words of Wisdom from the Vikings
  • Norwegian Proverbs from the Tales of Asbjornsen and Moe
  • Swedish Proverbs
  • Polish Proverbs

History Books

  • Also Known As Albert D.J. Cashier: The Jennie Hodgers Story, Or How One Young Irish Girl Joined the Union Army During the Civil War (Editor)
  • Miriam: Daughter of Finnish Immigrants (Editor)
  • The Best of Finnish-Americana (Co-Editor)

Miscellaneous Titles

Proofread or edited over one hundred book-length manuscripts for publishers and individual authors. Published works include:

  • The Unconditioned Mind: J. Krishnamurti and the Oak Grove School (Copyeditor)
  • Practical Centering: Exercises to Energize Your Chakras for Relaxation, Vitality, and Health (Copyeditor)
  • Careers in Journalism (Copyeditor)
  • Forbidden Fruit and Other Tales (Co-Editor)
  • Some Glad Morning (Proofreader)
  • The Art of the Film (Copyeditor)
  • The Demise of Luleta Jones: A Novel (Proofreader)


  • Quarterly newsletter for DPI, the American holdings of the Irish Dairy Board


  • Advertising copy for Distribution Plus, Inc.

Video and Book Reviews

  • Freelance reviewer of books and videos (ongoing)
  • Former movie reviewer for Video Librarian Magazine

Journals and Magazines

  • TravelSport Magazine (Freelance Proofreader, 2005-2006)
  • Agri-Pulse (Freelance Proofreader, 1998-2000)
  • DTN (Freelance Proofreader, 1998-2000)
  • Full-time proofreader, copyeditor, writer, and page designer for Farm Progress Companies and Rural Press from 1996 to 1999. Publications include: Prairie Farmer; Indiana Prairie Farmer; Washington Farmer-Stockman; Oregon Farmer-Stockman; Texas Farmer-Stockman; Oklahoma Farmer-Stockman; Carolina Farmer; Wallaces Farmer; Dairy Producer; Hog Producer; and Irrigation Extra in addition to various special inserts and farm show programs.

Educational Publishing

  • I wrote test questions for language arts, history, social studies, physical education, math, and reading for the Educational Development Series (K-12th grade) published by Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.
  • Project Editor for Comprehensive Identification Process (CIP)
  • Project Editor for Parent as a Teacher Inventory (PAAT)
  • I created supplemental materials, case studies, test questions, and classroom materials for several National Safety Council textbooks. Projects include Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene and Accident Prevention Manual


Edit and proofread transcriptions for major media outlets, the healthcare industry, and educational publishing companies.

Press Releases

Write press releases for book publishers and individual clients.

Book Design

Design interior book layouts and book covers using Adobe InDesign. Samples include:

  • Charming, Alarming, Disarming
  • Cradle Cruise
  • Masquerade by Quashon Davis
  • Mona Lisa’s Seduction
  • To Be Self-Evident
  • TravelFit Paris

Long-Lost Projects

These are book projects from the very, very beginning of my career, created on my kitchen table with a primitive word processor and actual paste ups that I had to cut, glue, and assemble myself. (For an explanation of this now archaic method of publishing, see Wikipedia.org.) I gave away my last copies years ago, but for the sake of nostalgia I wouldn’t mind having a copy of each for my office bookcase. Please contact me if you have a copy of either of these titles that you’d care to part with.

  • Pipe Music of the Great Plains: Highland Bagpipe Music by Midwestern and Canadian Composers by Paul Deloughery
  • And No One Would Eat Tomatoes: An Iowa City Anthology

Work Highlights

Senior Editor

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, Inc. ~ January 2004 to Present
Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
Senior editor of a not-for-profit publishing company. Responsible for all editorial tasks, from book development and design to hiring and coordinating the efforts of freelance authors, artists, and proofreaders. Oversee the content, design, and production of promotional materials.

Full-time Freelance Proofreader, Editor, Writer, and Transcriptionist

Self-Employed ~ June 1999 to Present
Perform comprehensive freelance editing and transcription services through Compass Rose Horizons. Write fiction/non-fiction titles on a contract basis.

Staff Production Editor and Proofreader

Farm Progress Companies/Rural Press Ltd. ~ November 1996 to June 1999
Carol Stream, Illinois, U.S.A.
Supervised the layout and design of 11 monthly regional magazines, numerous special inserts, and four annual farm show programs. Proofread all content.

Editor and Project Manager

Scholastic Testing Service ~ June 1994 to June 1996
Bensenville, Illinois, U.S.A.
Served as an editorial consultant on a contract basis. Wrote content for K-12 test materials. Managed the development of the Comprehensive Identification Process, a pre-school assessment tool, and Parent as a Teacher Inventory. Responsibilities included editing all manuscripts and supervising the editorial development staff for key projects.

Editor, Proofreader, and Book Designer

Penfield Press ~ June 1993 to February 1994
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.
Served as an editorial consultant on a contract basis. Planned, edited, and co-supervised the design and production of folklore collections and specialty cookbooks.

Professional Affiliations

Chicago Women in Publishing, The Authors Guild

Volunteer Work

Project Gutenberg Proofreader. Editor for the Open Directory project at DMOZ.org.

Education and Certifications

Bachelor of Arts, English
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1991

Professional Technical Writing Certification
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 2005

Brainbench typing certification

Master-Level Typist
Certified by Brainbench.com, 2005

Interests and Hobbies

I live in Evanston, a historic university town on Chicago’s north side. I am keenly interested in the history of the Windy City and its vintage architecture. I work with several organizations, including Uptown United, Business Partners: The Chamber for Uptown, and the Uptown Historical Society, to help educate the public on the importance of historic preservation. I am also a member of Friends of the Uptown Theatre, a not-for-profit advocacy group that promotes the re-use and restoration of the 80-year-old Uptown Theatre.

Mexico Trio

Donna Asala, creative consultant; Ted Calhoun, webmaster; and Joanne Asala, editor, of Compass Rose Horizons. Here we’re about to depart for a three-week trip to Guatemala and Mexico.

Travel is my life’s blood, and I try to go on at least one major trip a year. One of my most memorable backpacking trips was through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I’ve been lucky enough to visit such ancient sites as the Giza pyramids outside of Cairo, Egypt, and the pre-Columbian ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the latter being reached at sunrise after a four-day hike along the rugged Inca Trail. I feel that my travels have enabled me to become a better writer and editor.

Animated Tibetan Prayer Wheel

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