Richard Anton Held

A Bit About Me

When I was a boy, I daydreamed of growing up to be an engineer on the railroad. But at the same time I discovered the mystique of trains, I discovered the mystique of the written word. The places books took me to left me spellbound. I also discovered that I enjoyed learning what words meant, as well as what punctuation marks denoted. So, it came to pass that while I was riding home from a family trip to the grocery store one day, I decided I was going to trade railroading for writing. 

I scored my first literary success when I was thirteen, when a short story I entered into a contest held by a local bookstore won a prize. Appropriately enough, my story was about an old train station in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many ups and downs followed that initial success, but I have continued to write. I have enjoyed renewed success as a short story author and have had a fistful of letters-to-the-editor, guest columns, and guest blog posts published, in addition to becoming a published poet. I have also spent time as a volunteer “slush reader” for the short story magazine Every Day Fiction

It was my skill with letters to newspapers that led me to add editing to my wordsmithing skills.

A co-worker at my old job knew of my success with letters and mentioned me to a customer who was struggling to get one published. He approached me for help, saying he would pay me if my edits got his letter published. I am pleased to report that my line edit of his letter got it published in a newspaper at last. The letter’s author kept his promise to pay me, and I thought, I wonder if I could edit for a living? And the rest is history.

I will be working with words for the rest of my life. Oh, and I will forever remain a railfan too. Now if only I could edit more train books… 


Working with Tony Held helped me to significantly improve my book, add needed scenes/chapters and remove unnecessary elements.  His chapter by chapter feedback was detailed and pointed out where I needed character or scene development, had inconsistencies from any point in the book to another or had simply nailed it and he loved it.  He was timely in responses to me and I couldn't be more satisfied with the experience.  I highly recommend working with Tony

-Patrick Adams: Owner, Patrick Adams Books