I've been privileged to work with some great authors on their great books. A few are pictured here. For most I did a developmental edit or manuscript critique.
Sarah Showell, YA author
I was stuck when I sent you my manuscript. My plot points were jumbled and the story was stalled. Thank you for the incredible amount of thought you put into understanding my character’s world and for your suggestions. You know the nuts and bolts of editing, but it’s your curiosity and desire to learn that make you stellar. I’m forever grateful!
I like your ideas and know that implementing them will make for a richer story. I'm both excited and frightened to begin the process.
You really are good at digging into a story. I had five reader friends read and while they caught some things, no one was this thorough. You definitely earn your money and I'm really excited to make this an even better story. Thank you sooo much!
You are incredible, I have to sit back and digest for a while. I agree with a lot of your suggestions. You have given me so much more to work with than anyone else has given me, including my sister-in-law [a published author]. WOW WOW WOW! And you helped me identify holes that other people missed because they read three versions of this and they remember the earlier versions. [The more eyes you can get on your manuscript, the better!]
Dakota Rayne, fantasy and science fiction writer
I won this writing contest for my local writers' group and, when it came time for the head of the group to edit the story for publication in the anthology, I nearly cried. Her edits totally changed the voice of the characters, meanings of words and phrases, etc. I can't explain to you how angry I was/am. It was so not cool. I guess it's funny in an ironic way because it made me think of you and how well you try to understand what the story is trying to say, rather than change it so that it means something completely different.
Anyway, it's funny because I'm glad that I found an editor like you who can steamroll my work and make me feel good about it.
RM Dooley, author and artist of Legio Arcana
After I got over the first few traumatic bouts of [your editing], I realized you are quite good at it. I wouldn't call your editing mean, but the aggressive honesty does feel akin to being hit over the head with a mace in a very constructive manner. I will not lie, it leaves you dazed for a bit.
Ingrid Emerick, teacher for University of Washington's Editing Certificate Program
You did a terrific job on Kasha’s essay. I love the line editing you did; you did such a nice job of trimming some of the wordiness, cutting some of the unnecessary bits and pieces, and smoothing out some of the awkward phrases. I was really impressed with your wise decision to move to present tense. That edit (applied consistently throughout) did such a nice job of handling the back and forth in time and keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Great work!
I also liked your developmental suggestions. I liked the way you made suggestions that would keep her on track (so to speak) with the running theme, extending the metaphor, throughout, and ideas for how to wrap the essay better. I really liked the idea of bringing her back to the waiting room with the nurse calling her name. Very nice! The soccer scholarship question was a great one, too. I didn’t understand her reference there either.
I also really appreciated the way you gave her very specific suggestions for how to rewrite here and there as well as very specific praise. You told her what you really liked about her good essay in general and then here and there throughout. That is a really nice touch.
All in all, Val you have some strong editorial skills in all areas and a really nice diplomatic and encouraging demeanor with your writers.