“I bow to you. I really do. You are awesome sauce and a bag of chips.”
—Stu Wakefield, #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, on our work on his second novel Memory of Water of the Orcadian Trilogy.
“Spectacular! It is such an awesome feeling to learn a new thing every day from you. You are so kind and approachable—one of many things differentiating you from other teachers I’ve met is that you seem so friendly, embracing any kind of question.
“And your ideas are so sophisticated! You are a bonanza with a great imagination and a delicate touch. All the elements of my story are connected with no loose threads, and I love all these implications, unveilings, hints, and deceptions. Your ability to ‘see’ things is outstanding. You are more like a Hollywood movie director than an editor.
“I am just amazed that your passion and the quality of your work have never been influenced by our timeframe. Generally, the more work is needed or the longer it goes on, the more it becomes routine and the less attention gets paid to it. But your Magical Tea Cup never lets the tea get cold. Let me call your super organizing skills ‘God’s hands.’ I am so grateful that I came across you!”
—Keita Nagano, on our work on his sixth novel and first novel in English, Rachel Assigned to Tokyo; author of 17 nonfiction books and five novels in Japan
“I’m staggered at the amount of work you put into my project. A ‘sophomore’ novel comes with limited options and expectations that I was wholly unprepared for. You lifted me out of a hole, an amazing experience—worth every penny! I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ll be bragging about you to all my writerly colleagues.”
—Scott Wilbanks, on our work on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens; author of The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, Sourcebooks, August, 2015
“I am overwhelmed. You have done a brilliant job with Part 1. You have made it glow. What you have done with Part 2 is amazing. It could not be better. And ending it where you have ended it is perfect. You shouldn’t be editing. You should be writing novels!”
—Bhaichand Patel on our work on his bestselling debut novel Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, PanMacmillan, 2012; author of Chasing the Good Life, Penguin Books India, 2006; Happy Hours, Penguin Books India, 2009
“Victoria, I am so grateful for your suggestions. I feel as if I have to turn my head around and look at the world in a new way.”
—Millicent G. Dillon, five-time O. Henry Award winner and PEN/Faulkner nominee, on our work on her memoir of the Oak Ridge secret atomic facility, The Absolute Elsewhere; author of Harry Gold, Overlook; A Version of Love, WW Norton & Company; The One in the Back is Medea and Baby Perpetua and Other Stories, Viking; The Dance of the Mothers and After Egypt: Isadora Duncan and Mary Cassatt, Dutton; A Little Original Sin: The Life and Work of Jane Bowles, Virago Press; You Are Not I: A Portrait of Paul Bowles, University of California Press; and editor of My Sister’s Hand in Mine: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles, Ecco; Out in the World: Selected Letters of Jane Bowles, Black Sparrow Press; The Portable Paul and Jane Bowles, Viking
“As one of the first readers of my novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, your perceptive reading and helpful comments at Squaw Valley Conference aided me in finishing it.
“More recently, your edits of my essay on Tiananmen Square, taking a somewhat lengthy and ‘soft’ work and quickly making it into a stronger and polished piece that was published in time for the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in June of 2009. Easy to work with, but a perfectionist if you want the ‘treatment’—I trust you!”
—Lucia Orth, author of debut novel Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, Permanent Press, 2008; Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review, NPR comparison to Doctor Shivago, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner, PEN/Hemingway, and Pulitzer Prize
“This looks great, Victoria. It’s like having a lesson in writing. 🙂 It makes such a difference to have a thorough edit. You’re supplying the education I never had. You have really sharpened it up and portrayed the characters’ personalities through their actions.
“I’m going to print particular sections out so I have examples of how sentences can be better constructed to show characters’ personalities and their interaction with others. You’re worth every penny of your fee: thorough, painstaking, a diamond on a pebble beach. I’d be happy to recommend you to my writer friends.”
—Geraldine Evans on our work on the 11th novel in her Rafferty & Llewellyn mystery series Death Dues, Severn House Publishers
“It’s a hell of a lot easier to be in the writing trenches when you’ve got my back. The most awesome writing advice I can give to anybody: Victoria Mixon.”
—M. Terry Green/Terisa Green on our work on her speculative fiction series God of the Week; author of Shaman, Healer, Heretic; Shaman, Friend, Enemy; and Shaman, Sister, Sorceress; Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo, NAL; and The Tattoo Encyclopedia: A Guide to Choosing Your Tattoo, Touchstone; semi-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award and acclaimed by Publisher’s Weekly and Midwest Book Review
“Your suggestions are terrific. I wish I had shown you the novel sooner!”
—Sasha Troyan on our work on her novels Marriage a Trois and Semester; author of debut novel Angels in the Morning, Permanent Press, 2003; and The Forgotten Island, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004; two-time Booksense Selection winner, acclaimed by Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews
“Sweet! Thank you SO much. Your changes and observations are perfect, as usual.”
—Scott Warrender, on our work on his short stories and novel Putaway; Annie Award-nominated co-author of the “Lion King II Lullaby”
”Your books are such a glorious, generous gift! If only I’d had your wisdom at my side while writing my first four novels.”
—Karen Novak, author of Ordinary Monsters, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2002; Innocence, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003; The Wilderness, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004; Five Mile House, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004
“My work with you so dramatically improved my writing that I can’t even find words to describe it. I could not be doing what I am without your guidance.”
—Darren D. Beyer, on our work on his space sci-fi novels Casimir Bridge and Pathogen Protocol
“Thanks for all of your guidance and unmerciful—but essential—editing. I mean that as praise! Unmerciful is the best thing you can be. But you have also been very kind. You have made this process an educational one. And the way you crafted the final death scene is heartbreaking. A waiter just asked me if I was okay.”
—Alexander Kendziorski, on our work on his novel of the Africa painted wolf, Wait a Season for Their Names
“Wow, this is so complex and interesting. I am marvelling at the intricacy and—quite frankly—technical brilliance you bring to this. How did you learn to engineer plots in this way? It’s been phenomenal working with you; I am very excited by your input and what I might do with it.
“I enjoyed the depth and passion of your expertise on the subject of plot, structure, stories and novels that you brought to the work. I really felt you were like an engineer of stories–making things work and link together smoothly. I am very grateful for all you did.”
—Josephine Hagard, on our work on her historical fiction of Spain, The Pact of Forgetting
“Everything makes sense and is absolutely brilliant! Working with you has been an amazing experience. I love how you trimmed the language. I feel everything you said was already there, and you brought it up to the surface, gently and carefully. I thought it was scary to hire someone for a developmental edit. Now it seems scarier to be on my own.”
—Ania Vesenny, Pushcart Prize nominee, on our work on her debut novel Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights and second novel Sandara, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency
“Is it inappropriate for a writer to tell her editor in the second week she loves her? I’m amazed! You have it down to an exact science. I mean, I knew reading your books that you could do that, but you have taken it to another level. Wow! I’m clapping.”
—Lisa Mercado-Fernandez, on our work on her novels The Shoebox, The Eighth Summer and Holding Onto Hope
“Victoria, you should win an ‘Editor-of-the-Year’ award. Thanks to you, my work rewriting is as satisfying as writing the first time. In some case even more so. I have a better feel for the story—and its flow—now than I ever had before.
“Sometimes I see your point right away, other times it takes longer. Sometimes I think, ‘Duh! How did I miss that?’ Sometimes I realize that even while writing I was unsure about one scene, or passage.
“I have made lots of changes, often with dialog and action replacing narrative. I’m starting to see that good dialog writing is an ongoing process, and that no matter what one can always learn more.
“Thanks again for what you’ve done for my book and me as a writer! You’ll never know what a difference you made.”
—Jeff Russell, on our work on his novels Standing on the Horizon and The Rules of Love and Law
“Victoria, I am encouraged—heartened even—that you like my novel! Your advice is excellent.”
—Len Joy, on our work on his novel American Past Time
“You did everything that I both hoped and feared you’d do: challenged me, pushed me, and motivated me. You showed me where I was pulling my punches and where I went astray. You helped me see how excision is a means to enriching a text and helped me bring to life the ideas and tension I was striving for. Hiring you did not not get me out of doing work. It did, in fact, double my load, made my brain hurt, and caused me a bit of grief. That is what I want—to become a better writer.”
—Chris Ryan, on our work on his novels The Ishmael Blade, Heliophobia, and Pogue; author of the poetry collection The Bible of Animal Feet, Farfalla Press, 2007, now represented by Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Literary Agency
“Blown away by your insight and mastery. Digesting all the great stuff. Just remarkable! Thank you, Victoria. I am most impressed by your generosity of spirit. Feeling blessed that we’ve connected.”
—Jesus Maria Alvarez, on our work on his novel Esperanza Farm
Judy Lee Dunn has reviewed our editing work together on her award-winning blog:
Why Every Reader Needs to Hire an Editor
“This is wonderful, Victoria—just fantastic feedback! I am amazed by your ability to pinpoint the structure of such a complex story. You have been a dream to work with. I will forever be grateful to you.”
—Judy Lee Dunn, award-winning blogger, on our work on her memoir Out Late
“I am having a blast! I’m loving this process! Finding you was a miracle. You are just full of magic and ideas, aren’t you? You should market yourself as a ‘thinking partner’ more than an editor. You really have the craft of writing mastered. You are truly a gem, and I’m so lucky to have you as teacher and mentor.
“I have learned so much from you and your books. This is so exciting! I love writing, and I love working with you. It is incredible to see this story develop under our fingers. It’s like magic. I believe in magic—you have it, and I am learning as I go.
“I always study your editing in detail so that I can learn to write like that. Now my novel is completed and so beautiful because of your craft. I can’t thank you enough, Victoria. You are the wizard behind the curtain! What would I do without you?”
—Eli Potter, on our work on her trilogy Desislava, Vampire Queen of Bulgaria
“You are a terrific teacher. Without your help, I would still be wandering around in the wastelands.”
—David Roberts, Wall Street investment banker, on our work on his novel of the 2007 economic crash, Never Rich Enough
“I love your edit! It’s transformed my story: smarter, cleaner and more compelling. Thank you for being such a wonderful confidant in pursuit of my lifetime dream of being a writer.”
—Catherine Burke on our work in her novel Elysian Fields
“You are amazing! Thank you for your words of encouragement. I can really see my story coming to life! Wow, I’ve really got my work cut out for me. I am extremely excited.”
—Shane Jonah, on our work on her memoir The Service
“Wow. I’m grinning wide. You have a way with stories, my friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
—Michael Carychao, on our work on his novel The Half-Life of Trash
“I totally heart you! I love how you help me delve into my mind, layer by layer, so I can flesh out the minutest detail. You’re a peach! You are the wind beneath my wings.”
—Sita Swami, on our work on her Middle Grade series The Strange Inheritance
“If you didn’t live so far away I would be sprinting to your door to give you a hug. I am blown away by your talent, your knowledge of the craft, and your passion. I am emboldened, recharged, and ready to take on the world, with my protagonist at my side.”
—Charles Martella, on our work on his Middle Grade novel The Ghosts of Gotham
“So much more than I expected! I’m not a gushy person, but I have to say you are wonderfully observant, and your advice is invaluable—presented in a most constructive and encouraging manner.”
—Monica Kilian, on our work on her novel Love in Uneasy Lessons
“Dang, you’re good. I feel like I just spent the best bucks in my life. A. Victoria Mixon, you are the real deal.”
—Kathryn Rushing, on our work on her Middle Grade novel Sirin and the Wardogs of Shanidar
“After getting your feedback three times now I’ve got to tell you this: I’m delighted I’m able to have you read my work. Your professional insights are fantastic. Part of me wants to wax on about how much I value and appreciate your time.
“I’m also anxious to have you read my writing again. I’ve had some friends read my story, and they love it, but the feedback I get hints at what you’re saying—they can feel something is wrong but they struggle to identify it. It’s like they’re feeling their way through a dark room trying to point out issues, meanwhile you’re able to turn the light on and point out with incredible accuracy what the issues really are.
“You understand what I’m trying to express! And with facets I was unaware of. You take me through the back door of how the clock works. Now I’m addicted to writing. It’s all I want to do.”
—Mark Salter, on his work on his novel American Dream Fear
“I am so happy I found you. You have done more than just edit: you have taught me what I need to keep in mind as I move forward in order to strengthen my writing.”
—Devika Patel, on our work on her untitled novel
“Wow. I’m learning a lot from your edit. It’s like Christmas in May. OMG. I’m thrilled, in case you can’t tell.”
—Denise Throntveit, on our work on her children’s book Princess Patches
“Many thanks for your incredibly quick turnaround and your masterful plot analysis!”
—Karin Abarbanel, on our work on her Middle Grade novel Britomar and the Forest of No Return
“I would have to echo many of these complimentary statements, as both your counseling and the many positive suggestions you had to offer are going to be extremely valuable in helping me make some crucial decisions regarding my project.”
—Jay Miller, on our work on his novel SuperStar Nation
“I have really enjoyed our time and felt a kinship in the solitary world of writing. You are excellent at what you do.”
—Patricia Dinaso, on our work on her children’s trily Birthday Stew
“Thank you for an excellent crit. I like how you identified what worked as well as what didn’t. So many people forget that part. I need someone I can trust to go through my pieces. Thank you for your support and for talking to me like I do understand what I am doing.”
—Jo Ann Hernandez, on her work on her novels Dying on Lovett Street, The Future Forgotten, Loving You Deadly
“Before you edited a short story for me, I didn’t know what to expect; I had never worked with a fiction editor before. But your constructive criticism was so useful. I’d be crazy to send out any work without first running it by you. You obviously know the craft inside and out. Money well spent!”
—Gracie Fletcher, on our work on her short story “Moonlight and Melinda”
“I have deemed you my writing priestess!”
—Linda Ward, on our work on her novel Red Bird, a Love Story
“It’s been incredible working with you. You are amazing, and I can’t wait to show you the final draft when it is done. Again, thanks for everything!”
—Nehal Dhaduk, on our work on her novel Gia, a Thriller
“It’s perfect. It says everything I wanted to say. I find the way you structure and reorganize material fascinating. And you have an amazing talent for finding the currents that flow through a piece and tapping into them, seeing the strengths and flaws in writing and making it powerful and beautiful. I learnt a lot from your process. You don’t only edit, you teach. And you are a very good teacher!”
—Alexandra Godfrey, on our work on her narrative nonfiction
Client testimonials in the final comments on my guest post for Writer Unboxed: Lost Sight of the Game? Find It Again.