“Theodora was a very good editor for my first attempt at a novel. I wasn’t very good at the beginning and she took the time to give me a basic primer on do’s and don’ts in making my writing evolve from beginner to something more professional, and she was also very helpful in recommending references to further my knowledge. I know she had to have a lot of patience with me at times and I’m very grateful.” Jim Barnhart
“I can’t say enough good things about Theodora. She did an outstanding job pinpointing problem areas without disrupting the voice of the manuscript. She also did a remarkable job of challenging me as a writer with a non-confrontational demeanor. She is a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend her services to anyone interested in polishing quality work.”
“Theodora is an amazing writing coach, mentor, and editor. Hands down, she’s the best I’ve worked with and without her assistance, my Narrows of Time series of books would have never achieved their current level of success. You simply won’t find a better editor or writing coach anywhere.” Jay J. Falconer
Single-day downloads (both books, combined) over 9,000 downloads
8/28/14: 13,071 copies of Linkage, 65 copies of Incursion. Incursion up to #8 in time travel books on Amazon.com.
Wolf, Spencer (Michigan) AFTER MIND, science fiction. “Theodora was extremely thorough, precise, and tough, but just what my book and I needed. She found all the rough spots that didn’t make sense to anyone but me, and made them the best they could be. She found all the parts that were brilliant to everyone-including me-wink, wink, and made them shine. At its core, the very act of working through the manuscript with Theodora, line-by-line, and explaining the work, made the story all that much better.”
“I really lucked out when I chose Theodora as my editor. She was a patient mentor, always ready to explain her reasons for the changes she suggested. In the end she put together a completed manuscript that really looked good and was something I could send to a publishing house with pride.” Clinton Perkins
“The network coordinator was very prompt in responding to my request, and was very helpful in finding me a fantastic copy editor. The moment I started reading the sample edit, I knew I had a true expert in my corner. I realized all the positive comments I had read on her webpage was no exaggeration at all. In fact, I felt they were understatement. She is that good. Her masterful editing exudes such qualities as only a truly gifted literary artist can demonstrate. Even seemingly small changes here and there-a change in word order, for example-make such a dramatic improvement in the expressive power of the prose that they left me awestruck in numerous occasions. Simply, hers is a God-given talent. (And I thank God for letting me work with her.) Throughout our work together, she never disappointed me one bit. Her editing maintained the highest level of workmanship until the last minute. In the end, her work enhanced my manuscript beyond recognition-not in terms of quantity, but quality-for which I’ll be grateful forever.” Haksun Cha
“Working with Theodora was a joy! I felt understood and my work valued at the same time that she provided incredibly valuable feedback and editing. At this point, I will never send out material that she hasn’t looked at. She’s become an integral part of the process.” Jess Wells
“Book Editing Associates is an excellent place to find the right editor. Theodora helped me mold my narrative non-fiction book into proper form and strengthened my work overall. And that was not easy. It took three years, but in the end my book is strong on every level and should do well in the marketplace because of it. She expected the best from me as I did of her and together we tackled a difficult subject to write about. I trusted the experience she brought with her and that was a good thing. She developed a keen sense of the characters and the issues and her advice at each stage and every step was spot on.” Oscar Williams
Attard, Ryan (The Island of Malta). FIRSTBORN, urban fantasy (Marvel Comics-style). “As a novice author, my greatest concern was that my story, characters, and, ultimately, the essence of the story would be stripped away by editorial modifications. Theodora made sure to prove me wrong. Firstborn would have never been completed without the input this wonderful woman gave me and I am now the happy author of an urban fantasy novel.”
Hall, Adam (California). WRONG AND WRIGHT, crime/action/adventure. “As a first time writer, I thought it would be a good investment of time and money to have my manuscript professionally edited. Theodora was exactly what I needed. One editor I spoke with only wanted to clean up what I had, and leave the structure alone. This was a problem for me since I was positive that I had to have made some structural errors. Other editors informed me it was so bad that they couldn’t edit it, but were more than willing to let me join a class for a fee. Theodora was the perfect balance between these two. She read my manuscript, pointed out problem areas, informed me of why they were a problem, and offered solutions. Once that was done, she went over the story with a fine-tooth comb, pointing out all the little details that didn’t make sense or needed clarification. The manuscript improved dramatically because of it. My only goal with my first novel was to make a simple, straightforward, readable story. With Theodora’s help, I feel that I achieved that and more. If you’re able to accept that what you have will need some work and re-writing, and want to turn your book into the best possible product it can be, I would highly recommend Theodora.”
Liebman, Marc (Texas). BIG MOTHER 40, military action. “For me, Theodora helped turn a really good story that got an acquisition editor and the COO of a publishing company [FireshipPress] excited about what they believe will be a artistically and commercially successful novel. I went into the [editing] process determined that it be a learning experience that would help me become a better novelist and to say I learned a lot from Theodora would be a gross understatement. In picking her, I didn’t want a “˜yes’ person, but instead an editor who would push me to write better and make the book, Big Mother 40, better. I plan to use her services again. I just hope I can remember all her advice for the second book since I have had an adult beverage or two and have slept since we finished.”
Preston, Don (Wisconsin). REVELATIONS; RIGHT ON SCHEDULE, paranormal/suspense/humor. “Theodora has been a consummate professional. Her hard work has been detailed, responsive, helpful just what I needed. Her personality makes her a dream to work with. I could not have asked for better editing help. I enthusiastically recommend her.”
Boschert, James (Arizona). THE ASSASSINS OF ALAMUT, historical action adventure. “My book could not have been published without Theodora Bryant’s professional help and advice. I had a good story to tell but even the best story is useless without the guidance and diligence of a good editor. Theodora is certainly this and more; bringing to the table not only her skill as an editor with her wide experience of the literary field but also her perception as to how a good story should be tailored. She tempers it all with a fine sense of humor. She continues to prod me gently toward being a better writer. For this I am very grateful.”
Shuler, Cathy (Illinois), SINS OF THE FATHER (mystery). “With all sincerity, I would like to thank you for your help with this project. You answered a zillion questions and helped me sculpt a completed novel of which I am very proud. Thanks, Miss D. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Bibey, Tom (North Carolina), THE MANDOLIN CASE, (legal procedure/mystery). “I tell what’s the truth, Theodora. Even more important than -“˜s opinion (and it is very important) I thought the re-do was beautiful. I cried at the end, ’cause I knew I’d said what I meant to say. You made my voice stronger. I felt like a painter with a brush still in hand, saying, “˜Nope. I’d better not add any accents. That’s it.’ Then I put the brush down for fear one more stroke might foul it up.”
Frost, Thomas (California). ONE TRUE FRIEND (espionage/romance). “Let me say, Theodora, that after a full read I really truly appreciate what you did, not just to correct and edit, but to help arrange and refine the material that I gave you. I was especially appreciative of your strategic choice, that I never would have made or known to make, of putting the “˜hook’ of the three pieces of evidence on page 49, leaving the reader wanting to know more, and inviting a full read of the full 350 pages. Notwithstanding the fact that all three pieces intersect and tie up rather neatly in the final 50 pages of the book, as it stands, they are very well presented bait to the audience I am now trying to reach, the people you call “˜agents and pubbers.’ If you come up with any other pointers or ideas I should consider . . . I [would] of course [be] tremendously grateful. Thanks, Theodora . . . your work is first class.”
Wells, Jess (California). A SLENDER TETHER, historical fiction/1300s France. “Working with Theodora was a joy! I felt understood and my work valued at the same time that she provided incredibly valuable feedback and editing. At this point, I will never send out material that she hasn’t looked at; she’s become an integral part of the process.”
Johnson, Arne (Vermont). RAINBOW ISLE (YA adventure fantasy). At 06:37 PM 8/11/2007, Arne wrote: “You are unbelievable!!! How you catch some of these detail flaws is absolutely incredible!” At 6:13 PM, 8/19/2007, Arne wrote: “It’s official, Myron is now Myriam! It wasn’t all that difficult, either. I love the change, it fits perfectly! I love it! I wish I could find the words to fully express how much I appreciate everything you have done but none I come up with are words enough. You are the best!” [I have apparently not yet broken Arne of the overuse of exclamation points .
deSouza, Sabrina (Canberra, Australia). THE CATARBIE CONSPIRACY. Book One of the HouKura Series (Sci-Fi Fantasy/Adventure/Mystery). “Theodora, when I first looked around for an editor and put in a sample for you to edit, I was so overcome with your enthusiasm first and impressed with the sample edit that I practically ignored all the other samples and picked you straightaway. I really appreciated how you paid close attention to the detail and helped me make my ideas flow easier on the paper. Although I added some more chapters after we left off, I tried to make sure that they were consistent with what you’d shown me how to do already. It was a real pleasure working with you on my first-ever book and hope to continue it for the remaining series. Thanks, Theodora.”
Selbie, Joe, (Industry study); Best Team Practices for Designing User Strategy, User Experience, and User Interface for Web-delivered Applications. I highly recommend Theodora Bryant’s editing services. Not only did she catch all the minute details of grammar and punctuation, but I particularly valued the back and forth discussions we had about certain elements of style. She was very clear about her recommendations, but equally able to go with my stylistic preferences when I wished. Although the content of my white paper was very focused on experience design for web-delivered applications, Theodora was perfectly able to follow the content. She did, however, object to my exclamation points!!!??? Imagine.”
Alex, Paul (California). CHASERS (sci-fi). “Special things need special direction and Theodora has helped my special novel move in that special direction. I will be eternally grateful . . .”
Horning, John (California). RED FLOW (horror). “Thanks for making my dreams come true. If is wasn’t for your incredible work I’d still be one of those people who never did what they were meant to do. I have four other books in the hopper and one is seventy percent finished. If you don’t mind would you be so kind as to edit these for me? Thanks again for the great talent you have.”
Debow, Susan (Colorado). CLEANING CLOSETS (contemporary women’s literature). Published by Dialogue Publishing (Colorado), 2007.
Hazard, Mike (Nevada). THE SEA’S FURY (Coast Guard adventure). “In our lives, we have all met someone who inspired us to be better than our own expectations were for ourselves. I completed [my first] manuscript in 2004 and sent it to multiple publishers across the country. Just as quickly sizzling rejection letters came whizzing back. I launched an intensive search for an editor. In a few weeks I’d located one in a small town called Grand Prairie, Texas. The manuscript contained over 67,000 words when I sent it to her. When she returned it after her first review she had deleted over 11,000 of those valued and highly prized words I had labored over. Ouch! As I thumbed through the manuscript, I found she’d left me notes in the margins. She wanted me to tell her more, to tell her the rest of the story, to write down those experiences I’d had in the Coast Guard to make the story come alive so the reader could experience what I had experienced. She was an intense drill instructor [who took] me on 20-mile forced literary marches. She put me through literary calisthenics that made boot camp seem easy. I soon replaced the 11,000 words and wrote an additional 15,000 and I wrote four new chapters and generated a word count of over 84,000 words before it was done.”
Batchelder, Dennis (Indonesia). SOUL IDENTITY (thriller). Published by NetLeaves, 2007. “I realized that Theodora had pointed out so many basic errors in the plot, I had to take the whole thing back to the drawing board, or trash it. I went back to the drawing board. Thanks.”
Easson, Shayne (Canada). WRATH OF ZAR, Part One of the Demons of Destiny series (fantasy). To be published by WestBank Publishers, November, 2007. “I am absolutely sure I wouldn’t have gotten the publishing contract if it hadn’t been for Theodora’s evaluation and editing. What an enormous find she was for me!”
Karp, Larry (Washington). THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, second in the Music Box (mystery) series. His latest: FIRST, DO NO HARM came out from Poisoned Pen Press, 2004. “For Theodora O’Brien, the kind of editor all authors dream about, but all too seldom get. I can’t recommend a better editor than Theodora to help you through the tough times. I’ve had books and articles published for 25 years and have never had a better editor. She has an uncanny eye for both what’s missing and what shouldn’t be in there.”
Bolick, Clint (Nevada), NICKI’S GIRL, (psychological/mainstream novel). “I asked Theodora Bryant to edit and cut a 180,000-word manuscript by close to 50%! Theodora was extremely responsive, sensitive to retaining the story line, and thorough. Her enthusiasm and professionalism were exceptional. I recommend her highly! She definitely got the job done and left the story intact. Thanks!”
Dicke, John (Colorado). PROOF EVIDENT (suspense) and FATAL DILEMMAS (mystery) “If you want to write a good book, work with Theodora. If you want someone to spare your feelings and give you lip service, call someone else. Incisive, thoughtful, to the point-this lady knows the business. She demands that you work as hard as she does to get the most out of your novel.” John Dicke, Psy.D. J.D.
Serena, Anthony (Massachusetts). THE ACCIDENTAL ASSASSIN (FBI suspense). “I can very highly recommend Theodora Bryant’s editorial skills and am happy to do so. Theodora is straightforward and frank but, above all, she is absolutely committed to making your book the very best book it can be. She found time and plot errors in my book I never would have noticed myself. Couple her ability to note the problems with her enthusiasm and Texas twang and you get a dynamite editor.”
Duigou, Dennis (Ohio). GIFT OF THE TRAGI (an anthology of short horror stories). “I am a first-time author, and while I may not be savvy in the publishing game, I do feel that in these times, no one goes it alone. I suspected that hiring an editor was a crucial first step and, after reading Theodora’s sample edit, my suspicions were confirmed. Following that, we had several phone conversations and she made me feel much better about the task of getting one’s work in order. The next step was the actual editing process, and when I got the finished product, I was more than pleased. Theodora was a second set of skilled, critical, and yet sympathetic eyes. She knew what I wanted to express, and she brought it out with crystal clarity. Thanks to Theodora, my sick and twisted little characters show just how nasty they are now, and when deviance and evil show up, Theodora makes sure they’re wearing their Sunday-best.”
Takacs, John (CA), THE TAKE-US (international political, oil-industry thriller). “I read your email and like what you suggested [in the critique]. [Several weeks later] I finally finished. I think it’s a huge improvement over the original. Thanks, John.”
3/30/2010 “Hello, Theodora, I just wanted to share this with you. Last weekend I went to Searchlight, Nevada (about a 10-hour drive) and set up a canopy and table and did book signings [at a Tea Party event]. I went armed with the two book reviews I sent you. It was the most successful signing that I have had. But the most important and wonderful thing I did was sign and hand a copy of the book to none other than Sarah Palin. Strange to think that the hard work you and I put into it and how maybe we became a small part of history . . . Thanks again for the great job. John.”
Smith, Clint (New York). Self-pubbed author, INFUSION (sci-fi). “I picked Theodora Bryant to assist in the editing of my sci-fi novel. I am more than pleased with the outcome. Not only was Theodora a pleasure to work with, but she also helped fix structural problems with my story. In the process, she took on the role of mentor and teacher, providing needed guidance to a new sci-fi writer. In short, I would gladly recommend her to anyone who desires a professional editor.”
Jones, Chris. INFLUX (scifi). “I’m pleasantly surprised at how much work you’ve put into it to make it more factual.”
Elicker, Tania. FLAMEWEAVER (fantasy). “Working with Theodora Bryant has been an incredibly rewarding experience in so many ways. More than a brilliant editor, she has been a teacher to me and a friend as well. After getting back my first edit from her, I was truly astounded at her attention to even the tiniest of details, and I was simply thrilled after seeing how much smoother the book read after the changes. As a first-time author, I admit I once feared the dreaded red slash of an editor’s pen, but I quickly realized that I had nothing to fear while in Theodora’s able hands. Her comments were honest and fair, and her suggestions remained always true to the story. My book has been greatly and undeniably enriched by Theodora’s careful guidance, and I believe I am a better and more confident writer for having worked with her. For that I am forever grateful, and I hope I will have the opportunity to work with her on many future projects to come.”
Burch, William P. (Texas), self-pubbed author, MERLIN THE SORCERER (historical sci-fi/time travel). From the Acknowledgments page of Merlin the Sorcerer, the first book in the “Battle of Dragons” series:
“To . . . my fabulous editor,
Theodora Bryant . . .”
Barnes, Sebastian, COMPASS ROSE (allegory). “I found Theodora Bryant’s literary experience invaluable. Her ability to refine my work prepared it for publication. She is the type of editor who is not satisfied with simply making grammatical revisions. If there was a plot question, she sought an answer, so that the final product is as polished as possible. By working with her I saw that she aligned her vision with mine, making suggestions that not only tied up potential gaps in my story, but strengthened it. I am thoroughly satisfied with my experience with Theodora O’Brien, and plan on using her services again.”
“Theodora delivers on time and on budget. I found her skills to be excellent and her attitude to be even better. She is not always going to tell you what you want to hear. I found this extremely helpful.” – Tom Summerill, Managed Murders
Walls, Madge (Colorado). (Originally, For the Sake of the Child) PAYING THE PRICE (suspense/women’s contemporary novel). Published by Dialogue Publishing (Colorado), 2006. “Theodora, my dream is really coming true, and you were the key to the whole thing-a great editing job. I was afraid to jinx it by being too grateful until now!!!”
Deb (Vincent) Oakley (non-fiction; memoir). CLIMAX KIDS, 1956. “I was more than a bit skittish about turning my beloved memoir over to a stranger for copy editing, but Theodora Bryant took great pains to gently smooth out awkward phrasing, word choice, and some questionable facts. She worked with me on a comfort level that I think I’d be hard-pressed to find in any other editor. And a huge bonus was that she and I were able to meet and discuss my book because we both live in the Denver area.”
Moschos, Marko (New York). WINSOME DESTINY (romantic fantasy) and THE MEDALLION (Christian fantasy). “When I started the writing of my first book, Winsome Destiny, then called Kismet, I realized I needed an editor who would have the patience and experience to deal with a first-time writer. Theodora Bryant, was definitely the person I was looking for, for not only did she masterfully edit the book, she also displayed the necessary patience with the ignorance that I displayed in the writing of tall tales. I have since had Winsome Destiny bought by a publisher, and I have sent her my second book, The Medallion, for editing, which is now in her hands for the second read/edit. And in short order I will be sending her my third novel, The Bedouin. Thank you, Theodora!” [Note: The Medallion has been published, and The Bedouin is due out in December, 2007.)
Bogle, Brice (Oklahoma), 637 MILES TO WALL DRUG (contemporary mainstream). “Just how good is Theodora Bryant and just how much does she care? By the time I got through the editing process with her, I got the feeling she knew the characters better than I did. She is a stickler for proper syntax and grammar, but that is not, in and of itself, a reason to hire her instead of someone else-there are a lot of folks out there who can do that. The reason to use her is she will make the book better, tighter, and more readable. And she will respect your voice and story-telling style and work with them to make the book the best it can be. So use her, listen to her and, if you disagree with her, well, just remember she wants your book to be good and, in the end, she just might be right. I think with Theodora, it is not simply about the money-but she ain’t the cheapest-it’s about making your writing do what you knew it needed to do, but you couldn’t figure out how to get there.”
Ni Chonaill, Ã“rfhlaith (pronounced Oh-ur-lah, Ireland). THE MAN WITH NO SKIN (contemporary novel). Book published by Dialogue Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO; owner, Sue Hamilton.
Munoz, Carmen (Texas). CHARACTER OF THE SOUL. True story, eyewitness account of the 9/11 tragedy. Published in September, 2005.
Published by Write Way Publishing
Bolton, Barbara J. “I’m a first time author, and Theodora demonstrated patience along with a professional service. She did not sugar coat her critique or tell me what I wanted to hear. She was honest and extremely helpful, but did not baby me or make decisions for me. She gave me direction and suggestions, and the result is a deeper, richer novel. If you want your book to be better, then I recommend using Theodora to edit it.”
Culver, Christopher. SPEAK, LORD (religious). “I found Theodora to be a pleasure to work with. This was my first book and Theodora was very patient with me and my time on the “learning curve” in relation to the editing process. We went through multiple iterations in working through my manuscript and she was always helpful and professional. In addition to her valuable editing recommendations, Theodora did a great job with the book layout. When we submitted the final PDF file to the printer he commented on how clean and well-done it was. Theodora is a true professional who takes a sincere interest in her clients and what they are trying to accomplish and seeks to make their work the best it can be.”
Abresch, Peter (Maryland). PAINTED LADY (mystery), latest in the James P. Dandy Elderholstel mystery series. “I have had Theodora edit three books of mine, for which I paid out hard currency, and I think she is worth every penny. She comes back with suggestions-most of which I take, but not all-and questions that help me realize things I haven’t fully explained.” (Peter has 5 books published; 4 JPDs, and one called Easy Reading Writing.)
Reisig, Michael. BROTHERS OF THE SWORD/CHILDREN OF TIME, NEW MADRID RUN, HAWKS OF KAMALON (action/adventure). “When it comes to being a successful author, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important than a good editor. Theodora Bryant can quite aptly be considered the key to that success. She not only has a broad understanding of grammar, movement, and structure, but she possesses a vibrant sense of what a book needs. She doesn’t just correct and improve what is there, she offers fresh insight from several different angles, and assists you in taking your book to the next level-where success is within your grasp.”
Mayer, Miranda (Oregon). TINNA’S PROMISE (fantasy). “Having my work edited professionally for the first time was a daunting notion; I foresaw much red-lining and style-bashing . . . I was fortunate enough to choose Theodora Bryant to edit my book, and she was a dream to work with. Theodora respects an author’s style and voice, and her input is objective and insightful. Her prior experience running a publishing house also helped me to trust her judgment. She knows what she’s doing. I opted not to go with the editor who charged the lowest cost per word, but with the editor who meshed with my character and understood where I am coming from as an author. I would recommend Theodora Bryant to anyone, and am grateful for everything she contributed to my work. Thanks, Theodora!