Izzi Breigh is the author of the middle-grade novel Sleepwalkers: Round One (https://www.sleepwalkersonly.com/).
A high-wire acrobat needs a strong net, and what a net Erin provides. I was in the safest, most capable hands with Erin. As a writer, I tend to focus on story and evoking imagery and thought through words, not necessarily where to put the commas. Erin knows, of course, and thank goodness. She meticulously picked out everything—from absent commas and grammatical errors to discrepancies and unclear descriptions—that might hinder a reader from having a full, uninterrupted experience. I appreciated her valuable insights and suggestions, which were always consistent with the style and tone of my book. Erin didn’t get between me and the story; she cleared the path between the story and reader, and she did it masterfully. Thank you, Erin. You’ve spoiled me rotten with how effortless you’ve made the editing experience.
— Izzi Breigh
John Sharer is the author of the novel The Cockney Lad and Jim Crow and the children’s book Ants Don’t Talk . . . Do They? (John Sharer)
Erin Willard has edited two of my books, the first a long novel and the second a much shorter children’s book. Her knowledge of grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation — and her attention to detail — is complete and remarkable. But she goes way beyond that. She had thoughtful suggestions about the substance of the books and a keen eye that found errors that I had not discovered. In the longer novel, a minor character appeared very early in the book and briefly reappeared hundreds of pages later with a different name. I had read the manuscript several times looking for this very type of mistake and missed it. Erin didn’t. In the children’s book, I had written that a main character, a young boy, was not well but did not think he had one of a list of illnesses that included chicken pox. Erin gently reminded me that a successful vaccine had virtually eliminated chicken pox quite a number of years ago and a young boy today would not think of that now-uncommon disease. There were other great catches. Erin is a delight to work with and I’m not sure I would want to write another book if I could not be certain that Erin would edit it.
— John Sharer
Roberta L. Smith is an award-winning author. She has published six novels, including the Mickey McCoy paranormal mystery series; a book of short stories; and a nonfiction book about her two-times-great-grandfather’s experience in the American Civil War (bertabooks.com).
I recently won the top award of the 2017 Hollywood Book Festival for my book Simone’s Ghosts, and I must give credit to Erin Willard for the wonderful job she did editing my manuscript. I could put my work out for all to see with confidence. She was easy to work with and did not try to change my writing style or story in any way. I would not hesitate to use her again. She was worth every penny.
— Roberta L. Smith
Neil Hanson is the author of the multiple-award-winning Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America; Pilgrim Spokes: The Journey Continues; The Pilgrim Way, A Cyclist’s Guide to Ultralight Touring; and Cycling the Katy Trail (neilhanson.com).
I’ve worked with a number of editors and had experiences that ranged from good to not-at-all good. I’ve learned that there’s a jungle of potential outcomes when you hire an editor, and finding one that is highly competent and professional is a prize. In this jungle, Erin is a bright spot of high quality, as well as a pure pleasure to work with. Not all editors are created equal, and Erin is clearly first among equals in the universe of editors. She is hands-down the best editor I’ve worked with.
— Neil Hanson
Neil also wrote my favorite acknowledgment, and though I now ask to not be listed in my clients’ books, I do cherish this note, found in Cycling the Katy Trail:
Erin Willard edits my work. Without her deft touch (which often feels endearingly ruthless) my work would be far less entertaining and readable than it is. Should the reader find any spot in this book that appears to have been missed by an editor, rest assured that Erin most likely suggested an edit, and the author chose to ignore the suggestion. Erin, please accept both my apologies and my thanks.
Jim Halverson (jhalverson.com) is the author of the novels Trials and Trails: Adventures and Unexpected Discoveries of Life and others.
Thank you, Erin. I can’t say enough about the work you did for my book, Trials and Trails. Much of whatever success the book achieves is due to your excellent work. Your mastery of the English language is brilliant, and your work was always completed in a timely manner. Even more importantly, you studied the story line. As a result, you found logic and sensitivity issues that needed attention. I am forever grateful for that. Not only that, but you presented required corrections in a way that didn’t bruise my ego.
— Jim Halverson
Patricia O’Hanlon is the author of Dust in the Wind (working title):
Thanks to Erin polishing my diamond in the rough and making it shine, I have been asked to submit my manuscript to a top NY agency! She’s the best!!!
— Patricia O’Hanlon
Robert Landau is an international motivational speaker and author of You Are the Captain of Your Ship!:
This was the first time I’ve worked with Erin and she’s a life saver! Erin has helped me understand how absolutely vital a good, professional editor really is. Without changing my voice, my book now has the flow it didn’t have before. She was easy to work with, communicative and real. I will definitely use Erin again; as a matter of fact, I can’t think of putting another book to bed without her!
— Robert Landau