Client Books

Shadow of Death“I owe my writing career to Stacey Donovan. I was astounded at her instincts and her talent to not only point out opportunities for improvement, but to offer concrete guidance as to how to implement necessary changes.

I had no idea that inspiration, editing excellence, and patient teaching could all be wrapped up in one individual.

Now that I’m working on my fifth book, I look back with gratitude to Stacey who so generously shared her expertise and provided such valuable direction.”

—Patricia Gussin
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author,  winner of the Florida Book Award

“If you want an editor who will not give up on making your work, be it fiction or nonfiction, the best it can possibly be, then Stacey Donovan is the right choice. I’ve worked with Stacey on several published works, and the one indefatigable quality that defines her is an unwavering dedication to excellence. She is a writer’s writer – intuitive, resilient, tireless – with an emphasis on craft, authenticity, and surprise. Stacey knows down to her bones what is ineffable in any creative work.”

—Elise D’Haene,
co-author (with Stacey Donovan) of the acclaimed Red Shoe Diaries, based on the Showtime series by Zalman King, and winner of several screenwriting and literary awards

Strip Poker 

“How much do I love Stacey Donovan? Let me count the ways: professional, industrious, intelligent, sensitive, encouraging, communicative, supportive, precise, punctual, thoughtful – and she led me to publication of both my fiction and non-fiction books.”

—Peter W. Yaremko,
nonfiction and fiction author of four published books

Billy of the Tulips

My Mother, My Daughter, Myself by Dr. Jane Goldberg“Stacey Donovan is the right woman at the right time. I was with a terribly muddled manuscript and when Stacey worked her magic on my writing it suddenly came to life. But that wasn’t the best part of what she brought to bear on my manuscript. It was the level of organization she found. After years of my messing with the book (as well as several other editors who tackled the job and failed), I didn’t seem to have what it took to give birth to this baby on my own. Stacey is the one who birthed it and made it a coherent whole.”

—Dr. Jane Goldberg, PhD,
author of eight published books

“Stacey Donovan is more than a good editor. What makes her better than just good is an unerring ability to work with an author. She brings to the table not just an eye for weakness, but the creativity to make suggestions that the author can work with. Naturally, the writer’s talent is a factor, but with an editor’s help, the writer can give it his or her utmost. Stacey makes you work and work better than you ever thought possible.”

—Robert Boris Riskin,
author of three published books

Deadly Bones

Skinless“Stacey Donovan was my editor on my first novel, Skinless, currently in production with Austin Macauley. I must say that she is a rare gem in the world of editing. Not only is Stacey very professional in all of her communications and deadlines, she displayed a keen interest in my writing, and she also clearly put her heart and soul into the edit she created for me. My particular style of writing contains a lot of my own urban vocabulary and turns of phrase, which could be difficult for some traditional editors because it pushes the boundaries of language and style. Stacey got right on board and I could tell that she really immersed herself with feeling each character, lived in the scenes and understood the through-lines and overall themes to the story. A huge gift to any writer. Throughout our process Stacey provided me a superb edit.”

—Maggie Moor,
author of Skinless

Transforming Tommy“I utilized Stacey Donovan’s services for developmental editing and proofreading of my first novel. She was immensely helpful. She was prompt in her communications and responsive to all questions and inquiries. The enthusiasm she showed for my early draft and throughout the process was very encouraging. She found the areas in my earlier drafts that needed work. Areas I just couldn’t see any more from rewriting it so much. She helped point me in the right direction to ratchet my novel up to the next level and make it shine. All constructive criticism is done with a positive and optimistic approach making the spoonfuls of critiquing go down easy. I would certainly recommend you consider utilizing her editing services.”—Peter Archon,
author of Transforming Tommy

The Lost Power“I found her work to be thorough, insightful, thought-provoking, and even downright funny at times. Without a doubt, the manuscript is far better than it was after receiving feedback from my beta readers. I would recommend Stacey to any writer or author seeking to take their work to the next level.”

Avanti Centrae, award-winning thriller author of Van Ops: The Lost Power

Martha Milot“Stacey is a consummate professional. She provided specific and clear suggestions for strengthening plot, character development and style. I applaud her ability to deliver a no-holds-barred critique with the tact and sensitivity that left me feeling inspired to go back and work to make my manuscript better.”—Martha Milot,
author of Trail of Evil

“This was my first experience working with an editor, so I had no idea what to expect when I hired her. I think I got damn lucky. Stacey did an excellent job. I was impressed by the depth of commentary she provided about my manuscript, and the organized way she reported it. I thought her critique was particularly insightful, and I liked that she described in detail her opinions on the strength and weaknesses of the characters and the story. I had several followup questions, and saw the same attention to detail in her responses. I am working on the revisions, and there’s no doubt that the story has improved as a result of her input. I would work with Stacey again, and I recommend her work to anyone looking for a thorough evaluation of a manuscript. She’s a pro.”—Vicki Marie Stolsen,
author of The Bachelor Chapters: A Thinking Woman’s Romance

“I was pleased with the network’s very prompt response to my initial query. The information on your website regarding each of the editors was very helpful. I was most interested in working with Stacey Donovan and this proved to be the best choice I could have made. Before officially working together, Stacey took the time to truly understand the scope of what I needed, showing me how she would be able to assist me. This was enormously beneficial and reassuring. Working with Stacey was a phenomenal experience. I learned a great deal in the process as she asked all the right questions and effectively guided me in writing a much better book. Stacey always responded in a timely manner and addressed every issue that I brought up. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that exceeded my expectations.”

Loretta Coha, PhD

Mcnally's Dilemma“Working with Stacey Donovan on my first turn on the McNally series was a pleasure from first to last page.”

—Vincent Lardo,
bestselling author of the blockbuster Lawrence Sanders Archy McNally series

Accidental Lawyer“I feel fortunate to have had Stacey take on my manuscript. She discovered weaknesses in my story and suggested ways to strengthen it that made my story stronger. She’s diplomatic in her approach and communicated her criticism in a positive, constructive fashion. She’s especially pleasant to work with. Smart, witty, professional, and always responsive.”

—Kim Hamilton,
author of Accidental Lawyer

The End Game “This novella might not have been accepted by two publishing houses had it not been for the input of consummate professional Stacey Donovan, who provided the insightful evaluation and critique of the first draft.”

—Dick Rothschild,
author of The End Game

Painted Doll“I’m published by a boutique house that hires editors with specialized knowledge for each title, and it took us a long time to find a freelance resource for editors who had the level of professional experience needed for my mystery series. By the time we found Stacey Donovan, the deadline was short, but she not only delivered a detailed and very helpful edit of the manuscript, she did it on time and in budget. I was very happy to discover that her work was the same high quality as the editing I got at the Big Five publisher I used to be with.”—Jonelle Patrick,
author of Painted Doll

The Hampton Affair“Stacey Donovan is a delight as a Hamptons neighbor and even more so as an editor.”

—Vincent Lardo,
popular crime novelist and bestselling author of the Archy McNally Series by Lawrence Sanders

Prostate Cancer“Stacey Donovan is outstanding! And your website and communications which brought me to her are excellent.”

Murray Keith Wadsworth, author of Prostate Cancer: Sheep or Wolf? Navigating Systemic Misinformation

“I could not be more thrilled and delighted to have worked with Stacey Donovan. She is a consummate professional who wears many hats; editor, psychologist, cheerleader, spiritual advisor and oracle, not sure what that hat looks like but she wears them all quite well. The best recommendation I can give for Stacey is that I’m looking forward to working with her again and would not think of looking elsewhere.”

Dana K. Schwartz

“Stacey is smart, patient, witty and really good at what she does. She has gone far above the contract by being a cheerleader, hand holder, and friend. Her editing and general advice about writing was the best but her personality and accessibility set her apart and really added to the process.”

Allison McBane

“Stacey Donovan is excellent! Her work is insightful and smart. Notes were delivered with expertise, professionalism, detail, and grounding. I was impressed, still am. I would recommend Stacey Donovan absolutely without any hesitation or reservation.”

Roberta Degnore,
author of twelve published novels

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“Stacey Donovan is a writer’s dream. With an incisive mind, she doesn’t let a scintilla of careless writing go by. The barnacles she knocked off some my prose gave it so much lilt and lift, it often made my jaw drop. Her critique of plot, POV, and characters gave me the feeling I had entered a graduate level tutorial, with this difference—the “instructor” was my partner and cared invested in my success. That said, I do not mean to suggest for a moment that Stacey holds back criticism. She is a “tough love” editor. With equal emphasis on each word.”

Les AuCoin

“Was very impressed with the quality of work my consultant put into my memoir proposal. She went above and beyond in every aspect, especially the research involved, to make sure my project stands out. While her own style and experience in proposal writing shine through beautifully, she was also very mindful in formatting the work to the satisfaction of my agent. The further she got into the project, the more I felt it meant as much to her as it does to me. As a veteran journalist, I can’t express how priceless that is.”

Catherine Bosley

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Stacey Donovan is a consultant for Book Editing Associates,
a small, carefully vetted group of elite editors.