novel writing

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Feedback from Authors on Novel Writing, Non-Fiction and Fiction Editing, Co-Writing, Journalism, and More!

The following sampling of testimonials is gratifying! I work with wonderful novelists, essayists, biographers, writers, and authors — just scroll to the bottom of the page to see a sampling of book covers.

Many thanks to the publishers, fellow editors, and all-around wordsmiths who have also weighed in regarding my novel writing, memoir and biography writing, and book editing services. Much appreciated!

You’ll see around 70 reviews and testimonials outlined below (and growing):

  • Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs
  • Sci-Fi, Fantasy, YA
  • Faith-Based
  • History and Historical Fiction
  • True Crime and Crime Fiction
  • Self Help
  • Adapted from Screen to Novel
  • More Novel Writing
  • Novel Writing In Memoriam
  • From Printers, Publishers, and Editors
  • Blogging Clients
  • Additional Feedback


Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs

“Here’s a huge shout-out to Melanie Saxton, managing editor for my autobiography at www.pettisnorman.com. Above and beyond the writing and editing, she has been instrumental in conducting dozens of interviews, updating my Wikipedia and IMDb pages, and assisting with social media. I give her tremendous credit for doing a terrific job on my website and blog too. Thank you, Melanie, for being such an important part of my team!” ~ Entrepreneur and Pro Athlete Pettis Norman, former Dallas Cowboy and San Diego Charger, and author of The Pettis Norman Story: A Journey through the Cotton Fields, to the Super Bowl, and into Servant Leadership
“Melanie has such an important role in my book project. Writing my autobiography was an enormous undertaking, and Melanie approached each chapter with a sense of collaboration that was instrumental in capturing all the historical and personal nuances. Her research skills are incredible, and her journalism skills were put to good use as she interviewed contributors, crafted my website content, created my Wikipedia page, and helped promote my story — all within a tight deadline.” ~ Joan Sullivan Garrett, MedAire founder and chairman, and author of One Life Lost, Millions Gained: The Story of a Flight Nurse Turned MedAire CEO.
“We appreciate your involvement in our book effort. It is a real book after your expert attention to all details. Thank you so much.” ~ Bill Mercer, sportscaster, and inductee in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, the University of North Texas Athletic Department Hall of Fame, the Texas Baseball Ex-Pro’s Baseball Hall of Fame, the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Hall of Fame, and the University of Texas-Dallas Athletic Department Hall of Honor
“I’m grateful for the incredible efforts of my co-author Melanie Saxton, who contributed endless hours shaping a historic and authentic story spanning nearly 90 years. I can only imagine the projects we’ll tackle in the future and look forward to an ongoing partnership. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” ~ Brian O’Connor, Florida, co-author of The Original Rolling Stone: The Travelin’ Riverside Blues of Eugene Powell
“Onward to Book Two! I’m excited and gratified to be co-authoring a companion book with Melanie entitled The Life and Legend of Mississippi Matilda: Iconic Blues Songstress of the Delta. What a novel writing journey this has been, and I appreciate the passion and respect she has for the Powell family.” ~ Brian O’Connor, Florida, co-author
“I am excited to be working with Melanie on the third installment of the Riverside Blues Series, America’s Unbeatable Musicians: The Original Masters of the Mississippi Riverside Blues. Time and again, she just knocks it out of the ballpark and is a great biography writer.” ~ Brian O’Connor, Florida, co-author
“Thank you for working so diligently on my book and providing many suggestions. You were my first pair of eyes!” ~ KPRC Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, author of Swabbed & Found: An Adopted Man’s DNA Journey to Discover his Family Tree
“You have been amazing to work with, and I can’t tell you how much your encouragement means to me!” ~ Author and blogger Nadine Sands, Canada, author of High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide
“I thank my editor Melanie Saxton for working with me throughout the writing of this book and becoming a friend and advocate in the process.” ~ Dawn Johnson, author of Living with CMT: A Mother and Son Journey through Charcot Marie Tooth Disease
“Thank you, Melanie Saxton, for taking this journey with me. You agreed to edit a stranger’s book and ended up crying with me, celebrating with me, and cheering me on.” ~ Sally Hubbard McCarthy, Hawaii, author of Harvest Time: The Sixth Generation: A Haunting Story You Will Never Forget
“Melanie, we worked our tails off on this project. Your leadership and patience took me step-by-step through the process of writing and publishing my book. It was so professional and far exceeded what you had to do. I can’t say thanks enough.  Because of your skills, this dream has materialized!” ~ Ron “Skippy” Hancock, Evansville, Indiana, author of Armstrong Basketball: A Journey Through the Glory Days
“Melanie Saxton is a fabulous editor who became a friend in the process. She is such a talent! I hope many are as fortunate as I am and find her, and bless her for continuing to support my cause. No matter where I go, what I write, or where my path leads, there isn’t another person I would use or trust with my story.” ~ Helene Neville, Las Vegas, NV, Nurse, Cancer Survivor, Marathon Runner, and author of One on the Run
“Working with you on my two manuscripts has meant the world to me. I appreciate your enthusiasm and the time you took to consult with me.” ~ Author Tylor Carr
“I cannot express my gratitude and love that I have for Melanie! She has gone over and beyond my expectations during the editing of my book series, and I appreciate it more than words can say! I highly recommend her to anyone who needs a book edited. Thank you for all you do.” ~ Eliza Anne McDaniel, author of The Awakening Series: Behind Closed Doors and Journey to the Heart
“Special thanks to Melanie Saxton, who proved to be critical in this process. She provided creative ideas and editorial excellence to help make this book come to life. Thank you for your insight, kind words, and wisdom during the entire process. You are more than I could have wished for in an editor.” ~ Velma Jackson-Wilkins, New York, NY, author of Too Many, Too Soon and A Look Back: Stories of struggle and survival growing up and out of rural Alabama
“Melanie was introduced to me by an author and publisher in my hometown in Pennsylvania. She is extremely hardworking and insightful, and as my book editor has guided me through the journey of writing a memoir. She has also helped with social media and promotion. I feel blessed that we connected. She is wonderful, and I now call her ‘My Friend.’ Thank you, Melanie, and if a sequel is in my future, you are my editor!” ~ Sally Gerth, Furlong, PA, Realtor, and author of Sit It Out Or Dance
“I thank my creative editor, Melanie Saxton, for inspiration and content contribution that allowed this manuscript to evolve past the uni-dimensional.” ~ Author Mark Inglin, author of Beneath the Matterhorn: Odd Revelations and Sober Observations by an Airbnb Host in Zermatt, Switzerland

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, YA

“As someone who has never had anything I’ve written professionally edited, and with the hopes of publishing, I knew I had to find a skilled book editor. After speaking with Melanie at great length about what I was looking for, I knew I had found the person I wanted to work with. She’s made the entire process more pleasant than I had imagined, works hard, offers great advice, and genuinely has the best interest of the project at heart. Couldn’t have made a better choice for this novel writing venture.” ~ Mike Trask, Author of the Dead Drive Series: A Hopefully Prophetic Unauthorized Autobiography, Home, The Lost Boys, and Revivification
“Melanie is an amazing editor. The amount of time she’s taken to ensure my writing is its best and that my novels flow (yes, novels—plural), goes above and beyond the call of duty. I couldn’t have asked for anyone more supportive, encouraging, and professional. She’s truly the best, and I will continue to hire her to edit my novels.” ~ C. Elizabeth, Ontario, Canada, author of Soul Control, Absolute Obsession, and Absolute Obstruction
“I wanted to thank you for your help and guidance in this process and to let you know it hasn’t gone unnoticed. I can honestly say I’d be lost without your help and expertise, and I really appreciate it. Thank you again.” ~ Author Josh Stanko, New Hampshire
“Thank you for all your hard work. And thanks for the list and the help with the query letter.” ~ Sara E. Tall, author of Misfit’s Rise (Alpha Academy Book 1)
“Thank you so much for helping and being patient with me on this. I’m so excited for this to finally get out there. There will be more in the series, and I will go right back to you for those editing jobs.” ~ Author Emma Compton
“Thank you, Melanie, for editing this manuscript and for your support! Your help was invaluable!” ~ Laurie Chance Smith, author of Curse Chasers: A Dendera of Egypt Novel
“Thank you for all the great work! ~ Author Sam Nim


“After drafting my Christian fiction manuscript, I thought, Now what? As a newbie author, I didn’t know where to turn for sound advice. Who could help me ensure my story was ready for the next step? I honestly believe God led me to Melanie. She was professional, encouraging and helpful from the outset, gently suggesting changes to strengthen the story and asking pertinent questions to ensure consistency. Her comfortable style made the hard work of editing feel more like a collaborative endeavor rather than a cold adherence to some mysterious rubric. I highly recommend her services to any writer and will call on her again for future works.” ~ D. A. Greiner, author of More Than Sparrows
“The cowboy churches of Texas (and the world) offer salvation with a dose of down-home humility and folksy wisdom. Melanie Saxton went searching and got found.” ~ American Cowboy Magazine, “God’s Country.”
“Approaching the completion of my final manuscript draft I began searching for someone to review and apply the final polish. I considered my work (non-fiction Biblical and historical commentary) perhaps something from which a typical editor might shy away. An author and friend living close by pointed me to Melanie, and she was a perfect match. Melanie jumped right in with feedback, questions, suggestions, and encouragement. The effort felt as though Melanie and I had been working together on the same team for years.” ~ Dr. William Herman, author of Through Daniel’s Eyes
“Dear Melanie, I have experienced numerous hands of God. You are one of many. I have been praying for a Christian editor. One day your email came. God is so good. Your encouragement was such a blessing to my soul. God bless you.” ~ Inseong J. Kim, Phoenix, AZ, author of Rest in His love, Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ
“Thank you, Melanie, for your diligent work on my book. It was a joy to work with you, and I appreciate the amount of effort you put into my book.” ~ Rose Enyioma, author of Untying the Knots Before Tying the Knot
“Thank you for editing my book. It’s good to have an editor who understands the power of prayer.” ~ Tina Levine, author of Keeper Of My Soul Testimonials: Look What God Has Done!
“Thanks for all your encouragement, support, tremendous help, and great advice you have provided. You’ve made the work worthwhile.” ~ Bill Royal, author of Light Up the Darkness
“Thank you for working with me and your enthusiasm for my book.” ~ Dobbin Burkhart, author of Harmony of the Nativities: A Love Story

History and Historical Fiction

“Melanie Saxton writes great articles! She also edited the Historic Katy book for the Katy Heritage Society… thank you Melanie for all you do for Katy.” ~ Carol Adams, City of Katy, Katy Historical Society and author of Historic Katy: An Illustrated History
“Thank you, Melanie, for editing my novel of historical fiction and helping me envision future works.” ~ John Doyle Anderson, author of An Inheritance Incorruptible: A faith-inspired novel of historical fiction based on a family legacy.
“A shout out to Melanie Saxton, a wonderful editor who worked with me throughout my third trimester, interviewed notable coaches’ wives while I was in the hospital, helped me track a 50-year story arc, and guided me through the process of writing my new book, Sidelines & Pearls: A 50-year Perspective on the Lives of Coaches’ Wives.” ~ Author Erica Barnett
“I am grateful for the grant provided by Deep Vellum Publishing to support the project expenses, the editing support by Melanie Saxton Media, and the formatting of the book by Holly Chervnsik with SuburbanBuzz.” ~ Edward T. Rincón, Ph.D., author of The Culture of Research: Insights from a 45-year practice in the design and execution of multi-cultural research
“If you’re in a position to work with Melanie, my gosh, secure her services immediately! Melanie’s line editing is, of course, first-rate. When you combine both her line editing and developmental editing you have a “home run” and you’d be lucky to have her.  Melanie and I spent a tremendous amount of time together. Anytime I needed a question answered, be it in the morning or at midnight, she responded. My book covers WWII, religion, hate groups, various organizations, etc. and Melanie hit the ground running. To have her work with such open-mindedness, clarity, and talent prompts me to say, “Congratulations!” to whoever gets to work with her. She is tough, smart, witty, punctual, and fun. I will miss the journey we took writing my book.” ~ Mike Gutter, Author of Never Again Still Means Never Again.

True Crime and Crime Fiction

“Melanie was absolutely great to work with. Super knowledgeable, helpful, and easy to speak to. She was very prompt with her comments and suggestions and clear in all her communications. I needed a great deal of hand-holding and Melanie was there for me. It is extremely rare that I give anyone a written recommendation, but I unequivocally do that for Melanie Saxton. I am so glad I found her to help me with my novel, Guilty as Sin. Without her help and encouragement, the manuscript would never see the light of day.” ~ Ken Wilson, retired State Investigator, Certified Fraud Examiner, and author of Guilty as Sin, a novel of suspense, betrayal, and greed, inspired by true events
“Thank you for your help and guidance in editing my book and referring me to resources for publishing.” ~ Retired Police Detective Frank Goff, author of Chicago Crime Story: A true-crime novel inspired by actual events
“Melanie, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all of your hard work. This has been intense, and you’ve been wonderful. Thank you so much.” ~ Lucas Kana, Hawaii, author of The Lei Crime Series: Princess Eyes Part 1 Book 1 and Part 2 Book 2
“Melanie has helped me with many novel writing and book editing projects. This one was difficult — more difficult than most — and Melanie was wonderful.” ~ Gladys Quintal, Perth, Australia, author of Life After Hell: Surviving Sexual Abuse

Self Help

“I’m so glad that I chose you to edit my book. I remember emailing and speaking with other editors, but no one else gave me the kind of feedback you gave me after previewing my first three chapters. Everyone else seemed to simply scratch the surface, but you gave me your honest opinion from day one. I really appreciate that.” ~ Yolanda Cornelius, Macon, GA, author of Fit, Fabulous and Focused
“Melanie, I want to thank you for all your help. You worked hard for us, and I really appreciate your efforts. You have not only been a wonderful professional, but you have been a good friend. God bless you abundantly.” ~ Lisa Crane, author of Response Options
“It’s like Melanie knew me personally! I can’t say enough good things about her editing skills and the care she took with my memoir!” ~ Lucille Ankum, author of You Are Going To Make It!
“I am extremely satisfied with the editing services provided by Melanie. She has a keen eye and worked fast on my memoir. She offered advice not only for my book but for social media and marketing as well. She was understanding and patient with my many changes and questions. She spent a great deal of time on my manuscript to ensure it was perfect before it went to publication. Melanie is very supportive and encouraging! She is highly recommended!” ~ Elizabeth Petrucelli, Parker, CO, author of All that is Seen and Unseen: A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage and The Miscarriage Handbook: It’s Not Just a Heavy Period
“I’m so thankful I found an editor who embraced my journey and the experiences I encountered, all leading to this book project. Melanie’s thoughtful approach and open-mindedness made our collaboration a joy. Her background in the German language and her love of Switzerland was also beneficial.” ~ Samantha Becket, Switzerland, author of Heartbreak: Life Beyond Your Lovepain  and Heartbreak: Wie ich lernte mich selbst zu lieben (German Edition)
“I would like to acknowledge Melanie Saxton for her exceptional abilities to edit this book with passion. Melanie has surpassed all my expectations during this process, and she immediately understood the vision for this manuscript and dubbed it “a training manual that reads like a novel.” ~ Rebecca Brown, author of Dog Training: The Soft-Handed Approach
“My project looks phenomenal! Now you have a client for life! Plus my friends need some things done, as well! Thank you so much!” ~ Josh Parish, Fitness Trainer and author of The Metabolic Revival: A Guide to Lifestyle Enhancement
“Thank you for the manual edit and quick turnaround!” ~ Author Felix Cruz, Mental Healing

Adapted from Screen to Novel

“This is really good! Great job editing the book (originally a screenplay), and I like your enthusiasm and the way you pursue your objective. I’ll be hiring you for publicity and further editing jobs.” ~ Joe Barfield, author of Live For Today
“Melanie did a beautiful job adapting my book, Orion’s Belt, from a screenplay. She edited the sequel as well, and recommended a book cover designer, e-book formatter, and website developer — all in one! I am very, very pleased with her speedy turnaround, attention to detail, and willingness to hold my hand through the whole process. She comes highly recommended for book editing and novel writing.” ~ John Peter Ferris, New York, author of the Orion’s Belt series

More Novel Writing

“I thank my editor Melanie Saxton for her belief in the importance of a fostering and adoption tale, and her efforts in working through the chronology.” ~ Daniel Bishop, author of Ralley Point: Place of Refuge
“Thank you for your edits, suggestions, and feedback in the manuscript and on the back cover.” ~ David Irwin, author of The Pepperford Cup in The Last Caddy series.
“You’ve knocked it out of the park. I hate to think where I’d be today if I hadn’t taken the plunge and hired you. Great work!” ~ Author Mark Kuckelman
“Melanie is a gifted, dedicated, and top-notch editor who approaches her role with equal passion and energy. Melanie’s insights and constructive feedback are amazing. After nearly 20 years of working without a professional editor on a book project, Melanie is now championing me to the finish line. I am so grateful for her help in turning my dream into a reality.” ~ Author Stacy Maxwell
“Thank you so much for your time and guidance, and for editing my book so well! It is very helpful and appreciated.” ~ Author and Attorney Chris Agboli

Novel Writing In Memoriam

“I LOVE MY BOOK! I Love the Kowboy Kuotes that you inserted, and I love the changes you’ve made! I wouldn’t change a word! Thank you so much for your hard work and input on the story about our two favorite ‘Ole Cowboys.” ~ the late, great Don “McD” McDaniel
“I appreciate your work on my middle-grade novel.” ~ the late, great Ramon Ballard, Author

From Printers, Publishers, and Editors

“Congratulations! Your story A Band of Brothers has been selected to appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Really Did That?  The book is now on its way to the printer! Thank you for helping us share happiness, inspiration, and wellness in this book by allowing us to publish your story. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Really Did That? is scheduled to be available in bookstores August 8, 2017.”
“Melanie became my top writer, my editor, and then editor-in-chief. She delivers on every assignment, works hard, and is highly ethical. It’s a joy to publish her work. I recommend her to others as a gifted writer and editor.” ~ Joseph Menslage, Publisher, Katy Christian Magazine, Houston, TX
“I sure appreciate the fast turnaround and high quality of your writing.” ~ Jenny Scala, Communications Director, Society of American Florists
“I’m happy to recommend Melanie Saxton as a writer and editor. I appreciate the work she does for us. She’s been writing for our magazines for many years and can always be relied on to turn stories around quickly. She truly is an amazing person.” ~ Linda Anderson, Editor, Fort Bend Publishing, Stafford, TX: Houston Lifestyles & Homes, Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes, The Woodlands Lifestyles & Homes, Cy-Fair Lifestyles & Homes, and Katy*Fulshear Lifestyles & Homes
“WHY am I promoting another editor? We share a common philosophy. Each writer is a unique individual. Each editor is a unique individual. One size fits all is a myth. Do your homework. “Interview” a few editors. You are hiring somebody, after all. Melanie Saxton and I do similar things when it comes to encouraging and hand-holding. You are as important as your work is.” ~ Wendy Reis, Editor, Ontario, Canada
“Editors we recommend: Melanie is an award-winning journalist, magazine editor, former English teacher, book editor, and ghostwriter with 30+ years of experience. She specializes in fiction and nonfiction projects, including novels, biographies, memoirs, children’s books, sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, and faith-based manuscripts. She especially enjoys working with first-time and emerging authors who need line and developmental editing. Melanie has edited hundreds of full-length manuscripts, e-books, and articles over the years.” ~ Gorham Printing, Centralia, WA
“While Prose By Design does not offer editing as part of our services, we do realize the importance of a well-written, well-edited novel. Here are a few links to editors that we believe will offer you the quality service you deserve: Melanie Saxton Editing services and Editor-Central-FB Page (this FB group is part of Melanie Saxton’s editing group). They do not work for Prose By Design, and we get no compensation whatsoever from them. They are simply suggestions of those who have impressed us. Please tell them Prose By Design sent you.”
“Melanie’s book editing and novel writing skills are phenomenal. My clients love her!” ~ Holly Chervnsik, Houston, TX, owner of SuburbanBuzz Marketing and SuburbanBuzz Publishing

From Blogging Clients

“I’ve worked with Melanie Saxton for years and highly recommend her blogging, web content, and SEO services. Her optimized blogging and web content have helped draw traffic to my site, and she provides editorial blogging and social media services as well.” ~ Danielle Wright, President, Right Choice Development and Construction
“Melanie is my go-to for any writing project. She’s an expert SEO blogger and content creator, and my clients love her. Due to her role as a journalist, she’s featured some of them in magazines, both print and digital. I can rely on her for anything editorial, even on short notice.” ~ Holly Chervnsik, President and Creative Director, SuburbanBuzz
“Many thanks to Melanie Saxton for her assistance with my blog, website content, and social media, and for being an important part of my editorial and marketing team!” ~ Entrepreneur and Pro Athlete Pettis Norman, former Dallas Cowboy and San Diego Charger, and author of The Pettis Norman Story: A Journey through the Cotton Fields, to the Super Bowl, and into Servant Leadership
“Melanie has been a vital part of my project — the book, the blog, the website, and the marketing — and I strongly recommend all of her services.” ~ Joan Sullivan Garrett, MedAire founder and chairman, and author of One Life Lost, Millions Gained: The Story of a Flight Nurse Turned MedAire CEO.
“I left a glowing review for Melanie’s book editing skills, and am following up with a recommendation for her digital writing skills. Definitely hire her for your blogging needs. She populated my website, optimized the content, and began a series of blogs with a focus on World War II, as well as current events. She’s a great wordsmith and knows what she’s doing. ~ Mike Gutter, Author

Additional Feedback

“I hired Melanie to edit scenes in a series of boxing DVDs featuring Evander Holyfield. Not only does she work fast, but she’s generous with her time and advice. The Champ and I appreciate it. She writes a mean bio, Foreword, and front matter, too!” ~ Coach to the Heavy Weights Rob Lewis, Atlanta, GA
“I’ve pitched my clients to Melanie Saxton, and she’s been so helpful in getting them into print. Her interviews always reveal something personal and heartwarming, making athletes and celebrities relatable.” ~ Holly Chervnsik, Houston, TX, owner of Stinger Sports Marketing

Questions? Let me know how I can help with your novel writing, ghostwriting, and book editing needs!

Contact melaniesaxton@icloud.com, and let’s get started!