Author Testimonials

What authors have to say about working with me . . .

Editors are not created equal. Just as no two readers will read the same story, no two editors will be alike. To my great delight (and relief!) Chelsey has been the strongest, most dependable, and by far the most insightful editor I’ve worked with to date. It’s not just about her unique perspective. It’s that she instinctively understands the untenable—the soul—if you will, of why writers write and what we’re trying to share about our understanding of humanity, of the universe we inhabit. And like no one else, Chelsey will find that in your story and help you refine it. And you’ll always, always know your prized manuscript is in good hands. Because with Chelsey, it is. It most definitely is.
— Jennifer Seasons, author of Getting Lucky

I came to publishing after being signed by HarperCollins with a debut novel in hand and the harrowing warnings of authors who had left the process jaded in mind. I was braced for the story to be hijacked, for the characters to be altered beyond recognition. I was not prepared for Chelsey Emmelhainz. Chelsey is not only a truly gifted editor with razor sharp instincts; she has an uncanny ability to sense the heartbeat of a story and coax it to life one line at a time with the savvy only a wealth of industry experience and a deeply seeded passion for writing can deliver. In those frustrating moments when a scene just wasn’t singing the way I needed it to, I could picture her on the other end of the phone perched in her book fort – yes, she made a fort out of books – rolling up her sleeves determined to take it apart and put it together again until it did. Insanely intelligent, witty, and skilled, I was blown away by her commitment to What the Waves Know. Nobody else compares.
— Tamara Valentine, author of What the Waves Know

Chelsey Emmelhainz bought my debut novel when she was working as an editor at HarperCollins. Looking back after our three rounds of revisions, I marvel at the potential she saw through all the work that needed to be done. But she is a natural, with an unerring eye for what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, what could be. With her gentle guidance, I was able to exorcise 40,000 words from the unwieldy original manuscript and still love it in the morning. Her other essential suggestions, both broad and specific, fine-tuned and streamlined my book until only the story and my voice shone through. I had all but given up hope on this manuscript, but Chelsey saw something in it and painstakingly transformed it from 500+ pages, collecting dust on the shelf, to the USA Today bestseller list.
USA Today bestselling author Charis Michaels

As a new author, I had not idea what to expect from the publishing world. Somehow, the stars aligned and Chelsey Emmelhainz became my first editor while she was at William Morrow. From the moment Chelsey saw my manuscript, I could tell that she was genuinely passionate about the story, and she never stopped gunning for me since. The editorial process is daunting for sure, but Chelsey is professional, patient and one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Every step of the way, she helped take my manuscript to another level. I cannot express my gratitude enough and can only hope to get the chance to work with her again in the future.
— Charlee Fam, author of The Last Train to Babylon

Chelsey Emmelhainz is a thorough and attentive editor. Always readily available and always full of great suggestions to make your book stronger. She’s also a lot of fun and easy to work with. Every book we’ve worked on together (and there have been quite a few!) has been an enjoyable experience. I can’t recommend her enough.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy/Karen Erickson

Writing isn’t about having great hands, it’s about great eyes. And after working with Chelsey, I understand the same is true of editing. It’s a strange feeling when an editor sees things in a manuscript that the you as the writer missed, but when you work with Chelsey, get used to it. Her brilliant sensibilities, prudence, and wit not only took my manuscript from good to great, they made the process an absolute pleasure. Hire her, and never look back.
— E.Z. Rinsky, author of Palindrome

I loved working with Chelsey Emmelhainz! During our time together, I found Chelsey to not only be an insightful editor, but a positive and professional advocate. Chelsey paid close attention to detail and pointed out discrepancies in a concise, matter-of-fact way. Most importantly to me, I found Chelsey to be an editor whom I could depend on. She was encouraging and responded to my questions promptly. Her sense of humor and calm manner were much appreciated! Every author needs an editor like Chelsey. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work on ten books with her.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray

Working with Chelsey was a wonderful blessing. From the moment I received ‘the call’ from her, she exuded joy and enthusiasm, not only for my career, but also for the characters I wrote. With each book, her support and insightful comments helped me fine-tune my writing. Chelsey is the type of editor who falls in love with a writer’s stories as much as they do. She also possesses an innate knack for seeing scenes from a fresh perspective and for unearthing those hidden gems. You might even say, she is the ‘writer whisperer.’
USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret

Chelsey is like a skilled archaeologist. She dives into that digging and then carefully, painstakingly brushes away the dirt and debris and pulls forth the heart of your manuscript. I credit her editing as the rocket that propelled my debut novel onto the USA Today bestseller list. She scoffs when I say that, but her insights into what makes an effective manuscript are peerless. Her talents are almost supernatural. She literally saved another of my manuscripts, snatching it from the jaws of disorganization, unbelievability, and disgrace. Do yourself and your manuscript a favor. Hire this woman.
USA Today bestselling author L.S. Hawker

Professional, timely, and friendly, Chelsey provides top-notch editing while still keeping my style and voice. I am confident in her experience and knowledge and highly recommend her.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox

I’ve worked with handfuls of editors over the years and Chelsey is without doubt one of the best. She whipped my books into shape while allowing me to keep the books in my own voice. I’ll work with her again, anytime.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Hawkeye

A good editor can help a writer find the heart of a story that even the best writer may have missed—and Chelsey Emmelhainz is such an editor. She helped me shape my novel, The Big Rewind, into a critically-acclaimed debut with her deep understanding of both story and market trends.
— Libby Cudmore, author of The Big Rewind

Chelsey has done a lot for my writing and for me. She edited four of my books for Witness Impulse, and during that time she made me a better writer. She smoothed my sentences, showed me my plot holes, insisted I get my characters right, and told me when that pretty metaphor I loved so much went over the top. But there’s a lot more to her editing process than the sum of those parts. She’s just got it. That special insight about works and what doesn’t. If you’re looking for someone to help you find your magic, Chelsey is the one for you.
— Carey Baldwin, author of Notorious

Chelsey’s well-organized, insightful, spot-on revision letters have elevated my manuscripts to a whole new level. She’s always professional, reliable, and respectful of an author’s vision.
— Lena Diaz, author of No Exit

Chelsey can do it all, from big-picture shaping to line-by-line fine-tuning, all while respecting your voice and vision. Editing can feel like such a daunting task — so many pages! So many micro-decisions to botch! But Chelsey provides specific guidance that empowers rather than overwhelms. Food Whore is so much stronger because of her creativity, diligence, and care.
— Jessica Tom, author of Food Whore

Chelsey was the first editor I ever worked with, and I can easily say her insight and suggestions helped me grow as a writer during our eight books together. I still hear her in my head sometimes and would recommend her to anyone who wants to put out the best possible book they can.
— Codi Gary, author of One Lucky Hero

Chelsey Emmelhainz is the best! Her editorial skills are beyond compare. Chelsey’s fine attention to detail and fresh perspective helped me take a good book and turn it in to a great one. I will definitely use her services again!
— Christina Frank, author of Good Girl

Hiring Chelsey was the best decision I could have made for my novel. She has a fantastic eye for details great and small and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion to help you get the most from her editing. Chelsey is professional, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable about the publishing industry. While she will tell you her strengths are in developmental editing (and they are!) her line edits are fantastic as well. She took my jumbled mess of a rambling manuscript and helped me polish it up to something resembling an actual novel. Chelsey not only points out the issues with the manuscript but also offers suggestions as well as motivations behind a suggested change. Most of all, Chelsey has excellent intuition. She could see exactly what I was trying to say and offer a more succinct way of expressing it. She understood the story I wanted to tell and really helped bring it out. The book I started with and the book I have now are two completely different creatures and with Chelsey’s help I feel so much more proud of the book I’ve written!
— Erik J. Brown, author of Lovecraft Will Tear Us Apart