Kind Words

 David did a bang-up job of whipping it into shape, suggesting smart additions throughout, and nudging me to try to write about Jimmy with an eye not only on the next joke but also on ways to actually tinge the humor with conflict and a little darkness. (All with the same eye! Amazing.) He really helped me give the ms. more oomph, basically, and was an absolute kick to work with from start to finish.

Tim Anderson, Sweet Tooth

 As proud as I was of the book when I worked on it initially, we were able to really give it a nice polish and I’m very happy with how it turned out. David was a joy to work with. Thank you for getting me such an awesome editor.

Aric Davis, Nickel Plated, A Good and Useful Hurt, Rough Men, The Fort, Tunnel Vision, Weavers

 The book is tighter, sharper, and grabbier, and it lands much harder than it did, pre-edit. To that end, I’d like to say thanks once again for naming such a smart editor for this book—David has a very light touch, but like any good surgeon he knows how to identify pain and search until he finds the cause. He certainly improved this manuscript, and I’d be delighted to work with him on any project in the future.

– Keith Dixon, This Is How You Fall

 Writers need editors—and they especially need editors like David Downing. He is insightful and honest and asks all the right questions. Without his sterling work on FOLLOW YOU HOME I am certain it would not have been a bestseller. The fact that he’s such a nice guy—witty and quick to respond—is a bonus.

– Mark Edwards, Because She Loves Me
, Follow You Home

 I’ve been a published author for over thirty years, with most of the major publishers, and have almost always found their editing helpful, but David Downing, who has edited my last book, and the last three written with my wife Charlotte, has been a revelation. He is insightful, hugely knowledgeable, and pleasingly considerate of delicate authorly sensitivities. And, amazingly, he makes the whole editing process fun. (Well, almost.) If he’d been our editor all along, every one of our books would have been the better for it.

 Aaron Elkins, Switcheroo and, with Charlotte Elkins: Dangerous Talent, A Cruise to Die For, 
The Art Whisperer

 Once again, it has been a pleasure working with David. It is like having the ideal tennis doubles partner, who thinks the same way, covers your backhand, and cleans up your mistakes.

– 
John Enright, Fire Knife Dancing, The Dead Don’t Dance, 
Blood Jungle Ballet

 Swear to god, best help I ever got from an editor.

– G.M. Ford, Thicker Than Water, Chump Change
, Threshold

 I thoroughly enjoyed working with David through the editing process. His comments/observations/edits were so helpful and insightful and I have no doubt that the changes they inspired have made the manuscript stronger. Truly, when I read his first comments I was weepy with gratitude because working with editor who “got” what I was attempting was a dream come true. It was a pleasure.

– Jennifer Handford, Daughters For a Time
, Acts of Contrition, 
The Light of Hidden Flowers

 David is always fantastic to work with. He has as keen an eye for the little details as he does for bigger picture issues. And he asks all the right questions, forcing me to make sure that I’ve thought everything through fully. He is creative when offering alternatives to lines or actions. It really is a pleasure to work with him, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to say about someone whose job it is to pick apart my work. I have absolutely no doubt that SHADY CROSS, as well as my newest book, THE PRETTIEST ONE, are both better because of his careful attention.

– James Hankins, Shady Cross, 
The Prettiest One

 David knows when to crack the whip and when to stop on the side of the road to make sure you’re not going to break down and wade slowly into the river. His attention to detail, tone and just a general sense of story have helped each of my novels achieve their potential through his laser focus on clarity. He is as dedicated as any editor I’ve worked with. Rather than shy away from challenges, he attacks them with an even hand. I believe he lives with each of the books he edits as much as the author does. A master surgeon I would trust with any of my bodies.

– Christopher Herz, Pharmacology, Hollywood Forever

 It was such a pleasure working with David, and I know we made the novel tighter and better. He has a great “bookside manner” whereby with humor and insight he manages to make the whole process both fun and productive.

– 
Christine Kling, Circle of Bones, 
Dragon’s Triangle, Knight’s Cross

 David’s power as an editor is that he gets your book—the cool stuff, the weird stuff, the full intent of it—and then works like the devil to make your conception sing. With me he’s been able to point out weak spots, parts that aren’t quite clicking, and then work with me to turn those spots into strengths. Whatever I’ve given him has come out the process of our working together—and it is a process with a lot of hard work on both ends—immeasurably better.

– William Lashner, The Accounting, The Barkeep
, Bagmen, 
Guaranteed Heroes, The Four-Night Run

 David was an excellent guide and sounding board. He was an essential part of my process.

– David Lender, Arab Summer, Mickey Outside, 
Spin Move, On Home Soil

 I really enjoyed working with David Downing. He did a wonderful job! There’s only one other person I know who combines the qualities of a gentleman and a razor-sharp eye: Mr. Sherlock Holmes!

– Christina McKenna, The Disenchanted Widow

 Thank you for placing me with David. He was spot on and then some, and I felt both protected and happily challenged to be working with him. Keep him close. He’s a keeper!

– Shaun Morey, El Dorado Blues, The Crooked Pearl

 I have to thank you for connecting me with David. His input was precise and brilliant. I so appreciated his suggestions, as well as his ability to see certain things my way (although, in the end, I went with about 95% of what he recommended). And finally, I very much appreciated his complimenting my work when he felt it was warranted. I must say that David has made this book much better than it was (and I know you’ll agree!).

– Nick Nolan, Black As Snow, Wide Asleep

 David did an excellent job and made many thoughtful and sensitive suggestions. His input improved the book tremendously.

– Michael Prescott, Grave of Angels

 I want to acknowledge David Downing, my brilliant editor, whose wisdom and patience helped me transform the final drafts of this book. Readers will never know the full significance of David’s guidance—which, I think, is the point. But it’s a shame that the best editors are inherently underappreciated by readers. Take my word for it, dear reader, David has done you all a great favor in the immense value he added to this book.

– Ryan Quinn, End of Secrets, The Good Traitor, The Fall

 David Downing must be acknowledged first for his editing expertise. He seems to literally morph into my characters as he edits.

–  T.R. Ragan, Obsessed
, Almost Dead
, Evil Never Dies

 David is making this process so much better than I could ever have hoped for. Before we got started, nightmarish tales from other authors of editors who are rude, apathetic, incompetent and arrogant haunted my dreams. David put all of those to rest. Besides his nearly-supernatural attention to detail (causing me more than one face-palm), he has a wonderful sense of nuance, often knowing what I was trying to say better than I did. His talent and genuine enthusiasm have made FLOWERTOWN a much better book than I dreamed it could be.

–  S.G. Redling, Flowertown, The Widow File
, Redemption Key, Baggage

 I must tell you what a pleasure it was to have David’s company in polishing the manuscript. I’ve dealt with a lot of editors, but he’s the best.

– Alex Rosenberg, The Girl from Krakow

 David was a dream to work with. He understood the thematic strengths of the story and really helped to guide the book to its final state, while at the same time never suggesting anything that was outside of my distinct voice. I would work with David again in a heartbeat.

– Johnny Shaw, Big Maria
, Plaster City, Floodgate

 David has a great eye for what needs to be done to get a manuscript in the best possible shape.

– Michael Wallace, The Righteous, The Wicked, Mighty and Strong, The Blessed and the Damned, Destroying Angel, The Gates of Babylon, 
Hell’s Fortress
, Blood of the Faithful, Crow Hollow, 
The Crescent Spy, Victoria Crossing

 I’ve enjoyed the process immensely. There was some grinding, to be sure, and my emotions ranged from frighteningly self-deprecatory to joyous. I’m a better writer than I was a couple of weeks ago, thanks to David’s eyes.

Steven Wise, Sing For Us

 Special thanks to David Downing, who is the nicest, most unbelievably kick-ass guy I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, editor or otherwise.

– Justin Luke Zirilli, Gulliver Takes Manhattan, Gulliver Takes Five