I'm pleased to offer these references, and grateful to the clients and associates who have provided them. If you require more detail on a reference, please contact me using the option on the About/Contact page. – JMcC
Jeanne McCafferty lends new meaning to the word ‘alchemy’. Ever-gracious, unyielding in her enthusiasm, fiercely smart and strategic, and unfailingly thorough, Jeanne is perpetual delight.
My two books were pennies shy of a disaster. The distance to excellence was beyond my vision, but not beyond Jeanne’s.
It’s challenging to find words that do justice to Jeanne’s contribution, yet without her my manuscripts would still be, at best, works in progress. Watching her restructure, add to and red-line my raw material was like witnessing a block of granite come to life as the sculpture I’d only imagined. In the end, I find myself the author of not one, but two books whose intrinsic value exceeded my fondest hopes.
Jeanne’s stuck with me for life. Since I’ve a number of books on the drawing boards, her work is cut out for her and I’m encouraged to work harder and smarter thanks to her generosity, education and the security of knowing she’s my editor for so long as I choose to write.
Gary W. Goldstein
Film Producer, Pretty Woman, Under Siege, The Mothman Prophecies
Author, Conquering Hollywood: The Screenwriter's Blueprint for Career Success
Bigger Picture Press, 2013
I had been writing a book for a while. Now I have written my book; it’s actually complete. There is only one reason I have been able to get from A to Z, and that is Jeanne McCafferty.
What did she do to help me? Several hundred things. Mostly she taught me the value of cutting. She also helped me tie my ideas together, and the importance of connecting an idea on page 22 to an idea on page 122 and then to another idea on page 222.
Jeanne addressed the overall structure and organization of my manuscript, plus character and plot development, pace and tone. She worked with me tirelessly - reading, re-reading and then reading my pages again. Her skills are enormous, she is smart as a whip, and as kind as anyone I’ll ever hope to know.
Julie von Zerneck
Co-author of Secret Storms (Blue Blazer, 2013)
I spend my days teaching high school students how to translate their larger-than-life thoughts into written form. "Less is more when it comes to writing," I tell them.
Imagine my surprise when Jeanne's edits resulted in a significant paring down of my own manuscript...a 15% reduction to be exact. The end result? Crisp yet fluid prose that didn't get in the way of the story.
Co-author of Secret Storms (Blue Blazer, 2013)
Writing a book for the first time is not only a challenge, but a life changing event, and choosing the wrong editor can be devastating. Unfortunately, that is what happened to me. I said goodbye to my original editor, and a few months later a film producer/author (and new friend) introduced me to Jeanne McCafferty.
She read the 100,000+ words I had already written, and politely told me that my manuscript needed some serious surgery. I felt a sense of comfort and confidence when she told me we needed to tighten, re-sequence, and focus my story. Guess what? She nailed it. We had fun working closely together, and she saved the day.
Thanks to Jeanne McCafferty, who is very good at what she does, I was able to take my book across the finish line and to the printer. Without her, who know where all those words might be.
Mahalo Nui Loa (Thank you very much), Jeanne!
Bill 'Aloha' Eddy
Author, Loves, Life & Laughter (Aloha Eddy Publishing, 2013)
I was very fortunate to learn about Jeanne McCafferty and have her work on designing several of our books. She is the consummate professional, easily accessible, does what she says she will do, and takes a personal interest in her clients' projects. I would not hesitate to recommend her to other writers and publishers.
Mary Gehman, President
Margaret Media, Inc (publisher)
As a first-time author, I was nervous about hiring an editor until I met Jeanne McCafferty. Her approach to editing is professional and no-nonsense, yet she performs her work in a supportive and encouraging manner. She created a mutually respectful relationship with me as she guided me toward necessary structural changes in my manuscript and urged me to produce my best-possible writing.
In addition, Jeanne provided me with the perfect quotation for one section of the book and engaged with me in thoughtful conversation about the message of my writing and how best to bring it to the world. Jeanne was truly an essential partner in the process of creating a final manuscript that I could proudly submit to an agent and publishers.
I highly recommend her services to everyone in need of a bright, reliable and caring editor.
Karen Wyatt, M.D.
What Really Matters - 7 Lessons for Living
from the Stories of the Dying (Select Books, 2012)
Like any writer, I appreciate intelligent and thoughtful editing, and that's what I always get from Jeanne McCafferty. She's also a first-rate researcher. I value our collaboration.
Film Critic and Historian
Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide (Signet and Plume, 2013)
Leonard Maltin's Classic Film Guide (Plume, 2010)
Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy (M Press, 2008)
Jeanne's thoughtful approach encouraged me to speed up a stalled plot-line without injecting artificial momentum into my work. I'm wordy, and balancing my style with a more dramatic trajectory seemed challenging until I worked with Jeanne; she constructively assessed my book to determine what was slowing down the story.
Her critiques were insightful but more importantly, they left the repair up to me by urging me to find my own 'fixes' for my story - which I really appreciated. She offered suggestions but also asked the right open-ended questions for me to answer, so I always felt like the creative choices were my own.
Jeanne has always been positive, encouraging, disciplined, professional, and enjoyable to work with. I felt she was in my corner, acting as a sort of co-conspirator in my intended success and I was happily surprised by her dedication to working at my pace. I'm really excited to have found Jeanne and hope to have the opportunity to work with her again on future books.
Too Cold for Snow Angels
As I wrote, revised, and edited my first novel, my appreciation for Jeanne McCafferty's writing and editorial skills simply continued to grow.
Starting with a nose for bringing a story back into line when it goes astry, an ear for 'clunky' dialogue or ungrammatical phrases, and an eye for the smallest detail from characters to chronology, Jeanne's talents are always used in the service of improving and enriching the story so it reaches its full potential.
With this goal in mind, she is an extraordinary partner in providing advice and insightful recommendations throughout the writing process. Her suggestions for some key changes led to significant improvements in my novel, and her editorial expertise was invaluable in polishing my manuscript.
Without Jeanne's support and guidance, I would not be where I am now: after querying several agents, I have received some encouraging responses, including one request for the full manuscript. Thank you, Jeanne!
Sandra Tarling Powazek
Jeanne McCafferty is simply a miracle worker! It's hard to believe we were able to punch out my book project in record time and not lose an ounce of integrity in the process.
Jeanne undertook the organization of my manuscript, taking my '101 Tips on Becoming the Teacher Who Makes a Difference’ and dividing them into categories. Her attention to detail is superb, not to mention the assiduousness in which she works!
Lastly, her graphic design eye is "right on the money"! I think the book cover looks fantastic and her ‘font nerd’ fastidiousness shows on every page. Her work ethic is the kind you want to have when you want to complete a task.
Working with Jeanne on The Gentle Red Pen was a total blast and I can't wait to start our next project! Pardon the pun but I just have to say that Jeanne has earned an A+ with my gentle red pen!
Author The Gentle Red Pen:
101 Tips on Becoming the
Teacher Who Makes a Difference
(Make a Difference Publishing 2010)
Jeanne McCafferty is a gift to writers. She gives every request for assistance, large or small, generous and careful attention. As an editor, her responses are invariably well thought out and helpful. I have particularly appreciated her attention to detail and her well-developed sensibility about how best to improve a given piece of writing, from manuscript to post-publication publicity copy. I would highly recommend Jeanne to any writer, amateur or professional. Her guidance has been invaluable to my work.
Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum
A Day of Small Beginnings (Little, Brown and Co., 2006)
Without the services of Jeanne McCafferty my book would not have been published, at least not with its current professional appearance. She created a layout that is easily readable, immensely attractive, and which looks polished in every aspect.
She accomplished this in a very timely manner, and provided me with constant feedback to be sure my wishes were being met. Not only that - she also made sure to coordinate with the printer to avoid any and all problems.
Jeanne will edit and lay out every book I write in the future. In addition, she is a highly creative marketer. She is my go-to person in all aspects of creating a book of value.
Thank you, Jeanne!
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery - Ask Ilse (Fortuna Publishing, 2009)
Thank you Jeanne.
As a novice writer wanting to submit stories for publication, I knew I needed a professional editor. I was fortunate to find Jeanne McCafferty.
Not only is she professional in her mark-up technique and her attention to detail in copy editing, but Jeanne offers a holistic approach to writing, giving suggestions on how to enhance my work while maintaining the integrity of the story.
With Jeanne McCafferty as my reader and editor, there was someone there to save me from my own mistakes, ranging from lack of coherence to spelling. She is a wonder and will improve the quality and precision of your work.
Journalist, Producer and Documentarian
I have enjoyed working with Jeanne for more than eight years. She is a consummate professional, with a great understanding of the production process. Our production department has always appreciated her great computer skills, since we never encounter a problem with her submitted files.
In addition, she’s extremely easy to work with — and always a lot of fun!
Burbank - Sunland, CA
Jeanne has the ability to nail the underlying issues inherent in the material and, more importantly, she is able to do so in an eloquent and constructive way. She is particularly good at reflecting back to the writer the arc of the novel, what the stakes are or should be, and how to ratchet up the emotional level.
Jeanne also has valuable facts at her fingertips. She knows dates and times and her sense of history is outstanding. She is a whiz at catching time-line issues or anachronisms. But what I value most in her editing and reviewing techniques is not that she merely sees where the problems in a character’s actions are, or where a character’s personality does not ring true, or where the transition needs to be; it is that she always has a clever way to resolve the problem. Anyone who is serious about their writing would be very well served to have Jeanne edit and work with them before sending it to an agent.
Robyn D. Travis