Testimonials

The Lords of the Wind by CJ Adrien

The quality of work was outstanding. The Darling Axe did a terrific job of correcting (or should I say improving) my writing to publishing standards. I was also extremely impressed with the style guide and character summaries, something no other editor has done for me in the past. Most impressively, they took an active interest in my work and have continued to follow my journey after their work was done. That is the mark of a truly exceptional editor. I will absolutely hire the Darling Axe for the sequels!


C.J. Adrien
Author of The Lords of the Wind (2019)
CJAdrien.com

 

Dead by Sunrise, a mystery in Forks, Washington, by Richard Ryker

David was both professional and personable throughout the editing process. He provided insight into character, plot, and other areas that went well beyond what beta readers or other editors could offer. From our ongoing communication to the comments he made about and within the manuscript, I felt like he cared about the success of my novel as much as I did. I definitely plan on using him again.

Richard Ryker
Author of Dead by Sunrise (2019)
Amazon author page

 

 

Unwritten by Tara Gilroy - Book Cover


I don’t know what I would do without Michelle’s keen and insightful feedback. Michelle both offers support and asks the tough questions that will push you to make your manuscript better. Before working with Michelle, I had completed an MFA and had an agent, but I still hadn’t sold a book. After receiving Michelle’s helpful feedback, I was able to successfully revise the manuscript that finally led to an offer and publication of my debut novel. I will be turning to Michelle again when I’ve completed the draft of my new novel!

Tara Gilboy
Author of Unwritten and Rewritten
TaraGilboy.com

 

 

The Amazing Adventures of Waldo by Tashawn Blount

 

David delivered exceptional editing services quicker than any editing professional I've ever seen. He provided honest feedback, giving me a clearer understanding of what my readers would be experiencing reading my novel. I enjoyed working with David and I truly believe he helped make my book better than it was before. 

Tashawn Blount
Author of The Amazing Adventures of Waldo (2019)
Amazon author page

 

 

The Ghost Ship by Andrew Gray - Book Cover

David’s incisive and comprehensive advice on my short story was invaluable. He identified character and story issues I hadn’t seen. It helped me take a promising but muddled piece to the next level, from rejection to its eventual publication.

Andrew Gray
Co-author of The Ghost Line (Tor 2017)
AndrewNeilGray.com

 

 

 

Book cover for Picking up the Pieces by Scalzo & Magee

I believe that Michelle Barker’s editing of my non-fiction book proposal as well as my book – Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer – were major contributing factors to the book being chosen for publication by both a Canadian and US publisher! Michelle is a delight to work with. She is keenly aware of the reader’s perspective and the need for clear writing. On many occasions, her additions helped my prose “sing”. It is my pleasure to recommend her as an editor.

Kathy Scalzo
Co-author of Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer 

 

 

Book cover for Denise Marchessault's British Columbia From Scratch: Recipes For Every Season & Magee

Michelle Barker was my writing mentor for my cookbook. From book contract to final manuscript, Michelle was with me every step of the way, providing critical feedback, thoughtful suggestions and grammatical editing. When an instruction or anecdote didn’t translate well, Michelle helped me work through alternative phrases and concepts. When I faltered, her swift wit often had me laughing at my computer. Creative and tenacious, Michelle coaxed the very best from me.  I can’t imagine writing another book without her heartwarming counsel and unwavering support.  

Denise Marchessault
Author of British Columbia From Scratch: Recipes For Every Season

 

 

Types of Canadian Women by K I Press

It’s daunting to transition from poetry to fiction, and I was grateful to have David’s careful editorial voice soothing me through the anxiety of first readership.

K.I. Press
Author of Types of Canadian Women
KIPress.ca

 

 

 

I have had the pleasure of working with both Michelle and David. No matter the genre, they approached each novel with complete focus. Every comment and suggestion they provided improved my manuscripts, from the big picture to the finest detail of word choice.

Nikki Vogel
Author of Tamalinn Found (Glass House Press, forthcoming 2019)
NikkiVogel.ca

 

David is an exceptional editor! His care and attention to detail made my work much stronger. Not only did David edit to ensure grammatical correctness, he also read my work for content consistency. I also appreciated David’s clear and detailed explanations of his edits and suggested changes for me to consider. I have another writing project on the go and will definitely be sending it to David.

Shailoo Bedi
Author of Diverse Leadership Landscapes: Exploring the Terrain

 

David has helped me hone two novel manuscripts with his invaluable insights. Particularly adept when it comes to creating vivid characters, he has encouraged mine to gain dimension and come to life. He isn’t afraid to be honest and thorough in his critiques, but does so in a way that is always supportive and encouraging. He is a joy to work with.

Hejsa Christensen
Fiction, creative nonfiction, and travel writer

 

Michelle Barker first took on a short story of mine five years ago when I was just a novice writer. Since that time, and due in part to her editorial expertise, I have had several stories published in online quarterlies and literary magazines. Michelle’s the best: a keen eye (without being harshly critical); helpful, astute comments; prompt returns of edited manuscripts. For these reasons, I continue to solicit her skills.


Nancy Branch
Sherbrooke, Quebec

 

 

The Darling Axe Novel Development and Editing Services