Thayer Literary Services ~ Book Editing


I have worked with a wide variety of writers, both published and unpublished. Among them are the best-selling author Harvey Diamond (the Fit for Life books), Dr. Carl Hammerschlag, and Brent Ghelfi, who has published several successful thrillers with Henry Holt & Co., N.Y. He and I have worked together ever since I did his first manuscript critique. Here are some of my clients’ comments about me and my work:



“Thank you again for the wonderful comments. Your critique was terrific. I’m 50 percent through the rewrite, and I’m learning all the time from your much-thumbed critique. To be honest, I’m still trying to assimilate much of what you spelled out. I hope the student is up to the task. I feel very fortunate to have found someone with your knowledge, talent, and commitment.”


Brent Ghelfi

Phoenix, AZ

Author of the hardcover thrillers VOLK’S GAME, VOLK’S SHADOW, and THE VENONA CABLE (Henry Holt & Co.)


“First, thank you for your work on the last chapter. Second—wow! It’s obvious you’ve put an enormous amount of time and effort into the editing process. I deeply appreciate the obvious hard work you put in to help to improve the product. As always, you have made just the right improvements. I can’t imagine what I’d have done without your help during the past year or so. Case in point: I appreciate your comments on the humanity Alexei shows during the story. I worry whether those moments add or detract, or whether they’ll come across as trite, so your perspective is a big help. I really appreciate all the great work you’ve done on my behalf.”


Brent Ghelfi

Phoenix, AZ

Author of the hardcover thrillers VOLK’S GAME, VOLK’S SHADOW, and THE VENONA CABLE (Henry Holt & Co.)


“Thank you very much for letting me know [about your editing service]. I’ve seen your work . . . and respect your care and diligence and will be happy to recommend you whenever the occasion arises in the future.”


Jack Scovil

Scovil, Galen, Ghosh Literary Agency

New York, N.Y.


“Paul Thayer is that rare combination of talent and soul. His editorial skills go far beyond basic copy, content and critique; he provides his writers with in-depth analysis and caring commitment.”


Dr. Carl A. Hammerschlag

Phoenix, AZ

Author of the best-selling hardcovers THE DANCING HEALERS: A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans (HarperCollins 1988) and THE THEFT OF THE SPIRIT: A Journey to Spiritual Healing (Simon and Schuster/Fireside 1994), plus (with Howard D. Silverman, M.D.) HEALING CEREMONIES: Creating Personal Rituals for Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Mental Health (Berkley/Perigee 1997), along with a four-cassette audio program, ON HEALING AND HEALERS, produced in association with Dr. Andrew Weil, and a variety of audio books and audio programs and a video, THE HEALING JOURNEY. Newest book (with Gary Tucker, M.D.) is MAKE LEMONADE: Thriving When Life Makes You Pucker.


“It is with great pleasure that I recommend you as an editor, and an extremely competent one at that. You have been very helpful in guiding me through the publication process of my book. Additionally, you have gone above and beyond in assisting me in resolving the many inevitable problems that arise in the publication of a book. I don’t know how I could have done it without you, and I am most happy to highly recommend you as a competent, honorable and empathetic editor.”


Theodore F. di Stefano, President

Acquisition Solutions Incorporated

Narragansett, R.I.

Author of YOU CAN BUY A BUSINESS: How to Become Happily Self-Employed



I'm finally going through the manuscript again. I have to compliment you on how great your edits and word choices are. I'm really impressed, so thanks.


Kendal Sheets

McLean, VA



Thank you very much for your work. I've been so impressed with the quality of work, and I've felt I've learned a lot from you about writing. Thank you very much for your time and expertise. It is has a really been a great experience.


Allison M.

Sherman Oaks, CA


I was so impressed with the quality of your work and the depth and competence of your critique.


Julia B.

Encino, CA


You are a jewel. An absolute pleasure to work with. Thank you so much.


C. Tirpak

Landrum, SC


I am so pleased with your professional scrutiny of my writing. Your professional judgment was just what was needed to bring the project to market! Thank you so much for the work you put into analyzing the rewrite. I really appreciate your insightful comments.


C. Deasy

Auburn, WA


Just a note to let you know that I received the manuscript and your critique. Many thanks. I was thrilled to find such an excellent job, and I expect your feedback to be of immense value.



Harrisburg, PA


I feel very enthusiastic about digging in and doing the work you recommended. I also very much appreciate the specific technical criticism and advice.



Alexandria, VA



“You write the Cadillac of critiques!”


Gene Berthelsen

Sacramento, CA


“Thank you so much for your critique of [my novel]. Lots for me to do and think about. You’re great!”



Wilmington, DE


"Again, I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the work you’ve done for me. As I explained earlier, I’ve heard so many horror stories about editors/book doctors that I had some real concerns about working with ANYBODY (excuse the caps, I am learning!). As I suspected, as in the profession I’ve been a part of, usually you get what you paid for. I’ve also observed that if you do your homework, you can get an awful lot of value for your money. I know I have with you.”


M. B.

Nashville, TN


“I have spent a fair amount of time reviewing the returned draft . . . and your accompanying

letter. . . . I continue to be impressed by the depth of your intelligence, professionalism, and skill at your job. You have an unerring eye for detail and apparently endless patience. Every one of your observations and comments is valid and to the point, and as always I will endeavor to apply them to further improve the book and make it more marketable.”



Santa Fe, NM


“I wanted to say THANK YOU! I would say I learned a lot, but actually I still learn every time I reread your critique I can’t say I agree with every point you raised, but I have adopted the philosophy that you are always right—meaning that either you’re right because I’m wrong, or you’re right because I haven’t explained or developed something completely. Thanks again!”



Norfolk, VA


“When I asked you for help, what I expected was a general roadmap. What you have provided is much closer to a mile-by-mile guide. Exactly what I needed. I sensed many of the problems you mention, but I did not know they had a name and could not think clearly about them. Now I can at least begin to look at them as concrete problems with specific solutions.”



Orlando, FL


“I like your editorial touch and your . . . working within the writing style of the book. Simply put, you breathed life and order into it. I felt this as I was going over your changes. Thanks again for weaving your gift as you did throughout the book. Good job!”


Paul Corson

Elkins Park, PA


“This is an overdue thank you note for critiquing my [nonfiction] manuscript. You did a top-of-the-line job. I’ve spent many hours incorporating your suggestions. A lot of them really resonate with me, and when I read the revision, I really like it. So . . . many thanks!”



Somers Point, NJ


“You’re doing fine. Yesterday I read Chapter 13 with pleasure. The project is

going very nicely, and your contribution is wonderful. I’ve really been enjoying it.” [On a novel I revised and edited for him]


Hoyt Barber

Las Vegas, NV


“As with the first draft, I find your commentary both immensely helpful and extraordinarily encouraging, so much so that I am already beginning to implement your suggestions for the next, line-edit draft. . . . I thank you once again for the job you’ve done. You are an education and a joy to work with.”



San Francisco, CA





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"I am most happy to highly recommend you as a competent, honorable, and empathetic editor.”

Z. Neale Hurston

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