Testimonials

Audrey Auden

author of Realms Unreel (Temen Books 2010)

“As an amateur writer with no publishing experience and aspirations of self-publishing and self-promotion, I knew my manuscript needed the guidance of an editor familiar with the challenges of writing, the needs of readers, and the concerns of agents.  Maya was the complete package.  From the first day we spoke until the day I released my novel to readers, I knew I was in good hands.  Maya listened to my goals and tailored her editing approach to provide the substantive feedback I needed to deepen the reader’s emotional connection to my characters, keep up the pace, and paint a clear picture of the world where my story unfolds.  Maya offered just the right mix of sympathy, skepticism, and humor in her notes to help me recognize the strengths and the weaknesses of my storytelling, and she provided actionable suggestions to address the latter.  I highly recommend Maya to any writer seeking substantive editing and in-depth line editing.”

Josie Brown

author of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives (Downtown Press 2010)

“Maya Rock’s insights, both in shaping projects and in positioning them to editors, is what makes her invaluable to her clients. Your writing may be good, but her thoughtful notes will make it great. Seriously, if you’re ready to take it up a notch, she’s the best investment you can make in your craft.”

Eveline Chao

author of NIUBI! The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School (Plume 2009)

“Maya’s years of experience both as an agent and as an avid, lifelong lover of books have given her an invaluable sense for what publishers and agents look for in a book proposal. She has a quick eye for spotting exactly what should stay, what should go, and what should be reorganized in any written work, and more importantly, knows how to break the news gently when you have to, say, cut 50 pages from your baby. She has been an indispensable friend, editor, and guide in my own writing career, and I highly recommend her services to others as well.”

Clara Kensie

author of Run to You (Harlequin 2014)

“Maya’s keen editorial eye made my novel shine. As a debut author, I had no idea what to expect from her editorial letter, and was afraid to open it! But I’m so glad I did. Her edit letter was organized by issue, with spot-on suggestions on how to make the revisions, and it had just enough positives to make it easy to take the negatives. Instead of making me dread revisions, she made me excited to do them. Her line edits came next, and she made me examine every sentence, every word. She sprinkled in positive comments here and there that kept me smiling through all that hard work. When I was done, my manuscript had improved a thousandfold. Maya helped me become a better writer. I’m currently working on my next book, and as I write each scene, I ask myself, “What would Maya say about this?” I was very blessed to be able to work with Maya, and I highly recommend her to anyone seeking an editor.”

TJ MacGregor

author of The Seven Secrets of Synchronicity (Adams 2010) and Esperanza (Tor 2010)

“In the years I have known Maya, my work has benefited tremendously from her razor sharp skill as an editor. She has an eye for what works in both novels and nonfiction.”

Michael Montlack

editor of My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press 2009)

Maya Rock understands writing and writers. She not only taught me how to create and present a proposal for my nonfiction book My Diva but also offered the most sensitive and intelligent notes while editing my novel. Her questions about my characters helped me to see who they are and then develop them. That’s the most useful kind of editing–responding to the work in a way that shows the writer the writing, instead of telling the writer how to write.”

Aisling Shen

author of A Tiger’s Heart (Soho Press 2008)

“I doubt my memoir would ever have gotten published if I wasn’t lucky enough to have met Maya. My manuscript was a diamond hidden very deeply in the rough, in my view. A few people recognized it, but none was willing to polish it because it needed tremendous amount of work. I wrote the story in English, but my mind worked in Chinese. I used a lot of Chinese idioms and analogies. And because it’s a memoir, I cared about writing down my story and letting my mind flow freely, but not about how saleable the story was. I told myself to let somebody else worry about the editing later. The minute Maya and I agreed to work together, she took the manuscript in her possession. She first broke the story down to three parts into chronological order: my childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. And then she painstakingly went through every sentence and paragraph, fixed the grammatical errors, chopped down the long sentences, and rephrased the awkward Chinese analogies. She took out chunks of paragraphs to make the story flow well, some of which were not necessarily the most important but were my favorites. I didn’t want to take them out initially for sentimental reasons, but after she did it, I read it and couldn’t help but agree.

Before, my memoir read like a teenager’s diary hidden underneath a pillow, but after Maya’s work, it read like an excerpt from a book in Barnes & Noble. Maya and I worked on the manuscript for months, editing it not once or twice but many times. She demonstrated an incredible degree of patience and strong sense of responsibility. She wouldn’t let a comma in the wrong place slide. After the editing was finished, the book had turned from the ugly duckling to Cinderella and was ready to be presented on the stage. I am grateful for Maya’s dedication and skills, and I would definitely work with her again in the future.”

Heather Wagner

author of Happiness on $10 a Day (HarperCollins 2009)  and Friend or Faux (Quirk 2008)

“Maya’s greatest strength as a writer and editor (and former agent) is her honesty. This comes through in her prose and in her editing. Her judgment is solid and her writer’s voice is strong, compelling, and clear. I have worked with Maya in both an agent-client and fellow writer capacity, and I was unequivocally impressed with her skills in both arenas – a rare combination.

As an editor and agent Maya is a pro who cares deeply about the work, whether it be a finished proposal, a manuscript, or a half-baked book idea. She’s adept at refining writing, tightening and strengthening concepts, and catching inconsistencies that have escaped the author’s attention.

As a writer, Maya is, as stated above, deeply honest with a well-honed observational acumen. She’s immediately relatable and balances the poetic and the hilarious, both in her national magazine features and her fiction work. In short, I feel very lucky to work with her.”

Alison Weaver

author of Gone to the Crazies (HarperCollins 2008)

“Maya Rock is a wonderful editor. Her patience, dedication, and attention to detail are valued skills rarely found in the industry today. Rock has the ability to see the potential in an imperfect project, and the guts and drive to take it on. I would trust Rock with another manuscript of mine any day.”

Pat Willard

Interim Director of Marketing and Communications, Brooklyn College

“Maya Rock is an elegant, versatile editor who easily moved across many different projects, ranging from a magazine to brochures and academic articles. Deadline sensitive, with an unerring sense of purpose, Rock is one of the most thorough editors I have had the pleasure to work with.”

Serena Wu and Teresa Wu

authors of My Mom is a Fob (Perigee 2010)

“As two college students with zero knowledge of the book publishing industry, we were taught how to put together a nonfiction proposal, which Maya edited for us and landed us with Penguin’s Perigee Books. She consistently goes above and beyond in her work: on top of her strong editorial skills, she’s professional, flexible, and an all-around pleasure to work with.”

Al Zuckerman

agent, author of Writing The Blockbuster Novel (Writers Digest 1994), chairman of Writers House

Maya Rock brought empathy and kindness to brilliant and not so brilliant writers; and established long and fulfilling relationships with her peers at Writers House and with me and my wife . . . And she also was an able and shrewd judge of writing quality.  Additionally, she developed analytic skills which enabled her to take promising manuscripts and help their authors revise them in such a way that these otherwise useless pages turned into fascinating and delightful books.”