Theodora Bryant

Theodora Bryant

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers

Developmental Editor, Copy/Line Editor, Manuscript Evaluation

Theodora Bryant has thirty years of experience in the editing and publishing businesses, first through her own small press, and then as a freelance editor, experience which has produced an impressive track record of successful novels. Her work has resulted in several authors who have garnered US and international “Amazon Book of the Year” awards in science fiction and fantasy, “Finalist” and “Winner” awards in romance and mystery works, plus other coveted literary awards, and excellent reviews from critics such as Library Journal.

She believes the author/editor relationship is a valuable part of the job and thinks that lends to the success of the hundreds of authors she’s helped in all the genres by now, some who’ve only finished one book, others who are on their fourth, by keeping that relationship front and center.

I consider novels to be mental movies. I see novels, I don’t read them. It’s how I work as a developmental editor.

Movies have characters, who, to be successful, viewers must like, fear, admire, but in some way, believe are real as the person sitting next to him or her in the theatre. Years later, people remember the names of characters and who that character was, in the best movies.

Movies have scenery and setting and weather, which are characters in their own way. It all must be real, whether it’s in a fantasy land or somewhere on Earth. Sci-fi and fantasy movies often soar with their backdrops, but can fail with being too dark, or fast, or undefined, bewildering the viewer – or too dull, putting the watcher to sleep.

Movies have plots which can fall apart (and the audience laughs or leaves) or bore a viewer because it’s just tooooo long, or have too many dumb mistakes that anybody can see, or keeps that viewer glued to his or her seat hardly able to breathe. Perhaps it’s a tear-jerker and viewers are so involved they cry. Time disappears in the best movies; if it doesn’t, the theatre empties early.

Movies have scenes, each one with a beat that drives the viewer to the next scene and the next and the next until the end (assuming neither the plot nor characters have them running for the door) and that ending has to satisfy the crowd or it fails at the box office. Everything in a movie is aimed at the end, the reveal, the death, the big win, but it’s done in scenes flowing seamlessly, invisibly to that end. It’s my job to make sure all of that is in your novel (and extraneous stuff out) before we’re finished working together.

“Theodora Bryant was the best developmental editor I could have asked for. She could always understand what I was thinking but struggling to put down on paper. Her guidance on writing and plot structure was invaluable, always urging me to put a bit more into the story, making it richer and deeper.”

—D. A. Mucci,
Author, The Ignatius Series

Ingatius and the Swords of Nastow
Ignatius and the Battle at Dinas Affaraon
Ignatius and The Scrolls of Power

“A beautiful read.” — Robin Roberts, as seen on Good Morning America

NYC Big Book Award
2022 Fantasy

2022 Readers Favorite Book Review and Awards Contest
Silver Medal Winner

Independent Press Award 2022
Distinguished Favorite

Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw, by D. A. Mucci, Edited by Theodora Bryant
The Ignatius Series, by D. A. Mucci, edited by Theodora Bryant, has wan multiple prestigious awards.

Amazon Science Fiction Book of the Year

Jay Falconer Books

“All of this started with you, Theodora. You are the reason I stuck with this and learned what I needed to learn. I never would have won Amazon Book of the Year if you hadn’t taught me how this is done. Whenever anyone asks how I got started, your name is always first to come up.”

—Jay J. Falconer
Author — Linkage, Incursion, Redfall, SCIENCE FICTION

Amazon #1 International Best Seller

Kirkus Reviews: “. . . Brimming with well-defined details and characters; augmented by bountiful enthusiasm and spirit.”

“Theodora is an awesome editor who doesn’t pull her punches when she sees something wrong (I hired her after sending a sample with the intent of seeing whether she’d call me out or kiss up) but she also knows when a light touch is best.

“On the story consult level, one of the iconic scenes readers mention most often came about because Theodora made me realize an element needed to be made clear to the reader. She sparked this moment of inspiration, so, she’s one part editor and one part muse.”

—L. James Rice
Author Eve of Snows, Sundering the Gods. NORDIC MYTH AND LEGEND FANTASY

Books by Cara Crescent, Award Winning Author


Wretched: 2019 RWA RITA® Finalist, Paranormal Romance

Don’t Let Me Forget You 2016 RWA Prism Finalist

The Last Marine:, 6 awards, including:
RWA Maggie Finalist Award
RWA Holt Finalist Award
Reviewer’s Choice Finalist Award

The Beacon: 6 awards, including:
RWA Maggie Award
Winner, NERFA, the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award

“Theodora always went over and above what I expected of an editor. I couldn’t have achieved all the above without Theodora Bryant’s skilled editing.”

—Cara Crescent
Award winning author, PARANORMAL ROMANCE

After Mind“Theodora was extremely thorough, precise, and tough, but just what my book and I needed. She found all the rough spots that didn’t make sense to anyone but me, and made them the best they could be. She found all the parts that were brilliant to everyone—including me—wink, wink, and made them shine. At its core, the very act of working through the manuscript with Theodora, line-by-line, and explaining the work, made the story all that much better.”


—Spencer Wolf

Books by N. Lawrence Mann

“I can’t say enough good things about Theodora Bryant. She did an outstanding job pinpointing problem areas without disrupting the voice of the manuscript. She also did a remarkable job of challenging me as a writer with a non-confrontational demeanor. She is a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend her services to anyone interested in polishing quality work.”

—Nelson Mantle [Writing as N. Lawrence Mann]
Author Full Breach, PARANORMAL MYSTERY, Coma Dreams, SUSPENSE

Awards won by Helen Starbuck
“Thank you for your careful and helpful edits and for pushing me to make things better; I really appreciate it and lately have realized just how lucky I was to connect with you.”

—Helen Starbuck , MYSTERY SUSPENSE

The Mad Hatter's Son by Helen StarbuckThe Mad Hatter’s Son

CIPA/EVVY award for 1st Place in Audio Books

Winner 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards for Mystery

No Pity in Death by Helen StarbuckNo Pity in Death

“Romance, suspense, and a fat syringe full of medical intrigue. A wild ride!”

–Mark Stevens, author of the Allison Coil Mystery Series

The Burden of Hate by Helen StarbuckThe Burden of Hate

“A Thriller that offers a master class in suspense”

-Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2019

“My writing career would have ended if I hadn’t found you, Theodora; I would have stopped. And you’ve been my greatest fan all along, which helped me more than you know. Thank you.”

—Karen S. Gordon
Author, Gold & Courage Series, MYSTERY/THRILLER

Killer Deal by Karen S. GordonKiller Deal (Gold & Courage Series Book 2)
January, 2020

★ ★ Double Finalist—IAN BOOK OF THE YEAR Awards in the Mystery and Thriller Suspense categories.

“Gordon’s satisfying thriller is unique in many respects, notably its vibrant setting and the unconventional nature of the characters. As secrets are brought to light, the author offers moments of breathtaking action.”—The BookLife Prize

“A ripped-from-the-headlines legal thriller that John Grisham fans will love. Highly recommended.”—BestThrillers.com

” . . . a fast-paced thriller . . . an intriguing look at the hunger for power, the ego of control, the persistence of greed, and two unlikely heroes whom we can cheer for . . .”— BookTrib

Mutiny Girl by Karen S. GordonMutiny Girl (Gold & Courage Series Book 1)
January, 2019

★ ★ Double Finalist—IAN BOOK OF THE YEAR Awards in the Suspense and Action Adventure categories.

“An outstanding debut thriller that has it all: misdirection, intrigue, murder, and family. Captivating and engrossing.”—The BookLife Prize

“A taut, thrilling drama told exceptionally well.”—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

“An engagingly written series starter with a bounty of plot twists and Miami vices.”—Kirkus Reviews

Express Intent by Karen S. GordonExpress Intent (Gold & Courage Series Book 3)
August, 2020

“The Bottom Line: “Fast-paced, evocative and urgent from the get-go, Express Intent is the best Gold and Courage series book yet.”— Bestthrillers.com

Sick Money by Karen S. GordonSick Money (Gold & Courage Series Book 4)
February 2021

“The Bottom Line: A heart-pounding, adrenaline-spiking medical thriller that takes the series into new territory. Highly recommended.” — Bestthrillers.com

“With decades of experience under her belt, Theodora delivers high quality editorial work. She did a developmental edit and copy/line edit for me, and her prices were competitive.

“She’s patient and gentle, but she’s always upfront and clear about what she thinks you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. But perhaps most importantly, when she takes on your project, it’s because she believes in your book, and she believes in you. You’ll be encouraged as a writer working with her. Theodora is a keeper!”

—Richard Ross

Books by Jason Vail

“I’ve worked with Theodora for almost 10 years, since I first started my medieval mystery series involving a 13th century amateur sleuth, Stephen Attebrook. She has been invaluable in spotting plot holes and foolish mistakes that have gone a long way to making that series, and other books I have published, notably the Lone Star Rising books, successes, and well received by readers. Her helpful attention will no doubt help your books find grateful readers, too.”

—Jay Vail

James Boschert Books

“My book could not have been published without Theodora Bryant’s professional help and advice. I had a good story to tell but even the best story is useless without the guidance and diligence of a good editor. Theodora is certainly this and more; bringing to the table not only her skill as an editor with her wide experience of the literary field but also her perception as to how a good story should be tailored. She tempers it all with a fine sense of humor. She continues to prod me gently toward being a better writer. For this I am very grateful.”

—James Boschert

Books by Marko Moschos, edited by Theodora Bryant

“When I started the writing of my first book, I realized I needed an editor who would have the patience and experience to deal with a first-time writer. Theodora Bryant was definitely the person I was looking for, for not only did she masterfully edit the book, she also displayed the necessary patience with the ignorance that I displayed in the writing of tall tales. I wouldn’t have completed all three books without her.”

—Marko Moschos

The Ice Scream Man “As a first-time author, finding a trustworthy, honest-about-your-work, excellent editor is a daunting prospect. Well, if you are lucky enough to come across the name Theodora Bryant, you need look no further. The changes Theodora suggested made this a solid, fluid, and exciting book to read. If in the future it is up to me, I won’t be using anyone else.”

—J. F. Salmon
Author The Ice Scream Man, PARANORMAL HORROR

Beneath the Surface Tension“After a first look at the first draft of Beneath the Surface Tension, Theodora recommended I get the whole tamale for editing: structural, creative, developmental, and macro-grammar-tense-viewpoint. And she delivered! She was patient, yet honest with the work. She went what I felt was above and beyond with walking me through the actual post-writing process of getting the book on Kindle and CreateSpace, and even chipped in with advice on the cover design and website! I will definitely use Theodora for the next book in this series.”

—Dietrich Biemiller
Author Beneath the Surface Tension, SCIENCE FICTION

Books by Kildare

“Theodora’s guidance really helped me tighten my writing. Her attention to detail amazes me and she catches the smallest issues that I had overlooked. My writing is always strengthened by her edits and advice. ”

—Ryan Gannaway [Writing as Kildare]

Author Dreamwander, Vol. One of In the Ruins of Eden,. LITERARY FANTASY, The Tragedy of Beauty, NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE/COMING OF AGE

Dig Down by Damian Myron“Theodora is an amazing editor to work with. From the start of my collaboration with her, it was clear that my success as a writer was her primary goal. When she suggested revisions, it was equally clear she understood my characters and story. She also provided me with a copy of How to Market on Amazon Kindle, which she had put together herself for all the writers she provides editing for. I don’t think it would’ve been possible to get my book published the way I wanted it without her expertise.”

—Damian Myron

Acheron Falls“I’m very glad that I chose Theodora Bryant. From the get go, she was engaged, even prior to our contract. That, plus her advice and work ethic (not to mention years of experience in copy-editing), all turned my manuscript from a draft into one worthy of submission to any agency or publishing house. In all, I’m well-pleased with the outcome.”

—Daniel Lewis

Big Mother 40“I went into the editing process determined that it be a learning experience that would help me become a better novelist and to say I learned a lot from Theodora would be a gross understatement. In picking her, I didn’t want a ‘yes’ person, but instead an editor who would push me to write better and make the book, Big Mother 40, better. I got that from Theodora.”

—Marc Liebman

Right on Schedule“Theodora has been a consummate professional. Her hard work has been detailed, responsive, helpful – just what I needed. Her personality makes her a dream to work with. I could not have asked for better editing help.

I enthusiastically recommend her.”

—Don Preston
Author Right on Schedule, , PARANORMAL SUSPENSE/HUMOR