Virginia was recommended to me by a friend whose manuscript, with Virginia’s invaluable assistance, has since been accepted for publication by Pan Macmillan. It was terrifying, handing over the first complete draft of my first book to a professional editor – but it was the best thing I could’ve done. The book was a cross between a biography and a memoir, based on many hours of recorded conversation and written mainly in the voice of the person whose life the book is about. Virginia quickly grasped what I and the protagonist were trying to achieve, and her searching questions and frank feedback were just what I needed to tighten the book’s focus and cut out irrelevant material. It’s tough, but learning to let go of those passages that you’ve lovingly laboured over, but that just don’t work, is an incredibly important lesson. Once I’d made the changes Virginia suggested, I began to believe I had the makings of a story worth telling – and worth reading. She then undertook detailed structural editing of the manuscript – something I was incapable of at that stage, having been immersed in the writing for the previous year. The result was far, far better than I could possibly have achieved alone. I’m forever grateful to Virginia for her input and would be honoured to work with her again.