I love story. I fell in love with stories when I was a tiny little girl. I've been a voracious reader all my life and began to write my own stories as a young adult. After my first novel was published, I began to pay attention to what makes a good story. As a result, I wrote more novels and began to teach beginning writers the fundamentals of creating a good story. From there I began to edit the stories of others and discovered that I have a real knack for helping authors improve their stories and make them "sing."

The books I have edited have received positive reviews from Publisher's Weekly. The authors and publishers I have worked with have appreciated what I have done to help them with their stories.

If you are interested in my services, check my prices below and then feel free to e-mail me .


 Editing Services
I usually only edit for established publishers. However, I will consider individual projects from time to time.

Full substantive and line edits: See Editorial Freelance Association fees
Read and thorough review: $400 for the first 20 hours. $45 an hour thereafter.
Writing/rewriting:  $75 an hour

Editing Endorsements


Lissa's intuition and insights for story-tightening, polishing and fixing are spot on. She was instrumental in helping me craft two novels that earned starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly. I would trust her with any project of mine.
Susan Meissner; Lady in Waiting, Sound Among the Trees

I had the pleasure of working with Lissa Halls Johnson on my debut novel. Her friendly approach, her attention to detail, and her commitment to excellence made my manuscript so much stronger. We worked through problem spots together, she made sure to stay true to my voice, and she didn't let me settle for good. She pushed and encouraged and challenged me to make my story the absolute best it could be. When we finished, I had that feeling you get after a rigorous work out. Satisfyingly tired and extremely proud of the work we had done.
Katie Ganshert, Wildflowers in Winter

Lissa has edited a number of novels for NavPress, Howard Books (Simon & Schuster), and without exception the results have been excellent and the author relationships have been great. The novelists--even the ones who needed lots of "help"--acknowledge that Lissa made their books much, much better, and they all ask to work with Lissa again. Lissa works hard, communicates well with the publisher, and always brings her work in on schedule.

Jeff Gerke; Manager, NavPress Fiction
Lissa Halls Johnson was the editor for my novel The Pirate Queen. I was amazed at her attention to detail as well as her understanding of my readership. When the endorsements started rolling in, I was so thrilled to know that Lissa had played such a valuable part in the support and finessing of my novel. Lissa has a wise eye and keen insight into the editorial process of writing high quality fiction. That's due in part to the fact that she has written so many novels herself. I would highly recommend Lissa Halls Johnson as an editor on any major fiction project. She doesn't guess, she knows!
Patricia Hickman, author of The Pirate Queen and Painted Dresses


"I've worked with Lissa Halls Johnson on several novels, and each time we've likened the process to a dance. That woman has all the right moves! She's leads me to create my best work with her extraordinary strength, grace, and skill. Working with her is a joy, and hard work! Lissa will give you a serious work out, but I trust her. She never misses a step, even when I thought she did! Following her lead never disappoints. I highly recommend her."

Claudia Mair Burney, author of
The Amanda Bell Brown Mysteries, and The Exorsistah series.

Thank you to Lissa Halls Johnson for her erudite and thorough editing work on the manuscript. You made it better and saved me from embarrassment.

Bob Hostetler, from The Bone Box acknowledgements.

Lissa Halls Johnson has the uncanny ability to see the big picture and the minutest detail as she edits. Professional, easy to work with, and fun, Lissa approaches each manuscript with a desire to make it sing. Not only have my novels improved, but I have grown as a writer because Lissa has edited my work. I recommend her without reservation. I've even known her to wear a cheerleading uniform!


I've known Lissa Johnson as a writer AND an editor, and she's always
achieved excellence at both. Definitely one of my favorites!
Susie Shellenberger, Editor, Brio Magazine, author of CLOSER

Lissa was the editor of a Focus on the Family book I co-authored, "Where Women Walked: Powerful True Stories of Women's Perseverance and God's Provision." She was amazing to work with on this project and really turned the book into an inspiring and compelling read. The book was nominated for the Gold Medallion award I wholly attribute that to Lissa's editing expertise. I highly recommend her as an editor.
Laura Greiner, co-author,  WHERE WOMEN WALKED

Lissa edited a book I co-authored called Where Women Walked:  Powerful True Stories of Women's Perseverance and God's Provision, published by Focus on the Family.  Lissa was wonderful to work with as she brought her writing and editing experience into our book filled with personal stories.  I know you are supposed to "SHOW not TELL", but with a background in Journalism this became a challenge for me.  Lissa helped me understand this type of writing as she patiently, persistently guided me as I re-wrote each story.  Lissa helped me learn to write with my heart to effectively inspire and encourage others through story-telling.

Lissa's professional, honest, hard-working and always keeps her deadlines.
She provided invaluable guidance through my first book project and I would highly recommend her for editorial services.
Jean Blackmer; co-author,  WHERE WOMEN WALKED

With seven books published by three different houses, I've had good editors and I've had...others. And I thought that was the gamut. Then along came Lissa Halls Johnson to chop, cut, slash, burn--

Just kidding! Not that I haven't been there, done that (Boy, have I been there, done that!). However, once Lissa took charge of my eighth book, STEALING ADDA--my "chic lit" debut--I gained a whole new respect for editors. Well...those of the Lissa Halls Johnson caliber (surely there are more out there). Thanks to Lissa's insight and honesty (yes, it does still hurt), my therapist says I'm close to a break through. Snicker...snicker...

As other writers can attest, having one's "baby" put under the microscope is never easy. Fortunately, with each successive book, one's skin gets thicker. And more lined. And less firm. You guessed it--I'm no spring chicken (but at least I'm in my early-somethings again).

Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Although I'd like to say the revisions to STEALING ADDA were easy, they weren't. After all, the manuscript was hardly perfect; however, Lissa's suggestions, attention to detail, regard for author's voice, and willingness to mentor made the process almost enjoyable. In fact, I can say with certainty that any gray hairs sprouted during that time were NOT the result of revisions.

So what makes Lissa stand out from the rest? My guess is that she's well-rounded (and I don't mean weight-wise--take a look at her pixy-ish photo!). Not only is Lissa an editor, but she's an accomplished writer. Thus, it follows that she's able to see a story from both sides, allowing her to better relate to those whose work she edits. I truly look forward to working with Lissa Halls Johnson again.


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Lissa's Books

Lissa's Biography

Speaking Engagements

Philosophy of Writing

Suggested Reading

Professional Credits

Lissa Halls Johnson's Resumé (PDF)

Random Thoughts...

E-mail Lissa