David Haviland

David Haviland – Editor

Bestselling, award-winning publisher, editor, and author of 6 books, for Harper, Penguin, Little Brown, etc. Handle fiction and non-fiction.


I have worked in publishing for more than 15 years, as an editor, author, ghostwriter, agent and publisher.

I've written/ghosted bestselling books for publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin, Piatkus, and Summersdale. One of my books was a NY Times and Sunday Times No.1 bestseller for a total of 13 weeks, and the best-selling non-celebrity memoir of that year. My most recent book under my own name, How to Remove a Brain, won The People's Book Prize for non-fiction in 2019.

I spent six years as a literary agent, and was selected as a Rising Star of 2013 by The Bookseller. When I left the agency, I was ranked #6 in sales worldwide for UK Fiction by Publishers Marketplace.

I am co-director of Thistle Publishing, which won the People's Book Prize for Non-Fiction 2017, was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize 2018, and shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Prize 2018.

I've worked in most genres of trade fiction and non-fiction, but I particularly enjoy working on crime, thrillers, humour, memoirs, biographies, and history.

“David is someone I both respect and trust, and his keen eye for a good manuscript is matched only by his clear knowledge of what to do with it.”

David Quantick, Emmy Award winning screenwriter and novelist

"David was 100% effective in selling my book, resulting in an excellent subsequent relationship with my publisher."

Marius Gabriel, bestselling novelist, and winner of the RNA Historical Novel of the Year award

“David has an exceptional editorial eye and I am extremely grateful for his help. He pulled my debut novel, The Lodger, together and was engaged and professional at all times. There is no doubt that without his input, my novel would never have sold to St Martin's Press.”

Louisa Treger, author of The Lodger (St Martin’s) and The Dragon Lady (Bloomsbury)

“David, acting as my literary agent, sold my first book to two publishers. One offered me a two-book deal. The original manuscript needed work, but David edited it and offered advice on revisions. His insight, literary experience, and professionalism cannot be overstated.”

Larry Enmon, author of Wormwood, The Burial Place, and City of Fear

“David's ability to look at the overall shape of my manuscript as well as the finer details really helped get me to get my novel up to publishing standard. His insightful suggestions led to changes that I hadn't realised were needed and made the story much stronger, yet he was also respectful of me as the author - allowing me to have complete creative control over my story and characters.”

Chloe Banks, award-winning author

“As a first time author, the support, belief and mentoring I received from David through Thistle Publishing was second to none. After a successful launch my book, A Life in Death, went on to win the People’s Book Prize for 2017 (non-fiction). David’s knowledge of the industry is demonstrated through his continuous support and professionalism.”

Richard Venables, author A Life in Death, winner 2017 People’s Book Prize

Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Cozy Mysteries Dystopian Middle Grade Psychological Thriller Romantic Comedy
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (SA) English (UK) English (US)
  • Shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Prize 2018 - The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle, J. D. Dixon
  • Selected for WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017 - The Blackbird Singularity, Matt Wilven
  • Winner of the People's Book Prize 2019 - How to Remove a Brain, David Haviland
  • Winner of the People's Book Prize 2017 - A Life in Death, Richard Venables
  • Longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker prize 2016 - The Blackbird Singularity, Matt Wilven
  • Amazon Rising Star 2017 - The Blackbird Singularity, Matt Wilven
  • Longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker prize 2018 - The Warehouse Industry, William Macbeth
  • The Bookseller Rising Star 2013

Work experience

Thistle Publishing

Jan, 2013 — Present

Since 2013 I have been co-director of Thistle Publishing, which has become one the UK's fastest growing independent publishers. We have been recognised by various awards including : Winner of the People's Book Prize 2017 - A Life in Death, Richard Venables, longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize 2018 - The Warehouse Industry, William Macbeth, shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Prize 2018 - The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J. Gyle, J. D. Dixon.

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency

Jun, 2012 — Aug, 2018 (about 6 years)

I was the fiction agent for the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, during which time I was recognised as a Bookseller 'Rising Star' of 2013. Authors represented include David Quantick, Patrick Dillon, Marius Gabriel, Larry Enmon, Louisa Treger, Matt Wilven, C. M. Taylor and Carolyn Kirby.


Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize 2019“Hilarious, and sometimes stomach-turning, vignettes.”New Scientist"I never thought a book titled How to Remove a Brain would be so incredibly brilliant. David Haviland, I don't know you, or why you create books like... read more
All My Colors

David Quantick

From Emmy-award winning author David Quantick, All My Colors is a darkly comic novel about a man who remembers a book that may not exist, with dire consequences. A bizarre, mind-bending story at the intersection of Richard Bachman, Charlie Kaufman and Franz Ka... read more
A twisty & darkly compelling read you won't be able to put downIn Dallas, Texas, Katrina Wallace goes missing. As the mayor's daughter, her kidnapping triggers mounting political pressure and forces the Chief of Police to put two senior detectives on the case.... read more
In a period of irreversible change, the Redcliffe sisters face monumental love and loss that will stretch the bounds of sisterhood to their limits…As the perils of World War II loom ever closer, Chiara is more interested in the joyful whirl of the season than ... read more
The Lodger: A Novel

Louisa Treger

Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane has recently married a writer wh... read more
Redferne Lane

Sarah Scholefield

Ezra had it all when he died. A good job. A nice house. His loving wife, Grace.Grace doesn’t even realise she’s struggling to keep herself together. Until Torin turns up in Redferne Lane. It’s been nearly two years since Grace has seen Torin. Since Ezra’s fune... read more
"Adler's prose is razor sharp, his characters flawed enough to be believable. A great read."Alex Shaw, best-selling author of Cold East.“Thrilling. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat.”Amy’s BookshelfCal Winter: Junkie. Murderer. Winner of the Militar... read more
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE 2016'Channelling ‘The Wild Geese’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare,’ Adler’s hard-boiled, knowing homage to the action thriller has a dark, modern twist.'Harry Keeble, author of ‘Crack House’ and ‘Terror Cops’.A war-blighted Afric... read more
Captain Cal Winter, MC - disgraced Iraq veteran, recovering addict and reluctant assassin. Blackmailed into service for a shadowy private army, Cal’s bloody past catches up with him when he is assigned to protect a Russian oligarch.Sergei Belov, multi-milliona... read more
Jack Was Here

Christopher Bardsley

Hugh Fitzgerald is losing control. In the aftermath of a traumatic end to his military career, his life has disintegrated. Hugh is approaching the end of his tether when a desperate plea for help arrives from a most unexpected quarter. Nineteen-year-old Jack K... read more
A Perfect Sentence

Patrick Starnes

Nominated for the Whitbread First Novel prize.A portrait of a modern family in crisis, a moving love story and a chilling narrative of revenge, A Perfect Sentence moves swiftly from London through Florence, the South of France and Morocco and ends dramatically... read more
Shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star AwardLonglisted for the Guardian Not the Booker prize 2016Selected for WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017Wilven does a masterful job of keeping his readers as off-balance as his protagonist... an intense and satisfyingly off-beat e... read more
Dyatlov Pass

Alan K. Baker

INSPIRED BY REAL EVENTSIN FEBRUARY 1959, A GROUP OF FRIENDS WENT ON A SKI-HIKING TRIP TO A REMOTE MOUNTAIN IN THE NORTHERN URALS.SOMETHING KILLED THEM...When a rescue expedition eventually found their camp, they discovered that for some unknown reason, the nin... read more
The Warehouse Industry

William Macbeth

Longlisted for the People's Book Prize 2018Once there was a man. When the man was a boy he killed a duck. He called the duck Peter, but it was too late. The duck was dead.He got a job at a pie factory. Not a great job, but they didn’t ask too many questions, w... read more
As the combined forces of MI5 and the SAS confront ruthless Islamic fanatics bringing jihad to the UK, two former enemies are reluctantly paired together to combat the threat.Two deadly but very different terror attacks bring carnage to London on the same day:... read more
Work/Life/CycleStaying friends should be easy. But then, so should growing up, and George, Harry and Ian have never really got the hang of that either. They spent their twenties in a state of permanent childish abandon. Now, adulthood is catching up with them ... read more
Paperback. Pub Date: October 2007 Pages: 352 in Publisher: the Piatkus HbTpb A treasure-trove of information on the origins of everything - from tea-bags to the mobile phonesEverything has an origin. This book is On the for the people the who want to know how.... read more
A Lot of Nerve

Ian McCulloch

Nothing is quite what it seems…Jones is a chancer, a schemer, always on the lookout for the next big deal.In a pub one day he notices some papers changing hands for large amounts of money. He manages to insert himself into the middle of what looks like an extr... read more
Rasputin: The Untold Story

Joseph T. Fuhrmann

"This vivid, briskly written biography brings to life one of the most colorful and sinister figures in modern Russian history."Publishers Weekly"A vivid if not lurid portrayal."Boston Globe"Extremely well written, concise, and as promised in the foreword, he l... read more
Shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Prize 2018.“What a find. This book is seriously good. I mean, seriously. I'd recommend it to anyone, whatever your usual genres of choice. J D Dixon has a real gift, the innate sort that cannot be learned from classes. The ... read more
Orca Rising

Chris Hannon

Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize 2018CREATE YOUR OWN FUTURE... 16-year-old Ocean Daley needs to get away from school, his seaside town and wasting his summer working for his mother’s irritating boyfriend. When his mysterious Uncle Frank offers him a pla... read more
Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize 2015. "This thoughtful book won't disappoint." Dan Purdue To the inhabitants of Brackton, retired physicist Rosemary Blunt is nothing but a respectable recluse. But Rosemary has a secret, and he's lying comatose in a hos... read more
The Lodger: A Novel

Louisa Treger

Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane has recently married a writer wh... read more
SELF-HARMING PARROTS AND EXPLODING TOADS is a marvellous compendium of the world's most unpleasant creatures and animal facts. Entries will cover everything from the disgusting to the informative, including the following:* Are cows' farts a major cause of clim... read more
Was there a real Lady Godiva? Yes. Did she ride through Coventry in the nude to persuade her husband to lower taxes? Probably not. David Haviland sorts fact from fiction in this entertaining compilation of historical trivia ranging from the Trojan War, the Del... read more

David has 114 reviews





JoAnne G.

JoAnne G.

Mar, 2024

David completed his developmental review within three weeks and provided a good deal of detailed feedback. It was a lot to absorb as it is my first novel, but if I can implement the major changes suggested it would lead to a more coherent and stronger story. I am following it up by bouncing some ideas off of him which he generously agreed to in order to further develop the narrative and pacing...
Read more
Sarah A.

Sarah A.

Mar, 2024

David was extremely professional and helpful in all his feedback. He helped me rethink a lot of my plot and apply important edits.
Jean B.

Jean B.

Feb, 2024

Working with David was such an easy process! I enjoyed our collaboration on my first book! Great suggestions and provided details that I needed to work on!
Jean B.

Jean B.

Feb, 2024

David has been incredibly supportive! He has given great advice on how to change several things for my book.
Pamela K.

Pamela K.

Jan, 2024

This was my second collaboration with David. He offers accurate and helpful advice. I was clear about what I needed to do to improve my writing. Thanks again David.

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