Fiona McLaren

Fiona McLaren – Editor

Shaping novels into the best version of an author's vision. Former clients published by HarperTeen, Macmillan, and more. US and UK markets.

Overview

As a long-time editor and author, I'm fully aware that writers need a solid support system around them to enable their writing to progress from a dream into a reality. Working with both new and experienced writers has given me the opportunity to develop writers from their very first drafts straight through to their polished manuscripts.

My job is to ensure you can see where your writing shines and what skills you excel at (which is just as important as knowing what you need to work on), as well as showing you how to improve your craft, build a strong, engaging plot, and create characters who leap off the page. I can help you create the best possible version of your book and your vision, staying true to the story you want to tell.

Authors I have had the pleasure of dealing with have been published by HarperTeen, Macmillan, Entangled Teen, Swoon Romance, Holiday House Inc, etc., with two authors who have sold motion picture rights. As for me, I'm a foodie, an animal lover, and a collector of adventures and travel.

I have a strong interest in diverse projects: #ownvoices and LGBTQ+ projects very welcome.

I am a sensitivity reader for epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and Ace characters.

And give me your speculative fiction in droves!

I mentored for #PitchWars, a renowned mentorship program for new authors.
Recent publication: Unbound: Stories of Transformation, Love and Monsters (YA myth)

Testimonials:

"Before my agent sees my latest book, I send it to Fiona. Her insight is spot on, and her notes always take my work to the next level. She was influential in the book that landed my lit agent as well as the one that published. I am now represented by a major Hollywood agency and have a television production deal. Through it all, Fiona has been my most trusted CP."
-Kes Trester - A Dangerous Year (Curiosity Quills)

"Fiona has been my critique partner and editor for four years. She was also my PitchWars co-mentor for two years, so I can attest without reservation that she is an astute, intuitive, and professional editor of the highest standard. She is equally adept at providing structural feedback on characters, plot, pacing, and tension as she is on assessing the details like passive writing, show not tell, overused words. She is also a tireless champion and coach, exactly the type of motivating editor every writer needs in their corner!"
-Dionne McCulloch, Reedsy Editor, Bath Novel Award judge, and editor for a UK literary consultancy

"I've worked with Fiona for years on my novels. She has a keen eye for details and execution, extensive knowledge of the craft of writing, and is always on point with what needs to be done to make the project shine. Fiona is also a complete gem and is the perfect combination of constructive and supportive. I cannot recommend her enough."
-Jesskia Fleck - Beware the Night (Swoon Reads/Macmillan), Defy the Sun (Swoon Reads/Macmillan), and The Castaways (Entangled Teen)

"Fiona is a writer’s guardian angel. She clears away the excess gunk to find the beating, pulsing heart of your writing and brings it to life."
Lisa Amowitz - Breaking Glass (Spencer Hill), Until Beth (Spencer Hill), Fractured (Spencer Hill), Vision (Spencer Hill)
Services
Fiction
Dystopian Epic Fantasy Magical Realism Middle Grade Fantasy Post-Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy Young Adult Fantasy
Languages
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Apr, 2013 — Present

Developing authors' novels by providing one-on-one editorial services and in-depth editorial reports, inline edits, and Skype calls/Google Hangouts to discuss editorial issues.

OrderBox Media

Jun, 2016 — Nov, 2017 (over 1 year)

Copywriter for a variety of different vectors, including but not limited to: entertainment, poker, lifestyle, finance, trading and Forex, sports, and gaming.

AcroSquare

Nov, 2014 — May, 2018 (over 3 years)

Responsible for writing and developing an animation script, working on the editorial side of the project, and specializing in dialogue, pacing, and concise writing skills. First production due out at a later date.

Inklings Literary Agency

Aug, 2013 — Aug, 2015 (about 2 years)

Evaluating queries and creating reader reports.

Holloway Literary Agency

Jan, 2011 — Jan, 2012 (about 1 year)

Evaluating queries and creating reader reports.

Freelance

Apr, 2005 — Present

Travel writing, variety of articles, copy writing, long term children's charity writer.

Portfolio

Developmental Editing Copy Editing
Looking for Smoke

Cobell, K. A.

Developmental Editing
The Castaways

Jessika Fleck

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze...and the kids who go missing in it. When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undet... read more
Developmental Editing
Among the Red Stars

Katz, Gwen C.

Developmental Editing Copy Editing
The Liar's Daughter

Megan Cooley Peterson

Piper was raised in a cult.She just doesn't know it. Seventeen-year-old Piper knows that Father is a Prophet. Infallible. The chosen one. She would do anything for Father. That's why she takes... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing
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When Kittens Go Viral

Pattison, Darcy

Developmental Editing
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"...an exhilarating ride!" - BuzzfeedAs the daughter of an American ambassador, seventeen-year-old Riley Collins has grown up in some of the world's most dangerous cities.She may have learned ... read more
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The Life of Fire

Dimitriou, Panagiotis

Gunmetal Gods

Akhtar, Zamil

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Bring the Rain

Lizzy Charles

Everything is waiting in Paris for Autumn—her new home, her mom, the Louvre, and a life where she can experience art, and not just look at it. But to get there, she'll have to survive the summ... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing
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Faye and the Ether

Bailey, Nicole

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A New Level in the Steampunk Genre from Amazon bestselling author, Gareth Clegg.London, 1899: a ruined city under martial law.It was just another bounty job for Simmons - recover a killer esca... read more
Developmental Editing
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No Rules.No Adults.No Way Out.Welcome to the Darkwoods.Deep in a mystical wood, four clans of boys live in treehouses, their story lost in time and their pasts buried with it. The forest is sp... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing
In the tradition of Tamora Pierce, this fantasy presents a heroine of wit, strength, and savvy.Britt's only goal is to become a falconer.She steals a gyrfalcon egg in hopes of raising a chick.... read more
Developmental Editing
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For fifteen-year-old Talullah Bridgestone, books open a window to the world outside her small town. Outside the cloaking spell. Sure, the magic protects River Hill. But its cost is true freedo... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing
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In-Between

James, MJ

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The only one who can free him is the girl he’s hurt the most.Cursed for a youthful accident which maimed a young woman, Léon Beauregard roams his mountain as a bear, clinging to the scraps of ... read more
Copy Editing
Nothing terrifies the people of Ballaslav more than a crimson cloak. It marks a blood mage, someone who cuts and even kills for a terrible type of power. Eighteen-year-old Reyna doesn’t want t... read more
Copy Editing
Rogue magic and runaway mice were not what Brynn had in mind for a quiet life running a shop…Everyone seems to have an opinion about what Brynn should be doing with her life. Her father wants ... read more
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Rolling around in the worst fashion accessory ever…Seventeen-year-old Merry has mucked up another chance to get into the University of Magecraft, so she doesn’t have time to deal with shape-ch... read more
Copy Editing
Even the weakest flame can become the fiercest blaze.Crippled from a childhood illness, Cindy lives in the kitchen fireplace, ignored by her noble father and his new, perfect family, helping t... read more
Copy Editing
Developmental Editing
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It’s impossible to bury your past when everyone carries a shovel.The people of Namerre both love and fear the Reaper, a ruthless vigilante with a strict moral code. When the law fails, he hunt... read more
Copy Editing
After two years living in the wilderness, Lia finds interacting with other people much harder than working with the animals in the Royal Academy's menagerie. She knows she just has to get thro... read more
Copy Editing
The show's not over till the soprano dies...Aria has dreamed of the opera ever since her parents died. Now she has a chance to earn her place on the most famous stage in Namerre. Who cares if ... read more
Copy Editing
Two Types of Steel

David Escobar

In a world where steel is more precious than gold, armor and firepower mean everything.Beth and Percy were born into a war-ravaged humanity on the brink of being wiped out by a rogue force kno... read more
Developmental Editing
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Copy Editing
Copy Editing
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PIA FIDELIS is a historical-fiction trilogy which tells a tale of war, adventure, and romance amidst a crumbling empire and the rising Shadow of the Antichrist.Book I of the PIA FIDELIS series... read more
Developmental Editing
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The lower realm protect their land fiercely. Across the river live the dead sky order. Assisted by Ka-Guardians from beyond the frozen sky, they invade. Banished to Icesea, Ores witnesses the ... read more
Developmental Editing
The City

Abbas, Halim

Developmental Editing
“Sitting on the kitchen table was a roundish leather bag, the size of a head, held closed by a drawstring. Balanced across the top of it was a sword.”Reagan Bennett is just an ordinary woman, ... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing
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Hummingbird: Broken Wings

Prescott, Spencer K.

Developmental Editing
The three clans are about to converge.In the wake of Thane's destruction, Arliss is left with nothing but broken pieces of the life she knew and unanswered questions about the world beyond Rei... read more
Developmental Editing
Ropes in the Attic

Flora, Edward J.

Developmental Editing
Against the Rocks

Walker, Chase

Developmental Editing
Within

Cooper, Donald

Developmental Editing
Copy Editing
At sixteen-years-old, Mellena Goodwick thought chasing boys, raging hormones and bad decisions would control her life. After all, it’s meant to be a time when naivety is expected, and mistakes... read more
Developmental Editing
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Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Hanna might be her name.The burning house might have been her home.The bodies might be her family. If only she could remember. Hanna doesn't remember anything from before the night she was fou... read more
Developmental Editing

Fiona has 226 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Carl L.

Carl L.

May, 2024

Pinned
I am so glad I chose to collaborate with Fiona. This was my first novel and I feel like I struck gold with one swing. I will add my voice to the many who say that she is the one whom I want to edit all my work. A truly delightful experience for which I am very, very grateful.
Sarah W.

Sarah W.

Apr, 2024

Pinned
Fiona is fantastic. I would definitely recommend her. Fiona gave me some very helpful, thoughtful and constructive criticism both in writing and via a Zoom call. She isn't afraid to say what she thinks but she gave me feedback in a way that is motivating rather than disheartening. Fiona is also very responsive and enthusiastic about her work. It is obvious that she cares very much about the aut...
Read more
Kiersten L.

Kiersten L.

Apr, 2024

Pinned
This is my fourth project with Fiona, and as always, her input and unwavering support made the work infinitely better. Her insight into my characters, plot, pacing, and even word choice is invaluable. Working with her has taught me so much more than I ever could have learned on my own. Here's to many more projects together!
Ashley B.

Ashley B.

Jun, 2024

Fiona has been very professional while being personable, a skill I deeply appreciate. Her guidance has been extremely valuable.
Mark L.

Mark L.

Jun, 2024

Without a doubt, I found the PERFECT editor for my manuscript! Her work was meticulous and timely, her explanations of my missteps were sound. I do believe I've found my kindred spirit for all future endeavors.

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