Fiona McLaren

Fiona McLaren - Editor

Limassol, Cyprus

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

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Overview

Reviews (31)
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 that 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., with one author who has recently sold TV rights. As for me, I'm a foodie, an animal lover, and collector of adventures and travel.

I have a strong interest in diverse projects, #ownvoices, and, in particular, epilepsy, spinal issues, and GAD. And give me your speculative fiction in droves!

I'm also a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
I also judge for #TeenPit, designed to help aspiring young authors.
And I'm represented by Maura Kye-Casella of the Don Congdon Literary Association.

Testimonials:

"Before my agent sees my latest book, I send it to Fiona McLaren. 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 Tresner - 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 McLaren for years on my novels. She has a keen eye for details and execution, an 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 McLaren 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)
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Adventure
Dystopian
Fantasy
Horror
Mashups
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult & Teen

Work experience

Editor

Self-employed
April, 2013 – Present (about 6 years)

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.

Copywriter

OrderBox Media
June, 2016 – November, 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.

Lead Scriptwriter

AcroSquare
November, 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.

Literary Agency Intern

Inklings Literary Agency
August, 2013 – August, 2015 (about 2 years)

Evaluating queries and creating reader reports.

Literary Agency Intern

Holloway Literary Agency
January, 2011 – January, 2012 (about 1 year)

Evaluating queries and creating reader reports.

Freelance writer

Freelance
April, 2005 – Present (about 14 years)

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

Portfolio (19 selected works)

Among the Red Stars

Gwen C. Katz

World War Two has shattered Valka's homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking it... read more

World War Two has shattered Valka's homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking it... read more

Beware the Night

Jessika Fleck

When her world divides, Veda must fight against injustice--and the boy she loves.On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda Adeline understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, civilian peace and harmony, and a thriving commerce. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking... read more

When her world divides, Veda must fight against injustice--and the boy she loves.On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda Adeline understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, civilian peace and harmony, and a thriving commerce. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking... read more

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 undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically... read more

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 undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically... read more

A Dangerous Year (Riley Collins)

Kes Trester

"...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 the art of politics from her dad, but it's the lessons in survival taught by his security chief that she's taken to heart.When Riley is caught up in a violent incident, the State Department steps in, offe... read more

"...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 the art of politics from her dad, but it's the lessons in survival taught by his security chief that she's taken to heart.When Riley is caught up in a violent incident, the State Department steps in, offe... read more

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 care of all her little sisters. That's why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That's why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best. Until the day he doesn't. Until the day the government raids t... read more

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 care of all her little sisters. That's why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That's why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best. Until the day he doesn't. Until the day the government raids t... read more

Lost Boys: Book One of the Lost Boys Trilogy

Riley Quinn

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 split by a crocodile-infested river, overgrown with giant trees and woven with dark secrets.Leonardo is a member of Raven Clan, the boldest and fiercest of the four clans, led by his ruthless older brother ... read more

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 split by a crocodile-infested river, overgrown with giant trees and woven with dark secrets.Leonardo is a member of Raven Clan, the boldest and fiercest of the four clans, led by his ruthless older brother ... read more

By Wingéd Chair (Mark of the Least)

Kendra Merritt

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-changing creatures bent on stealing memories from the people of Woodshire. That’s her father’s job. But when an outlaw mage mistakes her for a damsel in distress on a drenched train platform, she’s dragged ... read more

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-changing creatures bent on stealing memories from the people of Woodshire. That’s her father’s job. But when an outlaw mage mistakes her for a damsel in distress on a drenched train platform, she’s dragged ... read more

Amethyst in Ashes (The Sezna Seer Series Book 1)

Kiersten Lillis

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 freedom. And the fragments of colored visions still haunt her, a second kind of prison.When soldiers from a nearby kingdom break through the town's magic, Talullah gets the adventure she's always wanted, at muc... read more

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 freedom. And the fragments of colored visions still haunt her, a second kind of prison.When soldiers from a nearby kingdom break through the town's magic, Talullah gets the adventure she's always wanted, at muc... read more

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 summer in the least colorful place she can imagine — her father's Oklahoma cattle ranch Autumn finds the perfect summer distraction in Colt, the one cowboy hotter than the July sun. But Colt is her father's r... read more

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 summer in the least colorful place she can imagine — her father's Oklahoma cattle ranch Autumn finds the perfect summer distraction in Colt, the one cowboy hotter than the July sun. But Colt is her father's r... read more

The Falconer (Heartland Tale)

Darcy Pattison

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.But the fierce Zendi, who've conquered the Heartland, appear on her doorstep.She's pulled into their conflict. Their prophecies warn of a Wayfinder and a Bell.She's just an apprentice Wayfinder.But she's ... read more

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.But the fierce Zendi, who've conquered the Heartland, appear on her doorstep.She's pulled into their conflict. Their prophecies warn of a Wayfinder and a Bell.She's just an apprentice Wayfinder.But she's ... read more

The Three Thrones (The Reinhold Chronicles)

Bo Burnette

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 Reinhold.And suddenly, that world comes to Reinhold.When Princess Orlianna of Ikarra journeys to invite Arliss and company to return with her to renew their old alliances, Arliss grasps the opportunity to cr... read more

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 Reinhold.And suddenly, that world comes to Reinhold.When Princess Orlianna of Ikarra journeys to invite Arliss and company to return with her to renew their old alliances, Arliss grasps the opportunity to cr... read more

Defy the Sun

Jessika Fleck

Civil war has come to the island of Bellona. Veda Adeline believes in the Night. She’s joined the underground revolutionaries, led by Dorian Winters, and they're determined to overthrow the ruling Imperi and find justice for her people. Nico Denali, Veda’s childhood friend and maybe-something-more, is one of those ruling Imperi, and he’s just been named heir to the most powerful man above grou... read more

Civil war has come to the island of Bellona. Veda Adeline believes in the Night. She’s joined the underground revolutionaries, led by Dorian Winters, and they're determined to overthrow the ruling Imperi and find justice for her people. Nico Denali, Veda’s childhood friend and maybe-something-more, is one of those ruling Imperi, and he’s just been named heir to the most powerful man above grou... read more

Effortless With You

Lizzy Charles

"A definite MUST READ! EFFORTLESS WITH YOU left me smiling like a doofus and hugging my Kindle." -- Cassie Mae, bestselling author of REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND and the forthcoming HOW TO DATE A NERD "A fun summer read. Highly recommended." -- Sheralynn Kwong "A quick, fun and flirty read. Thanks for sharing." -- Julie Ann Marra EFFORTLESS WITH YOU is the story of Lucy, a girl who... read more

"A definite MUST READ! EFFORTLESS WITH YOU left me smiling like a doofus and hugging my Kindle." -- Cassie Mae, bestselling author of REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND and the forthcoming HOW TO DATE A NERD "A fun summer read. Highly recommended." -- Sheralynn Kwong "A quick, fun and flirty read. Thanks for sharing." -- Julie Ann Marra EFFORTLESS WITH YOU is the story of Lucy, a girl who... read more

Going Home Again

Abby Cavenaugh

For Alyssa Jones, Michael Day was always the untouchable guy in high school. Twenty years later, when the now-famous pop star returns home to coastal North Carolina for a sabbatical from his failing marriage, Alyssa gets the chance to interview him for her magazine—and perhaps the chance to live out her teenage dreams.When the two meet, the chemistry between them ignites and causes problems fo... read more

For Alyssa Jones, Michael Day was always the untouchable guy in high school. Twenty years later, when the now-famous pop star returns home to coastal North Carolina for a sabbatical from his failing marriage, Alyssa gets the chance to interview him for her magazine—and perhaps the chance to live out her teenage dreams.When the two meet, the chemistry between them ignites and causes problems fo... read more

It Had to Be You

Lizzy Charles

James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter? Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks t... read more

James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter? Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks t... read more

The Clendenin Massacre

Gregory A Clendenin

When sixty Shawnee Indians led by their chief, Cornstalk, arrive unannounced at the Clendenin farmstead in Virginia, the family hesitantly offers their home and food in a gesture of friendship and peace. But things quickly go horribly wrong, the event forever becoming an important part of the annals of colonial America, even spurring the King of England to issue a historical proclamation. The ... read more

When sixty Shawnee Indians led by their chief, Cornstalk, arrive unannounced at the Clendenin farmstead in Virginia, the family hesitantly offers their home and food in a gesture of friendship and peace. But things quickly go horribly wrong, the event forever becoming an important part of the annals of colonial America, even spurring the King of England to issue a historical proclamation. The ... read more

Ropes in the Attic

Edward Flora

Piermont seemed to be the perfect town for Peter and Dani Shelly to start over and fix their marriage. As they settle into life in their new home, a grisly truth is uncovered about the house’s former occupant. Past horrors return and the couple’s second chance is at stake. Peter must make a choice, but an outside influence has other plans.

Piermont seemed to be the perfect town for Peter and Dani Shelly to start over and fix their marriage. As they settle into life in their new home, a grisly truth is uncovered about the house’s former occupant. Past horrors return and the couple’s second chance is at stake. Peter must make a choice, but an outside influence has other plans.

When Quiet Comes to Call (A Mark of the Least Short)

Kendra Merritt

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 her to go on grand adventures while her best friend believes that a wealthy fiancé will solve all her problems. But all Brynn wants is a quiet life, a well-run shop, and maybe someone to share it all with... read more

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 her to go on grand adventures while her best friend believes that a wealthy fiancé will solve all her problems. But all Brynn wants is a quiet life, a well-run shop, and maybe someone to share it all with... read more

Skin Deep (A Mark of the Least Novel)

Kendra Merritt

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 his humanity. Too bad it’s not working. Every day he loses a little more of himself to the bear and his stupid fuzzy tail. But when Léon comes across Anwen, an enchanter scarred from an accident she doesn... read more

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 his humanity. Too bad it’s not working. Every day he loses a little more of himself to the bear and his stupid fuzzy tail. But when Léon comes across Anwen, an enchanter scarred from an accident she doesn... read more

Fiona has 31 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Maple Waldron
Fiona was a dream to work with! Her edit gave me clear insight to my project and the tools I needed to push it to final draft. She is professional, a talented editor, and a generally lovely person. If you are looking for an editor who will be absolutely dedicated to your project and will do whatever it takes to get you to where you need to be, Fiona is for you!

Maple Waldron, June 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for such a great review. You know how much I adore your project and how much talent I think you have. When it comes to voice, you absolutely nail it. I can't wait to see your succ...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Sarah Watson
I'm a new writer and before collaborating with Fiona, I was extremely nervous to share my work. Quite terrified actually. But from my very first interaction with Fiona, I knew she was the right editor for me. Her feedback from the very beginning has been honest, thoughtful and concise. She takes the time to check in on your progress and is quick to follow up with answers to questions. We...
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Sarah Watson, June 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for your review, Sarah! I'm so happy to have been invited into your world to meet your fantastic characters. You've put so much hard work into this and I've loved seeing you grow ...
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Kerri Bobnar
Interviewing and hiring an editor to review my work was a scary process. However, Fiona quickly eased my nerves upon our first conversation. She was professional, polite, smart and demonstrated a true passion for the written word and the stories we are all trying to tell. She has been a wonderful resource and has allowed me to take my book to another creative level. Fiona worked closely with ...
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Kerri Bobnar, April 2019

Fiona McLaren
I loved working with you, Kerri, and of course, I'm very much open to keeping in touch. I'm so excited to see where your book goes. The dynamic and magic of your world is so fascinating. If there ...
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Nathanael Dominguez
Fiona made my first collaboration on reedsy a great experience. She answered any question I presented her with and kept in contact with me throughout the process. She is an excellent editor who goes that extra step for your manuscript.

Nathanael Dominguez, April 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for your lovely review. It means a lot to me and you know how immersed I became in your world. One of the best twist endings I've seen. It was an absolute joy to work with you and...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Alesa Corrin
I wasn't sure of what to expect when I sought out an editor on Reedsy--but Fiona was so much more than I could have hoped for. I highly recommend Fiona. She balances constructive criticism so well with encouragement and compliments that I never at any point felt stressed or hurt. I have learned a lot about myself as a writer, including my strengths and the skills I need to work on, through my t...
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Alesa Corrin, April 2019

Fiona McLaren
I had a great time reading, Alesa. You have such a vivid and creative imagination and I loved seeing your world come to life. Such a great mix of sparkling life underpinned with a dark background. ...
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