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 (45)
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 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 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
Action & Adventure
Fantasy
Mashups
Young Adult
Science Fiction
Dystopian
Thriller & Suspense
Horror
Children's
Middle Grade
Fantasy
Urban Fantasy

Work experience

Editor

Self-employed
April, 2013 – Present (over 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 (over 14 years)

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

Portfolio (21 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

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

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

Catching Cinders (A Mark of the Least Novel)

Kendra Merritt

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 the people no one else notices. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Cindy’s step-mother coerces her into an elaborate plot to avoid being charged with murder.Meekness is nothing new to Cindy, ... read more

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 the people no one else notices. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Cindy’s step-mother coerces her into an elaborate plot to avoid being charged with murder.Meekness is nothing new to Cindy, ... read more

Aria at the Opera (A Mark of the Least Short)

Kendra Merritt

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 there are rumors that the place is haunted? There's no such thing as ghosts. She's more concerned about the stage mage who is determined to make her laugh when she's trying to prove she's serious and prof... read more

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 there are rumors that the place is haunted? There's no such thing as ghosts. She's more concerned about the stage mage who is determined to make her laugh when she's trying to prove she's serious and prof... read more

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 known as the Remnant. There is only one way for them to help end the conflict and protect what’s left of their home: become pilots of mankind’s most advanced armored weapon, the LAW. After proving themselves... read more

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 known as the Remnant. There is only one way for them to help end the conflict and protect what’s left of their home: become pilots of mankind’s most advanced armored weapon, the LAW. After proving themselves... read more

A Galadon Exile (A Mark of the Least Short)

Kendra Merritt

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 through her classes in order to be accepted in Valeria, her adopted country. But when her past follows her to her new home and she meets a quiet, studious boy who might be the key to unlocking her true self, ... read more

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 through her classes in order to be accepted in Valeria, her adopted country. But when her past follows her to her new home and she meets a quiet, studious boy who might be the key to unlocking her true self, ... read more

Fiona has 45 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Robert Rosado
Fiona was very swift and detailed and gave great insight and recommendations to my query letter. a no brainer if you are thinking about working with her.

Robert Rosado, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for the review. You're super easy and responsive to work with and I have high hopes for your query!

Reply from Fiona McLaren


Jahid Wilson
Having had quite a poor experience with a previous editor, I was a little nervous about re-integrating myself into the editing process, but Fiona has proven herself to be nothing short of a huge blessing. My book is my child and she has been pivotal in helping me nurture my story and help it grow in ways I wasn't even aware existed. Her edits are always incredibly detailed and thoughtful. She d...
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Jahid Wilson, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Aww, gosh, you made me blush. Thank you so much for the amazing review, Jahid. You know how much I love working on your book and how I've fallen hard for your characters. How could I not with all t...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Jenny Knutsson
This is the second book I've asked Fiona to work on for me, and just like the first time, her edits were on point, insightful, and detailed. She provides her edits on schedule, which I really appreciate! It's obvious from her work product that she takes her profession seriously. If your book is your baby as mine is, you will be so glad that you handed it over to someone who will treat it with ...
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Jenny Knutsson, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Jenny. You know how much I adore your writing, and it's a pleasure and an honor to be involved in your creative process. I am always swept away by your ...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Angelica Switzer
I was so nervous going into this process and Fiona made it so easy and just a wonderful experience. All her edits have been very insightful and the changes that need to be made are very clear. She is also just really easy to talk to gave me the confidence I needed to make my novel work.

Angelica Switzer, October 2019

Fiona McLaren
Hi Angelica, it was a pleasure editing your book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You were so easy to work with and I can't wait to see your success!

Reply from Fiona McLaren


Ian Conrey
Working with Fiona has been a tremendous blessing. Her edits went above and beyond my expectations. She was very thorough in her line edits, and straightforward (yet also kind) with her critiques. Perhaps the most helpful aspect for me was that she was willing to sacrifice much of her time to work through certain content edits (something she didn't have to do). She is not only a professional, ...
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Ian Conrey, October 2019

Fiona McLaren
As you know, I have a real passion for your book. I love everything about it and your work ethic and determination have been outstanding. I can't wait to see your book do well and feel honored to b...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren

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