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 (49)
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
Contemporary Fiction
Dystopian
Epic Fantasy
Horror
Magical Realism
Paranormal Romance
Young Adult 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 (23 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

PIA FIDELIS: The Two Kingdoms

Steven O'Reilly

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, The Two Kingdoms, begins in 351 AD as civil war looms between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, and the Arian crisis rages within the Church. …in Rome, Septimus must lead his legion as it marches t... read more

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, The Two Kingdoms, begins in 351 AD as civil war looms between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, and the Arian crisis rages within the Church. …in Rome, Septimus must lead his legion as it marches t... read more

Walk on Water: The Elemental Gods

September Thomas

DESTINY CALLS WHEN LEAST DESIRED17-year-old Zara Ramone has always known she was meant for greatness. She never thought that meant awakening an ancient magic powerful enough to stop a nuclear apocalypse.The Olympic gold medalist is about to find out she’s one of four reincarnated Elemental Gods, the first in two millennia. As her growing strength threatens the balance of global power, she soon... read more

DESTINY CALLS WHEN LEAST DESIRED17-year-old Zara Ramone has always known she was meant for greatness. She never thought that meant awakening an ancient magic powerful enough to stop a nuclear apocalypse.The Olympic gold medalist is about to find out she’s one of four reincarnated Elemental Gods, the first in two millennia. As her growing strength threatens the balance of global power, she soon... read more

Fiona has 49 reviews

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

Heather Quinto
Fiona far exceeded my expectations. She was flexible with working in whatever way worked best for me. With other editors, it took them weeks to get back to me, but she surprised me with how quickly she would respond. Her edits were detailed, thorough, and went beyond what previous editors have done for me. I feel much more confident submitting my material to agents and publishers now. Her knowl...
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Heather Quinto, December 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for the great review, Heather. I can't wait to see Margaret and her journey come to fruition. The themes and topics you dig into are tough ones that deserve to be examined, and I ...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Katherine Bane
Fiona was an absolute joy to work with. Her enthusiasm for her work was clear, and it was obvious she enjoyed working on my book. She truly wanted to make it the best version of itself that it could be. I was delighted with her analysis of problem areas and the solutions she offered. I would definitely work with her again.

Katherine Bane, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Katherine! Okay, so you know I *adored* your book. You have such vivid world building, I love the witty dialogue exchanges, and I can't wait for readers to share in your unique world (and I really ...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Jessie Schat
Fiona is hands-down the best decision an author can make for improving their book. She didn't pull punches as she fought for the best outcome of my writing, supporting my strengths and toughening up the weak spots. Her kindness is borderline mythical—seriously, it's difficult to believe at times—and her open communication/collaboration was instrumental in regaining my confidence whenever I was ...
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Jessie Schat, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Jessie, you made me blush! Thank you for such a lovely review. I'm head-over-heels for your book (who on earth could resist Fexly?), and I can't wait to see what happens with the Moon. Your attitud...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


Steven O’Reilly
I selected Fiona to do the editing work on the first book ("The Two Kingdom") of my trilogy, PIA FIDELIS. It is a choice I have not regretted. Working with Fiona was a pleasure from start to finish. Not only was she accessible for questions on edits, the story, etc., but she was always helpful with other questions I might have about publishing...even the book cover. She always delivered wha...
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Steven O’Reilly, November 2019

Fiona McLaren
Thank you so much for the great review, Steven. I can't wait for your release. PIA FIDELIS is such a complex, character-driven, thought-provoking book that really had me invested from start to fini...
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Reply from Fiona McLaren


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

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