Laura Apgar

Laura Apgar – Editor

Romance and Mystery/Thriller Editor prev. for Penguin Random House (Berkley), Hachette (James Patterson), and Hooked. Let's perfect a story.


Hi! My name is Laura and I have ten years of editorial editing commercial fiction. Prior to freelance editing, I worked at professional publishing houses and companies for nine years. I love working on all kinds of stories, but over time, I have specialized in the Mystery, Thriller, and Romance genres. I've worked on many New York Times, USA Today, and nationally bestselling novels and stories that have reached millions of people.

Previously, I worked as the Editorial Director for the #1 storytelling app, Hooked. I also worked as an editor at two of the big five publishers: Penguin Random House and Hachette Book Group. At the latter, I was the sole editor who helped James Patterson launch a new imprint that debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.

Evaluating, brainstorming, and revising fiction are all elements of my true vocation, and I am looking forward to working with anyone who also has a passion for the craft — regardless of their skill level. As a voracious reader, I love to applaud strong sentences and ideas just as much as I like to give strengthening advice in my developmental edits. That's because I see it this way: We've chosen to work on the very best product in the world (books, of course!), so we might as well have some fun while doing our jobs [cartwheel emoji]

I like to bring my very best work to the table, so I have built a review service into my Developmental Edit and Query Letter Review processes. This means that you and I will choose a set period of time for you to revise your work with my comments in mind, and I will review that revision. I'll often refer to this as your "cold read."

I will strive to help you:
—Increase the pacing of your plot
—Construct real, three-dimensional characters
—Bury the lead in your mysteries
—Make readers swoon from your romances
—Write cleanly and concisely
—Tackle that dreaded "show, don't tell" adage
—And address any other storytelling needs as I see them

Since every project is different, I work with an hourly rate. I always request a 1000-2500 word document prior to pricing out my services. If you have any exceptional budgetary needs, please indicate that information when you contact me.

Looking forward to creating something magical together :)

"No one provides editorial support with the intelligence, the diligence, and the humility of Laura A."
—James Patterson

“Laura is an editor whom I have been with through two publishers, and I’ve now followed her into her freelance work — because she’s just that good. She has a keen developmental eye that has helped me take my craft to a new level.”
—Lauren Hawkeye, New York Times bestselling author

"Laura is one of my all-time favorite editors whom I've worked with throughout my career. She is thoughtful, kind, and pushed me to be a better writer."
—Amanda Flower, USA Today bestselling author of the Magical BookShop series

Contemporary Romance Cozy Mysteries Espionage Historical Romance Paranormal Romance Psychological Thriller Romantic Comedy Romantic Suspense
  • BA in English from Boston College

Work experience


Aug, 2019 — Present


Apr, 2017 — Aug, 2019 (over 2 years)

Hachette, James Patterson's BookShots

Nov, 2015 — Apr, 2017 (over 1 year)

Penguin Random House

Jan, 2011 — Nov, 2015 (almost 5 years)


Instant #1 New York Times bestsellerIn James Patterson's white-hot Western thriller, a Texas Ranger fights for his life, his freedom, and the town he loves as he investigates his ex-wife's murder. Across the ranchlands and cities of his home state, Rory Yates'... read more
From the USA Today bestselling author of Rising Fire comes the next novel in the spellbinding series that explores the wondrous and tantalizing mystery of the Celtic stones...Eons ago, seven ancient deities trapped the goddess of chaos under a ring of stones. ... read more
Harry Posehn is the best dad and the best husband . . . or is he? Detective Teaghan Beaumont isn't sure.Detective Teaghan Beaumont is getting closer and closer to discovering the truth about Harry Posehn. But there's a twist that she-and you-will never see com... read more
A woman who watches the world from her studio apartment is determined to solve a murder -- but only if the killer doesn't find her first.Confined to a studio apartment, Tricia Celano watches the outside world through a flying drone. But when her high-tech toy ... read more
A Navy SEAL dropout will break every rule to expose the truth -- even if it means destroying the people he loves.Mitchum is back. His brother's been charged with murder. Nathaniel swears he didn't kill anyone, but word on the street is that he was involved wit... read more
A brand new and original Signet Regency Romance from InterMix by award-winning author Rhonda Woodward—the story of a woman whose heart has been captured by two men… The small, provincial town of Parsley Hay is ready for a new era of excitement when a group of ... read more
The McCullagh Inn is hosting the event of the century. Chelsea Holland is used to dealing in secrets, and this one's proving to be the most exciting one yet: her old friend Grace is marrying a European prince, and Grace wants to host the wedding at the McCulla... read more
A 2018 HOLT Medallion Award WINNER!Only a Scot can steal her heart. There's nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She's a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to h... read more
Emma Kelly needs a Christmas miracle. Nick Shepherd loves his life in Salt Spring Island, where he sculpts in a studio with the grizzled and talented artist Mike Nagorski. Mike's estranged daughter, Emma Kelly, arrives in their quiet haven, and though Nick is ... read more
A world class crime-solving team faces a murder mystery in the Caribbean unlike anything they've ever seen.When a teenager goes missing on a Caribbean beach, the local police are baffled. It's up to the Stingrays, a world class team that solves the unsolvable,... read more
In James Patterson's #1 New York Times bestseller, the Women's Murder Club tracks down two bodies at the morgue-but one of them is still breathing . . . A woman checks into a hotel room and entertains a man who is not her husband. A shooter blows away the love... read more
In this thrilling BookShot by James Patterson....The family next door has a very dark secret. The Sanderson family has been forced into hiding after one of them stumbled upon a criminal plot. Or so they think. No one will answer their questions. And the terrif... read more
The first Novel of the Stone Circles from the USA Today bestselling author of Raging Sea and Blazing Earth.What if the standing stones and stone circles across the old Celtic world had a secret origin and use? What if some opened into another world? What if th... read more
The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wrig... read more
From the author of The Best Medicine comes the latest Strictly Business novel—and this time, for one woman, finding the ideal man can be a pretty tall order… Magazine columnist Quinn Sawyer has always attracted sweet, innocent, and safe men. And something tell... read more
The author of By Book or By Crook returns to the Outer Banks and the Lighthouse Library, where Lucy Richardson must shed light on a shocking murder…Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking o... read more
From the national bestselling author of the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries comes the first charming caper in the Magical Bookshop Mystery series.Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of... read more
“For those who enjoy their romantic suspense on the dark and steamy side,”* here’s the blisteringly sexy new novel in the Killer Instincts series by the author of Midnight Action and Midnight Pursuits...Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to ... read more
The New York times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good... She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart. Luc... read more

Laura has 42 reviews





Karen K.

Karen K.

Sep, 2023

So far, I have worked with Laura on five different manuscripts (novels, primarily, and one novella) and she has been excellent every time. She has amazing insights about the best way to find the heart of a story and make it better. Since I had such a good collaboration with her the first time, I decided to unpublish and revise an old series of mine with her. The first book is significantly stro...
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Doug W.

Doug W.

Aug, 2023

Laura was just terrific in all phases of the work. I needed a development editor -- and she was great at that -- but she also helped me to structure action scenes, rework dialogue, intensify and clarify relationships between characters, and find ways to drive readers through the narrative. She was never pushy, always reminding me it was my book, not hers. But that said, almost everything she re...
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Jacob Z.

Jacob Z.

Jul, 2023

Ashley's rewrite of my query letter and synopsis dramatically improved both, making them tauter, crisper, and much more compelling. She also provided invaluable guidance on the submission process and choosing an agent that will prove extremely useful to me as a first-time author. She was a pleasure to work with at all times.
Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.

Apr, 2023

Laura exceeded my expectations as an editor by far. Her experience and professionalism was obvious from the jump. This was my first time working with a professional editor and Laura walked me through the process every step of the way. She not only understood the genre of my novel inside and out, but also the publishing world as a whole and provided me with so much helpful insight. I would absol...
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Jennifer S.

Jennifer S.

Apr, 2023

I recommend Laura's query review services to any writer who wants to sharpen their submission materials! She really helped me zero in on what I was doing right, and helped me improve other aspects. Thank you, Laura!

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