Laura Apgar

Laura Apgar - Editor

Westfield, NJ, USA

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

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Overview

Hi! My name is Laura Apgar (née Fazio) 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 :)


Testimonials:
"No one provides editorial support with the intelligence, the diligence, and the humility of Laura Apgar."
—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

Fiction
Contemporary Romance
Cozy Mysteries
Espionage
Historical Romance
Paranormal Romance
Psychological Thriller
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Suspense

Certifications

  • BA in English from Boston College

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
August, 2019 – Present (over 1 year)

Editorial Director

Hooked
April, 2017 – August, 2019 (over 2 years)

Editor

Hachette, James Patterson's BookShots
November, 2015 – April, 2017 (over 1 year)

Associate Editor

Penguin Random House
January, 2011 – November, 2015 (almost 5 years)

Portfolio (19 selected works)

Texas Ranger

James Patterson

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's discipline and law-enforcement skills have carried him far: from local highway patrolman to the honorable rank of Texas Ranger. He arr... read more

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's discipline and law-enforcement skills have carried him far: from local highway patrolman to the honorable rank of Texas Ranger. He arr... read more

Dare to Run (The Sons of Steel Row Book 1)

Jen McLaughlin

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. Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The pr... 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. Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The pr... read more

Midnight Captive (A Killer Instincts Novel Book 6)

Elle Kennedy

“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 forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, ru... 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 forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, ru... read more

Crime and Poetry (A Magical Bookshop Mystery Book 1)

Amanda Flower

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 perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Cha... 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 perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Cha... read more

Booked for Trouble (A Lighthouse Library Mystery Book 2)

Eva Gates

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 on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one... 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 on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one... read more

Just Say Yes (A Strictly Business Novel Book 2)

Elizabeth Hayley

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 tells her it’s because she’s just as harmless. So when she starts craving a guy with an edge, she realizes she may have to get one for herse... 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 tells her it’s because she’s just as harmless. So when she starts craving a guy with an edge, she realizes she may have to get one for herse... read more

Riding the Wave (A Pacific Blue Novel Book 1)

Lorelie Brown

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 Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his fathe... 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 Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his fathe... read more

Rising Fire (A Novel of the Stone Circles Book 1)

Terri Brisbin

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 the goddess of fire was trapped beneath one? Lovely and innocent Brienne of Yester has always been able to manipulate fire, but when her p... 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 the goddess of fire was trapped beneath one? Lovely and innocent Brienne of Yester has always been able to manipulate fire, but when her p... read more

The Witnesses (BookShots)

James Patterson, Brendan DuBois

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 terrifying truth may come too late....BookShotsLIGHTNING-FAST STORIES BY JAMES PATTERSON Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to st... 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 terrifying truth may come too late....BookShotsLIGHTNING-FAST STORIES BY JAMES PATTERSON Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to st... read more

The Medical Examiner: A Women's Murder Club Story (Kindle Single) (BookShots)

James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

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 lover and wounds a wealthy heiress, leaving her for dead. Is it the perfect case for the Women's Murder Club . . . or just the most twisted?... 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 lover and wounds a wealthy heiress, leaving her for dead. Is it the perfect case for the Women's Murder Club . . . or just the most twisted?... read more

Stingrays (Kindle Single) (BookShots)

James Patterson

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, to unearth the truth: a truth that no one will believe. BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James Patterson Novels you can devour in a f... 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, to unearth the truth: a truth that no one will believe. BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James Patterson Novels you can devour in a f... read more

Christmas Sanctuary (Kindle Single) (BookShots Flames)

Lauren Hawkeye

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 immediately drawn to her, he tries to resist his feelings. There may be Christmas magic in the air, but Nick knows it can't last forever... 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 immediately drawn to her, he tries to resist his feelings. There may be Christmas magic in the air, but Nick knows it can't last forever... read more

Bedding the Highlander (Bookshots Flames)

Sabrina York

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 his clan's mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she sudde... 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 his clan's mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she sudde... read more

A Princess in Maine: A McCullagh Inn Story (BookShots Flames)

Jen McLaughlin

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 McCullagh Inn. But is Chelsea willing to put herself and her inn in the public eye--especially after being on the run?BookShots FlamesOriginal ... 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 McCullagh Inn. But is Chelsea willing to put herself and her inn in the public eye--especially after being on the run?BookShots FlamesOriginal ... read more

White Roses and Starlight

Rhonda Woodward

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 notorious rakehells arrive to enjoy the hunting season. Luckily, Miss Marina Buckleigh prides herself in the sound judgment her father L... 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 notorious rakehells arrive to enjoy the hunting season. Luckily, Miss Marina Buckleigh prides herself in the sound judgment her father L... read more

Malicious: A Mitchum Story (BookShots)

James Patterson

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 with the victim's wife. Now, Mitchum will do anything to get even . . . no matter what the cost.BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James Pa... 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 with the victim's wife. Now, Mitchum will do anything to get even . . . no matter what the cost.BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James Pa... read more

The Shut-In (Kindle Single) (BookShots)

James Patterson

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 records a vicious murder, she's determined to track down the killer -- a killer who knows she's being watched. BookShotsLightning-fast s... 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 records a vicious murder, she's determined to track down the killer -- a killer who knows she's being watched. BookShotsLightning-fast s... read more

The House Husband (Bookshots Thrillers)

James Patterson

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 coming.BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James PattersonNovels you can devour in a few hoursImpossible to stop readingAll original content... 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 coming.BookShotsLightning-fast stories by James PattersonNovels you can devour in a few hoursImpossible to stop readingAll original content... read more

Raging Sea (A Novel of the Stone Circles Book 2)

Terri Brisbin

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. But now, in the darkest days of the 13th century, Chaela threatens to escape, leaving the fate of all humanity in the hands of two young... 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. But now, in the darkest days of the 13th century, Chaela threatens to escape, leaving the fate of all humanity in the hands of two young... read more

Laura has 19 reviews

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

Shamrock Little
I requested a developmental review of my work. Laura provided a details critique of the work focusing on plot, pace, characterisation and on how I could increase the word count. Her report was detailed, with specific reference points and suggestions. She also highlighted what worked with the story and areas of strength in my writing. Consequently, I can now moved forward with a compressive...
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Shamrock Little, March 2021


Larry Daane
Laura made vast improvements to my query letter and had spot-on comments on the first ten pages of my manuscript. The feedback was so useful I've re-engaged her to perform an Editorial Assessment. I would gladly use her again in the future.

Larry Daane, March 2021


Lauren Sausser
Laura was a pleasure and an ease to work with. I’m brand-new to publishing fiction and Laura worked with me on my query letter, the first 10-pages of my manuscript and my 1-page synopsis after reading the full novel. She gave me a variety of price points and editing packages to choose from, plus her work was quick and thorough. With the help she was able to provide, I’ve had several requests fo...
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Lauren Sausser, February 2021


Jodi Deziel
Laura was amazing to work with. I'm a new author. After completing my first manuscript, I was unsure if what I had written was headed in the right direction. After getting several quotes from different editors, Laura's editorial assessment was the best value for the stage I was at in my writing. She was able to squeeze my manuscript in ahead of expectations. Her thoughts and suggestions we...
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Jodi Deziel, February 2021


addison james
Laura was fast, clear and insightful, very pleased with her advice and collaboration. Look forward to working with her again soon.

addison james, February 2021

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