Rebecca Millar

Rebecca Millar - Editor

Bath, UK

Experienced former Penguin editor, specialising in crime/thriller/suspense. Let's get those readers hooked and on the edge of their seats!

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Overview

The best part of being an editor is helping writers to create work that they can be truly proud of; collaborating with an author, coming to understand their writing and then working together to make their manuscript not only the best it can be, but also positioning it so that it has the greatest chance of success in a crowded marketplace, whether that's by traditional or indie publishing. I specialise in crime, thrillers, suspense because I can't resist a good mystery or twist!

I can't wait to work with you as a writer, to find ways to tighten your writing, bring your characters to life and make your narrative the most riveting it can be. Let's ramp up the tension, have readers on the edge of their seats, and, ultimately, totally and utterly gripped!


EXPERIENCE

A freelance book editor with over seven years’ experience in the commercial publishing industry, I have worked for major and independent publishers in the UK including Penguin Random House, Hachette and HarperCollins. I have expertise in structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading, across both fiction and non-fiction. I love working across multiple genres, but my favourite genre and area of expertise is crime, suspense and thrillers. I have worked with both high-profile traditionally published authors – including a few Sunday Times bestsellers such as Gilly MacMillan and Heidi Perks – as well as indie writers, embracing the world of self-publishing with success, such as Simon McCleave, AJ Wills, Sally Rigbyand Morgan Greene.

I have formal qualifications from the Publishing Training Centre for both Copy Editing and Proofreading, as well as having been trained on the job by some of the best publishers and editors in the business. My expertise lies in the British publishing market but I work with clients worldwide from the US, UK, Australia and beyond. I currently work with a number of major publishers, including Penguin Random House, Hachette and HarperCollins, alongside a number of independent authors based worldwide.

I am now based in Bath, a beautiful city that I love, where I enjoy reading manuscripts whilst drinking far too much tea, whilst living less than half a mile from six different bookshops. If you can appreciate how dangerous that is, we'll get on swimmingly!

SOME AUTHOR TESTIMONIALS

"I've got an amazing editor who pretty much taught me to write novels [...] I'm eternally grateful to [Rebecca], because all the bad habits of being a screenwriter came out in that first book, about POV and head-hopping and all that kind of stuff. She basically drilled that out of me gently, and held my hand through the first book. I've used her ever since. She's very, very good at looking at the first or second draft and spotting when a character's not acting in the way that she would expect or plot holes or ... She's got a fantastic idea if you move that scene back, that will make that act much, much pacier." – SIMON McCLEAVE, interviewed on The Self-Publishing Podcast

"Rebecca was recommended to me by a fellow author, and I haven't been disappointed. Her edits are detailed and insightful and have made my books so much better than they were originally. Rebecca is conscientious, and all deadlines are met. Rebecca is always there to discuss and brainstorm any issues which come up and her communication skills are excellent. I would wholeheartedly recommend her." – SALLY RIGBY

"I worked with Rebecca on the novel Angel Maker, and was drawn to her due to her experience with the genre, as well as her immediate enthusiasm for the project! It's always great to work with someone that you feel, as a writer, is passionate about both their work, and the book they're working on. With Rebecca, things felt easy..." – MORGAN GREENE

"The editorial service provided by Rebecca was exceptional. I knew my manuscript needed some work but was struggling to take my writing to the next level. Rebecca's insights were absolutely spot on and have pushed my story and craft on by several levels. I can't recommend her highly enough." - AJ WILLS

"Rebecca is a brilliant editor – smart and intuitive with excellent attention to detail. She is reliable, a good communicator and a pleasure to collaborate with. I highly recommend working with her." – EMILY GRIFFIN,Publishing Director of Century and Arrow Publishing (UK Publisher of James Patterson, GILLY MACMILLAN and Heidi Perks)

"I’d hit a wall with my first manuscript. When I received Rebecca’s editorial assessment, I had the clarification I’d been seeking! Her report was comprehensive, clear and spot-on [...] I would recommend Rebecca’s services to any writer and look forward to working with her again."

"[Rebecca's] edits of the first three chapters of the manuscript were eye-opening. She uncovered a whole raft of opportunities to sharpen the manuscript and [...] her comments were thoughtful, sensitive, directional and [...] imperative to the story. Add to this her communication through the process and the fact she delivered the work ahead of an agreed deadline, I have absolutely no hesitation recommending Rebecca and look forward to working with her again in the future."

"Working with Rebecca has been an absolute pleasure. She stays in contact, exudes enthusiasm, and has provided an insightful and detailed assessment of my manuscript — with pages of suggestions that I continue to work through as I edit my work. I would highly recommend her services."
Languages
English (AUS)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Action & Adventure
Espionage
Legal Thriller
Medical Thriller
Mystery & Crime
Psychological Thriller

Certifications

  • Copy-editing - Publishing Training Centre
  • Proofreading - Publishing Training Centre
  • BA English (Hons) 2.1 – University of Bristol
  • Member of the Chartered Institute for Editors and Proofreaders
  • Associate Member of the Crime Writers Association

Awards

  • Society of Young Publishers 2020 Mentee

Work experience

Freelance Book Editor

Self-employed
January, 2019 – Present (over 3 years)

I have expertise in all levels of editing including structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading, across both fiction and non-fiction. Specialising in crime and thriller, I'm always excited to hear about new projects, so whether you just have a spark of an idea or have already written your full manuscript, get in touch about how I can help you on the next stage of your writing journey.

Recent clients include Penguin Random House UK and Australia, HarperCollins UK and Australia, Hachette UK, and a number of independent authors and publishers.

Editor

Cornerstone, Penguin Random House UK
May, 2018 – January, 2019 (8 months)

· Promoted after five months as Assistant Editor due to exceptional performance.
· Generating idea and pitching books for acquisition.
· Assessing submissions for on the PRH WriteNow Mentoring programme 2019
· Assessing submissions for on the Daily Mail First Novel Competition 2019
· Responsible for the smooth running of the editorial process for our licensed titles including Star Wars and Stranger Things. Duties include representing the brand at company-wide presentations and at external events such as Comic Con; negotiating the complicated publication schedule; editing manuscripts; liaising with colleagues in the US; and reporting back to licensors.
· Working closely on titles – fiction, non-fiction and highly illustrated – from acquisition through to publication. Tasks include pitching projects, project management, writing/editing texts, briefing covers, proof collation and picture research, clearing legal reports, raising ideas for potential acquisitions.
· Close editorial work across a range of titles and genres both fiction and non-fiction, namely psychological thriller and crime. Examples include but not limited to:

The Fifth Girl – Georgia Fancett (Century, 2021)
Come Back for Me – Heidi Perks (Century, 2019)
My Name is Anna – Lizzy Barber (Century, 2019)
The Nanny – Gilly Macmillan (Century, 2019) - Sunday Times Bestseller
Gone By Midnight – Candice Fox (Century, 2019) - Nominated for the Ned Kelly Award
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds – Gwenda Bond (Century 2019
The Kingfisher Secret – Anonymous (Century, 2018)

Assistant Editor

Cornerstone, Penguin Random house
January, 2018 – May, 2018 (4 months)

· Liaising with authors, freelancers and fellow staff through clear and effective communication, both written and verbal, ensuring deadlines are met and work completed to a high standard.
· Reviewing submissions, writing reader reports and turndown notes and generating editorial ideas.
· Editorial work on ongoing titles, including Sherlock: The Fire Brigade Dog (Century, 2018).
· Assessing submissions for on the Daily Mail First Novel Competition 2018
· Highlights include negotiating photography for the highly illustrated Love Your Plot, David Jason’s second autobiography, Only Fools and Stories, and Tim Peake’s Ask an Astronaut, bringing in all the images at a high quality and for half the photographic budget.

Editorial Assistant

Cornerstone, Penguin Random House
March, 2016 – January, 2018 (almost 2 years)

· Responsibilities included diary management for the Publisher and Deputy Publisher and general administration for the imprint; and assisting the editors on ongoing books including continual maintenance of metadata for both front and backlist titles.
· Assessing submissions for on the PRH WriteNow Mentoring programme 2017
· Assessing submissions for on the Daily Mail First Novel Competition 2017

Editorial Assistant

Troubador Publishing Ltd
May, 2015 – February, 2016 (9 months)

· High-quality proofreading and copy-editing of manuscripts, working across a range of genres from personal memoir, crime, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, YA, children's and picture books.
· Responsible for the smooth running of the editorial department, including management of workflow and extensive freelance database, alongside invoicing of clients and end-of-month figures.

Editorial Intern

Penguin Random House
September, 2013 – October, 2013 (about 1 month)

VINTAGE, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

· Assessing unsolicited manuscripts; writing back-cover copy; assisting with William Boyd's book signing; Proofreading typeset manuscripts.
· Reported on submissions for possible acquisition, including The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, Katarina Bivald (Chatto and Windus, 2015).

Editorial Intern

SilverWood Books
June, 2013 – September, 2014 (over 1 year)

Read and assessed manuscript submissions for publication and entires for the SilverWood Books Writing Competition (in association with Kobo).

Portfolio (48 selected works)

Now You See Her: The compulsive thriller you need to read

Heidi Perks

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERShe was your responsibility. And now she's missing.‘I flew through this book in three days, with my heart in my mouth. Seriously page turning’ Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of THEN SHE WAS GONE ‘The term “unputdownable” gets bandied around quite often in the book world – but believe us when we say this novel is the real deal’ Heat ‘A gripping tale of friendship and... read more

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERShe was your responsibility. And now she's missing.‘I flew through this book in three days, with my heart in my mouth. Seriously page turning’ Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of THEN SHE WAS GONE ‘The term “unputdownable” gets bandied around quite often in the book world – but believe us when we say this novel is the real deal’ Heat ‘A gripping tale of friendship and... read more

The Nanny

Gilly Macmillan

'With its buried secrets, shifting allegiances, and creeping sense of dread, The Nanny pulses with tension until its shocking conclusion. I absolutely loved it!' Shari Lapena___________________Seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt loves her nanny more than her own mother.When her nanny disappears one summer night, Jo never gets over the loss.Thirty years on, now a young widow with a daughter of her own,... read more

'With its buried secrets, shifting allegiances, and creeping sense of dread, The Nanny pulses with tension until its shocking conclusion. I absolutely loved it!' Shari Lapena___________________Seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt loves her nanny more than her own mother.When her nanny disappears one summer night, Jo never gets over the loss.Thirty years on, now a young widow with a daughter of her own,... read more

Gone by Midnight

Candice Fox

____________________They left four children safe upstairs.They came back to three.__________________On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing. The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the... read more

____________________They left four children safe upstairs.They came back to three.__________________On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing. The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the... read more

Come Back For Me: Your next obsession from the author of Richard & Judy bestseller NOW YOU SEE HER

Heidi Perks

***AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW*** The breathtaking follow-up to the Richard and Judy bestseller NOW YOU SEE HER____________________________A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home - the home her family fle... read more

***AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW*** The breathtaking follow-up to the Richard and Judy bestseller NOW YOU SEE HER____________________________A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home - the home her family fle... read more

My Name is Anna

Lizzy Barber

_________________________________Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection ... read more

_________________________________Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection ... read more

Keep Her Quiet

Emma Curtis

'This is grip-lit at its best' Fanny BlakeJenny has just given birth to the baby she’s always wanted. She’s never been this happy.Her husband, Leo, knows this baby girl can’t be his. He’s never felt so betrayed.The same night, a vulnerable young woman, Hannah, wakes to find her newborn lifeless beside her. She’s crazed with grief.When chance throws Hannah into Leo’s path, they make a plan that... read more

'This is grip-lit at its best' Fanny BlakeJenny has just given birth to the baby she’s always wanted. She’s never been this happy.Her husband, Leo, knows this baby girl can’t be his. He’s never felt so betrayed.The same night, a vulnerable young woman, Hannah, wakes to find her newborn lifeless beside her. She’s crazed with grief.When chance throws Hannah into Leo’s path, they make a plan that... read more

The Case of the Reincarnated Client (A Vish Puri mystery)

Tarquin Hall

When a young woman comes forward saying she's the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Puri is dismissive. He's busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom’s thunderous snoring. Puri's indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accuratel... read more

When a young woman comes forward saying she's the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Puri is dismissive. He's busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom’s thunderous snoring. Puri's indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accuratel... read more

Where the Wolf Lies

Tyler Flynn

When you have nothing left, what else do you have to lose? Stuck in a soulless job in New York, sat at a barren desk and too nervous to walk past the boss’s office to get a coffee, Paul Hart’s career has hit an all-time low. So, when he’s offered the chance to fly to Paris to save his job, he’s isn’t going to ask too many questions. Tasked with securing the business of wealthy CEO Monsieur Cla... read more

When you have nothing left, what else do you have to lose? Stuck in a soulless job in New York, sat at a barren desk and too nervous to walk past the boss’s office to get a coffee, Paul Hart’s career has hit an all-time low. So, when he’s offered the chance to fly to Paris to save his job, he’s isn’t going to ask too many questions. Tasked with securing the business of wealthy CEO Monsieur Cla... read more

Crescent

Alex Mawson

Harry Holte is a former British Army Officer determined to move on from his horrific experiences in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. He has barely begun to build a life for himself in London when a disastrous mistake sees his world torn apart and his only choice is to accept a security role protecting Camp Crescent, an oil exploration outpost in Southern Libya run by the mysterious Trace c... read more

Harry Holte is a former British Army Officer determined to move on from his horrific experiences in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. He has barely begun to build a life for himself in London when a disastrous mistake sees his world torn apart and his only choice is to accept a security role protecting Camp Crescent, an oil exploration outpost in Southern Libya run by the mysterious Trace c... read more

The Pact

Sharon Bolton

'Deliciously compelling' Daily Mirror'Delightfully dark' The Times**********A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures - until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a 'favour', payable on her ... read more

'Deliciously compelling' Daily Mirror'Delightfully dark' The Times**********A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures - until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a 'favour', payable on her ... read more

She Knows

Wills, A J

The Rising Tide

Sam Lloyd

'Beautifully written, incredibly evocative with a real sense of place and of the sea. Heart-stoppingly tense' Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE CHALET The new pulse-pounding thriller from the bestselling author of THE MEMORY WOOD.******HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?The news doesn't strike cleanly, like a guillotine's blade. Nothing so merciful. This news is a slovenly travelle... read more

'Beautifully written, incredibly evocative with a real sense of place and of the sea. Heart-stoppingly tense' Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE CHALET The new pulse-pounding thriller from the bestselling author of THE MEMORY WOOD.******HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?The news doesn't strike cleanly, like a guillotine's blade. Nothing so merciful. This news is a slovenly travelle... read more

The New Year’s Eve Party

Hannah Emery

Resolutions are made Marriages are broken... A gripping domestic thriller set in The Cotswolds and perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Adele Parks! It started with the party... Frankie, Verity and Alice live in the idyllic Cotswolds community of White Fir Lake, but behind closed doors everyone has a secret they’re desperately trying to keep... And ended with a bang! Now, as midnight on New ... read more

Resolutions are made Marriages are broken... A gripping domestic thriller set in The Cotswolds and perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Adele Parks! It started with the party... Frankie, Verity and Alice live in the idyllic Cotswolds community of White Fir Lake, but behind closed doors everyone has a secret they’re desperately trying to keep... And ended with a bang! Now, as midnight on New ... read more

The Bridesmaid

Nina Manning

A dark and unsettling psychological thriller about toxic friendship, misplaced loyalty and secrets from the past finally being revealed. A gripping new story from international bestseller Nina Manning.Your best friend or your worst nightmare...?From the moment they met as children, Sasha knew that beautiful, wealthy, and confident Caitlin would always be her absolute best friend. Sasha would d... read more

A dark and unsettling psychological thriller about toxic friendship, misplaced loyalty and secrets from the past finally being revealed. A gripping new story from international bestseller Nina Manning.Your best friend or your worst nightmare...?From the moment they met as children, Sasha knew that beautiful, wealthy, and confident Caitlin would always be her absolute best friend. Sasha would d... read more

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

Gwenda Bond

A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things. It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of ... read more

A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things. It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of ... read more

Golden State

Ben H. Winters

___________________'A prescient, devastating commentary on humanity's disintegrating attachment to reality and truth... Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st century. Not just a thrilling book, but an important one' Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and TV series Wayward Pines'A dystopia for our times' Financial Times'A wry commentary on our current era' Guardian ___________________Welcome... read more

___________________'A prescient, devastating commentary on humanity's disintegrating attachment to reality and truth... Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st century. Not just a thrilling book, but an important one' Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and TV series Wayward Pines'A dystopia for our times' Financial Times'A wry commentary on our current era' Guardian ___________________Welcome... read more

The Guilty Friend

Joanne Sefton

One of them is dead. One of them is lying.Alex, Karen and Misty were an inseparable trio at university. But when Alex died suddenly, the remaining two friends could no longer look each other in the eye, knowing they both had a part to play in her death.Thirty years later, Misty and Karen have long since moved on with their lives. But when Karen thinks she sees her former friend alive, she soon... read more

One of them is dead. One of them is lying.Alex, Karen and Misty were an inseparable trio at university. But when Alex died suddenly, the remaining two friends could no longer look each other in the eye, knowing they both had a part to play in her death.Thirty years later, Misty and Karen have long since moved on with their lives. But when Karen thinks she sees her former friend alive, she soon... read more

The Flood

Rachel Bennett

A gripping atmospheric crime novel about a town on the edge of collapse, and a murder that shakes the community. Perfect for fans of THE DRY. When Daniela Cain returns to her small hometown after seven years’ absence, she finds that flooding has left the village all but deserted. She’s there to collect something she left in her childhood home, then she plans to leave. But upon entering the old... read more

A gripping atmospheric crime novel about a town on the edge of collapse, and a murder that shakes the community. Perfect for fans of THE DRY. When Daniela Cain returns to her small hometown after seven years’ absence, she finds that flooding has left the village all but deserted. She’s there to collect something she left in her childhood home, then she plans to leave. But upon entering the old... read more

The Split: A Novel

Sharon Bolton

In The Split, suspense master Sharon Bolton is back in her newest standalone, where a woman will go to any cost in order to hide from her ex-husband.The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – meaning safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd. Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her. She took a job on this... read more

In The Split, suspense master Sharon Bolton is back in her newest standalone, where a woman will go to any cost in order to hide from her ex-husband.The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – meaning safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd. Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her. She took a job on this... read more

The Pretty Ones

Fry, Jamie Lee

Curfew

Cowie, Jayne

Rebecca has 31 reviews

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

Jeff Smith
Rebecca did an amazing job with my first novel and helped it sound and feel so much better. She provides good suggestions that add more depth to a scene through a few words or a sentence that I hadn't even considered. Hoping to work with her again on the rest of the books in my series.

Jeff Smith, June 2022


Michael Beckner
Rebecca is the consummate professional. When the combination of a sudden change of schedule, coupled with the sudden unavailability of the editor engaged with a trilogy of novels that are being released in conjunction with the production of an upcoming television series, I might have panicked if I'd not previously worked with Rebecca. She took over the final proofreading of the first two books ...
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Michael Beckner, April 2022


Michael Beckner
As a professional writer in Hollywood with thirty years of major motion pictures and network television series under my belt, I have worked with countless creative editors of my work of every level of experience and capability. Rebecca ranks in the top 1% of all of them. Rebecca takes an immediate personal attachment to the project while zeroing in on the author's vision. While it is clear fr...
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Michael Beckner, December 2021


Edward Kellett
When I invited collaborations, I had several very good offers but Rebecca was the only one who asked me some questions first, about how long I had been working on the manuscript and what stage I felt I had reached. This is why I decided to go with her, as she seemed to be thinking more widely about the whole project and what type of edit would be best for me. Our communications were very stra...
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Edward Kellett, September 2021


Kelli Rueth
I cannot leave high enough praise for Rebecca. I began working with her in November 2020 for a developmental report and edit. When I received the finished product, I was shocked at the amount of work she had done. Her insights into my manuscript were in-depth and invaluable. She is a true professional who delivers a thorough, quality product in a timely manner. My work is so much better for her...
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Kelli Rueth, June 2021

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