Sandra Haven

Sandra Haven - Editor

Port Hadlock, WA, United States

I have 25 years experience assisting bestsellers and award-winners, traditional and self-published. Focus: mysteries, thrillers and series.

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Overview

For over two decades I have provided editorial services for writers around the world and publishers across the United States and Canada.

My articles have appeared in Writer's Digest Book's "Novel & Short Story Market" and I was profiled in "The Market Guide for Young Writers." I was Senior Editor for Writer's Intl. Forum, which placed in Writer's Digest's Top 50 Fiction Markets for three consecutive years. I’ve been a contributing writer for WriteToDone; I am the editor for GatewayComicsPresents; and I've been secured as a freelance developmental editor for Crooked Lane Books of New York.

Helping writers achieve their writing dreams and achieve success is my greatest thrill, whether they publish a single book to fulfill a personal journey or create a career as a commercial series writer. I work with most fiction genres, but my specialty is science fiction, fantasy, mystery books, and adventure novels. These broad categories open a world of subcategories for writers as well. For instance, crime, suspense, and detective stories can range from police procedurals and medical dramas to political and international intrigue. An adventure can be a tragedy or comedy, a satire or classic tall tale. And science fiction or fantasy can encompass anything from fables, folklore, mythology or fairy tales to epic legends and heroic sagas.

I offer:
• Professional guidance
• Encouragement focused on your specific situation
• A one-on-one relationship that supports Your Story - Your Vision - Your Voice

I review continuity, tone, characterization, setting, plot, structure, pacing, marketability, etc. Basically, I help your story come to life so that your unique voice can shine through.

Every day I answer questions, make suggestions, and act as a writing coach to my writing clients. It is a thrill for me to watch an author’s talents expand as their novel grows and is born into the publishing world.

I'm here to help you, too!

What my clients say:
• Susan Furlong, from Illinois, bestselling author of several series, currently contracted with Kensington: "Sandra has helped edit several of my mysteries. Her suggestions and content edits have helped me enhance character tension, catch plot holes, tighten pace, and significantly improve my stories. I value her insight and highly recommend her services."

• Daniel Rosenberg, a professional journalist, who jumped into fiction with his thriller The Towers Still Stand which won first place in the 2017 Illinois State Library Author Project: “I'm very grateful to you for all of your insight and support through the writing process and for giving me the sense this was possible. It would never have happened without you!”

• Rose Miller, Arizona: "You are so talented. I know it is your business after all, but I was so impressed with your suggestions with the horse book, and I told you then, too, but you can see the picture and add just the right 'stuff.' Thanks so much."

• David Hebden, Thailand: "I've read through your comments and suggestions several times and it all makes sense. I'm sure it will make the book more interesting. I made changes based on your suggestions and opinions which I believe make the book much better for the reader. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into all my writings. Thanks for everything."

• Lara Fanning, Australia: "Many, many things come into play once you decide to turn a standalone into a series. Characters must develop further, plots must thicken or change entirely and you need a reason to continue on! Sandra's advice in editing helped me a huge deal when it came to those points and how to manage them. She showed me how to keep ideas, characters and plots flowing from one book to the next, and all the while added new parts to the book - parts which have become my favourite and made the novel far better."
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Action & Adventure
Cozy Mysteries
Dystopian
Historical Fiction
Medical Thriller
Psychological Thriller
Women's Fiction

Awards

  • Writer's Digest's Top 50 Fiction Markets

Work experience

Developmental Editor and Writing Coach

Self-employed
June, 1992 – Present (over 28 years)

Coach and editor for fiction writers. I provide advice when we start a writing project together; coaching throughout the creative process; and detailed analysis and editing. We work together to create a strong and reader-attracting book and a fan-satisfying series.

Editor and Writer

Writers' International Forum
June, 1990 – June, 1999 (about 9 years)

Edited an in-print magazine for an international base of fiction writers, writing many of the related informational articles. Provided critiques for submitted manuscripts.
Writers' International Forum was instrumental in helping authors to become more successful in their writing endeavors. It received recognition for the efforts of all of our staff when it placed in Writer's Digest's Top 50 Fiction Markets for three consecutive years.

Editor

Manufactured Homes Magazine
June, 1985 – May, 1989 (almost 4 years)

Edited special interest magazine for the manufactured homes industry. Contracted with writers in various fields; provided comprehensive editing and copy editing; and assisted in magazine layout and promotional materials.

Technical Writer and Editor

BAE Information Systems Technology
June, 1981 – January, 1998 (over 16 years)

Writer and editor for technical procedures manuals for multi-million dollar U.S. government contracts. Wrote over 250 resumes tailored to government contracts for logistical group. Provided critiques and editing for oral presentations to win government contracts.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Splintered Silence (A Bone Gap Travellers Novel)

Susan Furlong

Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it's hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up . . . After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner, Wilco—both of them bearing the scars ... read more

Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it's hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up . . . After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner, Wilco—both of them bearing the scars ... read more

Fractured Truth (A Bone Gap Travellers Novel)

Susan Furlong

When the mutilated remains of a young woman are found in an Appalachian Mountain cave, newly sworn-in deputy sheriff Brynn Callahan is forced to track down a killer driven by twisted motives . . . Not long after donning the uniform of the McCreary County Sheriff's department in Bone Gap, Tennessee, ex-Marine Brynn Callahan faces her first official homicide. On a cold February morning, a lone c... read more

When the mutilated remains of a young woman are found in an Appalachian Mountain cave, newly sworn-in deputy sheriff Brynn Callahan is forced to track down a killer driven by twisted motives . . . Not long after donning the uniform of the McCreary County Sheriff's department in Bone Gap, Tennessee, ex-Marine Brynn Callahan faces her first official homicide. On a cold February morning, a lone c... read more

Pandemic: A Novel

Daniel Kalla

Genesis of a PlagueRight now, in a remote corner of rural China, a farmer and his family are sharing their water supply with their livestock: chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep. They share the same waste-disposal system, too.Bird viruses meet their human counterparts in the bloodstreams of the swine, where they mix and mutate before spreading back into the human population. And a new flu is born....... read more

Genesis of a PlagueRight now, in a remote corner of rural China, a farmer and his family are sharing their water supply with their livestock: chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep. They share the same waste-disposal system, too.Bird viruses meet their human counterparts in the bloodstreams of the swine, where they mix and mutate before spreading back into the human population. And a new flu is born....... read more

Resistance

Daniel Kalla

No treatment. No cure. No hopeOnce it seemed as though penicillin and other antibiotics had won humanity a lasting victory over harmful bacteria. But now hardier bugs, resistant to most common classes of antibiotics, are emerging–with potentially catastrophic consequences.When Dr. Catalina Lopez of the Center for Disease Control first receives a report of a lethal new "superbug" immune to all ... read more

No treatment. No cure. No hopeOnce it seemed as though penicillin and other antibiotics had won humanity a lasting victory over harmful bacteria. But now hardier bugs, resistant to most common classes of antibiotics, are emerging–with potentially catastrophic consequences.When Dr. Catalina Lopez of the Center for Disease Control first receives a report of a lethal new "superbug" immune to all ... read more

Peaches and Scream (A Georgia Peach Mystery)

Susan Furlong

In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation…To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are th... read more

In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation…To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are th... read more

Rest in Peach (A Georgia Peach Mystery)

Susan Furlong

In the refreshing new Georgia Peach Mystery from the author of Peaches and Scream, an upcoming debutante ball turns into the pits when a juicy murder scandalizes a small town.The annual Peach Cotillion, Cays Mill, Georgia’s biggest event, is fast approaching and Nola Mae Harper is just as excited as the rest of the town—even though she’s busy juggling both the cotillion dinner and the grand op... read more

In the refreshing new Georgia Peach Mystery from the author of Peaches and Scream, an upcoming debutante ball turns into the pits when a juicy murder scandalizes a small town.The annual Peach Cotillion, Cays Mill, Georgia’s biggest event, is fast approaching and Nola Mae Harper is just as excited as the rest of the town—even though she’s busy juggling both the cotillion dinner and the grand op... read more

War and Peach (A Georgia Peach Mystery)

Susan Furlong

The author of Rest in Peach serves up another bite of Southern charm in the latest Georgia Peach mystery. Nola Mae Harper is too busy restocking the jars of preserves and chutney flying off the shelves of her shop, Peachy Keen, to keep up with all the gossip about the upcoming mayoral election, but she does know the debate is sure to be a real barn burner. Local farmer Clem Rogers claims he ha... read more

The author of Rest in Peach serves up another bite of Southern charm in the latest Georgia Peach mystery. Nola Mae Harper is too busy restocking the jars of preserves and chutney flying off the shelves of her shop, Peachy Keen, to keep up with all the gossip about the upcoming mayoral election, but she does know the debate is sure to be a real barn burner. Local farmer Clem Rogers claims he ha... read more

My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina (The City in the Twenty-First Century)

Edward J. Blakely

Edward J. Blakely has been called upon to help rebuild after some of the worst disasters in recent American history, from the San Francisco Bay Area's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake to the September 11 attacks in New York. Yet none of these jobs compared to the challenges he faced in his appointment by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administratio... read more

Edward J. Blakely has been called upon to help rebuild after some of the worst disasters in recent American history, from the San Francisco Bay Area's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake to the September 11 attacks in New York. Yet none of these jobs compared to the challenges he faced in his appointment by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administratio... read more

Off the Books (A Novel Idea Mystery)

Lucy Arlington

Literary agent and amateur sleuth Lila Wilkins is back to seal the deal in the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mystery series. Lila is showcasing some of her biggest authors at a bridal expo. But when the joyous event turns deadly, she’ll have to figure out who penned the perfect crime... The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, celebrating... read more

Literary agent and amateur sleuth Lila Wilkins is back to seal the deal in the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mystery series. Lila is showcasing some of her biggest authors at a bridal expo. But when the joyous event turns deadly, she’ll have to figure out who penned the perfect crime... The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, celebrating... read more

Played by the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery)

Lucy Arlington

The New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries make their return with Lila Wilkins, literary agent and “murder magnet,” planning a book signing garden party. But things aren’t coming up roses when she has to weed out a dangerous killer…The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, N... read more

The New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries make their return with Lila Wilkins, literary agent and “murder magnet,” planning a book signing garden party. But things aren’t coming up roses when she has to weed out a dangerous killer…The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, N... read more

Every Trick in the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery)

Lucy Arlington

New York Times bestselling author Lucy Arlington's Novel Idea Mysteries return with Lila Wilkins, who has just been promoted to full-time literary agent. But great new writers aren’t the only people she’s trying to catch… Lila Wilkins has it all: the home of her dreams in the charming town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina; a perfect police officer boyfriend; and a new job she absolutely l... read more

New York Times bestselling author Lucy Arlington's Novel Idea Mysteries return with Lila Wilkins, who has just been promoted to full-time literary agent. But great new writers aren’t the only people she’s trying to catch… Lila Wilkins has it all: the home of her dreams in the charming town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina; a perfect police officer boyfriend; and a new job she absolutely l... read more

The Magdalene Reliquary

Gary McAvoy

During his routine work in the Vatican Secret Archives, Father Michael Dominic discovers a mystifying 13th-century puzzle constructed for the legendary Cathars by famed Italian cartographer Pietro Vesconte. When solved by investigative journalist Hana Sinclair, the puzzle reveals a cryptic map—one that leads to an obscure cave in the fabled Languedoc region of France—where Dominic and his frie... read more

During his routine work in the Vatican Secret Archives, Father Michael Dominic discovers a mystifying 13th-century puzzle constructed for the legendary Cathars by famed Italian cartographer Pietro Vesconte. When solved by investigative journalist Hana Sinclair, the puzzle reveals a cryptic map—one that leads to an obscure cave in the fabled Languedoc region of France—where Dominic and his frie... read more

Sandra has 46 reviews

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

Anthony Poon
Sandra is wonderful. She has gone beyond the call of duty, exceeding my expectations. She has offered edits, rewrites, and fresh thinking at all levels to my manuscript. This goes far beyond taking a mere fresh eyes approach. She has suggested detailed changes to wording and phrasing, character development ideas, restructuring and pacing, and overall constructive criticism to the whole projec...
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Anthony Poon, December 2020

Sandra Haven
Thank you, Anthony! I do try to provide all the insights necessary to strengthen a story while keeping in mind the author's voice, preferences, and intentions. I look forward to your next book!

Reply from Sandra Haven


Robert Douglass
Sandra was fantastic on every aspect. She showed weak areas of my story, why they were weak, and possible ways to correct the story. All of her advice helped me write my story better, much better!

Robert Douglass, December 2020

Sandra Haven
Thank you - it was a pleasure working with you and I hope we collaborate again.

Reply from Sandra Haven


Gary McAvoy
This is my second book with Sandra, which alone tells you how much faith I have in her as my developmental editor (though she often finds copy-editing issues as well, gratefully). I continue to be amazed by her infinite attention to detail, things that as the author I hadn't given a thought to—but she did, and the book is better for it. She knows the characters as well as I do, at some times ev...
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Gary McAvoy, December 2020

Sandra Haven
Thanks -it is a pleasure working with a writer who is so serious about not just writing but marketing as well. I look forward to helping with your future books as more adventures await!

Reply from Sandra Haven


Keira Mayock
Sandra has been incredible to work with. She made me feel very positive about my book at the same time as offering suggestions on how to improve it. The final draft is still in progress, but it is already much stronger thanks to her advice.

Keira Mayock, November 2020


Michael Duree
Sandra Haven's work as my editor was very helpful. She is thorough and accurate, and knows what she's talking about. She gave me good insights with a number of changes, including transitions and repetition. Thanks to her friendly and supportive style, I was was glad to re-visit at my text , consider and make changes. I look forward to working with Sandra Haven again. Mike Duree

Michael Duree, November 2020

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