Sandra Haven-Herner

Sandra Haven-Herner - 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 and publishers around the world and across the United States and Canada creating reader-attracting books and fan-satisfying series.

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 Write-to-Done and 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. I review continuity, tone, characterization, setting, plot, structure, pacing, marketability, etc.

It is a thrill for me to watch an author’s talents expand as their novel grows and is born into the publishing world. Basically, I help your story come to life so that your unique voice can shine through. I'm here to help you, too!

What my clients say:
• Susan Furlong, from Illinois, bestselling author of several commercially-published series: "Sandra’s 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, jumped into fiction with The Towers Still Stand which won first place in the 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!”

• Gary McAvoy, award-winning self-published author: "Having now edited my seventh novel, I can't imagine not having Sandra's concise and objective involvement with any forthcoming books. There's a tough love to her work—she pulls no punches on what needs work while honoring the good parts—which only makes for a better product in the end."


• Lara Fanning, Australia: "Many, many things come into play once you decide to turn a standalone into a series. Characters must develop, plots must thicken or change entirely! Sandra's advice 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."


• PJ Peterson: "Sandra is very astute in her reviews and observations. Her recommendations and 'possible solutions' are always right on. She sees holes and inconsistencies that I wasn't aware of. How she keeps track of it all, I don't know but she is amazing."

Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Action & Adventure
Cozy Mysteries
Dystopian
Historical Fiction
Historical Mysteries
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 30 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 (16 selected works)

The Avignon Affair

Gary McAvoy

A corpse cloaked in secrets rests in an ancient tomb deep beneath Notre-Dame Cathedral, but its identity remains elusive. One priest is determined to find out who the dead man is and what he’s hiding… Father Michael Dominic is called to France for an unusual assignment. A fourteenth-century bishop was found in a crypt buried under the burnt remnants of Notre-Dame—but he’s wearing the ring of a... read more

A corpse cloaked in secrets rests in an ancient tomb deep beneath Notre-Dame Cathedral, but its identity remains elusive. One priest is determined to find out who the dead man is and what he’s hiding… Father Michael Dominic is called to France for an unusual assignment. A fourteenth-century bishop was found in a crypt buried under the burnt remnants of Notre-Dame—but he’s wearing the ring of a... read more

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

The Magdalene Deception

Gary McAvoy

For two thousand years, believers have relied on Christ’s Resurrection as the bedrock of Christian faith. But what if the Vatican had been blackmailed into suppressing a first-century manuscript revealing the Resurrection to be a myth—and that long-hidden document suddenly reappears? Michael Dominic, a young Jesuit priest expert in the study of ancient writings, is assigned to the Vatican as a... read more

For two thousand years, believers have relied on Christ’s Resurrection as the bedrock of Christian faith. But what if the Vatican had been blackmailed into suppressing a first-century manuscript revealing the Resurrection to be a myth—and that long-hidden document suddenly reappears? Michael Dominic, a young Jesuit priest expert in the study of ancient writings, is assigned to the Vatican as a... read more

The Hawk Enigma

J.L. Hancock

Every night, Voodoo’s nightmares force him to relive the past until suddenly they start to predict the future. At the same time, across the ocean in Japan, two world-renowned scientists go missing along with the secrets behind something called the “God Algorithm.” Fans of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Michael Crichton’s techno-thrillers, or Jack Carr’s James Reece, will love this fast-paced thrill r... read more

Every night, Voodoo’s nightmares force him to relive the past until suddenly they start to predict the future. At the same time, across the ocean in Japan, two world-renowned scientists go missing along with the secrets behind something called the “God Algorithm.” Fans of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Michael Crichton’s techno-thrillers, or Jack Carr’s James Reece, will love this fast-paced thrill r... read more

MASK MORTEM

Arun Rajagopal

A young woman is murdered in her car. Weeks later, homeless men are murdered for their kidneys. The murders seem to be unconnected. "Jick" Arnsson is a successful physician, nearing retirement with a dispirited feeling of having accomplished nothing. While shopping at an antiques store, he stumbles upon an ancient mask. This Mask Mortem, or "mask of death," is also a reputed "Healer of Life." ... read more

A young woman is murdered in her car. Weeks later, homeless men are murdered for their kidneys. The murders seem to be unconnected. "Jick" Arnsson is a successful physician, nearing retirement with a dispirited feeling of having accomplished nothing. While shopping at an antiques store, he stumbles upon an ancient mask. This Mask Mortem, or "mask of death," is also a reputed "Healer of Life." ... read more

Sandra has 72 reviews

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

Becky Benton
Sandra is everything I wanted and needed in an editor. Her insights are invaluable and her suggestions spot-on. She is responsive, encouraging, and clear-eyed, understands the forces at work on a writer, both personal and professional. Definitely would recommend Sandra and will use her again.

Becky Benton, October 2022

Sandra Haven-Herner
Thank you. I look forward to working with you again.

Reply from Sandra Haven-Herner


PJ Peterson
Sandra is an amazing editor! She finds the places that need to be fixed and makes recommendations for possible fixes that are spot on. I am so glad I stumbled onto her when I was looking for someone.

PJ Peterson, October 2022


Doug Kane
Sandra is a pro. Gave me some great advice, and made me think.

Doug Kane, September 2022


Jennifer Sadera
Sandra has the ability to pull out the best from a story. She knows what makes readers relate to the writing--and what doesn't. Her observations are insightful. Her suggestions are helpful. And she does it all in a timely manner. This is the second manuscript Sandra has edited for me and I look forward to working with her again on my third!

Jennifer Sadera, August 2022


PJ Peterson
Sandra is very astute in her reviews and observations. Her recommendations and "possible solutions" are always right on. She sees holes and inconsistencies that I wasn't aware of. How she keeps track of it all, I don't know but she is amazing. She's also very punctual and delivers within the set time frame.

PJ Peterson, August 2022

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