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editorial services, consultant :
Heather Lazare

I started my publishing career in 2002 at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, then moved to the editorial side at Crown (Penguin Random House) and was a senior editor at Touchstone (Simon & Schuster). After nearly seven years in corporate publishing, I decided to start my own independent editorial and publishing consultation business to work directly with authors, agents, and publishers. Today, I help writers develop and strengthen their voices, tighten (or elaborate!), clarify, and keep the plot moving in order to create a memorable and saleable story.

I edit adult fiction, with particular emphasis on historical fiction, women’s fiction, literary fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries, and thrillers. I’m always looking for bold new voices to tell stories that feel fresh and unfamiliar.

I host the Northern California Writers' Retreat, five days (and four nights) of fiction writing and workshops in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Twelve fiction writers (chosen via submission) will enjoy redwood-scented hiking paths, daily yoga, delicious local cuisine and wine, dedicated writing time, and conversations with publishing professionals. Previous Authors-in-Residence include: Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Stephanie Danler, Karen Joy Fowler, Aja Gabel, Rufi Thorpe, Jasmine Guillory, Chloe Benjamin, and Rachel Khong. You can sign up for our newsletter to learn more, or visit our website: Northern California Writers' Retreat!. One virtual session was held for our alums in 2022, and another will be planned for the fall. In-person session to come for 2023; please sign up for the newsletter to receive more information.

I live in California with my husband and our two children.

years experience: 14
Developmental editing, Proposal writing/editing, Line-editing, Writing, Ghost-writing, Copywriting, Fiction writing
General fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense/thriller, African-American, Women's fiction, Historical fiction
Praise from agents:

"Heather Lazare's (no relation!) enthusiasm for working with writers is matched only by her perspective on the market at large. She always sees the big picture of where a book fits on the shelf, while never forgetting the small details: namely, the book itself. She's supportive of her authors, and confident in pushing them to improve each and every page of a manuscript."—Dan Lazar, Literary Agent, Writers House

“Heather’s knowledge of the industry and her contacts with literary agents are an asset to any author who works with her. Her editorial acumen will add value to the projects she engages. Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed partnering with Heather. Her advocacy on behalf of authors, her excellent taste, and her boundless enthusiasm make our ventures a pleasure.”—Meg Ruley, Literary Agent, Jane Rotrosen Agency

Praise from publishers:

“Working with Heather Lazare was always a pleasure. From her intimate knowledge of the publication process to her savvy skills with an excel grid, she balanced both the business and editorial sides of publishing seamlessly. Beyond that, Heather’s interaction with her colleagues and her industry connections made her an indispensable member of our team.” –Tina Pohlman, Publisher, Open Road Integrated Media

Praise from authors:

“I loved working with Heather on my novels. Her keen eye helped me cut where I needed to, elaborate what I hadn’t covered, and tell the stories I was meant to tell. Working with her was a true partnership and I always felt I was in very capable hands through the editorial process to publication and beyond!"—Michelle Moran, national bestselling author of Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra’s Daughter, Madame Tussaud, The Second Empress, and Rebel Queen

“I felt so lucky to have Heather Lazare as my editor. She had an incredible ability to hone in on places in my manuscript that I wanted to believe were done, but really needed more attention. I benefited from her insightful comments on everything from story, plot, character and psychology to the minutest details of language. Heather is a joy to work with—always quick to respond, thorough, good-humored, honest without being cruel, respectful of my vision, and passionate about helping me bring the manuscript to its fullest potential.”—Stephanie Lehman, author of Astor Place Vintage

“Heather Lazare is amazing to work with—sharp and demanding, always respectful, and able to cut to the heart of a story. Heather edited three of my novels and pushed me to do my best writing and tell the fullest, most beautiful stories I could. From line edits to overall structure and theme to back cover copy to publicity, she worked passionately to bring each book to life. I very much hope to work with Heather again, and can't imagine a better person to work with on your own project.”—Carolyn Turgeon, author of Godmother, Mermaid, and The Fairest of Them All

"Heather is the dream editor—she is an insightful line editor AND knowledgeable about history. She knows what a historical novel needs to accomplish based on her experience acquiring and editing books at two major publishers and her passion for fiction. Heather ALWAYS communicates with thoughtfulness and sensitivity. I looked forward to talking to her and working on my books with her. She acquired and edited my second novel The Chalice and it went on to garner positive reviews and the award for Best Historical Novel of 2013 from the Romantic Times Reviewers. Heather is a big reason I won that award!"—Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown, The Chalice, and The Tapestry

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022: Northern California Writers' Retreat, co-founder
2016: Idaho Writers Guild Pitchfest
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021: Catamaran Writing Conference, lecturer and panelist, one-on-one consultant
2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020: San Francisco Writers Conference, panelist, one-on-one consultant
2014, 2015: Women Writing in the Redwoods, editor on staff for retreat
2011: Random Recognition at Random House: Awarded by Publisher in appreciation of outstanding performance.
2011, 2012: Historical Novel Society Conference, Panelist
2007: Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Panelist
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