Monday, November 17, 2008

My Editor, Unleashed

I posted this editor interview on my pen name’s blog, WolfyChicks, here's the original: but I thought my friends here at YA Edge might be interested as well. I’ve asked my fabulous editor, Susan Yates, a few questions in hopes that we can all be enlightened as to the different interests of editors within the same publishing line.

So, Susan, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Susan Yates and I’m an editor for The Wild Rose Press, which is pretty much my dream job. I get to read great stories every day, I work with talented, motivated authors, and I get to be a part of publishing wonderful books.

You’re an editor for The Wild Rose Press. Which lines?

Climbing Rose, of course, which is our Young Adult line; Vintage Rose, which publishes stories set in the twentieth century; Yellow Rose, which publishes contemporary cowboy stories; and I’m the Rose Petal coordinator. Rose Petals are the fun free reads available at The Wild Rose Press. (Two great Rose Petals to be on the watch for: Old Flames Die Hard by Judith Graves and My Prom Date’s a Vampire by Kitty Keswick)

What’s your typical day like in editor land? (And do you wear glasses? For some reason I always picture an editor sporting a fine pair of spectacles.)

Spectacles, huh? You don’t picture me wearing them on a chain around my neck, do you? :-) My typical day is pretty typical, I suppose: sorting through e-mail, reading and evaluating manuscripts, working on edits, etc. And reports--I seem to spend a lot of time putting together reports. But that may just be my perception.

Why YA?

The obvious answer is because I never grew up (which also happens to be true!) but mostly because I remember falling in love with reading at a young age and devouring books like I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith or Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. I’d like to be involved in publishing great stories that mean as much to some young reader as those books did to me.

What calls to you about a certain piece of fiction? How do you know this is the one worth working on?

Well, since I only deal with electronic manuscripts, I guess I can’t say--any story that keeps me turning pages--but that’s the idea. If I recognize the characters as real people, if I care about what happens to them, if I’m dying to turn the page (scroll to the next screen?), then that’s a story I want to work on.

YA is really hot seller right now. Where do you see the Climbing Rose line going? What stories are you working on?

I’d like to see Climbing Rose become huge, of course. Sky-high sales, mega royalties for the authors, company cars for the editors…OK, maybe that’s a little unrealistic. But I do think there’s a great e-publishing market for YA because teens are much more adaptable to the concept of e-books than adults are. Teens have never known a world without computers, they don’t even remember life before the Internet--but then, who does--and they’re used to downloading their entertainment. I’m not expecting Climbing Rose to become the next iTunes, but I do think electronic publishing is only going to get bigger.

And as far as what I’m working on right now, I’m editing a great paranormal story called Under My Skin about a girl named Eryn who thinks she’s turning into a werewolf…oh, wait, you said ‘other’ stories, didn’t you? (Now, that’s a truly shameless plug!)

What do you look for in stories you buy?

Strong writing, of course, but also depth of characterization, emotion, authentic conflict, and characters who change and grow throughout the manuscript. I want a story to give me a vivid picture of its people and setting, so that I feel like I’m living and breathing along with the characters. It’s really all in the details--if a manuscript has so little description that the characters seem like talking heads in a white room, it doesn’t matter how good the story concept might be, it won’t hold my interest.

The perfect YA story would be????

A perfect YA story is fresh and filled with emotion, it tells an old story in a new way, it’s genuine, it’s compelling, and it shows real characters struggling with real problems and learning about themselves as they solve those problems.

Are you currently accepting submissions?

Absolutely! If you’ve got a great story that you think fits our Climbing Rose guidelines, please query us. We’d love to read it.

Any other words of wisdom you care to impart on the readers?

Keep writing, keep reading and come visit The Wild Rose Press Climbing Roses store. And be on the lookout for our new YA author blog! (Here's a sneak peak at the blog. It's a WIP, but coming along smashingly:

Thanks for taking time out your day to give our blog some editorial love! You ROCK!

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