Friday, August 19, 2016

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I wanted to share some wonderful articles and words of wisdom I've come across recently.

First, contributing to #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices, these two articles:

From an editor perspective:

"If you’re a white editor reading this, pause for a second and think about how an African American or Native American might feel getting that pass letter. Consider the fact that your very whiteness might prevent you from understanding the lives diverse characters and peoples lead, and the daily erasure they face" - Kate Sullivan, Senior Editor, Delacorte Press

From a writer perspective:

"To help diversify YA, we white authors can support Indigenous authors and Authors of Color by reading their books, recommending their books, blurbing their books, and recommending them to our agents. When we're invited to conferences, or festivals, or to be in anthologies, make sure they're not majority white. We need to make more space for People of Colour and Indigenous people in our very white publishing industry."

(yes, I realize, both white perspectives; please share any other wonderful articles....I want to include them...)

Next, some words of wisdom from SCBWI LA. I wasn't able to attend all sessions, but from what I did....

  • "Diversity is not a trendIt is real life, and diversity needs to be the norm." -Justin Chanda, Vice President & Publisher, Simon & Schuster BFYR

  • "You will hear all sorts of rules about what you can't do [when you write]. What they mean is, you can't do anything badly. You can do whatever you want if you do it well." Melissa Manlove, editor, Chronicle Books

  • "Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint." Stacey Barney, Senior Editor, Putnam

  • Don't wait for the perfect idea to strike: "Writers have to come up with a lot of bad ideas to hit a few good ones. It's not the lightning bolt that hits someone sitting in a sunny field. It's the lightning that strikes someone who has been cranking a generator." Melissa Manlove, editor, Chronicle Books

  • What makes a good picture book? It "has to evoke that same feeling/connection as when you first read it - every time....the perfect picture book text is a writer lobbing the ball up so an illustrator can carry it." - Susan Rich, editor-at-large, Little Brown

Friday, April 1, 2016

Format Changes; Story Lust Remains

I was watching TMNT (2014) with my husband tonight*. And at the end, he said: you know what’s sad? Our son is going to see this and think, man, the older versions SUCK!

And I said: so?

A reader of romance today vs. a reader of Jane Austen of yesterday will not necessarily like it the same; and yet that doesn’t discount either of the books. It doesn’t discount them in the same way that Homeric tales passed around a fire are no less valid than TMNT (2014).

People fear change in publishing; when I tell people what I do, they say…oh. And…what will you do when books go away?

Books won’t go away. The format may change. But stories will always remain. That is publishing. That is the world I’m in.

And if my son connects to it in a different way than I did, I don’t care. Because he’s connecting. And that is what matters.

That is why as an agent, I embrace change and challenge. 

*on our first date, I picked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to watch. I still think that was the moment that sealed the deal for us. :)