A Favorite Post from 2007
When Stephanie Owens Lurie, President and Publisher of Dutton Children's Books, e-mailed me that my editor had left the house and she had assigned me a new one, I must admit I was a little nervous. I'd heard countless stories of orphan books that never saw the light of day. But I had no reason to worry, and I want to publicly thank Stephanie for giving me the wonderful Steve Meltzer as my new editor. Steve is attentive, creative and just a blast to work with. I am delighted that he agreed to be interviewed for the blog.
When and why did you become a children’s book editor?
The bigger question is when did I enter the wonderful world of publishing. That was in 1985 when I started as an inventory analyst for a book club. I went from there into educational sales and then became an editor in 1999.
Name one of your favorite children’s books?
Caps for Sale. The story has Zen simplicity, beautiful language, and is just darn fun.
What qualities are you looking for in a manuscript?
Here is the secret. A good story and a good voice. Also the story has to be attractive enough for at least 15,000 people to plunk down $16.99.
What advice can you give a newly published writer?
Get together a good act that will impress kids and start hitting the school circuit. That is the way to build your audience for your current book and your next book(s). Many authors charge hundreds to thousands for a school visit. Charge less but give them more.
What projects are you working on now?
I have a lovely manuscript about Mount Rushmore by this very nice first-time author. Sally Wern Comport has agreed to illustrate. A biography of JM Barrie by Jane Yolen and illustrated by this fantastic Canadian illustrator, Steve Adams. On August 16th, I have a powerful YA novel being published called Useful Fools, written by C.A. Schmidt. It is a love story of a poor boy and a rich girl set against the communist insurgency in Peru in the 1980s. I think it is important and powerful.
What is your favorite dessert and why?
Favorite dessert: Boston Cream Pie. Why?: Duh!