Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Conference Report, Part Deux

Three editors and an agent attended Prairie Writer's Day:

Beverly Reingold -- Farrar Straus & Giroux
Clarissa Hutton -- HarperCollins Children's Books
Julie Romeis -- Bloomsbury
Stephen Fraser -- Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Each of the editors participated in a panel called "Editor/Author Duos." During the session, the pairs discussed the publishing process, including the months of rewrites and meetings required to bring their books into being.

Duos included:
Brenda Ferber and Beverly.
Aaron Reynolds and Julie.
Laura Ruby and Clare.

This session was one of my favorites. Brenda and Beverly read from the letters they sent back and forth during the months of revisions to Julia's Kitchen. Aaron and Julie talked about Chicks and Salsa, the importance of timing, and the spark needed to catch an editor's eye. For example, one of the main reasons Chicks and Salsa appealed to Julie is because she (and the rest of her office) loves South-of-the-border food. Clare and Laura talked about Lily's Ghost and the many loving revisions it took before it went to print and was nominated for an Edgar.

What I learned:
*Be patient.
*The publishing business is glacial.
*Surround yourself with friends and fellow writers who understand.
*Do your homework.
*The right editor will love your book and characters as much as you do.
*The right editor will be a cheerleader, mentor, counselor, friend and advocate who loves your book so much he or she will lead you where you need to go in order to make your book the best it can be.
*Trust is a big factor in this process.
*Trust your editor. He or she knows the business.
*As you work with your editor, remind yourself, "the book is no longer mine, it's ours."

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