Behind the Scenes: Editor Interviews

Recently, one mouse click lead to another, and I found myself reading an insightful and original take on a literary interview.  I’ve interviewed a few authors on Book, Line, and Sinker, but Sarah Laurence, of Sarah Laurence Blog, took things a step further and interviewed Kate Egan, editor of The Hunger Games trilogy.

Sarah Laurence’s interview with Kate Egan provided some  tidbits about how Suzanne Collins and Egan began working together and other trivia about the books’ plots and directions of story lines.  This interview really opened my eyes to hosting different types of interviews on my blog.  Getting an editor’s perspective on authors, characters, and writing methods is pretty nifty!

Book fiend that I am, the entire process of writing, selling, editing, and publishing a book has always intrigued me.  I once took a class in New York (mainly) because it was being taught by Kate Garrick, Jen Lancaster’s agent.  Learning a tiny bit about what happens behind scenes in the world of books is so interesting to me.

Some editors (or former editors) I’d enjoy a chat with are:

  • Kristin Kiser (edited several of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling YA novels)
  • Kara Cesare (Jen Lancaster’s editor)
  • Arthur Levine (editor of the Harry Potter series in the US)
  • Alexandra Shelley (editor of The Help by Kathryn Stockett)

Have you ever interviewed an editor on your blog?  Would you be interested in reading interviews of this nature, and who would you like to interview?

*slider image of The Wizard of Oz on homepage slide show courtesy of MGM


  • At 2010.11.16 22:55, Erin said:

    What a cool idea! We hear so much about authors and so little about editors that doing something like this never even occurred to me. I would definitely be interested in reading editor interviews! I’d love to hear from editors of some of my favorite YA books: The Book Thief, Graceling, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. I also think it would be interesting to hear from editors of translated works–whoever does Jose Saramago’s English versions, for example. Which leads to another interesting interview possibility…translators??
    Erin´s last blog post ..The Odyssey- Books 7-12

    • At 2010.11.17 11:30, Liz said:

      This is a great idea! Arthur Levine would be fascinating to chat with about what changes he made from the British version of Harry Potter to the American version. Erin brings up a good point– there have been a few high-profile new translations recently (Madame Bovary, War and Peace) and it would be really interesting to hear what the translators’ backgrounds are and how they present the nuances in the original language in English.
      Liz´s last blog post ..How Do We Get Boys to Read

      • At 2010.11.17 12:17, Jody said:

        I think it’d be a great idea. Although I love to read author viewpoints, it’s nice to see if the book was well done before it got to the editor, kwim? Although I don’t know a single editor by name at all. Is that wrong?
        Jody´s last blog post ..Hiatus done Maybe

        • At 2010.11.17 13:00, Natalie said:

          Ha! I actually had to flip through my books to find the names of editors I’d like to chat with. 🙂

          • At 2010.11.17 15:42, Dishy said:

            Editors. The unsung heroes of the literary scene. Nat, I think this is a great idea. I just finished a book in which an author/editor team featured prominently. I’m sure it was just artistic license, but the editor was treated so badly by the prima donna writer. Wait – on second thought, I bet there’s a real load of dirt some of these editors could dish. Just make sure you pick the retired ones.
            Dishy´s last blog post ..Thanksgiving the Low Sodium Way

            • At 2010.11.17 21:19, Jenners said:

              That would be a different perspective. After all, almost every book I’ve read thanks the editors for their help and says how they couldn’t have done it without them!
              Jenners´s last blog post ..Four Questions Asked- Four Questions Answered

              • At 2010.11.18 14:12, Coffee and a Book Chick said:

                Fabulous idea! I would love to hear what the process is like all around, other than just the writer’s creative part — I am absolutely fascinated by the business end of it, since my major 16 years ago was English and Creative Writing, but I’ve been in the Corporate business world ever since. Might be interesting to hear what this industry is really like! Good, bad, and ugly!
                Coffee and a Book Chick´s last blog post ..Ethan Frome- by Edith Wharton

                • At 2010.11.19 16:12, dw said:

                  ohh what a great idea! i never thought about getting an editor’s perspective on the writing/publishing process, but i would love to read about what they have to say.

                  sadly, i probably don’t know any editors by name. they really are the unsung heroes, but now i’ll keep my eye out for their names in the acknowledgments.

                  • At 2010.11.20 09:50, Beth F said:

                    LOL!! I am a freelance editor — but I’ve never interviewed myself. I do think our perspective on books is different from the general reader. But then it depends on what kind of editor you are: acquisitions, line, managing, copy, developmental, and so on. It’s often difficult for me when writing reviews to try to overlook issues that I think the general public wouldn’t notice or care about. But the editing (on all levels) makes or breaks a book for me. That’s one reason I don’t read or review self-published books.
                    Beth F´s last blog post ..Review- After the Falls by Catherine Gildiner

                    • At 2010.11.27 05:12, Eeleen Lee said:

                      I’m a freelance editor who does manuscript critiques and this is a great post. I always tell my clients that editors are not the enemy and we are not out to take an axe to all manuscripts or do cosmetic surgery on a WIP without the writer’s approval.
                      Eeleen Lee´s last blog post ..Eat Drink Write

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