22 June 2006

visions of fantasy editors

At the chock-full-of-stuff Cynsations, author Cynthia Leitich Smith has posted an interview with Mirrorstone editor Stacy Whitman. I met Stacy online while she was in graduate school at Simmons, and you can see the informed perspective she brings to her job:

Children's literature is the only genre written by people who aren't its target audience. A lot of "gatekeeper" adults filter the literature before it reaches a child's hands--booksellers, teachers, librarians, parents, editors, writers. So our challenge is to help those gatekeepers love our books as much as we love them, to create stories that kids will love even after being recommended by an adult.
I suspect that feeling of being outside the gates is especially strong at Wizards of the Coast, Mirrorstone's parent, since it specializes in paperback fantasies, which make a lot of critics turn up their noses. As Stacy says, "I've heard from many readers that...they expected a series paperback to be pretty bad. We want to tell good stories that kids will enjoy, and to do that, the writing must be excellent as well as the story."

Last month HarperCollins editor Michael Stearns offered Fly by Night, Blog by Day, a room-by-room description of escorting British author Frances Hardinge on her American tour to promote Fly by Night. One moment to remember--
Question from darling schoolchild: If you were born in England, why are you touring schools here?

(Good question, Frances looked at her editor, who was unable to explain much of anything, and then she explained that the book had just been published here.)

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