>Today we’re doing something a little different. I asked Leis Pederson, Berkley’s HEAT editor to answer some questions posed by various writers. I thought it might give readers a little bit of a glimpse at what we authors live and breathe when it comes to want to know how we can grab an editors attention. For the writers in the group, enjoy the Q/A from this talented Berkley editor. I want to thank Leis for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. It was a lot to ask, and she was a sweetheart to oblige me. Please welcome Leis Pederson for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.
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Q/A Leis Pederson
Q from Becke Martin: Is there any type of story you are particularly seeking?
I can’t say that I am looking for anything in particular at the moment. I’d really just love to see the next book that really grabs me and makes me say “I want!”
Q from Becke Martin: Are there any types of story you absolutely don’t want to see?
I’m not looking for anything inspirational or any non-fiction.
Q from Becke Martin: What is the most common problem you encounter in stories by inexperienced writers?
One of the thing I’ve found can be common with inexperienced writers is that they can forget that while the world and the history that they’ve created for their characters is vivid for them, they still have to put it onto the page for the reader. It’s easy to overlook that and assume that the reader is there with you already.
Q from Becke Martin: How much weight do you put on a synopsis, when it is submitted along with a partial?
I think a synopsis is a very important part of a submission when only a partial is submitted. It gives me an idea of where the book is going and whether or not it is something that I’d like to read more of.
Q from Becke Martin: What is your pet peeve about submissions and/or queries?
TYPOS. You have to proofread, people! In this day and age when you can do that with a touch of a button, a submission riddled with errors just says sloppy to me and really can work against you.
Q from Sandrine Thomas: When a manuscript in a popular genre (i.e. historical romance or paranormal romance) crosses your desk, what elements make a book stand out amidst a crowded field of both published and unpublished writers?
It depends. Most often it is the voice that really makes something stand out for me but sometimes it can be an especially compelling character or setting that really takes an average story and makes it special.
Q from Gabriella Edwards: Do you ever consider proposals by unagented, ePublished or unpublished authors?
Yes, I do. I often request materials from contests or conferences where the authors are unpublished, unagented or both. I’ve acquired them as well.
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Can you give a quick overview of what your day is like? Do you work normal 8-5 hours?A typical day for me is spent in the office the usual 9-5 or so where I do all the typical stuff: answering emails, doing paperwork, etc. My day usually continues once I get home when I do my reading and editing.
What do you like to read when you’re not reading romance? Do you even get to read outside of your work load?
I like to read a lot of different things when I am not reading romance for work. I don’t have too much time for it but I take what I can. Right now I am reading a YA fantasy series that I’m really enjoying.
How did you become an editor? Is there a specific skills set one needs to become an editor?
I became an editor in a round about sort of fashion when I was looking for a new career option after graduate school. Someone asked me why I never went into publishing as I was such a big reader and a light bulb went off. The rest as they say is history. I think there are lots of skills one needs to be become an editor but the most important thing to have is a love for books and is really why most of us do what we do.
Thanks again to Leis for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this Q/A session. I don’t know that she’ll have time to stop by today. Her schedule is pretty tight. But if you’d like to ask a question, do so, and I’ll try to answer it if I can.
Also just occurred to me that I didn’t have a topic question. *banging head on desk* Let’s go with this on. I posted two of my favorite Ray Bradbury books because The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 have always haunted me because they were so compelling. Fahrenheit 451 in particular because of the book burning.
We all are here because we love romance, but are there any books outside of the romance genre that have stuck with you over the years. Something compelling?
Note: I’m being transferred to a different division, and my access to the blog will be limited as a result. I will reply but it might not be until early evening.
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