Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with Kerri-Leigh Grady, Editorial Director of Select. She was generous enough to take the time to answer some questions on writing and editing for us here at DDYA.
1. What made you want to be an editor?
I wanted to pay off my student loans. I fell into editing by accident after graduating with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. I had worked with Liz Pelletier before she started Entangled, and when she offered me the opportunity to test for the editorial position, I was ridiculously excited.
2. What elements are MUST HAVES in a story you’d acquire?
Voice. Fully realized characters. A strong plot.
3. What are your story/plot/character pet peeves?
Cliché and bigotry. Women in refrigerators. The sassy gay friend (love the Youtube show, hate the two-dimensional stereotype of the hilarious gay friend), as well as homophobic and transphobic jokes. Oh! And the use of rape in paranormal romance/urban fantasy to give the heroine a reason to own her strength/become a critter.
Women in refrigerators. What is that?
Women in fridges: It comes from graphic novels, where many superheroines, who should have stories of their own and agency, end up murdered or violated in order to further the superhero’s story (http://lby3.com/wir/). Extend that out to any character whose existence is solely to further the main character’s arc, especially when that character should have a story of her/his own. It’s way more common to see in speculative fiction, literary, and cross-genre stories.
1. All time favorite villain
I would say Spike from BtVS, but for the attempted rape. Or I could go with Loki because Tom Hiddleston, but trickster gods aren’t really villains so much as they’re just sad [sexy] little button-pushing immortals. Cigarette-Smoking Man from X-Files, perhaps? Or maybe Joker because he created Oracle? I guess I don’t have one favorite villain. There are so many ways to make a delicious villain, from flat-out cray to someone who’s just been broken by the system.
2. Last book that made you cry / laugh hysterically
I totally didn’t cry. That was allergies. But Horns by Joe Hill was such a fun, riotous, and completely romantic horror novel, and I totally
tears had the worst allergies at the end of that.
3. Guilty pleasure
Making jewelry. I don’t wear any, but I love to play with colors and textures and patterns and chaos. It’s a guilty pleasure because I totally should be working.
4. Top three books you’ve read in the past year that were not from one of your clients?
I haven’t had the chance to read-read a book in three years, but I do listen to audiobooks while I’m walking or driving. My faves in the last year have been Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland, and First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Bonus: Redshirts by John Scalzi. High-larious, that one.
5. Meal/Dessert/ Drink of choice
Coffee/Coffee/Tea. I should honestly just live off these. If I have to name a solid food, I’ll say anything Thai. I will cut a bizatch for green curry. Or panang curry. Or coconut soup. Mmm. Coconut.
6. Favorite Place You’ve Ever Visited
Panama City Beach, Florida. I grew up at my grandmother’s summer home there, and I miss being there every summer. There’s nothing as healing as digging your toes into the sand at the edge of the Gulf, and nothing as homey as the Redneck Riviera.
How would someone interested in submitting work to Entangled go about doing that?
Entangled welcomes full submissions to our Submittable page at http://entangledpublishing.submittable.com. We’re always hungry for good YA, preferably with a romance if not a strong romantic element. In addition to Entangled Teen’s full-length novel line, we have two new YA category romance lines, Teen Crave and Teen Crush. For more information: www.entangledinromance.com/2014/07/14/introducing-teen-crave-and-teen-crush/.
Sounds great! Thanks so much for taking the time to “talk” with us today.
Kerri-Leigh Grady is the Editorial Director for the Select line at Entangled Publishing. She loves to sink into happily-ever-after tales and blow-up-all-the-things tales, especially when her testosterone-loaded house has hit its monthly limit of athletic socks and slapstick. She holds an MFA from Seton Hill University and a BS in computer science. She’s a nerd with an unnatural love of dark humor, gadgets, chickpeas, and ATS bellydancing. When the zombie apocalypse happens, she’s likely to be patient zero. If you see her bite someone, grab your water and head for your bunker.
-- Shawna Romkey, author of Speak of the Devil and The Devil Made Me Do It
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