Her hopes for readers is to curl up with a good story.
I hold a romanticized image of what people do when they sit down to read: wrapped in blankets with piping hot cups of tea nearby, they curl up and are swept away on grand adventures, perhaps even reading by the flicker of candlelight. It’s true that my romanticized vision hasn’t quite evolved into the 21st-century yet.
This will be my first Christmas at GuidepostsBooks, and in a lead up to the season, my office became progressively colder and colder (I have only a single windowpane separating me from 34th Street), to the point where my colleagues commented on how chilly it was when they dropped by.
It certainly didn’t constitute ideal reading conditions. Then Elizabeth Gold found a portable heater in one of the closets and I’ve been working in toasty bliss ever since, setting up the closest thing I can to that romanticized image—I have my trusty heater, a cup of steaming coffee, and the promise of a good story (the only thing missing is a couch, though I’m not sure how that would look to the higher-ups!)
When considering a manuscript for publication, I ask myself: is this a story people will want to curl up with? What am I feeling? Am I escaping into this world, falling in love with these characters, and experiencing their joys and heartaches along with them? Because at the end of the day, I’m a trial audience for the story. If I love it, chances are others will, too.
There’s a great deal more to being an editor, much of it unglamorous, than considering manuscripts. But it’s the moment when I can finally turn all of my attention to reading, to the possibility of discovering a special gem, that I first wanted to get into this business.
In fact, I just read a beautiful and profound story that we’ve added to our spring 2011 list, one I imagine many people curling up with. I’m so excited to be on the team that will help a wider audience discover it—more to come!
Till then, a very merry Christmas.
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