Saturday, July 23, 2005

what was her name?

I can’t remember the names of all of the editors I’ve had over the years. I know that seems awful, but you have to understand that some were only around for a few months. And back before email, it wasn’t unusual for a writer to have no contact with her editor other than a revision letter. When I was writing for HarperCollins, I had three editors for one book. The first editor accepted and approved my next contracted book idea, then left. When I was half finished with that book, the second editor called and asked if I would be interested in making my current book into a dark suspense. She told me to go out and get Lisa Gardner’s The Perfect Husband, which everybody was talking about. I’d been begging to write that kind of book for years, so I agreed to begin moving in that direction. I didn’t want to toss my current project to write a big suspense when I wasn’t under contract for a big suspense. It was also strange and unprofessional of her to have called with her plan without including my agent in the discussion and at least adding an addendum to my current contract. By the time I mailed in the manuscript, editor number three was on stage. She asked for a complete revision. She was about twenty-five and loved the television show Friends. Could I turn this dark suspense into the book equivalent of Friends? They would put a cartoon cover on it because those books were selling very well. Did I watch Friends? (It had been on about four years at that time.) There’s a sitcom called Friends. It’s really good. She wanted something like Friends.

I can’t remember that editor’s name.

3 comments:

Kelly Parra said...

oh man, the ups and downs of a published author...

You don't remember editor names, I don't remember names of people I went to high school with. =)

Jeff said...

Anne . . . I think I know who you're talking about. Is editor number three's name "Bambi" or "Bubbles," something like that? I've seen her profile on myspace. Says she used to be an editor, but now just does the live webcam thing. Could be wrong.

anne frasier said...

kelly: connecting with the right person is so important!

jeff: :D i think you're absolutely right. she probably wasn't around very long -- which is why i've never heard her name again. one thing publishing houses do is make offfice assistants into editors to help lighten the star editor's load. sometimes this actually works, but sometimes it doesn't. i know several senior editors and even a deputy publisher who started out as office help.