Hi guys! Today for Editor Interrogation, I have Graphia editor Julie Tibbott here on TUBL! She's the fun and fabulous editor of Swoon at Your Own Risk, The Reason, The Clearing, Jekel Loves Hyde, etc.! They're all amazing books and you can check some of my reviews for the Graphia titles here!
What inspired you to make YA literature your career focus?
In that period between childhood and adulthood, teens are often making their first really big decisions, becoming independent, figuring out what they believe in, and having their first romances—and of course, emotions are running really high. All of these elements make YA literature fertile ground for lots of exciting stories. I also work on middle grade novels, but YA lit is what I’m most drawn to.
What kind of reader were you as a teenager?
An insatiable one! I read everything from Nabokov to true crime novels to fanzines. You could give me a copy of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood or a copy of Reader’s Digest, and it would barely make a difference to me—I was just glad to have something to read! I’m sure I read just as much “trash” as quality literature, but I think reading everything I could get my hands on has given me a wide frame of reference and helped to shape my tastes.
How was your road to becoming an editor for Graphia?
I always knew I wanted to work with books. I was an English major in college, and the summer before my senior year I got an internship at a small publisher called Barefoot Books. Starting at such a small house was a good learning experience, because I got to see every aspect of the business, and that helped me decide that I’d like to be an editor. My first job out of school was in Scholastic’s book club division. I was the assistant editor for their Teen Age Book Club (TAB) for about three years before moving on to Harcourt. When Harcourt merged with Houghton Mifflin a few years ago, I began working on the Graphia imprint.
Did you take courses in college that led you to becoming an editor?
None of my college classes addressed editing specifically, but I’m sure almost every class I’ve ever taken has contributed to my editorial sensibility in some way. Being exposed to new ideas, books, works of art, etc. has helped me figure out what I like and cultivate new interests. I think having a broad range of interests helps when you’re an editor. It means that many different kinds of stories appeal to me, and that keeps our list, and my day-to-day work interesting!
What are some challenges you face in your job?
Losing a book I love to another publisher is always rough. But, in the end it’s nice to know that the book you loved will be published anyway, and there’s always something else wonderful coming down the line.
What are some of the benefits of being an editor?
The biggest benefit is that I enjoy coming to work every day! I get to do lots of reading and writing, which I love, and I feel good knowing that I play a part in getting great books in the hands of young readers. Plus, I get to meet and work with so many talented and creative people, which I think is awesome.
What are some Graphia titles that we should be excitedly awaiting?
We have some really exciting paperback original titles on our fall 2010 list. There’s HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler, which is about an anorexic teen who becomes one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse—Famine, naturally. IT STARTED WITH A DARE by Lindsey Faith Rech is about a former good girl’s quest to reinvent herself when she starts at a new school, with humorous and disastrous results! And we also have new installments in some favorite series: There’s Marlene Perez’s DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR, and Marley Gibson’s GHOST HUNTRESS BOOK 4: THE COUNSELING.
What usually makes you 'pick' a book for publication? Do you have any set criteria?
There are no real set criteria except that I have to love it and it must be marketable. Usually, I know I want to acquire a manuscript when I can’t stop thinking about it after reading it.
Hope you enjoyed the interview! Thanks to Julie for letting me interview her and find out more about the publishing world!