Thursday, June 6, 2013

Editor Interview: Erica Chapman of Entangled Publishing

Hi, lovelies! 

I decided to do something different today for our Thursday interview. Instead of interviewing an author, I decided to talk to my friend and editor at Entangled, Erica Chapman. If you don't know Erica, you're mucho missing out. Not only is she adorable and funny, but she's full of all sorts of publishing smarts. 

Alright, take it away, Erica! 

Tell us a little about how you ended up being an editor for Entangled. What was that process like?I've always had mad respect for editors, but always thought I wasn't in a place where I could be an actual editor. I was an agent intern, but I learned SO much as an intern that I thought maybe I stood a chance. I talked with a friend who worked for Entangled and they suggested I apply. So I emailed my resume and cover letter to Liz's assistant and she sent a test to me. It was a short story. I was asked to edit it and send it back. I didn't hear anything for a few months and thought for sure I didn't get the job, but I was wrong, they were just a little behind and I got the job! I also talked to Liz on the phone so she could hear my voice, get to know me, find out my interests. I was still a bit shocked I got it ;o)

What about a story really catches your eye when you're editing? Is it different than what catches your eye as a reader? I love the voice. I know. I know. But honestly, that's what pulls me in. I also love when the character and the love interest (if there is one) hate each other. I love watching two unlikely people come together. I also love emotion. I love to FEEL what's happening. I can tell right away if I'm going to like something. It only takes a page or so. I still read past that, but my gut's usually right ;o) It's not really different from the way I am as a reader. My attention span is short. As a reader, I often read the first few pages of several books at a time and see what catches my attention. On my first read I try not to separate the reader/editor part.

How does being an editor impact your own writing? Your own reading?I'm definitely a better writer. I could also attribute this back to being an intern for agent, Louise Fury of L. Perkins Agency, in addition to being an associate editor at Entangled. The main thing I've learned is about structure. I now know what door the MC has to go in and when they need to reach the point of no return, when the climax should happen and who should be involved. It's kind of crazy once you figure it out. I'll tell you what has changed. I don't watch movies the same anymore. I see the structure in them and I never used to be able to do that. Reading has remained pretty much the same. I haven't lost the ability to lose myself in a good book, which I am extremely thankful for ;o)

For people wanting to submit to Entangled, what's your biggest piece of advice? Read in your genre. A lot of what I've seen has already been done. It's okay to do the same as what's out there, but you better have a unique twist. On that note, in the query, make sure to highlight that thing that makes your story unique. Remember you are selling us on your book, not summarizing it. Also, make sure to have good readers, CP's, Betas, people to tell you the tell vs. show, pacing issues, plot holes. The writing is what matters. Many might not know, but with Entangled's new submittable software, you can attach your entire MS, so make sure it's ready!

For people wanting to work for Entangled, either as an intern or an editor, how should they get started in that process? There's an employment tab on the Entangled website so I would consult that first. Make sure you have some experience. Being an intern is a great way to get experience before becoming an editor. Being a reader/critique partner to another writer is another great way to gain experience, but I would suggest something professional that you can add to your resume. I also edited in several of my day jobs too. If you work somewhere during the day, try and ask if anyone needs anything edited; newsletters, corporate emails. Whatever you can get. Use that experience too. I've also seen several agents/pubs that look for interns, so keep your eyes open for opportunities. Talk to people on twitter or facebook, find out who is looking for someone. I was recommended for both my internship and for the Entangled job, but my skill got me through the door.

Now tell us a little about your own writing! What are you working on right now? Well, now that TEACH ME TO FORGET my YA contemporary is out to the masses, I've had a ton of ideas pop into my head. Right now I'm working on another YA contemporary about a girl who lost her boyfriend the same night she cheated on him, and after that I'll be revising another YA contemporary, and then I'll be working on a YA thriller about a girl trapped in a house with her parent religious killers. I also have a revision somewhere in there for another MS. LOL. So it's safe to say I'll be busy for the next year or so and won't need any new ideas for a while!

Thanks, Erica! If you can't get enough of Erica (there's never enough, by the way) you can check out her over at Entangled, on Twitter, or her blog

Andrea Hannah is a YA writer represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider. She writes stories about criminals, crazy people, and creatures that may or may not exist. When she's not writing, Andrea teaches special education, runs, spends time with her family, and tries to figure out a way to prevent her pug from opening the refrigerator (still unsuccessful). Oh, and she tweets a bajillion times a day, mostly about inappropriate things. 

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3 secret replies:

  1. This was SO fun!!! Thanks Andrea and Life of Writers for this ;0)

    1. Ugh. I meant Secret Life of Writers. Thank you again. You all ROCK!!

  2. An editor interview!
    It's always great to hear from someone on the other side. :)