Thursday, April 17, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Sarah Peed

Sarah Peed, Editor, Del Rey Spectra & Hydra

1. What was the defining moment that made you realize you wanted to be an editor?  
When I was in 4th grade, I wrote a novella about a Navy captain, based loosely on my grandfather. It was full of adventure and mystery and, as I recall it, one very inconveniently-timed kitchen fire. I was so proud of it that I took it to my teacher and asked her to edit it for me, thus initiating my first real publishing experience. She and I went back-and-forth on the novella, doing major scene reworks and nitpicky line edits, until we agreed that it was in the best shape it could possibly be. I forced friends and family members to read it, and the praise I received was quite heady. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to work with books, and everything I’ve done since then has been working toward that goal. Becoming an editor is a dream come true.

2. What is the one thing you cannot work without? What is your creative vice?

I always have to listen to music while I’m editing, but it can’t be anything with words. I listen to a lot of Andy McKee, Cloudkicker, and Vitamin String Quartet while I’m working.

3. If you could 'revive' any literary figure from the past for a one hour conversation, who would you choose?

I’d have to go with Jane Austen. I’ve been rereading her books once a year for a long, long time, and the idea of sitting down to tea with Ms. Austen and discussing her works is just overwhelmingly wonderful to me.

4. What is one of your more notable or unusual conference or convention experiences?

I went to the Del Rey party at San Diego Comic Con last year, and the staff were all dressed as different characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. I ended up sitting next to George R. R. Martin while being served a drink by a Khal Drogo look alike. It was one of the oddest and most hilarious moments at that particular convention.

5. If we asked your friends and family to compare you to a cartoon character, which would they choose, and why?

Wow, I have no idea. Probably Velma from Scooby Doo; I’m a bookworm who loses my glasses constantly.

6. What is one thing would you like aspiring authors to know about the road to success?

You aren’t going to please everyone, and accepting that will make your life easier. Even the most famous authors were rejected by a ton of agents and publishers, and the most fantastic books all have negative reviews. Try not to take it too personally; you will, of course, but after that initial sting wears off, remember that you’ve written a book that you’re happy with and proud of, and that’s what really matters.

About the Editor: Sarah Peed is an Associate Editor with Del Rey Spectra, and the Acquisitions Editor for Hydra, a division of the Random House Publishing Group. She is looking for fast-paced, character-driven science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She tends toward pieces with a strong voice and dry wit, and she blames The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Good Omens for that.”I’m looking for dark fantasy, supernatural horror, urban fantasy, and post-apocalyptic sci-fi.  I’m not looking for YA submissions, graphic novels, short story collections, or erotica. I’d like to see pieces that fall in either the novella range of 15,000-30,000 words, or in the novel range of 60,000-100,000 words, although those limits are flexible.Stories that are more character-driven and have a strong voice are very appealing. I’m also looking for fast-paced pieces with enough action to keep the reader engaged and enthralled. Witty, dry, and/or dark humor is also appreciated!”

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