Thursday, April 3, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Terri Bischoff

Terri Bischoff, Editor, Midnight Ink

1. What was the defining moment that made your realize you wanted to be an editor?

After college I started working at an independent bookstore and found that I loved it. After managing at two different bookstores, I learned that my local mystery bookstore was up for sale. I owned and operated that store for five years, selling it for family reasons. I knew I would work again in the book industry, so I would check publisher’s websites for any openings. When I saw that Midnight Ink was hiring an acquiring editor, it was a match made in heaven. Being an acquiring editor was never in the plans, but it has worked out very well.

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

Music – I usually work with my headphones on – it’s the only way I can block out what is going on around me. That and lots and lots of coffee.

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

Hmm… that is a hard question. I think that I wouldn’t choose anyone because I wouldn’t want my idea or image of the character to be altered in any way

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

I was on a publishers panel with only one other traditional publisher and a bunch of small presses and ebook only publishers. Someone asked how long it takes to get a book published – the other traditional publisher and I said 12-18 months. The ebook only publishers got into a heated, “I can publish it in six weeks.” “I can publish it in three.” It was like name that tune. I could only shake my head and wonder how these publishers are serving their authors. (Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ebook only publishing. I do have something against publishers not doing their jobs – editing, marketing, publicity, etc.)

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

I asked my friends and family, but there wasn’t a consensus. Mostly though, they chose Looney Toons characters. Perhaps I am too hard to pin down.

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

The road to publication is long and difficult and needs a little luck sprinkled in. The road to success is even longer and harder. As a writer, you will get better every step of the way. Listen to critical, honest feedback.

About the Editor: Terri Bischoff joined Midnight Ink as an Acquiring Editor in October 2009. She leads all editorial directions and creates the seasonal lists. She has dramatically increased the number of titles per season, publishing 30-36 titles per year, as well as expanded the type of crime fiction MI has published. Terri has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both mysteries and in bookselling, having been involved for 17 years in all areas of bookstore operations, particularly as book buyer and reviewer. She has worked at Kramer Books in Washington, DC, and more recently, Terri owned and operated Booked For Murder Mystery Bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin.Terri is looking for all types of crime fiction, from cozy to suspense/thriller.

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