Saturday, February 7, 2015

Faculty Interview: Dana Isaacson

Compiled by Jason Henry

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!

Dana Isaacson (Editor, Ballantine)

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
Engaging characters and a fast moving plot.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world? 
The pleasures for a writer are many, but mostly enjoyed in one’s head alone in a room with a closed door and a thrilling plot springing from the imagination.

The difficulties remain as ever: making a living that allows you to eat while trying to express oneself.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you? 
Keep at it.

4. Would you pass that same advice on or alter it? 
See above – good advice.

5. What do you love most about your career? 
Getting paid to read.

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you? 
As a 13-year-old, I won a “Loyalty Day” Essay Contest with my composition “The Right to Dissent.”

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? 
Harriett the Spy – I’m nosy.

8. What character would your friends/family pick for you? 
Having a nervous breakdown, a friend visiting New York City during a 100 plus-degree heatwave once called me a “Pollyanna with a pat answer for everything.”

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? Pencil.

Plotter or Pantser? I have no idea what a pantser is.

Book or E-Book? Doesn’t matter.

Spicy or Mild? Spicy, of course. Bring it on.

Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise.

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? Mister Rogers, I suppose. He seemed like a nice man.

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter


Dana Edwin Isaacson is a senior editor at Ballantine Books at Random House in New York City. A veteran of the publishing industry, over the years he has edited non-fiction and fiction books for various publishing houses, as well having worked as a literary agent, an abridger and a co-writer. Presently, he works with authors from Rita Mae Brown to Nancy Thayer to Jonathan Kellerman. He is currently on the lookout for mysteries and thrillers for the eBook line, Alibi.