We are honored to have six amazing editors attending Spring Fling 2018. All editors will be taking pitches.
What I’m looking for:
I’m looking for unique, engaging single-title romance novels. The subgenre doesn’t matter so long as the characters are relatable, the world is fully fleshed out, and the hook is something fresh and exciting. I love books that can surprise me and am always on the lookout for an author who has something interesting to say.
Right now, please don’t pitch me…
Women’s fiction. Stories where the key conflict could be solved by a single conversation. Young adult.
How I got into books:
The first book I remember loving was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I was obsessed with the idea of finding Narnia and spent the summer checking every closet I came across just in case. Not too long after that, I found my way to The Last Unicorn and The Hobbit. (And let’s not forget hours spent wading through longboxes of Marvel comics.) I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool geek ever since.
Some favorite books and authors I didn’t publish:
I have pretty wide-ranging tastes. Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan) and George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) are two of my current obsessions, though I’ll always be in the mood to read Lisa Kleypas (The Wallflower Quartet). Every few years, I end up revisiting classic horror such as Stephen King’s The Shining and The Stand. Of course, I can’t ignore my graphic novel obsession: Fun Home and Watchmen will always be two of my favorites.
Tera Cuskaden is the editorial director for Entangled’s Scorched imprint. She started working in publishing in 2005 as a reviewer and proofreader. She began working at Samhain Publishing in 2007 as an acquiring content editor and was promoted to Senior Editor of the Romance and Horror lines, also serving as the Art Department Coordinator. She has worked with many New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors, including Megan Hart, Shelli Stevens, Dana Marie Bell, and Cathryn Fox. Tera was also the first editor to hit the New York Times bestsellers list with a digital-only title.
Stacy Boyd is senior editor of Harlequin Desire, a Harlequin series line known for its high emotion, sensual tension and soap opera plots. Before focusing on short contemporary romance, Stacy acquired and edited a wide variety of fiction, including romance, suspense, fantasy, YA and even NASCAR novels. She is a past winner of the PASIC Editor of Merit award and currently works with an amazing group of award-winning and bestselling authors. Stacy holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from New College, the honors college of Florida, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. In addition to staying outside as much as possible, she spends her free time running after kids and volunteering in her neighborhood. Stacy is looking to acquire compelling author voices and sensual soap opera plots for the Desire line. Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/stacyboydbooks.
Lynn West is one of the founders of Dreamspinner Press and was one of the first two editors employed by the press in January 2007. She was named Editor in Chief in January 2009. She has edited the work of a few hundred authors over the years, including work by highly popular best-selling gay romance authors Mary Calmes, Andrew Grey, Amy Lane, and Damon Suede.
Before and during the early years of Dreamspinner, Lynn worked as a professional editor in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and technical writing, and was a public relations professional, a newspaper designer, and an award-winning print journalist before that, thus racking up more than twenty years of publishing experience as of January 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in modern languages and a master’s degree in management, as well as a variety of advanced educational and training certifications in writing, editing, and targeted project management.
All that boring stuff aside, Lynn’s love of reading and writing comes thanks to a dissolute youth spent devouring Science Fiction Book Club tomes from her dad’s bookshelves and trips to the used bookstore with her mother to buy grocery sacks of category romances. Her nickname is the Wicked Witch West, though her flying monkeys (staff) insist that “wicked” is a good thing in gay romance. She puts that wickedness to work while reading submissions along with reviewing edits.
Lynn is currently most interested in quirky, attention-grabbing, fun gay romances with super happy endings for Dreamspinner’s category romance lines: the contemporary Dreamspun Desires line and the paranormal-themed Dreamspun Beyond line. Both lines are open to submissions from the general public (www.dreamspinnerpress.com/submissions). She’s also interested in talking to authors one-on-one about romantic suspense of all kinds, from cozy mysteries to romantic thrillers; non-romance gay genre fiction for the DSP Publications imprint (www.dsppublications.com); and contemporary gay romance with happy endings in general, though cowboys, sheikhs, and rogues with a heart of gold are her personal favorites.
Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
My childhood idols were Hermione Granger and Matilda, so naturally I sought out a job that would allow me to continue to grow surrounded by books.I have always loved stories I can escape into, whether it’s the distant future, a far off planet, or a magical world unlike anything I’ve seen before. The kinds of stories that have continued to stay with me are the ones when characters jump off the page and turn into my best friends.
I’m looking for romance, women’s fiction, and YA with diverse voices that have a fresh spin on the genres. I have a soft spot for geek-related plots with meet-cute banter, stories set in Scotland or featuring Scottish men, and a good old-fashioned ghost story. In romance, I’m looking for historical romances set in England or Scotland, along with contemporary rom-coms, and romances with elements of fantasy or science-fiction. In women’s fiction, I’m looking for both breezy, fun stories with strong female friendships and suspenseful twisty stories that keep you reading late into the night. In YA, I am drawn to stories with exciting voices, and historical, fantasy, and science fiction settings hold a special place in my heart. I also cannot resist twists on fairy tales, witches, European history, robots, and adventures in space.
I’m not the right fit for literary fiction. Recent acquisitions include an epic fantasy romance series by Jeffe Kennedy, a contemporary romance series by Melonie Johnson, and a Regency romance series by Kate Bateman.
I always knew I wanted to work in publishing, and I was lucky enough to make that dream come true in 2013 when I joined the Grand Central/Forever team. Over four years later, I still love every minute. As I build my own list, I’m looking for stories and writing that take me someplace new. I’d love to dance at a Regency ball, explore the Scottish Highlands, visit a charming small town, or go on a paranormal adventure, all without leaving the comfort of my apartment. I prefer reads that make me laugh to ones that make me cry, but no matter what, I want to feel that swoop in my stomach when the main characters realize, “This is the one.” I’m looking for heroes I can fall in love with and heroines who can become my best friends. And I never say no to reading about sweethearts reunited.
In particular, but in no particular order, I’m looking for:
- Rock stars
- Athletes (especially with PoC)
- Office romance
- Smart, beautifully written historicals
- Romantic suspense/contemporary with a band-of-brothers hook (think law enforcement/military heroes)
- Strong heroines who know who they are/what they want
- Jane the Virgin in romance novel form
- Ocean’s 11 (or other heist story) in romance novel form
- Women’s fiction with a central friendship like the one in Playing House
I am not looking to acquire inspirational romance.