Editors Who Come of Age With The Internet at Their Fingertips

August 2nd, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

If one needs a good sense of our priorities, consider this: we read MediaBistro’s interview with editors Megan Lynch and Sean McDonald…and our big takeaway was that we really need to get the new George Saunders novella. Don’t blame the editors — they were as interesting and candid as possible — but we have a one-track mind some days.

However, this isn’t about our needs, it’s about yours, and you want to know how Lynch and McDonald (of Riverhead, part of the Penguin family, which reminds us that we really want to see that movie about penguins) approach editing and nurturing authors. The two editors are young and enthusiastic and looking for great writing.

Yes, we know, that’s what they all say. Let us allow Lynch to explain in her own words:

I want to feel like the author is the only person alive who could tell this particular story, who could write this particular book—and that I am the right person to edit it. I also look for a compelling voice, and more and more I find myself attracted to writers who really know how to create a sense of place. Mainly, though, I just want to fall in love with a submission.

And McDonald says:

Both the how and the how much of editing totally depends on the specific book and the author—some books need a lot of work, some authors need a lot of hand-holding, some authors hide away and don’t send anything in until it’s perfect. I think I’m fairly hands-on—I almost always let an author’s voice drive the work, but I won’t bend over backwards to make allowances for that. If I think something’s wrong or not working, I won’t just let it slide—I’ll always argue for what I think will work better.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs