Monday, August 18, 2014

Editopia: Katie Teller with Curiosity Quills

Today we're pleased to welcome Curiosity Quills editor Katie Teller to Editopia. Here's a little more about her and read on to see how you can submit to her:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing. After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog. She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Find Katie Online:

Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Hi Katie and welcome. First off: how did you get your start in the industry? Did you always want to be in publishing?
It kind of just happened. I'd signed with Curiosity Quills as an author, when they asked if anyone knew of people interested in becoming an acquisitions editor. So, I said I'd be interested, and after some supervised reading and reviewing, I slipped into my position. I've been doing it for about a year now and just love it.

That's great! Most authors are surprised to find out that editors’ days aren’t spent kicking back at their desks with mugs of tea and piles of manuscripts and that, in fact, most work reading happens outside of work. Describe what your “typical” day actually is.
I don't have a typical day. Each is different. But there's preschool, house work, the gym, author things like promotion and writing, and my biggest time consumer is my kid. I don't keep a tight schedule, but I do try to keep things within certain time frames. I do my reading during the kid's "quiet time" and once she's in bed.

I would guess a lot of our readers are familiar with that particular balancing act. What does your to-read pile look like? How many manuscripts are in your inbox at any one time?
I have a full and two partials in my inbox, and a decent size slush pile I'm determined to help shrink! I also have books by other writer friends I like to squeeze in wherever possible too. So my to-read pile is never ending.

What trends are you seeing in kidlit these days? Are there any subjects or genres you don’t want to see in your inbox? Any you want to see more of?
I see a lot of zombies, transferring to other dimensions, or straight contemporary girl meets boy, boy helps with *insert issue here*. I'm not a fan of zombies, vampires, or angels, and especially things that slam god. That's one way for me to slam you book shut. What I really want to see though, is a story for the sake of telling a story. No agendas, no soap boxes, just a raw story where I can get lost within the pages. Old school story telling. I feel like all the stories I've contracted have a firm grasp on that. Give me Narnia, Jane Austin, anything that will take me away from the real world and immerse me in the joy of escapism.

You address this above but I'll ask anyway. What are some things that would make a manuscript stand out to you?
Clean, crisp writing, a character who is smart and has a real heart. Someone I can look at and say, yeah, if I met you in real life, I'd enjoy hanging out with you. Again, a story that's a story I can get lost in and forget about day-to-day life.

Can you describe what the acquisition process is like at your house? What happens next once you’ve found a book you love?
So yes. There's the slush pile, which gets divided between our team, then we do our thing. Once I find one I love, I write out a proposal to our "higher ups" saying why the manuscript would fit well in our catalogue. Then, they give me a yes or no, because they can see all the manuscripts coming up and can see the grand scheme of things. Anyway, once I get the approval, I send through a contract to the author. The author then goes through the contract, and can say yes or no. If they say yes, they send through the signed copy, I arrange counter signature, then send it through to production to get it in the pipeline. Although I've handed them over, I love keeping tabs and helping out the authors wherever I can.

Without implicating anyone, can you tell us one of or some of the weirder submissions you’ve received?
Ahh… let me think. Usually I forget subs right away if they don't take my fancy. I've had some stuff that I read and think, Why would anyone write that, ever? But usually, I see people who aren't quite ready for publication yet.  Telling, information dumps, poor dialogue, all things that come in time with study and practice. That's what rejections are for, to help us get better. At least they should be. I usually try to give a reason why I've rejected.

As an author, that feedback from editors is sooo appreciated, even when it's not "hey I need your book on my list ASAP"! Okay, were reaching the end, where you get the chance to plug a few books on your list you’re excited about…

Well… Destruction by Sharon Bayliss is the first of a great series you won't want to miss, then The Undead by Elsie Elmore is coming out soon which is a fun and slightly gory read. I have two more in the pipeline as well, but they're a long way off so I'll leave them for now. But they will be GREAT!

Curiosity Quills will soon be closing to unsolicited submissions, but if you act fast, you can still submit to Katie following these guidelines:

Fill out the online submission form here: 
Include Attn: Katie/YAtopia interview.

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