Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SCBWI TEAM Blog Pre-Conference Interview: Executive Editor Lisa Sandell

Lisa Ann Sandell is an executive editor at Scholastic Inc., where she focuses her attention on acquiring and editing middle grade and young adult hardcover novels for Scholastic Press, and she manages the Dear America series. Lisa is also the author of three young adult novels, The Weight of the Sky, Song of the Sparrow, and A Map of the Known World. She lives in New York City.

Lisa will be presenting during the breakout sessions at the upcoming 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC, and she took time from her busy day to answer some qestions for us here.

Do you have any suggestions for conference attendees when it comes to speaking to an editor while at the conference?

I would advise attendees to be prepared when meeting with an editor at the conference—figure out what you want to say ahead of time and rehearse it if you have to; know how to best and briefly describe your book project, and make it interesting. Finally, cornering editors in the bathroom is always a bad idea!

When you switch from your editor hat to your writing hat, do you have to completely turn off the editor?

It is extremely difficult for me to turn off the editor when I’m writing. I have a very hard time keeping myself from going back over each sentence as soon as it’s written and editing and re-editing and copyediting it. I can agonize over a single comma for ages, wondering if it needs to be there. So, yes, the editor voice is constantly creeping into my head, often taking over, as I write. Conversely, however, I hope that when I edit, the writer part of me sneaks in and contributes, too, helping me to be more sympathetic and empathetic and sensitive to the needs of the writers I work with as an editor.

Many conference attendees will be coming from out of town, many visiting NYC for the first time. Any must haves or must sees you can share?

The High Line is definitely a must-see when visiting the city. It is a park built on old elevated train tracks along Manhattan’s west side. It provides gorgeous cityscape and Hudson River views, running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 20th Street on Tenth Avenue. It’s one of my favorite spots in New York!



Kirby Larson said...

I took Lisa's advice to see the Highline Park and I second that recommendation. It's not far from Chelsea Market which is a great place to get some scrumptious food.

Now take my advice and sit in on any session Lisa's speaking at. She's wonderful!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

popped in to say i miss yah :)

Jo Treggiari said...

Lisa is an incredible editor (she's mine) and the fact that she's a writer as well makes her really wonderful and easy to work with.