Friday, October 17, 2008

Visiting the MotherShip

Countdown to my next release

I've been writing for Leisure Books since May 2006, but yesterday was my first trip to Dorchester Publishing's office. In the heart of Manhattan, the throbbing heart of this wonderful company is housed in a classically beautiful building with historic literary ties. Penguin was there at one time and the suite of offices Dorchester occupies now used to be home to Altantic Monthly.

I got to meet the office staff and it's always a treat to see my editor, Leah Hultenschmidt and marketing guru, Erin Galloway. Usually, I connect with them at national conferences. This was my first chance to see them in their natural element.

Much is made of the dreaded "slush pile," the place where unsolicited manuscripts languish in obscurity. Leah's pile is small and well-managed. She obviously works through hers, makes her decisions and moves on. (Her husband, who is a horror/thriller/western editor for Dorchester is another subject altogether. His slush pile is the stuff of nightmares--chest-high stacks of manuscripts ring his office. Leah assures me he doesn't get away with stuff like that at home!)

The staff is working half a year or more ahead. My next release VEXING THE VISCOUNT (March 2009) is already off the schedule board because it's "in the can." However, the Christmas anthology I'm doing with Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson is in full swing. (Check out my Em Recommends page for an interview with Alissa about her new release.) Which means I'd better head for home and get busy writing my portion!


Mai Christy Thao said...

OMG -- can't believe you got to see "The Slush Pile". How cool is that?! Sounds like you had a good time in the Big Apple.

But wait, no Chris K.? :-(

EmilyBryan said...

No, I didn't see Chris Keeslar. (Or his legendary slush pile! I've heard it would make the one I did see look miniscule.)Part of an editor's job involves meetings with sales, art departments, and such. I'm sure I saw only the tip of the iceberg.