Today we welcome Martha Mihalick, editor at Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. She edits books for young readers of all ages, from picture books through young adults. There's a little something for everyone here...
This is a hard question! I’m not certain there’s one book that’s right for every single reader, because we are all such different people and need different sorts of books at different times in our lives. That said, I want to give Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins to every teenage girl I meet, and I think everyone—regardless of age—should read Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia books.
What up and coming books/authors should we be watching for?
If I were you, this spring I’d be watching for Entwined by Heather Dixon, A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford, and Nightspell by Leah Cypess. And next fall, you won’t want to miss The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. Trust me.
What would you love to see in your sub pile?
This is another hard one! You see, what I’m looking for, really, is a story that surprises me, that makes me vividly remember what it was like to be a child, or that makes me see something—the world, a classic story, a person…—in a new way. Sure, I have my specific interests (snappy dialogue, crazy theoretical science like physics, space, ballet, theatre, strong friendships, hard, defining choices, subtle romance, sly humor…). But sometimes it’s the stories that make me interested in something I’d previously never thought about that hit me hardest.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Be persistent, be optimistic, keep trying, and always be professional. Write the story that speaks to you and that you love.
It’s a pretty straightforward path from English major to Denver Publishing Institute to Greenwillow! I talked a little more about it on the Greenwillow blog.
What are your most and least favorite things about the job?
Best things: Calling an author/agent to say “Yes, I love this book!” and the editing and talking to the author about making the book even stronger.
Least favorite thing: Having to say “no” to a lot of manuscripts.