Please welcome the incomparable, the witty, the urbane, the one and only, Hilary Sares, Kensington editor extraordinaire. (envision the sound of maniacal clapping, whistling and cries of ‘pick me, pick me!’)
Hilary was my very first editor. I received ‘The Call’ on a Friday morning under heavy sedation. Hubby had to hold the phone to my ear. I told him several days later about this weird dream I had of a lady from New York calling and wanting to by a book. Luckily she still wanted the book when I was lucid.
Hilary is giving a peek inside her office during the holidays. Feel free to ask her questions, she will be popping in through out the day.
Hilary thank you for stopping by.
Now without further adieu here’s Hilary.
A publishing house during the holidays… Well, we never dream of a white Christmas. The predominant color in our offices is white. We sit amidst toppling white mountains of paper. Manuscripts under consideration. Manuscripts going through the long process to publication. White FedEx envelopes bulging with more manuscripts. Stacks of white napkins waiting to sop up the black coffee we spill from our white coffee cups. Johnny Mathis, make a song outa that. And I didn’t even mention the giant white scheduling boards and calendars with lunches scrawled in and hairdressing appointments crossed out. We eat too much and we rarely have time to beautify our shabby selves. Besides, who would see us?
Our colleagues, who don’t care. The people who water the plants and peer into our offices just in case they missed one, but all they see is white paper and move on. Our kids, sometimes, who believe that we must be doing something because there is just so much stuff on our desks. My daughter sits opposite me in a red armchair. She, a poor broke hungry college student, is investigating the varied contents of a beautiful gift basket and has found out that gift basket salami is not what it seems. But she bravely takes a bite. The cheese is more to her taste. The snacky crackers hit the spot. I am left with a jar of mustard. Yet she has a 24-inch waist. I do not. I could live on mustard slathered on slabs of please-recycle-this-if-it-does-not-meet-your-needs manuscript and I would still gain weight. (I never eat manuscripts if an author includes a self-addressed stamped envelope for their return.)
What writers probably dream of: The Call. How often we make The Call around the holidays: very rarely. We would love to brighten everyone’s Christmas but deadlines are deadlines, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So the interminable wait to hear stretches into the next year.
And yes, we make New Year’s resolutions to send back what we aren’t going to buy as kindly and gently and expediently as we can. We sometimes keep them (the resolutions and the manuscripts). We brood about good writers we can’t buy because their work doesn’t fit the program or the schedule or whatever we’re calling it this week, and we rack our brains for something polite to say to the ones who aren’t so good. They sure as hell are trying.
If the mother of Jesus had written WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, that would make nine billion copies in print. Right now there are only nine million. And she would probably get a semi-coherent rejection letter that started like this.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to consider your non-fiction work on pregnancy, but the focus on gestation seemed a little overdone.
Okay, writers and friends of writers. What would you like for Christmas?