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Monday, May 11, 2015

Editor Interview : Ameya Nagarajan, Commissioning Editor, Children's & Young Adult, Penguin Books (Part 2)

Ameya Nagarajan
In part 2 of the funny Ameya Nagarajan's Interview, you would read about, what other books are to be expected from her. And how she enjoys the stress, which her job contains and how it can be fun.

Rounding up, with her three most favourite books and a few other details about what the most challenging thing is about being an editor. Read up, Folks, for some things extra and some more fun...

You can read up, the First Part right here, Folks...

What are you working on now?

Goodness me, about 11 books? Since the process takes so long, we’ve usually got a whole bunch of books at various stages running parallel.

I’m talking to some people about a graphic novel; I just started on a horror novel I signed; I just sent off to copy edit a very fun fantasy novel; I’m talking to some people about some non-fiction, etc.

Did you always know that you wanted to be a book editor? 

No. Heh. I think I was a heedless young person. I never planned much for my career (Kids, don’t do that!), and I just sort of stumbled upon this path.

But once I was here I loved it. It’s insanely stressful, and you rarely get credit, but it’s also deeply fulfilling when you hold a book in your hands.

Could you tell us about some of your upcoming titles? 

Eliza Crewe (From Goodreads.com)
There’s ‘Crossed’, the final book in the Soul-Eaters trilogy by Eliza Crewe, which is a fantasy novel that delights in its gore, friendships and black humour. There’s my first ever horror novel, whose title we haven’t confirmed yet.

There’s ‘Ashwathy and the Boot of God’ by Sowmya Rajendran, which just came out, a story of a fourteen year old girl who is made a detective by God, speaking from a boot. Basically, lots of mad fun!

What are your top three favourite books?

See now that’s just cruel. I will tell you what I tell everyone who asks me this: I’ll tell you my favourite authors, and okay, one book by each.

What is your favourite thing about being an editor? And your least favourite thing?

The answer to both is the same: reading all the time! I love that I can spend all day in a sofa reading and it is work, but I also hate that I spend so much time reading for work that I’m too tired to read for leisure, except I do want to read for leisure.

And since I like to read serious non-fiction, I kinda need my brain to work, which it firmly refuses to do, since it is always reading seriously for work.

What are the main skills, an editor would need to do their job well?

Reading fast. Absolutely nothing beats the ability to read fast. And I mean read fast and assimilate what you’ve read.

Being a native English speaker helps, because then you don’t have to think about language. You need to be very social—you need to network to get authors, keep them happy, get people to do things, know someone who will review, or give you a contact, etc. Commissioning is a lot of people and project management.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

Er. I simply can’t pick. Heh. I think might be motivating other people to believe in my books. I love it, but I need to get sales to love it and marketing to care about it and friends to talk about it, and strangers to want to read it. So yeah, motivating other people to believe in my books.

Phew. I think I just wrote a book.

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