“The editing process often begins with a conversation.”
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings a faculty of close to thirty agents, editors, and other industry professionals to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 26th Annual A&E Conference, taking place June 28–June 30, 2019, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our faculty here.
An Interview with Sara Goodman
Sara Goodman began her career in 2001 as a junior agent at the Ralph M. Vicinanza, Ltd. literary agency, then moved over to St. Martin’s Press in 2007 to start fresh as an editorial assistant when she realized being an agent was not her calling. In the course of her career, she has edited Rainbow Rowell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Landline, and Carry On; Courtney Summers, the New York Times bestselling author of Sadie, All The Rage, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be. I edited the anthologies My True Love Gave To Me and Summer Days and Summer Nights with bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, in addition to editing the co-authored novel by David Levithan & Nina LaCour, You Know Me Well. I also published I Hate Everyone But You by YouTube sensations Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.
Scribe: What is your approach to the author/editor relationship?
Sara Goodman: Authors need to be able to trust their editors implicitly, so communication and honesty are essential. The editing process often begins with a conversation. I ask a lot of questions and I listen. I never want to turn a book into something the author doesn’t want, but I always want the book to be the best it can be. That takes trust.
Scribe: Are there specific elements draw you to a project?
SG: A fresh voice. A fresh perspective. A character I’ve never seen before. Good dialogue. I love it when books are funny and sad. Strong, fully-realized primary and secondary characters.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent project you’re excited about!
SG: I just wrapped up edits on The Mall by Megan McCafferty, which is a young adult novel set entirely at a mall in New Jersey in the 90s. It is hilarious and moving and just a delight. It won’t be out until Summer 2020, but I’m already spreading the word!
Scribe: And also, what is your favorite YA novel to have come out recently?
SG: I absolutely loved Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds. It’s a love story at its heart, but it’s also so much about growing up and doing the right thing. About following your heart. It’s wise and warm and wonderful!
Click here to read our 2019 A&E Conference agent bios.
Click here for more information on the 2019 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (June 28-June 30) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.