Can we get a KickAss round of applause on this one, as we welcome Senior Editor for Kensington Publishing Corporation, acquiring for Kensington and the Zebra, Lyrical and Dafina imprints. Say hello to Esi Sogah. For her sins, Esi is also my editor on the Willow Park Romance series. I think she needs another round of applause, just for putting up with me.
Esi, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born…OK we can skip ahead. I’ve been in publishing for about a decade(!) now, beginning my career at Avon Books. There I worked mainly on historical and paranormal romances, and helped spearhead the launch of Avon Impulse. In 2014, I joined the Kensington publishing family, working on romance (mainly contemporary), mystery, and fiction. I’m a huge theater buff and a recovering TV addict. I’ve never learned how to say no to potatoes and I hope I never will.
What are the top three mistakes authors make in writing and submitting their work?
Too much exposition—I know you hear this all the time, but nothing will drag the pace of a book down more than too much exposition. More subtly, stating a character’s emotions but not showing them play out. It keeps your reader at a distance and if that emotional connection isn’t there, the book isn’t going to work for them.
Lack of research—look into the house and the editor you’re submitting to. Make sure your work is something that fits with what they’re doing. If you can’t tell, that doesn’t mean don’t submit, but don’t say “I hear you’re looking for YA” if you have no idea if that’s true.
Ground your characters in reality—even it a choice advances your plot, make sure it’s something a character (especially your heroine) would actually do in real life. So if you’ve got a romantic suspense novel about a stalker, the heroine shouldn’t be okay with having a virtual stranger in her home just because you and your readers know that he’s the hero.
Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Things: Candy, Musicals, Naps
Pet Peeves: Slow walkers (true this, she route marched me around NYC recently), writing that’s in love with itself
Addictions: Candy, Musicals, Naps J Also British TV mysteries
Kick Ass Superpower: Making people laugh at inappropriate times
Your best book boyfriend:
- For the night: Sebastian from Lord of Scoundrels or Colin Bridgerton from Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (or, in the immortal words of the internet, why not both?) – I’m with Esi on this, why not both?
- For a dirty weekend: Silas Smith (Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper)
- To have and to hold: Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)
Thanks so much to Esi for being with us today. Any questions for her, please post in the comment section and we’ll give her a nudge to get back to you.