Interview with Bantam Dell Editor Shauna Summers

L to R: Bantam Editorial Assistant Jessica Sebor, the writing duo known as Sydney Croft (Larissa Ione and Steph Tyler), Bantam Editor Shauna Summers, Lara Adrian, Me.

I’m very excited that my Bantam Dell editor, Shauna Summers, agreed to let me interview her for my blog. Shauna is a wonderful editor and helps me create the kickass world of the Demon Hunters series for Bantam Dell. She’s been instrumental in assisting me in making this world and these characters come to life, and I honestly couldn’t do this without her.

I thought it would be fun for you all to get to know the person who helps whip those Demon Hunters into shape. :sasmokin:

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into editing?
I’m a lifelong reader and was always interested in publishing. After college, I attended the NYU Summer Publishing Program and ended up getting a job in publishing from there. After 6 months as an assistant in the publisher’s office, I shifted over to editorial, where I really wanted to be. The rest took off from there….

What makes you buy a book? Is there just a certain something that clicks when you’re reading a submission, or are you looking for specifics in plot and characterization?
It’s very hard to describe or quantify—you just know it when you read it. When a submission becomes a reading experience separate from work and I don’t want to do anything other than read it, I know I have something special.

What’s your approach to editing? Very hands on, in depth, or does it depend on the book?
I try to work in whatever way is best for the author. Some books require more in depth work than others, and authors like to work in different ways also.

What is Bantam Dell looking to buy right now? Anything you’re overloaded on or you’d like to see more of? Are there specific lines and genres you publish?
We’re always looking for great books—kind of cliché, I know, but it’s really true. We are pretty heavy on paranormals right now, but we’d still make room for something we just love and have to publish. I’m actively looking for straight contemporaries and historicals. We don’t have lines, but we do like publishing all kinds of genre fiction.

What’s the best part of your day? And the worst part?
Best part of my day. Hmmmm. Well, no day is exactly the same which I really like. I guess reading something great or having some bit of good news to pass along to my authors. The worst part of my day would be bad news in any form, though luckily that’s not an everyday occurrence.

We’re always interested in what an editor does on her down time. What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I hang out with my friends, watch a lot of tv (too much!), read for fun, knit, bake, exercise, enjoy New York City, and I love to travel.

Does Bantam Dell take unagented submissions? If a writer wanted to query Bantam Dell, what are the steps to do so?
We accept query letters, but not unagented/unrequested submissions. A writer should send a query letter to either me or Jessica Sebor. No e-mail queries!

What great books are releasing from Bantam Dell over the next few months that you’d like to tell us about?
Aside from yours…:bat:? At the end of August, we’re publishing a book called GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen, which we’re really excited about. It’s been getting great reviews and a lot of buzz from booksellers. In October the next Karen Marie Moning book, BLOODFEVER, goes on sale, which I think is great. And we have LESSONS OF DESIRE by Madeline Hunter, the next historical romance in her Rothwell brothers series. We also have a couple of our new erotica people—RIDING THE STORM by Sydney Croft has it all—hot sex, action, suspense, hot sex, and a lot of paranormal. And then the second title from Eden Bradley called THE DARKER SIDE OF PLEASURE.

We love to talk about what we’re reading on my blog. What are you reading right now, and what are you looking forward to reading that’s coming out soon?
I’m reading ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer and devouring it. I’m really looking forward to the next Lisa Kleypas historical which I think comes out in October. I’m still mourning Harry Potter being over, so it’s hard for me to get too excited about anything else… 🙁

I know you’re a big fan of TV (me too!). So what have you been watching this summer, and what new shows coming out in the fall are you most looking forward to?
It’s all about “Burn Notice” for me. I’ve loved that Jeffrey Donovan since “Touching Evil” (another USA show that didn’t last long). I’ve also started watch “The Wire” on dvd and am really enjoying it. And love, love, love “The Closer.” As for new shows, I have a friend who gets copies of pilots for fall shows ahead of time, so I’ve actually seen a few. The one I’m most excited about is “Dirty, Sexy, Money.” It’s fantastic!


Thank you Shauna! I’ve read Sydney Croft’s RIDING THE STORM and agree that it’s super hot and utterly fantastic. I think Eden Bradley’s work is smokin’, and I’ve always been a huge fangirl of Karen Marie Moning’s work.

As for TV, I’m also loving “Burn Notice” in a huge way. And I can’t wait for “Dirty, Sexy, Money”–that show looks like an absolute riot.

Thanks for answering the interview questions. For those of you reading on, pop a comment or question, or talk about what you’re reading or watching on TV, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Hunting The Demon! I’ll draw the winner tomorrow!