Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Editor Interview: Sara Sargent + Cruel Beauty


Today is a very exciting day for me because I'm joined on the blog by Sara Sargent, the editor of a book that simply fascinated me, Cruel Beauty. Sara is my very first editor interview, and I'm hugely thankful to her for taking the time to answer my questions about this darkly unique debut. I was lucky enough to have Rosamund Hodge on the blog recently as well because I just can't stop talking about this book, so be sure and check out that interview if you missed it. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Sara!

What’s one book you grew up with, studied in school, or read just for fun that you would have loved to have gotten your hands on from an editing standpoint, if for no other reason than to say you worked on it?

The Giver by Lois Lowry. That book has stuck with me for twenty years, and editing it would have given me an excuse to read it over and over again.

What would you say, for you personally, is the highlight of the relationship between editor and author?

The process of actually building that relationship. It’s about discovering how you can be helpful and supportive to this particular person, and what she needs to be her most successful self. Sometimes that’s as simple as a silly tweet, and sometimes it’s a phone call or a thoughtful email. You’re becoming a part of that person’s life forever, and she’s becoming a part of yours—it’s a wonderful thing, and it’s different with every new author and project.

How would you describe the feeling you get just before you read the first page of a new manuscript?

Whether I’m on the subway or in bed or at my desk, turning on my iPad and selecting a new submission to read has this delicious anticipatory quality. I have no idea what’s waiting for me inside that file: every manuscript has the potential to be the next manuscript I fall head-over-heels for. The feeling is excitement, but it’s much more than that. It’s my future and someone else’s future and limitless possibility.

You wake up tomorrow and suddenly find yourself in the dark, twisted forest of what is clearly a fictional world. You don’t know how you know, but you’re instinctually aware that someone is writing a story with you in the starring role at that very moment. Name one author you would desperately hope is in control of penning your story’s outcome.

Might sound like pandering, but I would be perfectly pleased to wake up in one of Rosamund’s stories. It’s a dicey choice because there are some very evil people and creatures in her novels, but I’d likely end up kissing someone very dashing, which would make it worth the risk.

If you could have asked Rosamund to write you into Cruel Beauty, where would you have best fit and what role might you have played?

We never meet any of Ignifex’s previous wives, but considering I’ve fallen madly in love with him, I imagine he and I would have been married at some point. (Though if that were the case, preferably I wouldn’t have ended up dead…)

Rosamund beautifully combines elements of Greek mythology with her Beauty and the Beast retelling. If you could choose one other Greek myth or fairytale for Rosamund to put her own spin on, which one would you most like to see her to write?

I would love to see her write Sleeping Beauty from the point of view of Maleficent because she’s so good at making flawed characters relatable. And what better way to do that than making a classic villainess into a protagonist?

What one word would you use to describe the original manuscript of Cruel Beauty? What word would you use to describe the final version?

Original: unputdownable. Final: beyond.

• • • • • • • • • • •

CRUEL BEAUTY


Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

 
Find Rosamund:

34 comments:

  1. I want to meet Ingifex now too ;)

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  2. I need to read this book immediately. It sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing this interview with us! It's really cool to get an editor's perspective.

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    1. I really enjoyed this on Christina, I so hope you give it a try!

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  3. I love the idea of Sleeping Beauty being written in Maleficent's POV. I always am curious about these villains and their motives. I'm very excited for Disney's Maleficent which looks quite fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing the interview, Jenny! :)

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    1. Right? I'm absolutely ready for that book as well! And the movie:)

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  4. I love the idea of interviewing the editor! You always have wonderful ideas and questions Jenny.

    I love knowing how an author and editor's relationship works. I am sure it has to be a close knit one but the time everything is all said and done.

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    1. Thanks so much Ali! It was really interesting to come up with questions for her, I've never had the chance to interview an editor before:)

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  5. The Giver COMPLETELY stuck with me. And still does. It's just so weird and creepy and odd that I can't help but think of it (I'm nervous about the movie, though). And kissing is always worth the risk.

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    1. I haven't read it. *hangs head in shame* And yes to kissing. Always.

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  6. Wonderful interview and I would love to have her job. I love the Giver and could not agree more.

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun?! Except for the fact that I know nothing about grammar or sentence structure, and my spelling could use some work, so I'd fail in that area of editing. But I'd love to read all the manuscripts!

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  7. Really enjoyed seeing this book from an editor's point of view. It makes me even more excited to pick this book up and meet this mysterious Ingifex. :)

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    1. READ IT RUMMANAH! I just loved how different all the characters were, they were a breath of fresh, twisted air:)

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  8. I grabbed a copy of this at ALA because I had had several copies and given them away, writing this one off too quickly. Then I saw all these people raving and knew I had to read it. This interview made me glad I changed my mind!

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    1. You don't want to miss out on this one Hannah:)

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  9. So interesting to hear about a book from someone that has an impact on the story that isn't the author.. Again, very clever questions Jenny

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    1. Yes! I was so excited to get the opportunity to pick her brain a bit:)

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  10. Sargent's views on the author/editor relationship are thoughtful and fascinating. Excellent interview questions and equally excellent answers. And yes, The Giver, is also one of my all time favorite reads!

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    1. Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it!

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  11. I am only a copy editor myself (occasionally), but I know how incredibly hard it is for authors and editors to achieve that relationship built on mutual understanding. We as readers are so lucky when that happens and I think it's fairly obvious in books.
    And Ohh, God, I wouldn't want to end up in this story! Not that it isn't lovely, but it's just so very scary!

    As always, a fabulous interview Jenny, and certainly a novelty. I love the idea.

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  12. Congratulations of you very first editor interview, Jenny! Which by-the-way is awesome, I love the questions you asked Sara. And I agree with her- I would love to see Rosamund write a Sleeping Beauty retelling!

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  13. I hardly ever comment on blog posts anymore, but I just have to say that this interview was fantastic, especially the questions. What a unique way to get Ms. Sargent to talk about different aspects of the book. CRUEL BEAUTY has been on my to-read list since it sold, and now, I'm even more excited to read it.

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  14. I love this interview! Love getting this perspective of it. I agree this book rocks and I would hope not to be one of the dead wives too. LOL I would also love to see a story where Maleficent is the misunderstood protag. Brilly!

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  15. I love that you interviewed the editor because let's face it they are the ones that work the magic. I liked that she wants to be one of Ignifex's wives and A Sleeping Beauty book from Malifecent's POV would be awesome.

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  16. Awesome interview! As you know I also adored this book. And I think a Sleeping Beauty retelling with Maleficent would be perfect!

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  17. It's nice having an interview with an editor of a book, I'm so used to seeing an author's take on things, that it's definitely refreshing to learn how an editor has to deal with everything. Also how amazing was Sara's answer to how she would be liked to be written into Cruel Beauty, that would totally be my answer too ;) thanks for sharing another fab post with us Jenny!

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  18. I can definitely say that I have never read an interview with an editor before, so awesome! I love that you brought up the best part of the editor/author relationship. I haven't read Cruel Beauty but I really need to because the reviews I have read for it have all been glowing!

    I loved The Giver too!

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  19. Ooh, I want that novel about Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent's PoV! Anyhow, I love this interview from the perspective of an editor, so thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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  20. What? She wouldn't want to wake up in a Stephen King book? lol. I don't blame her for wanting to be one of Ignifex's wives, though. -swoon- Great interview!

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  21. Ooh I love the idea of having Rosamund write Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent's point of view. She does have a way of making villains rather alluring. What a wonderful interview, it's so lovely getting an editor's perspective on the book and the writing process. :-) Thanks for sharing!

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  22. What a great Interview! I'm always intrigued by the relationship between Editor and Author too, and I think if these two hit off the book turns from awesome into absolutely outstanding.

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  23. I love that you've done an interview with an editor! I've never read one before. I wish I was one of Ignifex's ex-wives as well, and I'd DIE to see Rosamund write a different version of Sleeping Beauty. Yes please! The talk about how an editor and author work together was really interesting a well.

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