|Laura and Melissa at the Disney Hyperion offices.|
Happy Wednesday, esteemed followers! Melissa here, and I'm THRILLED to welcome my editor, the awesometastic Laura Schreiber of Disney Hyperion, to the blog for an interview. Let's get this party started!
Melissa: Thanks for joining us, Laura. Would you mind sharing what books spoke to you most during your teen years? Do any of them continue to influence you now as an adult, or in your career as an editor?
Laura: I’m a proud member of the Harry Potter generation! The books shaped my identity as a teen more than any others, and they definitely continue to influence me, both in my personal and professional life. When I’m seeking inspiration, wisdom, or courage, that’s where I look. It’s an incredibly empowering book, especially for girls, and I still think about it often.
Melissa: We talk a lot about “voice” here at Honestly YA. How do you define it? Do you have any tips to help aspiring writers develop it?
Laura: To me, voice is erasing yourself (the author) and allowing the character to take over the show. I know it sounds painfully obvious, but instead of thinking "how can I convey the information I want to convey through this ingenious device (a character), think: “what would this living, breathing, person actually be feeling/doing/saying in this situation”?
Melissa: We keep hearing how crowded the YA market is. How can aspiring YA authors ensure their work stands out from the masses?
Laura: Don't chase trends! A good idea is an original idea: something completely new or something classic done in a fresh way.
Melissa: Is there anything on your current wish list? Anything you’re not interested in seeing at this time?
Laura: I’m interesting in seeing anything awesome! But specifically, I would love to see some great YA horror. Also funny, character-driven stories for the chapter book set (age 7-10 or so).
Melissa: What releases do you have coming up that you are especially excited about?
Laura: I’m super excited about The Crimson Crown (coming out in October), the spectacular finale of Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series. [Melissa's note: ME TOO!] I also can’t wait for folks to read The Darkest Minds, coming out in December, which is the first in a dystopian trilogy by the very talented Alex Bracken.
Melissa: Just for fun, who are some of your favorite YA Heroes of all time?
Laura: Let’s start with some awesome girls: Katsa of Graceling is a favorite, as well as Karou of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And, of course, Lyra of His Dark Materials. As for the boys: Han Alister of the Seven Realms series, Jonas from The Giver, and Artemis Fowl, who is a fantastic anti-hero (perhaps the best kind of hero).
Melissa: Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me today! I suppose I should get back to those edits I owe you, eh? J
Laura Schreiber began her publishing career at Disney-Hyperion, where she is now an Assistant Editor working on picture books through young adult novels. Her primary interest is in YA, though she is always on the lookout for fresh middle grade voices, especially funny ones. Genres of particular interest include thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. She grew up in Washington state and now lives in Manhattan. Follow her on Twitter @lscribs.