My first date/arranged marriage

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting my new editor for the first time. About a week ago I accepted an offer from Saint Martin’s Press to publish my next two books, including Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.  I was on my way to Vermont for a book retreat when we stopped off at the in-laws house in the Berkshires to drop of the munchkin for the weekend.  After depositing diapers and baby dolls, I called my agent and learned that the final offers had been made on my manuscript and it was time to make a decision.

Since the terms of the offers were very similar, the decision came down to choosing the editor, and after much debate, I chose Brenda Copeland at Saint Martin’s Press, mostly because we had spoken during the previous week about the book, the publishing house, and my career, and I had liked what I heard.

Still, it was a difficult decision, and my agent was uncharacteristically unhelpful during the process. Both editors are highly respected in the publishing industry and both work for prestigious publishing firms, so Taryn felt good about whichever offer I chose and was therefore less decisive and less certain than usual.

Essentially, she left the decision to me.

Though I felt good about my decision to go with Brenda as we left for Vermont, I worried that I would always doubt my choice and be forever consumed by what-if questions for the rest of my career.

Those doubts were quickly put to bed on Tuesday.

Meeting your editor for the first time is like going on a blind date.  You know the basic facts about one another but have no idea if there will be any chemistry between the two of you.

It is a nerve-wracking process.

This was going to be the person most responsible for shepherding my next two books (and hopefully many, many more) from their humble beginnings to bookshelf glory, and in many ways, she would responsible for dictating the course of my career.

Also, there would be no polite parting of the ways if our first date went bad.  No throwing away of phone numbers and forgetting the date ever happened. We would be stuck together regardless of the success of this first date. It’s sort of like first-date-meets-arranged-marriage, except I did all of the arranging, so if things did not go well, I only had myself to blame.

Happily, there was no need for blame.

The nearly three hours that I spent with Brenda were divine. Though we hit it off almost immediately, I actually think she and Elysha hit it off even more, often speaking a language of home décor and food that I could not understand. I’m happy to report that I found myself in the presence of someone who is experienced, energetic, creative, forward-thinking, and interested in investing in my career as the author as well as the books that  I will write.

In short, she is terrific. I know we are going to do great things together.

I couldn’t be more pleased.

And after breakfast, Elysha and I had the pleasure of visiting the Saint Martin’s offices in the famous Flatiron Building, and the day only got better.

We had the opportunity to meet key members of the Saint Martin’s team, all of whom were kind enough to take a few moments out of their busy day to say hello and get to know me. It truly feels like a team at Saint Martin’s Press: one large organization pulling on the same rope.

I immediately felt at home.

And the day ended in what must be one of the finest offices in all of Manhattan, located at the tip of the Flatiron Building on the eighteenth floor.  Wall-to-wall windows look straight up Fifth Avenue to the Park and include stunning views of the Chrysler Building, The Empire State Building and more.

And so my career at Saint Martin’s Press begins.

I already find myself wanting to do them proud.