Editor Interview: Mandy Schoen

Hello, everyone! Today I’m thrilled to host an interview with editor Mandy Schoen!
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mandyMandy Schoen is the managing editor of Swoon Romance (an imprint of Month9Books, LLC) and otherwise keeps plenty busy traveling the world, slaying dragons, falling in love, and whatever else her TBR pile has in store for her. When she’s not reading, hanging out with her family, or acquiring and editing incredible stories for Swoon Romance, she can be found wrapped firmly around a cup of flavored coffee whilst pondering ways to convince her husband that adopting a wallaby is a good idea. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, her boxer, and her Nook, but it’s probably easier to find her on Twitter at @Mandy_Schoen.

Website * Twitter

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Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What’s the quirkiest thing about you?

Thanks for having me! Your blog is lovely this time of year. The quirkiest thing about me? Maybe that I say weird things that are funny only to me. Like “your blog is lovely this time of year.”

As to a bit about me, I’m the managing editor of Swoon Romance and senior editor at Month9Books. Also, I like coffee.

What type of manuscript would you love to cross your desk at the moment? Do you have any projects you’re working on right now that you’re crazy about?

I would love to see a funny romance, or setting-based romance (summer camp, college campus, vacation in a fun locale, etc.). I’m also craving dual-narrative POV these days. But mostly just a great voice and characters with chemistry and strong, emotional tension.

As for current projects, I’m honestly crazy-excited about Swoon Romance’s entire YA fall lineup. Let’s run it down, shall we?

The Cinderella Moment (by Jennifer Kloester, about a girl who pretends to be her best friend to right a wrong, and winds up being launched on high-society Paris and (yep) falling in love), Effortless With You (by Lizzy Charles, about a girl who needs an attitude adjustment, and the boy who gives it to her), The Funeral Singer (by Linda Budzinski, about a (you guessed it) funeral singer who goes viral on YouTube, joins a rock band, and (yep) falls in love), How to Date a Nerd (by Cassie Mae, about a girl who has spent her high-school career climbing the social ladder, only to discover it’s put her out of reach of the nerd she loves).

Everyone’s editing process is different. What does yours consist of? How do you go about crafting an editorial letter to an author?

Depends on the MS and the level of edit I’m doing, but my typical developmental edit consists first of a read-through (sometimes even at the acquisitions stage), and lots of big-picture notes. Then I read it again, much more slowly (often 2-4 pages per hour). I make inline suggestions and leave comments in the text, and of course take more notes. Then I decipher my notes. Then I spend a day or two reviewing all of my scribbled notes and comments, and building them into a letter that makes sense to people who aren’t me.

What is the most common mistake you see in manuscripts? Do you have any advice you’d like to offer to writers?

Hmm. Advice for writers. Never give up? Kill your darlings? Write, write, and write some more? Common mistakes writers make…I’m going with clichés.

And lastly, a theoretical question for you. You’re headed to a duel: sword or pistol, and why? Also, what did you do to make things lead to a duel?

Definitely sword. I don’t know how to use either weapon, which means I would freak out and throw it, and I’m less likely to off myself (plain embarrassing) if I throw a sword.

What did I do to wind up in a duel? That’s easy. I saw Robin Hood: Men in Tights one too many times as a kid, and now I often slap people in the face with pretentious-looking leather gloves and declare “I challenge you to a duel.” (See answer to Q #1, about the tendency to say things that amuse only me.) One of these days someone is bound to take me up on it.


Again, thank you for stopping by, Mandy. To everyone else, there’s more! Mandy has graciously agreed to donate a 1st 5 pages critique! Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

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About Rachel Russell

Rachel is the YA author of Harvester (Entranced Publishing, 2014). She works as the Submissions Coordinator and Editorial Assistant for Month9Books, LLC., and is also a freelance editor. When she isn't reading, writing, or editing, she's lurking on Twitter, drinking dirty martinis, and spreading the love for pickles on pizza.
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  • EllieAnnSoderstrom

    I think Rachel’s blog is absolutely lovely this time of year, too!

  • Ashley Maker

    Hi! Lovely interview!

  • Margit Sage

    Fun interview! I think Mandy amuses more people than she thinks. ;)

  • Rachel Schieffelbein

    Mandy, I think you’re hilarious! :)