This is the beginning of my “Behind the Scenes” interview series. My first victim, err, interview is with my editor at Moody Publishing, Andrew McGuire. Andy is a fun-loving guy who is great to work with. (Okay, and kinda smart too.)
1. Hi Andy. I know your most important role at Moody is helping me to look brilliant. In addition to that, what do you spend the rest of the time doing at Moody Publishers?
I am the acquiring editor of fiction, and my responsibilities include everything from adult novels down to pre-teen books. As acquiring editor I sift through piles of manuscripts to find the gold among the grains of sand. After I’ve convinced our committee that I’ve once again discovered a masterpiece (or not), I work through contract negotiations with the author and agent and then help the author develop the manuscript into a book.
This involves everything from big-picture changes to plot and characterization all the way down to giving input into the title decisions and cover design. Once I’ve signed a book to a contract, I’m involved in almost every step along the way until the book is on the bookstore shelves.
2. On what level are you involved with the books of one of your amazing authors Tricia Goyer?
Since I already know Tricia very well, her work doesn’t just go into the large stack of proposals I need to read. Usually Tricia, her agent, and I discuss several book ideas until we come up with a novel or a series that pleases all three of us. Then, after we take care of all the contract details, Tricia bounces questions and ideas off me for the several months it takes her to write the manuscript. Once she completes it, she sends it to me and I give some big-picture feedback. We discuss possible changes on the phone or via email, and then eventually send it along to a copy editor, who works out the smaller details. Tricia has been a pleasure to work with in the editing process.
3. Blush. Do you have any stories to share about one of Tricia’s novels?
When I first arrived at Moody a little over two years ago, one of my first tasks was to get endorsements for Tricia’s novel “Night Song” (if you don’t have a copy, you should run to the store immediately!).
Anyway, on my list of possible endorsers was a woman with a very familiar last name: Von Trapp. You may recognize it from a certain well-known Austrian singing family. Annie Von Trapp is indeed a member of the famous family, and she graciously agreed to endorse Tricia’s book.
She wrote: “Night Song makes you wish that every historic story from WWII could be told … I cannot wait for the next one.” What a delight it was to correspond with Annie Von Trapp my first month on the job!
What to read more? (Andy doesn’t know I was going to do this!)
“Making something beautiful reflects well on the Lord,” says Andrew McGuire, the acquisitions editor of fiction at Moody Publishers. McGuire believes that Scripture shows God’s high interest in the work of gifted artists. When God told the Israelites to build His temple, “He was specific. He called specific artists by name for certain tasks. He had given them artistic gifts to make beautiful works,” says McGuire. “To the end of time we will know them for that purpose.” (From: New Direction for Christian Publishing)
And if you want to hear another Moody author’s input on working with Moody, read Brandilyn Collin’s article with Travis Thrasher.
Thanks for the “Behind the Scenes” peek, Andy!