I introduced you to Beth, our fellow Casablanca publicist. This month, I’m so excited to introduce you to Aubrey Poole, one of our Assistant Editors, who works out of our New York office. Aubrey is a fun and vibrant part of our romance team and I wanted to make sure all of you knew more about her!
DJ: Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get started in publishing and at Sourcebooks?
AP: Let’s see. I’m originally a California girl. I graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with a degree in Journalism. But I’m just not nosy enough to enjoy the life of a reporter, so I packed up and moved to New York about five years ago. I got a few temp jobs and a job as an executive assistant before landing at Sourcebooks’ New York office as the editorial assistant for the children’s and young adult editors. And I’ve been here ever since!
DJ: Aside from romance, what else do you work on at Sourcebooks?
AP: I acquire middle grade and young adult books as well. I worked only on kids’ books when I started at Sourcebooks, but after we hired Leah Hultenschmidt to acquire for our young adult line, Fire, I started working with her on romance as well. Sometimes it can be a bit jarring to go from editing a middle grade book to a romance, but I’ve always been a closet reader of romances, so I’m enjoying the experience a lot.
DJ: What was it like acquiring your first novel for Sourcebooks? Tell us a little bit about it and the overall experience—essentially making someone’s dream of becoming a published author come true!
DJ: Romance and YA are two genres that, in recent years, have developed quite a bit of overlap between their target audiences. What are some of the biggest differences between working on romance novels and YA novels? What’s similar?
AP: Well, in both genres romance is queen! A key component to most young adult novels is a strong romantic element. Fear of cooties is no longer strong enough to overcome hormones, and teenagers are definitely looking for books that explore the perils of dating, first love, and more... The difference is that in YA, the romance doesn’t have to be the focus. Young Adult books have a bit more freedom in that regard. Also, the hero and heroine don’t necessarily have to end up together (love triangle, anyone?).
DJ: What do you think about the ever-changing publishing industry? Trends, eBooks, etc.
AP: I think it’s an exciting time to be in publishing! And maybe a bit scary :-). I was looking for a publishing job at the beginning of the Great Recession and that combined with the digital revolution did not make me super optimistic about my chances of scoring a job. But I was lucky. The ever innovative Sourcebooks was actually growing in the “down” economy—and hiring. And that tells you a lot. The industry is rapidly changing – so it’s a bit scary, but there’s also a wealth of opportunity for those who are willing to embrace it. I feel really lucky to be playing a (small) part in the revolution of “the book.”
DJ: What are some of your favorite books/genres to read?
AP: It’s funny, because I never read YA when I was a teen, but now I’m really enjoying it. And, as I confessed, I’ve always loved escaping into a good romance – especially Regencies and contemporaries. But when I’m not reading for work, I’m a bit of a fantasy/sci-fi geek. I think Neal Stephenson is my current favorite. And it won’t surprise you that I’m a huge LOTR fan.
DJ: What do you love most about your job?
AP: Editing. I know! Obvious, right? But the one thing I did not anticipate as a “noob” was how much time an editor spends NOT editing. An editor has so many other responsibilities that actually getting to sit down to read and work with a manuscript is a treat.
DJ: Now, I know you’re a California Girl—what made you decide to move to the Big Apple? Where do you like living better?
AP: Oops! I anticipated your question above a little bit. I moved to New York to pursue publishing. We’ve got a lot of filmmakers in LA, but not a log of publishers. I could’ve tried San Francisco, but I was in my early-ish 20s, and I thought to myself: “If you’re ever going to up and move somewhere now is the time.” So I gave my two weeks’ notice, packed up a suitcase and got on a plane. As for where I like living better – people always ask me and I’m still not sure! I LOVE the California weather. Nothing beats it. Give me hot and dry 365 over East Coasters’ beloved “seasons.” But I love New York City – there’s such diversity and so much to do. I’ve met some amazing people here, and I’m definitely not planning on leaving any time soon. But I don’t know if I can live in a tiny apartment forever…
DJ: If you could be any type of romance heroine, what type of leading lady would you be?
AP: Kick-Ass! I’m always drawn to strong heroines. And whether they kick as literally or figuratively, that’s the type of heroine I want to be.
DJ: On the flip side—describe your perfect romance hero!
AP: Oooh – good one. Like most ladies, I’m partial to some nice abs. :-) I have a special fondness for red hair (I know! My sister makes fun of me all the time), but I really only have one requirement when it comes to the physical: I’m not a petite girl, so my biggest requirement in a hero is that I can’t take him in wrestling match! Also, the quirkier the better (shout out to Casablanca author Tawna Fenske here!) I love characters who are just a bit crazy, because, hey – aren’t we all?
DJ: Anything else you’d like to share?
AP: Thanks, Danielle, for introducing me to the Casa Blog community. I’ve met some of you in person, and I hope to meet many more!
Thanks so much to Aubrey for chatting with us today! For any an all of our submissions guidelines, please visit: http://www.sourcebooks.com/authors/submission-guidelines.html. Do any of you have questions or comments for Aubrey about editing, publishing trends or the differences between the East Coast and West Coast? Just leave her a note and you’ll be entered to win a fabulous Sourcebooks Casablanca Classics Prize Pack (US and Canada only, please leave an email address where we can contact you easily). 2 Winners will be chosen on Monday!