Monday, January 21, 2013

Level 2 Launch Week Interview Series: Editor Alexandra Cooper

To celebrate the launch of LEVEL 2 on Presenting Lenore, I devised a plan to interview some of the industry people involved in getting the book published and on shelves. Today I have the amazing Alexandra Cooper, Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster BFYR, and the acquiring editor of LEVEL 2.


Thanks for joining us! To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which also happens to have a fantastic children's book community (shout-out!) I started working at Simon & Schusteras an editorial assistant, and I've been there ever since. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to grow my own list in my time there, and now I get to work with lots of amazing writers, of whom you are one, Lenore!

Thank you! I notice a lot of similar elements in books that you’ve edited – close father/daughter relationships and road trips for example. What about Level 2 hit your sweet spot?

I think it's less that there are specific features I look for, and more that certain themes tend to resonate with me subconsciously--which I believe is true of every reader. When I first read Level 2, the pacing hooked me right away, but what kept me invested was Felicia's arc. In a way, I think Level 2 is a coming-of-age for her, realizing that she has to make peace with some of the regrets from her time on Earth. The contrast in her character from who she was on Earth and who she becomes in Level 2 was an aspect of the story I also found fascinating. I love that she questions everything, that she doesn't always make the "right" decision, thatwe get to see her make mistakes and misjudge people--that's the best way she knows how to figure out who she is and what's important to her.

Do you have a favorite scene in Level 2?

For me, an unforgettable scene is when Felicia is in Turkey with her father and their guide, Azrak, to track down a herd of goats that her father wants to record--the premise alone is sort of preposterous, and Felicia's narration of the trip is witheringly funny.

That's my favorite scene! Even though there’s not really a love triangle, people tend to pick teams anyway – so tell us, are you Team Neil or Team Julian?

Isn't the beauty of reading Level 2 that we don't have to choose? Let's just say I had to pick my answer to the previous question carefully, lest I betray my strong preference for one of the guys in Felicia's life (and afterlife).

Any hints you can give us about Level 3?

There is a lot of unfinished business that comes back to haunt the main characters in ways I don't think people will see coming!

Thank you Alexandra!


Today starts the international leg of the LEVEL 2 blog tour: 5 Ways Book Blogging Can Help You Get Published at Reading Wishes.

I was on TV! The Kansas City Fox 4 Morning News team interviewed me on Saturday morning.

Andy of Escape to New Worlds recaps my Mysteryscape Event with Emily Hainsworth (THROUGH TO YOU)


Liviania said...

The musical goats scene was hilarious.

Beth S. said...

The goats in Turkey was my favorite scene too. :)

Zibilee said...

I remember that scene with perfect clarity, and found it to be one of my favorites in the book too. You got to work with some amazingly inspiring people during the journey of publishing this book, Lenore! It was nice to get to "meet" Alexandra today!