Carrie Feron has always read romance. From the time she was small, her favorite bedtime stories were fairytales. In fifth grade she read Jane Eyre and her life changed forever, and when she was twelve, Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote The Flame and the Flower. She has always felt strongly about Romance, positive life stories, and the wonderful people who write them.
Her first job was at Pageant books, and there they “tested” a lot of books that others wouldn’t publish. Books set in Africa; books set in Roman Britain; books that were out of genre. Some of those books were cancelled when Pageant ended, so they never came out. But they lived on in her heart. She then worked for Loveswept with authors such as Janet Evanovich and Billie Green; then to Berkley where she worked with Laura Kinsale, Nora Roberts and Suzanne Forster. And now she’s Executive Editor & SVP at HarperCollins Publishers
Ms. Feron has spent her entire career editing women’s voices: from crime to psychological suspense, historical fiction to commercial fiction. Among the authors she has worked on for Morrow are New York Times bestselling authors Meg Cabot, Deborah Crombie, Dorothea Benton Frank, Faye Kellerman, Laura Lippman, Elizabeth Lowell and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has been at Morrow for over twenty years, where her paperback authors include Emily Arsenault, Sara Gruen, Kerry Reichs, Liza Palmer, Jane O’Connor, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean and Eloisa James.
Ah, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss was one of my first “big” romance books, too, and at about the same age. I am sure that Ms. Woodiwiss’ Shanna changed my life. I can’t wait to learn more about Carrie as she answers our questions.
What lead you to a career in editing?
What prepared me for a career in editing romance was a life long love of novels with happy endings. From the time I read Golden Books I preferred Cinderella to The Poky Little Puppy, and my love of romantic books followed thereafter from The Witch of Blackbird Pond, to Jane Eyre and even Avon Romances as a teenager.
What are you looking for at this time?
What works for me in terms of writing is distinctive voices.
What are your favorite three books?
Favorite three books? Too hard! But favorite 3 authors to start a conversation with me? Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, Francis Hodgson Burnett
In order to give me a successful pitch, be able to tell me your plot in a sentence or two. Don’t fall into clichés.
What’s your weirdest pitch experience?
I can’t think of a weirdest pitch in person, but I’ve had manuscripts delivered to my office (in years past) accompanied by gifts. That does not happen anymore now that everything is electronic (plus it doesn’t work)
What’s your favorite thing about attending conferences?
My favorite thing about attending conferences is how much I learn about the writing process, the bookstores in various parts of the country, and just being around creative people.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasure. I have so many it’s hard to list.
What’s one of your pet peeves?
Pet peeves: not learning the difference between homonyms like pore and pour, its and it’s, and finding typos on the very first page of a new manuscript.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever had was that editors, like doctors, should first do no harm.
What are your favorite 3 romantic movies? AND/OR favorite movies ever? Why?
Three favorite movies: MOONSTRUCK, TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, PERSUASION (the one with Ciaran Hinds)
Ah, The Secret Garden was one of my favorite childhood companions. Thank you for reminding me of Francis Hodgson Burnett’s stories. More books for the pile!
Thank you Carrie for spending a little time with us and letting us get to know you better before the conference. To learn more about Avon, please click here.