Today’s spotlight is another editor who is taking appointments as well as teaching…plus, she’s no stranger to Realm Makers. Please welcome Lisa Mangum! *wild applause*
Her bio from the Shadowmountain Publishing website:
Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.
And now the interview…
Welcome to the Realm Makers blog. Tell us a little about you and how you got into the publishing world.
I have always loved words, and I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on and writing all kinds of stories. My mom was a writer and an editor, so I knew that was a job people did and early on, I decided that was a job I wanted to do. I attended the University of Utah, got my college degree in English, and four months after my graduation in 1997, I was hired as an editorial assistant. I’ve been in the business ever since. In 2014, I was named Managing Editor of Shadow Mountain, a mid-sized regional publisher in Salt Lake City, Utah.
What makes you most passionate about writing/publishing?
I love finding amazing stories in the slush pile or from networking at a writing conference and then helping those authors make their story the best it can be. I love storytelling in all its forms and fashions, and I am passionate about adding beauty and creativity to the world.
What is one very important piece of advice for writers these days?
Learn how to market your book. Writing is important, yes, but authors these days also need to be proactive in selling their book wherever and whenever they can. I’m not saying you need a degree in marketing, but you do need to be available and involved. You love your book, so tell people about it!
If you weren’t a writer or involved in the publishing world, what would you do?
Oh, that’s a hard one since my whole life has revolved around writing and publishing. Maybe I’d work at a bookstore again? Or, if I had to pick something that was totally not book- or word-related, I’d want to work in some capacity for my favorite TV show, Supernatural. Or I’d want to work for Disney.
What are you teaching at Realm Makers this year and why should attendees check it out?
I’m teaching two classes—“Voice” and “How to Write an Ending That Doesn’t Suck”—as well as doing some paid critiques. I try to fill my classes with practical information that you can apply to your manuscript right away. (And I like to include a bit of humor in my presentations as well.)
I love coming to Realm Makers because the people are so friendly and helpful. Everyone has great ideas, and I love the community and camaraderie as well as the spirit of kindness that is everywhere. I come away from the weekend feeling energized and inspired.
If you are an agent/editor who is taking appointments, what are you looking for this year?
I’m looking for general fiction (historical or contemporary), women’s fiction, middle grade fantasy, contemporary YA, and clean/sweet romance. (You can also find a more in depth answer on the Agents & Editors page!)