Girls Write Out
Monday, May 01, 2006
We're thrilled to have an interview with Steeple Hill senior editor Krista Stroever! Krista is a familar (and small!) powerhouse at ACFW and other conferences. She talks fast enough to keep up with me, and she is a shaker and a mover in the NY publishing world of Harlequin. She's been a friend and an encourager to me personally and if you have the honor of meeting her, you'll agree that she's one of a kind.

So join the fun and get to know Krista.

Colleen: Is editing just a leap into the writing world? Wouldn't you rather write?

Krista: Actually, no. I love editing; creating is not something I feel a call to do. The first time I knew I wanted to be an editor was when I was in college, and I picked up a romance from someone whose backlist I’d loved—she’d now moved on to bestseller status, and you could tell she was rushing to write these books. It was as I was making notes on the book in front of me that I knew this was something I’d want to do full time.

Colleen: I think the very best editors are ones who are gifted that way right from the start! You're a rare breed, you know. So what do you prefer to see when a submission comes across your desk? A really great voice and story or an average story from an author with a marketing plan and a speaking platform that will sell bazillions? In other words, what's the most important thing--the book or the marketing plan?

Krista: That differs—fiction vs. non-fiction. Non-fiction readers are reading your book because they need information or guidance, and a writer with an impressive platform, or an expert, is someone whose guidance will matter. Fiction readers are reading for entertainment, as well as for an uplifting experience, so you’ve got to have the voice.

Colleen: What's the best part of being an editor?

There are times when everything comes together—you find the right project, it gathers in-house support, gets critical acclaim and finds an eager readership. A codicil to that is when we see letters from readers who were touched by the story. Publishing can be a very insular world—we hear feedback from bookstores and marketing people, so seeing actual readers who appreciated the work the author did is a pleasure.

Colleen: What's the worst part of being an editor?

When a book you really believe in and the house really believes in fails to find its audience. It’s disheartening, but it makes us work all the harder to make sure the books do succeed.

Colleen: I know Steeple Hill does a lot to promote their authors. If a book fails, it's not for your lack of trying! Krista, a synopsis seems to be the bane of the writer--how necessary are they?

Krista: Believe me, we understand how hard the synopsis is—we work on the cover copy! You try boiling a book down to 100 words! J The synopsis is very important—I can’t be sure of where a book is going if I’ve only read the first 3 chapters. I can make an educated guess, of course, but we do need the synopsis.

Colleen: Is there a most embarrassing moment you've had as an editor?

There have been many, but most involve tripping. There was also the time as an assistant when I kept calling an author by her pseudonym until she gently corrected me. (Honey, you can call me Ann, you know.)

Colleen: Tripping! I can so relate, girlfriend! You seem much too dainty to ever be clumsy. LOL So, what are you reading right now?

Krista: I’m a die-hard library fan, because I read so much—I’d be buried in books if I wasn’t able to return them! I just returned SALT by Mark Kurlansky (non-fic) and THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. I’ve also just finished reading THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr (for the umpteenth time!) at the gym & on the subway and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver at home. It recently won the Orange Prize in London, so I thought I’d check it out. Of course, I just got a notice from the library that THE CELL by Stephen King, VERONICA by Mary Gaitskill (again, another prize nominee I thought I’d check out) and a chick-lit by Gigi Grazer are waiting for me, so they’ll be up next! CLUB SANDWICH by Lisa Samson was my gym reading this weekend—I’ve been hooked on her since WOMEN’S INTUITION. The RT review for the newest Linda Hall, DARK WATERS also piqued my interest—she’s one of my steady favorites, so I’ll be putting in a request for that one soon.

I also love my library, because they keep the Love Inspired books right up front by the checkout. And I didn’t even need to ask them to!

Colleen: Oh we are so alike! I LIVE at my libary!

Krista: And I’ll give you my when-I-was-an-assistant story—whenever we were feeling down about our job choice, my roommate and I (because yes, if you are an assistant in publishing, you need a roommate in order to keep a roof over your head) would head to the local bookstore and look up our names in the acknowledgements of the books we’d worked on. That and a latte were a good cure for the blues!

Colleen: Coffee! Now you're talking our language. The four of us are coffee freaks too. LOL Thanks so much for joining us, Krista! It's great to know a Princeton grad can trip, read books at the library, and be just as real and as fun as you are. See you soon!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:17 PM  
  Comments (18)
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At 10:07 PM, Blogger Meredith Efken said...

Hey, Krista! *waving wildly and blowing kisses* What a great interview! You're terrific! Good choice, Colleen. :) (Krista was the editor that rescued me from my unpublishedness and made my first book sparkle. She's wonderful!)

At 10:08 PM, Blogger :-)Ronie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger :-)Ronie said...

Wow! What a great interview. Thank you so much, Colleen & Krista, for sharing your time and energy. Y'all are such a blessing!!

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Fun interview! Krista, I loved reading that you get such a kick out of your work. You really must be following your 'call.'

Thanks for the interview, Colleen!

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Great interview, Krista and Colleen! So fun to see the types of books you like to read, Krista!

Thanks for joining us for a day!

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Even seeing Krista's name here makes me smile. It really is great to see an editor who fulfills their calling. They make writers shine! Thank you for joining us Krista! Kristin

At 3:56 AM, Anonymous Mary Hawkins said...

Very interesting to get a tiny glimpse into an editor's life, Krista. Makes me want more!

And you have Love Inspired books at your library? Oh, my, how wonderful that would be. Until the last year I've had real trouble even trying to buy them here in Australia. I'm just so thankful that even if they are months late I can now get them here.
I really enjoy these books and thank you so much for sharing.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing a little of yourself with us, Krista.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. I've spoken with Krista at several ACFW conferences, and it was neat to get a peak into her personal life. I love libraries and always had one day a week as library day for my boys when they were in elementary school. They still love to read today. Thanks for sharing.
Martha Rogers

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Funny interview.....LOL on the tripping! I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE! Can't wait to see you, Krista, at ACFW ! :)

At 4:05 PM, Blogger ScrollSquirrel said...

Great interview! Funny and informative. THanks, Krista and Colleen, for doing this.

Cheryl Wyatt

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

Wonderful interview, Krista. I can testify to what a great editor you are. I SO enjoy working with you. I always feel my editor's name should be on the cover of my books. No way could I finish a book without that polish. I'm glad the "girls" of Girls Write Out gave me this forum to publicly say "Thank you, Krista!"

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krista says thanks soo much for all your comments. It was so cool to see the nice things you had to say!

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

Great interview! Thanks, Colleen and Krista! Dang, woman, you read a LOT. Well, I guess since you're an editor, you get paid to do it. :) I feel like I need to actually carve out time to read or else I'd be clueless about what else is being published.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Ruth said...

Wow, fantastic interview. Thanks for sharing, Krista & Colleen! As one who dreams of becoming an editor, I found your insight and stories fascinating.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Lynda Schab said...

I just came across this interview - thanks for posting, Colleen. Krista currently has the first three chapters of my wip, as she's judging it for the final round of the "Get Your Stiletto in the Door" contest through It's great to get a glimpse into her life and what she looks for in a book and an author. Makes me even more anxious to see her comments on my entry (I think... LOL) --Lynda

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Hey, Krista Just wanted wish you good luck!!! Great Job!!!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Great Job!! GOOD LUCK with everything!!!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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