Meet the faculty of the 2015 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We've asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.
Next in the series is Aubrey Poole.
Aubrey Poole got her start as an editor correcting her friends’ grammar in high school, an effort which naturally guaranteed instant popularity. She is now an associate editor at Sourcebooks, acquiring children’s books from picture books through young adult. Her first YA novel, Send by Patty Blount, was a Junior Library Guild pick. Her middle grade novel This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy Cavanaugh received a Starred review from Kirkus, is a Florida State Book Award winner and an NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts. Nancy’s second novel, Always Abigail, is a 2015-16 nominee for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Aubrey hopes to continue shamelessly courting librarians with her middle grade series The Ninja Librarians, which also received a Starred review from Kirkus. Some of Aubrey’s authors include New York Times and USA Today bestseller Suzanne Brockmann, USA Today bestseller Juliana Stone, award-winner Mari Mancusi, award-winner Jen Calonita, Janet Gurtler, Natalie D. Richards, Anna Staniszewski and illustrator Tracy Dockray.
What attracted you to children’s books?
My own childhood. I was the biggest bookworm growing up. I read several books a week. The first thing I did when I got my driver’s license was make a trip to the local library. And the hilarious thing was I had no idea how to get there (in my very small, rural town) because I spent every moment in the car up to that point reading! Books are a big part of who I am today, and I want to pass along that joy to new readers.
What’s the best part of your job?
Books! Finished books, unfinished books, sticking my hands into the guts of a manuscript and helping to shape it into something beautiful!
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Balancing all the other demands of an Editor’s job and spending quality time developing manuscripts. Writing marketing copy, looking at cover designs, keeping up with competitor’s titles, analyzing sales data, finessing metadata – an Editor’s responsibilities are vast. But the most important responsibility we have to an author and his/her work.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
Books are subjective! I really worried about rejecting the wrong book – what if it ended being a bestseller? I spent a lot of time reading manuscripts that I just wasn’t enjoying. But I learned from my fellow Editors at Sourcebooks that it’s okay if something just isn’t to you taste! Every person’s experience with a book is unique and you just have to find the projects that fit you.
Come see Aubrey at the 2015 Austin SCBWI conference, March 7-8.