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Samantha Swenson, editor. "Don't get cute!"

What was the first book you hid from your parents?

Definitely a Stephen King—I snuck those off the shelf on a regular basis. Also I remember reading VC Andrews at my grandma’s house, which I’m sure I instinctively kept on the downlow.

What book changed the way you look at the world?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Still not entirely sure I understand what a tesseract is, but that book certainly blew my tween mind.

*Also a shout out to Catcher in the Rye, which made me realize that I didn’t necessarily have to agree with the status quo (ie, everyone loved that book and I… did not) and that was a good thing. (Huge fan of Nine Stories, though.)

Have you ever stolen a book? Why/when/where?

No, I was a very rule-following (boring) kid. I think I accidentally didn’t return a Blockbuster rental once, though. Does that count?

What book did you love as a kid that you realize now was “of its time” and would not be published today?

The Adventure series by Enid Blyton. I loved reading about these kids being completely adult-free: what they ate, where they slept, what disgusting-sounding things they ate out of tins. However, there were a few books in that series that we didn’t have growing up, and when I came across them and read them as an adult I saw why.

In which fictional house or land would you like to live?

Bag End

Which fictional character(s) do you wish was your best friend?

Frog and Toad.

Choose three adjectives to describe yourself.


What annoys you most in a book?

Unnecessary dialogue tags. Just use “said,” don’t get cute!

What was your first book-related job?

Editorial assistant at Kids Can Press was my first official book-related job. While doing my Master’s degree, I edited the annual postgrad literary journal, but unfortunately I didn’t get paid for that gig.

When you’re reading for “pleasure”, are you holding the blue pencil? (Part B: DO you ever read for pleasure?)

I read for pleasure a lot, and that blue pencil does insert itself from time to time! Mostly when a book needed a hearty edit and didn’t get it. Fortunately that doesn’t happen a lot, so the blue pencil does get the rest it needs.


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