Let's be honest here. Isn't everyone just a little bit curious as to the true identity of Miss LDSP? I know I am. So, I decided to play hard ball. Throw out some tough questions and see if I could flesh out the truth. Perhaps I went too far. Perhaps I shouldn't have treated LDSP as a hostile witness, but hey, it was worth a shot.
As you can see she's got her glasses on and she's ready for the interview.
Q--Let's not beat around the bush here, tell us who are you and what's behind your supposed "free" writing advice? Nothing's free. What's the catch?
You're right. Nothing is free—including knowledge of my alter ego. To discover my true identity, please leave $100,000 in small unmarked bills in a waterproof bag at the bottom of the reflection pool on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Upon receipt of the cash, I will e-mail my real name to you.
The catch behind my free advice? I dream of being a writer myself but am nowhere good enough to compete with those who visit my blog. So I give very complex, difficult and misleading advice to sink the competition. (bwa-ha-ha-ha)
Seriously? I got tired of wading through queries and submissions that were not well thought out, nor on topics or in genres of interest to me. So many beginning writers shoot themselves in the foot because they don't do much research on how to submit a manuscript. The blog was to help make my job—and the jobs of other LDS publishers and editors—a little easier.
Q-- Is it true that you are a KGB agent who has been hired to infiltrate the LDS Writing world so that you can gather intelligence behind the green jello and carrot salad phenomenon? What is it you hope to uncover?
Drats! Foiled again! I've been searching for the one true and living green jell-o recipe for years. I've found many professing to be THE ONE but they've all been proven false. I've recently widened my search to include the one true and living recipe for Funeral Potatoes and New Baby Casserole Surprise.
Q--Spill it! Who are your accomplices?
Torture me all you want. I'll never spill those beans!
Q--Judging by your Avatar it is evident you are a master of disguise. Where did you learn to mask your identity so effectively?
How do you know that's not an accurate rendition of my true face? Hmmm? Just because CFI stole it for the cover of one of their books and claimed it was was clip art does not mean it's not spot-on what I see in the mirror each morning. Sigh! I'm a real looker, aren't I?
Q--Who is this Whitney you keep talking about and who is she that she thinks anyone would want one of her awards?
Whitney is my BFF and we concocted the Whitney awards together as a way to get FREE books. It's a total scam. Do not participate. Do not believe all the photos of people receiving awards, nor the hundreds of people who say they attend the yearly gala. It is all staged. Like men walking on the moon. I mean really, how gullible does the government think we are, anyway?
Q--Okay, let's get a little serious. In the last year I'm sure you've read a ton of books. Can you tell us your top three favorites?
Wow. Top three favorites! I'm assuming you want LDS authors. That is going to be really hard to narrow down—especially since I'm still reading some 2010 books that are Whitney Finalists.
If I had to pick three right now, it would be Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card; Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler; and Devil's Food Cake by Josi S. Kilpack. But keep in mind, I still have a lot from 2010 to read and might change my mind in a few weeks.
Q--If you could be a character in any book you've read, who would it be and why?
Tricky, tricky! I almost answered this in a way that would have let my real identity slip. Choosing from 2010 releases by LDS authors, I'd pick Evie from Paranormalcy because she can see through people's glamours.
Q--If you could have any super power imaginable, what would it be and why?
You mean, other than the super powers required for editing and publishing? I'd like to be able to run really fast, like Superman fast. Because then exercising wouldn't take up so much time. And if I was running late, I could still get there on time.
Q--What's your favorite movie?
I recently saw Inception, that was pretty cool. I tend to like science fiction, fantasy type movies.
Q--What is one piece of advice you wish writers would take seriously?
Do the research before submitting your book! Don't use the shotgun approach to submission. Find a publisher who is interested in the type of book you've written, read their submission guidelines carefully, and then follow those guidelines exactly. Over half the rejections I send out are because the author didn't bother to check our website to see if we publish their type of book. A little research will save everyone time, money and frustration!
Q--What is it you love best about working in the LDS Publishing industry?
I love that it's a small market that responds to good clean reads. I like that I rarely get a submission that makes me feel like I have to wash my eyes out with soap after reading the first few pages. And I like that most of the people I work with, including my "competition," are kind and reasonable people without a cut-throat attitude.
Q--What is it you least like about working in the LDS Publishing industry?
It's a very small market which means none of us are going to get rich. Also, we have a geographically widespread demographic that is difficult to reach if your book is not picked up for sale by Deseret Book. Reaching the consumer and letting them know a specific book exists can be costly.
Q--What is the best piece of advice you could share with aspiring writers?
I have two:
1. Put your behind in the chair and write the book! I know so many people who have great ideas but they never get them down on paper, or never get them finished. Write the book—write what interests you, and write it as well as you can.
2. When you think your book is finished, send it out to readers before submitting it. Get critical feedback from authors and others who read a lot in your genre, then rewrite. It is especially important that these readers NOT be related to you and not invested in you personally. You need kind but honest feedback to polish up that manuscript.
Q--Are you a dog or cat person? (If neither, what kind of animal do you like?)
I'm a giraffe type person. I've always admired their long elegant necks.
Q--Tell us, master of disguise, will you be at LDStorymaker's this year? What's your favorite part of the conference?
I absolutely will be there! I love the classes and the networking with good people who are supportive and kind and sincerely want everyone to succeed. I go to several conferences each year and this one is my favorite.
That was fun. I almost got her to slip up and reveal something juicy. Too bad she saw through my trap.
Seriously, LDS Publisher is a great resource for aspiring authors. Not only does she answer much asked questions but she holds contests. Check out her blog http://ldspublisher.blogspot.com/ for all her helpful insight and to keep in tune with what's going on in the world of LDS Publishing.
I'm still looking for more victims. Did you like the interview? Would you like to take the "stand" as a hostile witness? Maybe a friendly witness is more to your liking. Drop me a note in the comments section (specifying you want to be interviewed) and I'll send some questions your way.
Until next week....when I don't know what I'll post because I need more volunteers!