Posted by: Diane Curran | October 25, 2009

Interview: Sourcebook YA editor – Daniel Ehrenhaft

Today we interview Daniel Ehrenhaft, YA Acquiring Editor for Sourcebooks.

Welcome to We Love YA, Daniel!

1. You said on the Sourcebooks website: “The things you discover as a teen-your favorite novels, your favorite poetry, your favorite bands-these stay with you for the rest of your life.  They matter.  They make a mark.  They really do burn.  That moment of discovery is what Sourcebooks Fire is all about.”

Tell us about your teen favorites that have stayed with you.
Growing up, I devoured S.E. Hinton—that’s the obvious first that leaps to mind.  Paul Zindel, as well.   And while Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Hunter Thompson aren’t teen authors, their writing certainly has teen appeal; you can see their influence all over YA today.

2. A question debated in our We Love YA comments: Are you only open to agented submissions for the Fire line?
Generally, yes.

3. “Sourcebooks will aquire in a variety of media…”  If someone was to pitch you a multi media project, for example a novel with an interactive web component, how should it be presented to you?
If you’re going to submit a project that involves a web component, it would be great to have a link to a site, even if it’s a site-in-progress.  We have an amazing tech team at Sourcebooks and are working on all kinds of amazing digital opportunities; publishing is no longer just about books, especially in YA.

4. As a novelist as well as an acquiring editor, how do you balance the two roles in your life?
I’m hardly a novelist anymore… Building a YA list at Sourcebooks is so amazingly fun, challenging, and exciting, and that’s my top priority.  I have a few books coming out next year, but that’s pretty much it.  Besides, in lots of ways, I find working with authors I love more rewarding—and definitely more immediately gratifying—than writing my own fiction.  I’m sure I’ll write again when I’m inspired…

5. What haven’t you seen across your desk that you’d really like to see?
A surprising, funny boy book that will appeal to girls just as much.

6. What don’t you want to see in YA Fiction?
Anything gratuitous.  Sex, drugs, and violence work—so long as they serve the story.  If they’re just thrown in to shock or generate controversy, I always say: “Oy vey.”

7.What has been your favourite YA book (published) over the last couple of years?
Oh, man.  That’s impossible to answer! ? I lapped up KING DORK and the Suzanne Collins novels (I know, along with zillions of other YA fans) faster than some other books, but I also just finished HOW TO SAY GOOD-BYE IN ROBOT and GOING BOVINE, both of which blew me away in completely different ways.  Is it a cop-out to say any great YA I’m reading at the moment?
Daniel Ehrenhaft is the acquiring editor of Sourcebooks, Fire. He is also the guitarist of Tiger Beat, the only all-YA-author band on the planet.  Occasionally he writes books for teens and children.  He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, along with two increasingly demented pets.  You can visit him at www.danielehrenhaft.com

Thanks for being our guest, Daniel.

And I’ll be back later with a post on how I find time to write (if I find time – hehe!)

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the insights into the new line, Diane and Daniel! Hmm, perhaps I should get cracking on the revision of my boy book. 😉

  2. “The things you discover as a teen-your favorite novels, your favorite poetry, your favorite bands-these stay with you for the rest of your life. They matter. They make a mark. They really do burn. That moment of discovery is what Sourcebooks Fire is all about.”

    I love this! So so true. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with.Great info Diane!

  3. I’m looking forward to reading Mr Darcy’s Diary, and of course you publish a lot of Georgette Heyer’s books, how cool is that? I know she’s not really YA but I think we should have a Georgette Heyer week sometime soon.
    Thanks so much for stopping by Daniel.

  4. Get cracking, Vanessa!

    Nat, I’m amazed at all the Jane Austen sequels in the Sourcebooks catalogue – I know she’s popular, but Wow! I wonder when the Wuthering Heights sequels will take off.

    And Daniel’s quote is exactly why I can’t shake my obsession with Moving Pictures (and Alex). I still play them at least once a week.

  5. Thanks so much for having me! Um…I clearly needed an editor on this: I repeated the word “amazing” (or an iteration thereof) three times. Oh, well. I am enthusiastic about Sourcebooks, Fire, as you can see. 🙂 More soon!

  6. I recently read “Jarvis 24” by David Metzenthen. It’s a funny, surprising boy book that would definitely appeal to girls. (It’s also been shortlisted for the Inky Awards this year).

  7. You can blame me Daniel–me and my flowery vocabulary must be rubbing off on you 😉
    Great interview–and I’ve no doubt Sourcebooks Fire will be Amazing!
    Keep Shining!
    Laura
    author, I Love You More
    Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky


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