An Interview with Diana Gill,
Senior Editor at Eos
by Celu Amberstone
Q. Tell me a
little about yourself and your experience in the publishing
A. I’ve been in publishing about 8 1/2 years.
I’ve been with Avon, which is now Eos, Harper Collins’s SF/fantasy
imprint, for about 5 1/2 years. Before that I worked in publishing
science textbooks. In fact most of my family is in science, lots of
science geeks. So in a way I didn’t get that far afield in my own
career from the rest of my family.
Q. Does your technical background influence
what type of manuscripts you read and buy?
A. It does sometimes, but if there’s too much
science, especially physics, it loses me. Because I grew up with
science, and I like it, its always fun to see what people’s
imaginations can do with it.
Q. What do you feel sets Eos apart from other
A. When Avon-Nova was terminated Eos was created to
take the absolute literary best in science fiction and fantasy, and set
it apart. We had several award winners and very respected names because
of that. When we merged with Harper Prism we inherited many authors who
were more commercial storytellers. So for a time now we’ve been in
transition. The thing we focus on the most, whether literary, commercial
SF or fantasy, is storytelling. We are looking for stories that people
can fall in love with.
Q. Who are some of the people being promoted
under the Eos label right now?
A. This fall there is Dan Simmons's Ilium,
Dave Duncan, Lois Bujold, for example.
Q. What advice can you offer Canadians who wish
to get published in the U.S.?
A. I don’t have any special advise to offer
Canadians. We have several. The key thing for anybody is to know our
list, know what kind of books we publish before submitting. We do a wide
variety of topics within the genre, but it’s important to know the
genre. When we took unsolicited submissions we often got manuscripts
from people who didn’t seem to understand what SF and fantasy are. Now
we don’t take anything but agented submissions, but we do take
unsolicited query letters. By email or paper. We prefer email actually.
I wish I had an easy formula for what we’re looking for, but we really
do have a wide variety of titles and we do take new authors. We have
four new authors in the coming year. For us horror is a hard sell, King
Arthur-type fantasy is a hard sell, and we don’t do short story
collections from individual authors.
Q. Do you feel novels set in Canada will have a
harder sell in the U.S.?
A. If there is an aspect of Canadian folklore or
history that is key to the story but wouldn’t be well known or
understood outside of Canada, that might make the book hard to sell to
us. Though difficult, the key thing is always the story. If I get caught
up in the story I don’t really care where it’s set.
Q. Do you take books published in Canada and
republish them in the States?
A. I can’t think of a Canadian title that we’ve
done that with, but we have done that for Australian books. We would
certainly consider it.
Thank you again for doing this for me.