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Article AUTUMN 2004

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 business.

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 publishing houses?

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.



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Posted October 9, 2004