For our first Quick Questions interview of the year, we’re talking to Stacey Barney, Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers. Stacey acquires a wide range of middle grade and young adult fiction and select nonfiction and picture books. She has edited 2013 Coretta Scott King Honor-winning, Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Daniel Minter; Kristin Levine’s award-winning The Lions of Little Rock; Tara Sullivan’s Golden Boy, a YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults; Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman, NYT bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, the book that inspired Mean Girls; the NYT bestselling Ask Elizabeth by accomplished actress Elizabeth Berkley; award-winning Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor and most recently The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer and Firebird by American Ballet Theatre Soloist Misty Copeland and Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers. Forthcoming titles include The Wrath and the Dawn, a sumptuous YA retelling of Arabian Nights and Unlocking the Truth, the inspiring memoir of Brooklyn-bred, teen heavy metal band ‘Unlocking the Truth.’ Stacey is looking for contemporary realistic literary middle grade and literary/commercial YA.
1. What book has come out in the past year that you wish you’d been the editor on? Why?
Dorothy Must Die. It was one of the most inventive and compelling reads for me this year.
2. What’s something you’d like to tell aspiring authors, that perhaps they haven’t yet heard from anyone?
I don’t know if there’s anything new under the sun, but I guess that patience and perseverance pays off. Just be sure to hone your craft along the way.
3. If you could travel back in time for one day, where would you go, what would you do, who would you hang out with?
I’d go to James Baldwin’s home in France and sit with him awhile just sharing the quiet.
4. If you won 50 million dollars, what would you do? Would you still work in publishing?
I’d travel the world–first spending some time exploring the continent of Africa–and reading.
5. What’s currently on your manuscript wish list? What’s definitely not on the list?
The unexpected. I don’t have anything that’s specifically not on my list. Otherwise, how would I find the unexpected? 😉
Thanks for participating, Stacey!