Fiction & Drama

Friday Five: Tilda McDonald, Senior Commissioning Editor at Avon Books


This week, Tilda McDonald, Senior Commissioning Editor at Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, answers our #FridayFive questions:

What does a normal day look like for you?

Usually, a lot of meetings and emails! I might be briefing a cover, discussing title ideas with the editorial team and catching up with an agent on their latest exciting submissions. On rarer days I’ll shut myself away to edit one of my author’s manuscripts.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love pretty much all of it, but my favourite part is discovering a talented author – from the moment I see the agent’s pitch to the moment I make an offer (and there are a lot of steps in between).

What do you most admire about your industry?

The people, from my team to agents and authors. I get to work with people who are creative, intelligent and generally very good company.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m swapping back and forth between four submissions, and I just finished an edit for a new author I’m very excited to publish next year. For pleasure, I’m reading The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon, which is great.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Do your research – from looking at what’s on shelves to working out which authors you see yourself sitting alongside – but inject your book with your own personal flair. It’s a tough line to walk, writing something commercially appealing that still has a difference, but those are the books we get the most excited about.

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