Manpreet Grewal is my talented editor. It’s because she fell in love with Milo when he landed on her desk, that his story has found its way to bookshelves and readers’ hearts around the world. Manpreet has a real gift for helping her authors to carve out the heart of their story. Her favourite word is ‘cut’ but in then best possible way: think of chiselling away at the marble until you get one of those beautiful Di Vinci sculptures. I’ve learnt so much from her.
Manpreet joined Transworld Publishers in 2006 as an editorial assistant, and then joined the Sphere team at Little, Brown at the end of 2009. She is now a commissioning editor who specialises in women’s fiction, which she loves.
I hope you enjoy getting to know her, she’s amazing!
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A book lover!
What do you love most about being an editor?
Helping an author shape their novel into the best possible version of itself.
What do you find hardest about your being an editor?
Not all news is good news and it’s hard to tell an author that their book hasn’t performed how they were hoping it would.
What kind of child were you?
Quiet and a little bit awkward!
What is the first book you remember reading?
Where do you most love reading new manuscripts?
Curled up under a blanket on my favourite armchair..
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation, without a doubt. Just imagine all the time I’d save travelling between places!
Do you have a favourite drink or snack you turn to when you’re working?
A Wispa chocolate bar please!
Are there any writing tics that make your toes curl?
I’m not too pedantic but my hackles rise (slightly) when I see incorrect usage of there/they’re/their and your/you’re.
What’s been the highlight of your career as an editor so far?
Reading What Milo Saw for the first time.
Tell us something quirky about the publishing industry that most people wouldn’t know.
Editors do NOT spend all of their time reading at their desks. In fact, most of our reading tends to happen in our personal time.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be?
Roald Dahl. The man was a genius and I’d love to have a conversation with him about…anything at all.
What are you reading for pleasure at the moment?
How do you know when you want to publish a book?
When something is special, I just get a feeling in my stomach and my competitive side kicks in and I just know that I must, must, must publish this book.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
You can’t be anyone other than yourself.
Do you have an editor who has inspired you?
Every editor inspires me in their own way. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best editors in the business and they’ve all taught me invaluable lessons about publishing.
What’s your Desert Island book?
I can’t pick just one! Hmm… OK, I’d go for The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
Tell us about an exciting book you are working on today.
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor, of course.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Read, run, eat, sleep. Repeat.
What three tips would you give aspiring writer?
- Know who you’re writing for
- Have a clear idea of what the focus of the story is, and then
- Just write, write, write.
Follow Manpreet on twitter @ManpreetGrewal7.