Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interview with Christy Phillippe

I’d like to welcome our guest editor today, Christy Phillippe over at Medallion Press. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

What exciting new projects are happening over at Medallion Press?

We are excited about our upcoming nonfiction line coming out in 2010. It will feature inspirational true memoirs of people who have overcome extraordinary challenges to live life to the fullest.

Can you give us a little history about Medallion Press?

I’ll let Helen Rosburg, our president and founder, speak for herself:

Like many of you who are published authors, one of the happiest days of my life was the day I sold my first book. The elation lasted a long time. Then reality set in. Unlike the commercial for a certain drugstore chain, life is simply not perfect. Being a published author is not all it’s cracked up to be either. After my second book I found myself commiserating with fellow authors about the ups and downs of the publishing world.

As a reader I had complaints as well. Why, for instance, couldn’t a great story have a great cover? Why did that beautiful book I bought, with the exciting back blurb, turn out to be such a stinker?

A book, to me, is a treasure. Each one I buy should be a separate gem, something to read, reread, and keep on my shelf forever. In the real world, of course, this simply isn’t possible, but it didn’t stop my complaints.

After listening to myself whine and moan for a time, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. And, in June of 2003 Medallion Press, Inc. was born.

I love books. I looooooove them. I love not only to read them, but gaze at them, touch them, smell them. Books contain magic. They transport. They are light, easy to carry, generally inexpensive; in short, simply the greatest form of entertainment. My love of books is at the very heart of Medallion.

Every book Medallion produces is considered as a mini work of art. From concept to cover, it is nurtured each step of the way. Authors myself included, tend to think of their books as children. Medallion has many ‘children.’ Our goal is to have you, the reader, find the treasure you expect in every one of our books. Our mission is to have every title you buy end up on your ‘keeper’ shelf. Our greatest joy, and ultimate expectation, is not to have readers say ‘When is the next so-and-so author coming out?’ But ‘When is the next Medallion book going to be on the shelves?’

This dedication to quality is what drives Medallion Press. It is what drives its dedicated and talented staff. And it is, I hope, what will keep you all coming back for more.”

What are your top five pet peeves a new writer makes?

1. Sloppy editing

2. Not following our submission guidelines

3. Using over-description that slows down the plot line

4. Not paying attention to detail (e.g., having a woman get pregnant in January, but then she doesn’t deliver the baby until November—that’s just cruel!)

5. Here’s the bigee: Asking repeatedly for an update on the status of the manuscript. This is one of the best way to destroy your chances of getting a contract!

What are your top five pet peeves a published author makes?

1. 1. Sequels that don’t make sense

2. 22. Missing deadlines

3. 3. Assuming that one book means a contract for life

4.S4. Sloppy editing

5. 5. Unwillingness to accept an editor’s help

What old or new trend do you see in publishing at Medallion Press?

Genre-wise, in the industry itself, vampires are still a hot item, but werewolves seem to be growing in popularity. At Medallion, specifically, we have really grown our horror and thriller lines, and our romance lines are going strong. And, of course, we’re thrilled to introduce our new nonfiction line in 2010. Medallion also plans to capitalize on the unprecedented changes in the publishing industry, taking advantage of new forms of media in both publishing and marketing our books.

What catches your eye in a new writer’s work?

A fresh twist on a bankable theme, with solid writing to back it up.

For the submission process, what do you want from an author?

I cannot stress this enough: FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES.

What is your response time?

Typically between 3 and 6 months.

What new author have you recently signed?

Doug Lyle, MD, forensics expert, will publish a crime thriller with Medallion in 2010.

What new project made you grab that hidden piece of chocolate in your pencil drawer?

Plum Blossoms in Paris, by Sarah Hina, made me stop everything to keep reading. She will also be published with Medallion in 2010.

Any other chocolate nuggets you can give authors looking to break into your house?

Stick with one genre and do it well. Don’t let your plot get over-complicated. Sell me immediately in your proposal and synopsis—and please make sure there are NO TYPOS in these documents.

Thanks, Christy! Check out Medallion’s website at

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