If you haven’t checked out Entangled Publishing, you’re missing out on some of the best YA books to hit the market. In fact, one of their more recent YA titles, THE MARKED SON, was written by my agent-mate, Shea Berkley, and has readers utterly rabid. True Story.
A huge reason why YA books releasing from this pub house are a success is due to Heather Howland, Managing Editor at Entangled. Heather is an agented author herself, so when it comes to transforming a manuscript from good to great, she’s got the tool belt to make it happen. Obv, I had to interview Wonder Woman ASAP and get the lo down on being awesome.
1) You are superhero. Every time you take down a bad guy, you shout out these words. What are they?
My first instinct would be to jump up and down and shout “BOOYAH” in their crumpled bad guy faces, because—minus the bad guys—that’s my response to just about everything positive. But in this situation, I’m a superhero, and as such, I must school my more, erm, exuberant reactions and rock my mad—and silent—ninja skills. Bummer.
2) Tea. Hot or cold?
I’m going to pass on the tea. The Powers That Be decided it’d be fun to watch me plod through life allergic to caffeine and dairy and just about everything else most writers/editors subsist on, so I can’t even doctor up uncaffeinated teas that taste like fermented weeds. Yes, you pity me. That’s okay. Give me a tall, frosty glass of cherry limeade with a straw, a gaudy paper umbrella, and a lime slice, and I’m a happy girl!
3) You have the ability to shapeshift…into a hamster. Please explain your power so that it sounds cool. Aaannnnddddd….GO!
If you’ve ever owned a hamster—or had the pleasure of watching the movie G-Force five hundred and eighty three gajillion times with your kids like I have—you already know how handy it’d be to shift into a hamster. I can squeeze under any door, gnaw through any barrier, and blend in just about anywhere. Thankfully I’m not one of those bright black and red hamsters, or I’d be screwed with the blending bit. Anyway, if you’re worried your boyfriend is hooking up with that girly-girl he’s “tutoring,” I’ll happily hide in the stuffed animals on her bed and sink my looooong hamster teeth into his throwing hand the second he leans in for a kiss. Vigilante Hamster, 1. Cheating boyfriend, 0.
4) The government has erased middle names given at birth. Instead, you must assign your own middle name. Please tell the world your new full name.
I’m kind of digging Vigilante Hamster. I’d like to be called Heather Vigilante-Hamster Howland. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
5) Editors have been drafted to go to war (against terrifying aliens or something…I don’t know), what is your weapon of choice?
Oh, this is easy. My weapon of choice is the serial comma! I’ll lecture the aliens on why getting rid of the serial comma will lead to the degradation of the English language until they get so freaked out about their own failing language that they hop back into their spacetion wagons and flee. If that doesn’t work—and if they haven’t peaceably joined the coalition to save the serial comma, which is very likely once I get done with them—I’ll get Kinkos to make me an enormous laminated comma that I’ll wield like a scythe. Take that alien scum!