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Mary Altman

Editor, Sourcebooks Casablanca

What I'm looking for:
I’m looking for unique, engaging single-title romance novels. The subgenre doesn’t matter so long as the characters are relatable, the world is fully fleshed out, and the hook is something fresh and exciting. I love books that can surprise me and am always on the lookout for an author who has something interesting to say.

Right now, please don’t send me…
Women’s fiction. Stories where the key conflict could be solved by a single conversation. Young adult.

How I got into books:
The first book I remember loving was The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I was obsessed with the idea of finding Narnia and spent the summer checking every closet I came across just in case. Not too long after that, I found my way to The Last Unicorn and The Hobbit. (And let’s not forget hours spent wading through longboxes of Marvel comics.) I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool geek ever since.

Some favorite books and authors I didn't publish:
I have pretty wide-ranging tastes. Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan) and George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) are two of my current obsessions, though I’ll always be in the mood to read Lisa Kleypas (The Wallflower Quartet). Every few years, I end up revisiting classic horror such as Stephen King’s The Shining and The Stand. Of course, I can’t ignore my graphic novel obsession: Fun Home and Watchmen will always be two of my favorites.

One of the more important things an editor does for an author is…
It’s easy to get lost in the wilderness of a novel—a good editor plays navigator, field medic, companion, and nagging backseat driver, keeping an eye on all the details that could go wrong along the way and guiding the book toward its final destination.

I love my job because...
I get to work with creative people in a dynamic community, producing stories about love. There’s nothing better than that.

I keep my reading pile...
Everywhere! On my bedside table, piled on the coffee table, lining multiple bookshelves, tucked in a little shelf in my closet (my shoes can always find a new home), loaded on my Kindle and iPhone…

Bookstores you should visit before you die:
Three Lives & Company in New York is fantastic. It is a corner bookstore with all the charm and quirks a bibliophile could want.

When I'm not reading, I'll be...
Playing unusual board games with my friends, checking out the latest Bioware releases, and plotting my next world adventure. You can find me in comic book stores and tea shops…or parked in front of my television watching Doctor Who and Sherlock.

I follow reading, writing, and publishing news at:
Publishers Lunch, RT Book Reviews, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Dear Author.

Agents can contact me at:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and (212) 414-1701 x2222


1935 Brookdale Road | Suite 139
Naperville, IL 60563
(800) 432-7444 or 800-43Bright (toll-free)
(630) 961-3900 (phone)
(630) 961-2168 (fax)