I'm a book editor turned young adult novelist. I still love to edit, but I’ve discovered that I like to make up my own stories even more than I like to fix other people’s. It’s less stressful. Also, I’m controlling, and I pretty much get to say what goes in the worlds that I create. I live in New York City, where I own a Metrocard and drive as little as possible. I have perfect control over my feet.

If you’re not interested in the minutiae of my career, please feel free to stop reading now. I won’t be offended (and, really, how would I even know?). If, however, you’re curious about how a book editor became a novelist, read on.

Right out of college I started working as a sales assistant for Pocket Books, which is a division of . . . my novel’s publisher, Simon & Schuster! How’s that for coincidences? I guarantee you, this never would have occurred to me back when I ate soft pretzels for lunch because they were only a dollar. Back then, I was pursuing the only job I ever wanted: editing other people’s words. After a short while at S&S, I became an editorial assistant at HarperCollins.

There I glamorously climbed the ladder of publishing. And by “glamorously” I mean that I typed a lot of rejection letters and did a lot of Xeroxing until I was promoted to assistant editor, then associate editor. Then I managed to acquire a novel (Sisters & Lovers by Connie Briscoe) that became a really big hit, and I was promoted to editor, then senior editor, and finally executive editor. I worked at a number of other publishers—Doubleday/Anchor, Hyperion, and finally Putnam—before I realized that, while I loved editing, I really didn’t like a lot of the business aspects of publishing. I admire the people who do it well, but it wasn’t my strength or my passion. What I really loved was to help writers do their best possible work. After I became a freelancer, in addition to editing, I also ghostwrote a number of books. No, I can’t tell you which books, because that’s confidential. What I can tell you is that it’s really hard work. Really. Hard. Work. You can read a little more about my editing business if you visit pvabooks.com.

Once an editor always an editor. Back in college, I edited my friends’ papers (I once tried to edit Heidegger, and my friend pointed out that it was a quote and therefore off limits; I still maintain it needed editing). There is a particular satisfaction I get from solving the puzzle of improving someone else’s story—whether a memoir or a novel. It’s like performing therapy on a book. What does this book want to be? How can I help this book be its best self? Now that I’m a storyteller as well, I like to think the two skills work in tandem. My editorial experience makes me a better writer, and my writing makes me a better editor. Certainly I know far more about constructing novels now that I’ve done it from the inside.

All that said, I really love being a novelist. The Beast Is an Animal is my first. My second novel will also be a dark fairytale. And if I get my way (remember, I am controlling), so will my third and fourth.