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Nearly twenty years ago, while the ink was still drying on my philosophy degree, I started working as an editor. I wanted to be a writer, a novelist actually, but publishing looked like an ivory tower I would need to sneak my way into. Sure, I didn’t know a serial comma from a hole in the page, but getting a job as an editor at least felt possible. Landing an agent and a book deal on the other hand, well, I thought I had better odds on seeing a pig fly than doing that.

     I worked at a number of houses as a nonfiction editor for about a decade before starting Tandem Books with a design partner. We weren’t quite packagers, but we weren’t quite not packagers, so we called ourselves a publishing studio. We did a ton of projects, working on books that ran the gamut from midlist titles with first-time authors to big-deal books with heavyweights like the New York Times and Mel Brooks—all while I wrote for our clients.

     The business was certainly a success, but I was neck deep in a career that was supposed to have only been a backdoor into the tower. Yes I was writing, but it was all commissioned work that burned up most of my creative energy. So I made a bonkers decision. I left the thriving business we had built to take a crack at being a writer instead of an editor who also writes. That gave me the time and brain space to finish my first novel, which you may just see on shelves in the not too distant future. 

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