Hi y’all! I’m Angela. I’m a graduate of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication as well as of George Washington University’s Master’s of Publishing program with an overwhelming love for books and everything that goes into making them.
In high school, I was introduced to Gertrude Stein and that was the moment that I decided that I wanted to pursue publishing as a career. I lost sight of that as the pressure of college approached and commenced, but was reminded after graduation as I began to read for pleasure again. I could, and still can, lose myself in a novel for hours at a time, interrupted only by my boyfriend’s football cheering and my cat’s meowing. I want to help others get lost in a fictional (or non-fictional) world, even for only a few hours.
Gertrude Stein contributed so much to the Lost Generation that their books are synonymous with her name, even without it having to be explicitly stated. The works of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Anderson and Wilder are the masterpieces they have become because of Gertrude’s influence. Her influence might not have been implicit in the work itself, but her personal literary style and idea evolution was influential to these artists and novelists, helping to mold the style of some of history’s best authors. Those authors and the stories they produced wouldn’t be who and where they are in the history of literature without her influence.
My favorite view of Gertrude is through the eyes of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. A modern-day screenwriter, Gil, is transported back to 1920s Paris every evening at midnight and is able to witness some of the most historic unions and meetings of the times. Gil meets Ernest Hemingway one night in a bar and the author offers to introduce Gil to Gertrude Stein. A meets lively and vivacious Kathy Bates portrays Gertrude Stein, helping Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali to find their way and create the best art they could. She was kind and motherly in her Salon, providing guidance and constructive criticism to help them along. She helps Gil, along with the better-known authors, strategically guiding him to make his fledgling novel the best it can be.
While I know that the history books paint a slightly different picture of Gertrude, I like to think of her this way, as a helping, guiding, nurturing presence. My mental picture of Gertrude might be a bit romanticized, no thanks to Mr. Allen, but I don’t think it particularly matters how accurate my vision of her is. People should be able to glean guidance and inspiration from wherever they can find it, whether that inspiration is based on the real or fictional world.
In today’s publishing culture, I believe that I would like to be either an acquisitions editor or a copy editor for an independent trade publisher in Chicago. I want to be an editor that either helps find and bring in the best possible stories or one that helps make those stories even better, in the manner of Gertrude Stein. She was able to help both the authors that visited her Salon and the readers that purchased the novels she helped influence. I want to be in a position where I can also help both the reader and the author realize something great. I want to help the reader by helping to mold a novel or story that thoroughly engages them and help the author by guiding them through the process of realizing their authorship dreams. A well-crafted title can change the life of a reader, sparking an idea that guides them to better the lives of others or igniting a fire for a passion they didn’t know existed before they read the words in front of them. On the same token, helping an author to fine-tune and publish the works they have poured themselves into can inspire them to write the next best-seller or the next passion-igniter. There are so many possible outcomes that can result from publishing a single title and that is something that I want to be a part of. I want to be the best editor that I can be so that I can help someone else be the best author that they can be. It’s a cycle that I so very much want to be a part of for my own professional reasons and for the possibilities it opens up to the literary public.
I want to be able to lead prospective authors and learn from them, to guide them and receive guidance in return. I want to be a modern-day, miniature Gertrude Stein. I want to help more books get into the hands of more readers and I want to bring more smiles to more reading faces. I want to be a great editor who helps produce great books. I am beyond excited thinking about the possibilities that lay ahead, so join me on my journey through the world of publishing, won’t you?