T.S. Ferguson is an Associate Editor with Harlequin TEEN, where he acquires and edits commercial fiction for teen girls across all genres, and has the privilege of working with authors such as Kady Cross and Amanda Sun. Prior to Harlequin, T.S. worked for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, where he worked with bestselling and award-winning authors such as Jennifer Brown, Cris Beam, Sherman Alexie, Sara Zarr, and Julie Anne Peters. When he’s not reading or feeding his addiction to karaoke, T.S. is working on a Young Adult novel of his very own.
Today, T.S. is answering Three Questions about Nerdy Chicks and Reading…
1) What should today’s Nerdy Chick be reading?
That’s a tough question, since Nerdy Chicks cover such a wide spectrum of individuals with diverse interests. Obviously YA. The Nerdy Chick should be unafraid to read teen novels. They’re for everyone now.
For the Nerdy Girl who enjoys fantasy, the Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore is great, as is anything by Tamora Pierce (a classic YA fantasy author) or Cinda Williams Chima.
For those who like paranormal with an element of romance, my favorites are Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series.
And for the Nerdy Chick who enjoys a great contemporary, some of my favorites include Sarah Ockler, Jenny Han, and Siobhan Vivian.
And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some great Harlequin authors to you Nerdy Chicks. Steampunk fans should check out Kady Cross’s The Girl with the Steel Corset. If you love romance, check out Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. And if you love Julie Kagawa or Richelle Mead, you should look for Amanda Sun’s upcoming debut novel, Ink (July 2013), a paranormal adventure set in Japan and involving ancient Japanese mythology.
2) How can a Nerdy Chick make her writing stand out?
The things that stand out the most to me when I’m reading through my submissions is a unique voice and a plot that feels different. Be aware of the market and what’s already out there, don’t try to follow trends but rather focus on writing the best book you can write. Don’t be afraid of the revision process or afraid of other peoples’ edits, and even though I know it can be tough sometimes, don’t rush to submit your manuscript to editors and agents before it’s ready just because you can’t wait to be published. Writing that has been polished will always stand out over writing that needs work.
3) Who is a fictitious Nerdy Chick you admire and why?
Roald Dahl’s Matilda has always been a Nerdy Chick I loved and she is someone worth emulating. Not only is she incredibly smart, self-taught, and a lover of libraries, but she survives a neglectful and abusive home life and an abusive school environment, isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and the people she loves, and shows bravery in the face of danger. And she has telekinesis, which is pretty darn cool too.
Thank you, T.S., for your thoughtful answers! If you want to hear more of T.S.’s brilliant thoughts, follow him on Twitter: @TeeEss