Miranda Gardner is an associate editor at Kregel Publications. She works on a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, and academic titles. She enjoys reading (of course!), discussing theology, analyzing movies, and writing music reviews for a community-run radio station.
What made you want to work in book publishing?
As is true of many editors, I started as an intern and fell in love with the job. I took the internship when I learned it was a paid position; I had no designs to be an editor beforehand. I had been working two jobs plus an internship that summer and didn’t want to keep up the pace during a semester. I finished the internship for my philosophy professor, dropped my two jobs, and started at Kregel. My passion for editing increased with each new job responsibility. Within a few weeks I didn’t want to do anything else.
What do you look for in a good proposal?
I look for a good book concept and strong author voice. Transparent authors and mature Christians stand out to me. Transparent authors are honest about their failings and provide hope to readers in the same position. Mature Christians (of any age) demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in the writing itself, not just the content.
What jumps out at you as a bad proposal?
I understand that an author wants me to think that his or her book is unique by saying no titles are comparable. But the “no titles compare to my book” line makes me think the author has done no research. I usually find comparable titles in a two-minute Amazon search. What I find most amusing is that authors who compare and contrast their book with published titles often end up convincing me of their book’s uniqueness.
What books are you reading right now?
Today I finished Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. I wasn’t thrilled with it. I’ll try his other titles later this summer because I was impressed with a Q&A session he gave at Calvin College. Next on my reading list is Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow. I’m also reading Frederick Buechner’s Beyond Words.
What book(s) made a difference in your life and why?
The Old Man and the Sea was the first book I read as literature. I liked the language better than the story. I memorized dialog, analyzed figurative language, and sought out literary criticism online. After this book I read a lot of Hemingway titles (probably more than I should have as an impressionable high school student) and other American classics.