Swoon Spotlight: Anne D.
What is your official title?
Senior Creative Director
Briefly describe your job.
I oversee the design department for Roaring Brook Press and FSG Books for Young Readers.
How long have you been in your position?
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is nurturing talent and helping people unravel their storytelling ideas.
What is your least favorite part of your job?
My least favorite thing is hiring and firing. Both very stressful.
What is the most common misconception about publishing?
The most common misconception about children’s book publishing is that anyone is capable of children’s book illustration with very little effort.
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be?
I would not trade jobs. I have the best situation.
What is the funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family member describe your job?
My preschooler once said I make Bad Kitty Books in the Flatiron State Building. He also thought I nurtured a crop of tomatoes here, I have no idea why.
What did you study in school?
I majored in animation and illustration at The School of Visual Arts.
Do you use your degree in your current job?
Everything I learned growing up as an artist and then graduating from art school helps me to understand, communicate with, and sometimes translate for the artists I work with.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Working in the basement of the original Barnes & Noble Sale Annex on 5th avenue (before B&N became a superstore chain) was pretty strange and educational. I helped sort and appraise used and antique children’s books. There were feral cats that slunk around under the NYC streets and through that basement. Some of my coworkers were pretty wild too.
How did you get into publishing?
I answered an ad in the New York Times for an entry level design position at Grosset & Dunlap back in 1989.
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
I jumped at the chance to work on Swoon Reads because Jean Feiwel was launching this enterprise and the value of observing her work up close is invaluable. She is very clever and interesting.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
The possibility that we might publish a book so exciting that someone new may become addicted to reading.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
I like romances in an historical setting.
What was the first romance you ever read?
I think it might have been Judy Blume’s Forever.
What doers your desk look like on any given day?
Loads of imagery from various projects fighting for attention.
What’s a book you wished you worked on?
The Bible. . . . Hee, hee.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t sell your Apple stock in 1995.