Editing + Meeting My Editor!

ME #1: OH. Who is THAT??

ME #2: That's our celebrity boyfriend, Jim Sturgess.

ME #1: Wow. Why does bedhead look so much sexier on guys?

ME #2: It really is unfair.

ME #1: [wipes drool off chin, onto jeans] So why are you giving me this picture? What did I do to earn it?


JIM: [enters office] Are you talking to yourself again?

ME: [slams laptop shut] No!

JIM: Bloody hell. So this is where of all of our coffee mugs went.

ME: Do you have a reason for coming in here?

JIM: I, er, don't want you to take this the wrong way, but the other celebrity boyfriends and I have been talking, and, well, you really ought to consider a shower. How many days has it been?


JIM: No! No. You're just . . . a little ripe. That's all.


JIM: I know, darling! It's just . . . is that tuna you're eating? Straight from the packet?

ME: I was too tired to cook.

JIM: So you're eating tuna. Straight from the packet.

ME: Um. It would appear so.

JIM: With your fingers.

ME: [blinks] You have preeeetty hair.

JIM: [leans out door] BACKUP! I NEED BACKUP!

So I've been editing Anna and the French Kiss. And now I'm done editing. Until the next round of editing. So, you know, that's what's been happening.

I like editing. Actually, I love it. But it takes a lot of out of me.

I wish I had some glorious nugget of wisdom to impart to you (or to Future Me), but I really don't. My mind is shot to pieces. I'm pleased with the results (my editor is brilllllliant), though I'm already agonizing over certain bits I'd like to fix. But . . . that's how I roll. If deadlines didn't exist, I would NEVER give up my work! I would edit that one thing for the rest of my life.

So now I'm deep in a recovery that involves taking uncontrollable fourteen-hour naps, staring blankly at the accumulated mess in my kitchen, and watching British period dramas.* This is so I can feel refreshed — as soon as humanly possible — to finish another round of Lola. Which is already overdue. Which still has a TON of work left. Which is making me feel like I want to crawl into a ball and die.

Not to be melodramatic or anything.

So! Manhattan! I totally went!

This post is a good time to talk about the main reason I went to New York . . . to meet my editor! And do book-y things!

Like . . .

Visit Books of Wonder, a famous children's bookstore:

Ooo! Ahh!

Naturally, my first stop was the young adult section:

Someday . . . I'll be on this shelf!

But the entire store was fantastic. (It's ALL children's books! How could it not be?) I felt awkward taking too many pictures inside — my apologizes for the lack of bookstore porn — but I did snap these figures hovering above the door:

The Tin Man is my favorite.

Then I went to visit my publisher. Yes, ah hem . . .



Even more embarrassing than asking to take pictures inside the bookstore, was asking to take a picture of the following sign. Seriously. So embarrassing.


It was mind-blowing to step off the elevator, see that iconic bird, and realize I have a connection with it now.


I was there to meet my editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel. If you've been following this blog for a while, you already know that I like my editor. Very, very much. Julie is the woman behind so many books I'm passionate about — including ALL of John Green's novels, Gayle Forman's If I Stay, and Lauren Myracle's Winnie series.

And, for some reason, she's my editor too.

I'm still scratching my head over how this happened. I honestly haven't been this nervous about meeting someone since I met my husband. I wanted it to go so well, so badly! In fact, I was SO nervous that by the time it was over, and I was back in my friends' brand-new apartment, I threw up in their brand-new toilet. Which was simultaneously a high and a low:

HIGH: It went awesome!
LOW: I am vomiting in my friends' toilet.

But yeah. It went awesome! Julie is just as intelligent and funny and thoughtful in person as she is in her emails and phone calls. I don't know how it's even possible, but I'm MORE thrilled to be working with her now. She's incredible. Period.

(She's making my book so much better, you guys. For instance, if she were editing this blog, she would have just cut the vomiting part.)

Tra la la! Just hangin' out with my editor. Like I do. (Aren't we cute?? Braggidy brag brag.)

She also introduced me to tons of people around the Dutton and Penguin offices. Everyone was so genuinely nice, and I was grateful to have a chance to thank them. At least, I *hope* I remembered to thank everyone! I was in a state of dumbfounded awe the entire time.

The highlight of my entire trip occurred when Julie introduced me to someone who then immediately SHOUTED the full name of the boy in my book! To hear his name coming from the lips of a woman I'd never met (and in such a flattering manner!), was . . . shocking. If I could swallow my tongue, I have no doubt that I would have.

It never ceases to amaze me that anyone could possibly care about this book but me. Or that people will actually read it. People have ALREADY read it!

Surreal. When did this become my life?

I'm feeling a lot of love for Anna and her boy right now . . .


Coming soon: My last New York post, PLUS a special treat! And it's not tuna!

*SO FAR: Persuasion (2007), The Way We Live Now (2001), Brideshead Revisited (2008) — All three were good. Persuasion was a repeat, and Brideshead was a surprise. The cinematography was outrageously beautiful in an Atonement meets The Brothers Bloom kind of way (Gorgeous English home! Venice! Morocco! Fabulous costumes!), and the acting was superb. Though I wish they would've shaved fifteen minutes off the final running time. It dragged a bit towards the end. Oh well. Still worth watching!


  1. Oh I just finished Wives and Daughters for the twentieth time. I think I've seen it more than Pride and Prejudice. I loved your long, illustrated post. Very entertaining. So sorry about the vomit.

  2. You two ARE so cute! I love you two. And HarperCollins has a big pillar outside of their building, and I totally stood in the middle of the sidewalk like an idiot taking pictures of it.

    You're TOTALLY allowed. It's like, contractually obligated or something.

    I love you. I'm glad you're done editing. And I'm glad you've showered and slept and stuff!

  3. I miss reading Stephanie's awesome posts. Oh wait, you are now my nemesis. Forget that first part.

    So not that bad of a post for a stinky hbm groupie. Nice pictures of new york, editors and penguin and all that, if you're into that kinda thing (which I sincerely am in my non-nemesis split personna). Whatever.

  4. Stephanie I have missed you!
    Mimi just called me and asked me what I was doing. I told her reading your new blog post and laughing to myself.
    I know it is a little late but something that I loved in March was movie The Young Victoria, in fact I loved it so much I am still loving it in April.
    I am just can't tell you how excited I am for you, thank you for sharing. It is just so happy making.

  5. That all sounds like so much fun!

    Except the vomiting. Not that part at all.

    And, yes, you and your editor are ADORABLE.

  6. I didn't see those figures the last time I went to Books of Wonder! The Tin Man's pretty cute :D Have you gone to Strand Bookstore yet? That store is amazing. And yes, very cute smiley picture! ;) Overall it sounds like you had a great time. (minus the puking. And smelling ripe. But that's just part of the adventure right?)

  7. Jessie — Ooo! I have Wives & Daughters on my Netflix list! Maybe I should watch that next...

    Kiersten — Thank you! :) And I'm glad I've showered, too. I am far less repulsive now.


    Connie — Thank you so much. I loved The Young Victoria, too! Paul Bettany was brilliant. ("Hi" to Mimi!)

    Mindi — Thanks. :) And the vomiting wasn't so bad. I felt sooo much better when it was over. HA!

    Pirate — Strand!! It's been on my list, and I keep forgetting to go! Next time. Definitely next time. And thank you for the compliment! Yes, it was a near-perfect trip!

  8. Yay! What a happy making post. Made me smile all over just to read it! And I can't wait to read your book. :)a

  9. North and South! Watch some North and South--also LOVE the Jim convo--congrats on being done! This whole post is for the win! Now watch some North and South:-)

  10. I'm so glad you had a great time! You and your editor look fab-- and you look SO deliriously happy, it's kind of adorable.

    And HUZZAH for period dramas! I've been on the same bender (though only because I can't seem to write anything right now), and have managed North&South, Persuasion, P&P, and I just started in on Little Dorrit (which is FANTASTIC if you haven't seen it). Oh and I maybe watched Bright Star, which may or may not have shattered my heart.... and I'm rambling.

    Glad you had fun in NYC! And I'm glad you're regrouping after the whirlwind edits!

  11. Awww - the picture with your editor is adorable. For some reason, I thought Julie Strauss-Gabel had to be older than that.

    I'm sorry you were so very nervous.

  12. Oooh -- must get Brideshead. Ha, like I ever watch movies anymore!!!! And The Way We Live Now -- what do you think? I saw it so long ago, and am remembering that Matthew was a cad and was mean to Moaning Myrtle and that Cillian Murphy was very very yum like he should be getting a bunkbed in the Celebrity Boyfriend Dorm Room :-)

    Yay for Penguin and for Julie adding you to her list of SUPER TALENTED WRITERS!!!! I can't wait to read the final PUBLISHED form of Anna and see how it's changed. Whenwhenwhen???


    (And the puking should not be edited out. It humanizes this Stephanie Perkins character. She's a soon-to-be-famous author, yes, but she pukes!)

  13. Wow, that sounds exciting! Congratulations! I've got to say, going to New York has never been a big number on the list of things I want to do with life, but now the author in me is like... really excited about maybe someday perhaps going there. :) Anyway, fantastic post, I smiled the whole way through it, and I'm so glad for you!

  14. I love that you're bringing glamour back to editing just like JT brought the sexy back.

    Dude, John Green's editor??!! That's a new kind of awesome.

  15. I have missed your posts, missy! Now, I have an editing question: I am thinking you are past the revising part where you have to make up new stuff so why is this editing business so hard? You are my second friend to talk about how utterly draining it is. Why?

    Like, there must be some kind of horrible stage between what I would call "major revision" and "editing commas."

    Do explain.

  16. Anonymous8:05 AM GMT-5

    Congrats Steph on your new book!!! We miss you over at JSOnline!!! Hope you'll stop by and say hello very soon. BTW, your celeb bf just accepted the role of Dexter in ONE DAY, directed by Lone Scherfig (AN EDUCATION) and costarring Anne Hathaway. If you haven't yet, you've GOT TO read this book!!! You'll fall in love and then die of jealousy, cause David Nicholls writing is that amazing. Picture Jim playing Dex and you will be in heaven. Talk soon, okay??? D xxx

  17. I am jealous. I have never seen the Penguin sign in person. Perhaps someday I'll go....(My editor is Lucia Monfried...bet she has a big office on the top floor or something, with chimpanzee butlers and all.) Oops, sorry about the chimp butler part...knee deep in MG edits right now and am wishing I had a chimp butler to take care of day to day things.

    Hey, yeah...um...why do guys look good with bed head and I just look kind of like Baba Yaga on a bad day?


    Glad you are home...sorry for the rambles. and congratulations on finishing one more round!!!!


  18. Debbie — Thank you! Your comment is happy making, too! :)

    Frankie — I TOTALLY almost watched North and South again! SO. GOOD.

    Corey — Yes, Little Dorrit! I liked it quite a bit too, though by the end of it I was mad every time Mr. Dorrit appeared on camera! Ack.

    Myrna — I know what you mean. It SEEMS like she should be older, because the work she produces is so . . . experienced. But no! She's quite young. :)

    Laini — Laini, Laini, Laini. OF COURSE Cillian already has a bunkbed here. Where would I be without my sweet Cillian on St. Patty's Day?? And YES, Mr. Darcy = cad. That was the exact word I kept using! And at first I thought Shirley Henderson was annoying, but by the end, I was convinced she was the most fantastic thing in the whole production. (Also, if vomiting humanizes me, I would like to state for the record that I also puked the day before I met Julie. Airport food poisoning!)

    Bethany — Oh, I love New York! But then again, I like big cities. :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when *you* visit it!!

    Jade — YES. JOHN GREEN'S EDITOR. Don't think I haven't dropped that into conversations. ;) Also, now that song is stuck in my head! I feel the urge to dance.

    Katie — I've missed you, too! And . . . HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! *wipes away tear* I'll have to answer your question in my next post.

    Diane — YAY!! It's so good to see you here again! Thanks for the update! I had NOT heard about this, nor have I read that book. I'm already adding it to the top of my to-read list! I loved love LOVED An Education. This already sounds like a *perfect* combination.

    Shelley — I'm pretty sure I saw your chimpanzee butlers in the elevator. Should I have sent them your way?? Sorry!

  19. Totally squee-worthy. I'm so excited for you! Minus the vomiting. But seriously, I would've been that nervous too! I hope to be vomit-worthy nervous for that exact reason one day. And as much as I love the pic with your editor... the caption was ever better. Braggidy brag brag all you want -- you've earned it!

  20. Congratulations on finishing your edits! Your trip to NY sounds like SO much fun. I am going in two weeks and hoping to meet my agent in person and I'm really nervous!

    Also, I love your hair! The blue suits you. I've been contemplating a pink streak myself...

  21. You MUST see Lost in Austen- it's adorable! :) Congrats on your editing being more finished than before... It's posts like this that give the rest of us unpublished folk hope that it's possible for our literary dreams to become paper-and-ink reality. Oh, and if you need someone to book talk over chocolate with, I'm right next door! :) Get some rest, you!

  22. Please don't crawl into a ball and die! If you do we will never get to read about Anna or Lola (who is sure to be amazing...I keep telling myself that the more trouble a book is to write, the more wonderfully awesome it will be when it's finished. If I am lying to myself I don't want to know.)

    And I'm sorry you threw up after meeting your editor, but at least you didn't do it before you met her, right? It's a small victory!

    I can't wait to hear more about New York!

  23. HIGH FIVE to meeting your editor!! It would ahve been so surreal to walk into that building!

  24. The conversation at the start made me laugh so hard!

    Oooh, meeting your editor must have been so exciting. It sounds like you had an amazing time!

    Thank you for the comment, and woooo, go team Gale!

  25. Oh Steph. To read this on a Monday and smile and laugh. Good stuff! Jim+Steph (1 AND 2) conversation CRACKS ME UP!

    And I love the pics. I think MY favorite reader is the Scarecrow. He just looks SO enthralled! haha.

  26. Thanks for the blog visit! I heard Julie Strauss-Gabel speak at our SCBWI conference and was crazy impressed. Glad meeting her went well--and that the vomiting came after, not during. :)

  27. Oh my! I would have been so nervous! Sounds like you had an amazing time in NYC. I love editing, too, although it seems I go much slower at editing than writing. :) Can't wait to see ANNA on the shelf!

  28. Hey! Wanted to stop by and say thanks for the comment on my blog! I had no idea you read it :)

    It's so cool that you got to go and meet your editor! It must be a dream come true. Also, I'd probably freak out just as much as you did. Just saying :)

    Can't wait to read Anna and the French Kiss!

  29. *reads Frankie's comment* NORTH & SOUTH= ♥!!! I wish I could find my own Mr. Thornton *daydreams...*

    You're very welcome! YES, next time you have to go to Strand! It's honestly one of the best bookstores I've ever walked into! I save up all my money just to go to Strand and buy books at awesome prices! :D

  30. Oh, my. I love how this post began. I just watched Across the Universe the other day. And I do believe is Jim Sturgess is mega-adorable. So adorable, in fact, it should be illegal for him to speak in an American accent. That movie 21? Yeah. That should be illegal. His accent and voice is too adorable to be altered. Sigh. Swoon. Repeat!

    And have you seen The Young Victoria yet? It's in my Netflix!

  31. OH SO EXCITING !!! can hardly wait to meet anna and her boy !

    also , the wonders of sturg ! sometimes i look up videos of him on youtube . there is an excellent holiday-themed one of him, photoshopped with santa hats on ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGk66XoiAJw

    ( it feels weird posting a link here . i am a spambot rarrrrrr )

  32. *hee hee hee* You DO look cute & I agree, Julie is liquid awesome and such an incredible person in-person!

    Looks like you had a wonderful time (except the for vomiting).