Friday, November 4, 2011

Interview: Libby Murphy, Associate Editor at Entangled Publishing

Of the bevy of associate editors at Entangled Publishing, none have better taste in movies and humor than Libby Murphy. She edits Rosalie Lario, Rachel Firasek, Inara Scott, Nicola Marsh, Rayka Mennen, Misa Ramirez, and Jennifer Probst. She acquires Flirts and Ever Afters for Entangled. Welcome, Libby!

What does Entangled primarily publish?
Entangled Publishing is a boutique publisher of romantic fiction for adults and teens.
What do you acquire?
I’m acquiring works for adults and young adults. I have a serious weakness for a fantastic voice, quirky characters, and high concept plots. Send me your sci-fi, urban fantasy, contemporary romance, women’s fiction with a strong romantic element, suspense, and mysteries. Anything that can make me laugh is great, and strong heroines are a must.
What would you give your firstborn to find in your editor inbox?
Oooh! Asking the tough questions, I see! Well, because I haven’t seen anything like this come my way yet, I’m going to have to ask for something along the lines of TRON, Transformers, or The Terminator. Give me a high-tech adventure, complete with geektastic heroes and heroines, electronic super-baddies, motherboards, and lasers. *fans self*
What makes you want to cut a bitch when you see it in a submission?
A book with zero conflict…or worse, contrived conflict.
What book do you constantly buy new copies of because you use it to proselytize the genre to newcomers? And they never give it back. Even when you threaten them.
Even though I do have a wicked front snap kick, Karen Marie Moning is the absolute shiz, so I should just get over it, right? She has a voice that makes demons weep, humor that makes me all endorphin-y for weeks, morally ambiguous characters I’d gladly sell my soul to (helloooo, Adam Black!), and her romance is top notch. Buy her books. Study them. Sweet dreams are made of this, people! A close second? Julie Garwood’s historicals. I’ve worn all of her books out, I’ve read them so much. They’re things of beauty.
Favorite song to edit by.
I can never pick just one! Soundtracks are my thing, and I’m all about matching the music to the book so I get the full method editing experience. I’ve got Harry Potter, TRON, Transformers, Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Caribbean, and it’s not really a soundtrack, but Rodriguo y Gabriela. The exception is Britney Spears. I edited Patricia Eimer’s Luck of the Devil to Britney, and it turns out Patricia wrote quite a bit of that book listening to her, too. Freaky.
Favorite outfit to wear to fight club and/or while editing.
Kevlar, leather, and anything with reinforced seams (which is actually code for sweaters, flannel, and fuzzy socks).
Favorite movie.
I am such a Transformers geek it’s not even funny. But Bridesmaids (and anything Judd Apatow has made) and Thor are way high up there, too.
What social issue compels you?
Bullying. It seriously just breaks my heart, whether it’s a kid or an adult who’s on the receiving end.
Your favorite recipe (preferably for an alcoholic beverage, but we'll accept cupcakes if that's how you roll)?
I brew my own beer, but let’s keep it simple. I love cherry bourbon. It’s lovely on the rocks with Pepsi. I even mix it with brown sugar and use it to baste my Thanksgiving turkey (bonus: shingle your turkey with thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon and you have the best dang thing since cream cheese, my friends).
Where do you plan to hole up when the zombie apocalypse comes?
Hole up? I don’t need to stinking holes! I’m taking those b@stards down!
Machete or flamethrower?
I’m a Leo, so I’m going to have to go with the flamethrower.
It's badass smackdown! Who wins and why?
  • Buffy Summers vs Rachel Morgan: Buffy. She’s got the whole sneak attack thing down. You’d look at Rachel and expect bad things to happen, but Buffy? She’d take a bad guy down before he had a clue what was happening.
  • Edward Cullen vs Buffy: Buffy would turn Edward to ashes before he could stop angsting over another pretty girl wanting to get close to him. Poor Edward.
  • Snape vs Spike: Yeah, I’m going with Snape here. Spike has to bite you, but Snape could take you out merely by overpowering you with his awesomeness. I’m not exactly sure how strongly it radiates, but if I were Spike, I’d stay at least 50 feet away if I wanted to be safe.
  • Chess Putnam vs Mackayla Lane: One can see dead people but the other can see way more…well, things. So I’m going to suggest they get together with Buffy and start some unholy trinity of smackdown power.
  • Pick your own! Megatron vs. The Terminator (let’s go with the model in T2: Judgment Day). Discuss amongst yourselves.
Thanks so much for having me! Thanks for joining us, Libby! Have questions for the awesome Libby? She'll be around today to answer whatever you bring. Interested in submitting your short works to her? Check out the submissions guidelines at Entangled, and if you think Libby's the right editor for you, shoot your query letter to libby (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com.


Jenna said...

Somewhere on YouTube, there's a very funny video with Buffy and Edward Cullen. Spliced from the movie and TV show, you know? And yes, IIRC she does take him down. Poor Edward... ;-)

Libby Murphy said...

Hi Jenna!

I'm so going to have to find this now. I love that stuff. Have you seen the Robert Pattinson is Bothered skits on Jimmy Fallon's show? They're hilarious, but I especially loved the one where Rob himself showed up--such a great sport!

Adrien-Luc Sanders said...

Love your editing soundtracks - a lot of those are on my favorite list for both writing and editing, along with the HALO game soundtracks, Black Hawk Down, and a few others. If you like the TRON soundtrack, you might want to check out Glitch Mob - especially their most recent album, Drink the Sea. I heard they contributed to the TRON track along with Daft Punk, but I'm not sure if that's just rumor. Either way, it's awesome music.

Katee said...

Now I'm hungry.... *pines after turkey*

Also, the Terminator. Cause he's, well the terminator (plus I have much love for Arnold!)

Kinley Baker said...

I'm so glad you picked Snape. He is one of my favorites and completely underrated. Awesome interview!

Marsha said...

Very creative questions, Donnell. I'm not sure I'd have had answers for all of those, but, Libby, you did great. I'm so glad you love Buffy. Used to watch the show with one of my daughters. Fond memories. Marsha

Marsha said...

Oooops! Sorry, KL. I was hurrying through blogs and got confused which one I was on. LOL

KL Grady said...

LOL, Marsha. No prob. :D

Libby Murphy said...

Hi Adrienne-Luc,

I just love new soundtrack recs. Thanks so much for those! And yeah, I'm definitely going to check out Glitch Mob :)

Have a great weekend!

Libby Murphy said...

I think you called it with the Terminator, Katee. Megatron is pretty badass, but he falls apart when he fights. T2 can make himself into anything. And yeah, it's Arnold! LOL

Now I'm joining you with the turkey craving. Time for lunch, methinks!

Libby Murphy said...

Hi Kinley!

Thanks for stopping by! Glad to see there's another Snape fan in the house :) Sooooo underrated!

Libby Murphy said...

Hi Marsha,

KL has the best questions, doesn't she? Barbara Walters better eat her heart out! I had a blast answering them, and am so happy she invited me to stop by.

Have a great weekend, and thank you so much for saying hi :)

Theresa said...

Great interview, KL. I loved getting to know Libby and makes me sad that I don't write SF or urban fantasy. I do like Karen Moning, though.
Hmm. Libby, what would you love to see in a suspense or women's fiction with romantic elements . . . are you looking for chicklit?

Libby Murphy said...

Hi Theresa!

I love romantic suspense, and women's fic and chick lit with strong romantic elements. So heck yeah, I would definitely consider works in any of these genres :)

Here is my complete wish list, taken from the website:

Libby would like to see submissions for adults and young adults written with a killer voice, and she especially loves quirky characters and plots. She loves sci-fi with aliens, robots, and high tech; urban fantasy and time travel; contemporary romance; women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; and suspense and mysteries. She craves humor, anti-heroes, and underdogs, and strong, capable heroines are a must.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions :)


Libby Murphy said...

And I guess I didn't really answer your "what would you like to see" part! Sorry about that!

This is so tough to answer concretely, because really, sometimes I just look at something and I know it's just what I want. *ducks*

But I will say that I love humor--if you can make me laugh (bonus points if you can make me laugh AND cry...mega points if it happens on the same page!) you've definitely got my attention. So far Marianne Keyes holds the top award for that one. Will YOU be next???

Banter between the hero and heroine that doesn't tread into mean and sharky waters is excellent. Just show me that these two characters are matched in wit and whatever other skills they bring to the table.

And I think that wish goes very well with my requirement that the heroine must be strong and capable. She doesn't have to be the alpha babe from hell but she has to be able to stand on her own (or have her character arc lead her in that direction). She and her hero have to complement each other's personalities nicely.

Oh, and as far as romantic suspense goes...I would die of happiness if I got something that's along the lines of Alias. DIE, I tell you! Something smart, fun, and not afraid to break the rules. I loved that Sidney Bristow was such a badass but also quite feminine, and always human.

OK, seriously, I could go on and on. Before I ramble too much, just know that I am here for as long as you guys keep the questions coming. Don't be afraid to post 'em!


Wendy Sparrow said...

I came here a second time--this time to comment because KL told me too. *coughs* Also, I was told there'd be David Duchovny. (David Duchovny, why won't you love me?)

That Snape vs. Spike was a hard match-up, but I liked your answer.