Elizabeth Poteet will be coming home when she joins us at the Killer Nashville Writers Conference in October.
A Nashville native, Elizabeth said she never thought she would end up being an editor with St. Martin’s Press. “I actually hated reading growing up,” Elizabeth said. “It wasn’t until my mother gave me my first mystery that I fell in love with it. I was 10 and it was a Mary Higgins Clark novel. And man, did I love it. After that I read every romantic suspense I could get my hands on Iris Johansen, Julie Garwood, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and that was it for me. I’d fallen for commercial fiction and I never went back.”
She’s now been at St. Martin’s Press for about four years, and she’s a fan. Elizabeth explained that St. Martin’s is a part of Macmillan, and their offices are in the historic Flatiron building in New York City. “I think the thing I love most about St. Martin’s Press is the freedom to pursue a variety of genres and voices and subjects. Unlike some other houses, you can try new things here.”
Along those lines, she has a romance series on her list about racecar drivers. Another is a series set in a small town. She also has a non-fiction craft book on her list that’s about how to cross-stitch profane and irreverent things.
There is room to pursue all things we’re passionate about, which is why Elizabeth says when it comes to writers’ works she has a wide range of interests in terms of subject and genre.
“What’s really important to me is voice,” Elizabeth said. “I like female protagonists and I like strong voices. Right now, I’m very interested in traditional romantic suspense (like a Julie Garwood) or an FBI series with a female lead (in the lines of Catherine Coulter).”
She also likes amateur sleuth mysteries, and prefers commercial genre fiction.
“I liked ‘Gone Girl’ like the rest of the world, but that’s not necessarily what I’m looking for,” Elizabeth added.