Janet Harriett is often an editor, sometimes a writer, and always a lover of all things penguin. She is the senior editor at Apex Publications and editor-for-hire specializing in science fiction, fantasy and horror.

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Job Hazard

I love my job...even the parts where I fan my boss while only 48% dressed (if you haven't seen the photo, it's on Facebook). The parts that I can't do from home in my jammies are more like playing dress-up and hanging out with friends than real work. Most of all, there's something immensely satisfying in bringing new stories to readers.

It's not without its drawbacks, though. I do occasionally yell at a manuscript and threaten to tattoo the rules for semicolon usage on the inside of authors' eyelids. Ebook conversions have minds of their own. Too few authors know how to do a good in-person book pitch.

Lately, I've discovered a new hazard of editing books. I get to the end of a book that tickles my innards so well that I want to go screaming to the world, "You have to drop what you're doing NOW and get this story into your brain immediately!" Except that the world cannot, because the book won't be out for months yet. Until then, I have to live knowing that there's this feeling a story evokes, but I'm one of only a handful who has been able to feel it.

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