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Feb 26, 2021

Editor Spotlight Series - Alethea Spiridon

Alethea Spiridon was an editor for Harlequin Books in Toronto for almost seven years, working with writers such as Bobby Hutchinson, Roberta Gellis, Lori Foster, Cathy Yardley, Lori Wilde, Jill Shalvis, Anne Stuart, and Pamela Morsi to name a few. Alethea joined Entangled in 2011. She enjoys a fresh, fun, flirty voice, and anything that can make her laugh and see the lighter side of life. That being said, she’s also drawn to contemporary alpha male stories and lush historical romances. As a freelancer through her company she has edited all genres of books in every category from finance to philosophy, fiction and non-fiction, magazines, websites, academic titles, and textbooks. 

CritiqueMatch: How did you become an editor? Can you describe the career path for those looking to enter the publishing industry?
Alethea: I graduated with a degree in English and then did post-graduate work in publishing through Centennial College here in Toronto. I landed an internship at Nelson Education, and a friend who worked at Harlequin at the time in the marketing department handed my resume in to Human Resources, and I got my first job in publishing as an editorial assistant at Harlequin. That was in 2000.

CM: How many authors/books do you work with per year at Entangled? 
Alethea: We have lists of authors we work with based on who we ourselves find and who we might be asked to work with if an editor leaves or takes leave. I believe I currently have twelve authors on my list. Then, of course, there are the books I help other editors with if they need help with a pass (because of a busy schedule) so that might be another five or ten a year.

CM: Walk us through the editing process you go through with authors before a book is released. 
Alethea: At Entangled, we have a three-step editing process where we do at least three passes of editing on a manuscript before it gets sent off to copy editing. The first is the development stage, where we read the story and work with the author on characters, tropes, pacing, plot, etc. Then the second stage is the actual line edit. The third editorial pass is another final edit, then it goes off to copy editing. 

CM: How do you acquire books? How has the process changed during the pandemic? 
Alethea: Books are acquired through Submittable where authors submit manuscripts. We believe in every author having a chance, so do not require submissions to be agented, which I fully support and think is how publishing should be run. Then conferences, but we don’t go to those during the pandemic, but most places have made online conferences available to writers, so we are still able to take pitches at virtual conferences. Then sometimes, authors will just email me directly a pitch they may have. 

CM: What is a common myth about editors? 
Alethea: Are there myths about editors? I’m not sure I know of any! Well, maybe one is that editors want to put their own voice into an author’s work. This is simply untrue for most editors. I know some do. But overall, editors just want to work with the author to get the best book possible. It is meant to be a collaborative effort and relationship.

CM: An editor-author relationship is all about the people. What attributes do your best author relationships share? 
Alethea: Having an author willing to check their ego at the door and come to the process with an open mind really helps set the stage. If they are defensive right off the bat, then the work won’t get done as well as it could be.  Knowing you’re a team and wanting to act as a team certainly helps. 

CM: What is the demand for stories set in a COVID-19 world?
Alethea: None! Who wants to read about what we are *still* going through? I certainly don’t, and I know many other editors feel the same. Save it for ten years from now, at least.


Wish List

Genres/sub-genres you’re acquiring:
  • Contemporary, YA, historical, sci-fi, super sexy, unconventional relationships (triads, polyamory, etc.)
What you’re not interested in:
  • If it’s fresh and has voice, send it my way!


Do you accept un-agented submissions? Yes

Submission link:

Client Examples
(This list includes affiliate links)

by Heather McCollum
By N.J. Walters