Grand Central Publishing Editorial

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Ben Sevier
Senior Vice President and Publisher

I'm pleased to be joining Grand Central Publishing as SVP and Publisher after eighteen years in the book business, most recently as Editor in Chief and then Publisher at Dutton. While my primary mission at GCP will be to ensure we continue to fulfill the Hachette Book Group mission to publish great books well, working with our world class staff of editors, marketers, publicists, and art directors to assemble and publish our equally world class writers across the lists at a Grand Central, Twelve, Life & Style, and Forever, I will always be looking for the next project to fall in love with and add to my own list. 

My primary acquiring brief--and first love as a reader--has always been thrillers, both fiction and nonfiction. I feel lucky and proud to have edited and published number one bestselling tent pole authors like Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, as well as the powerful and important nonfiction military histories No Easy Day by Mark Owen and Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha.

If there is a theme in my acquiring across fiction and nonfiction it has always been characters (or real people) rising to the occasion against terrible circumstances and becoming their best selves on what should be the worst day of their lives. If a book gets the heart racing and the pulse pounding, it is probably for me. Outliers on my life list that show another side of my editorial sensibility include Jonathon Tropper and Louise Penny. At Grand Central, I will edit Scott Turow, Sandra Brown, and will be looking to add new names to our unparalleled collection of bestselling novelists like Nicholas Sparks, David Baldacci, Preston & Child, Jeffery Deaver, and Brad Meltzer, among many others. And it's always possible that the next powerfully written, true account of heroic events on the battlefield or in the natural world will find its way onto my list. Our editors are the heart and soul of our business, and in the pages that follow I'm certain you'll find kindred spirits across categories and across oceans.

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Beth deGuzman
VP, Editor-in-Chief, Paperbacks

Let me come clean: I am a cliché. I’ve always been a bookworm, and when I was in college I dreamed of landing a job where I would get paid to read. Lucky for me, that dream job has been mine for nearly thirty years now. Finding great voices and great stories is as thrilling today as it was back then, and how exciting that in our brave new world of publishing there are a variety of ways to share books with readers. As Digital and Paperback Publisher, I have the pleasure of exploring as many of those ways as possible. In addition to getting to say “complex reflowable” in my weekly meetings with HBG’s Digital Content team, I work hand in glove with Publicity, Marketing, and Sales to whip up enthusiasm for our books. 

When I was growing up, my favorite books were The Arabian Nights and The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, and later Agatha Christie’s mysteries, P.G. Wodehouse’s hilarious novels, and E.B. White’s essay collections. 

That eclectic taste is reflected in my acquisitions: humor books by Chelsea Handler and Ross Mathews; Robert Ludlum thrillers; erotic romances by Jodi Ellen Malpas and S.C. Stephens; the Reverend Curtis Black series by Kimberla Lawson Roby; an action-adventure novel by Jacquelyn Benson called River of Smoke. And it’s a privilege to work very closely with James Patterson and Michael Connelly on their paperbacks. 

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Gretchen Young
Vice President, Executive Editor

Besides the kitchen, the most important room in our house growing up was my father’s library. He was probably the best-read person I have ever met, and since I couldn’t help but inherit his profound reverence for books, publishing has always felt like home to me.

My first book at GCP was Rose Kennedy's Family Album, with my longtime author Caroline Kennedy, with whom I published nine books. I also published the following New York Times bestsellers here at GCP: Bill and Willie Geist’s hilarious Good Talk, Dad; Coined by Kabir Sehgal on the history of money; The Hiltons by J. Randy Taraborrelli; and Elizabeth Alexander’s critically acclaimed memoir, The Light of the World. I'm very excited about: Deep Work by Cal Newport, a book on how to focus; Trumbo by Bruce Cook, which has been made into a movie starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren; Oscar Hijuelos' posthumous novel, Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise; J. Randy Taraborrelli's Becoming Beyoncé; and The Drummond Girls, a memoir about friendship by award-winning author Mardi Jo Link. In addition, I acquired a book on Congo by John Prendergast; Indeh, a graphic novel about the life of Geronimo, by Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth; a biography of Bunny Mellon from bestselling author Meryl Gordon; ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas’s Between Breaths, a memoir on anxiety, alcoholism, and recovery; a memoir by Cheech and Chong's Cheech Marin; and a cookbook by Fred's at Barney's chef Mark Strausman.

Before coming to Grand Central, I spent over fifteen years at Hyperion where I had the privilege to acquire and edit works by many bestsellers including George Carlin, Congressman John Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Don Cheadle, Larry Wilmore, David Lee Roth, Walt Frazier, Frank Luntz, Andy Borowitz, Marian Wright Edelman, and Joe Torre; and by award-winning authors such as Mark Frost, Alexandra Robbins, and Tom French. I also launched the ESPN imprint and developed projects with the ABC Television Group. I look forward to continuing to acquire and edit new titles that resonate with readers and that my father would have been proud to keep on the shelf.

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Suzanne O'Neill
Vice President, Executive Editor

Nothing makes me more proud than to publish a book or an author that either starts a conversation or adds a new perspective to one already in progress. When a book I edited hits a cultural nerve--either because of its ideas or its can't-stop-talking-about-it entertainment value--I feel like I've done my job.

In my sixteen years in publishing, I've edited and published numerous bestsellers, including: Why Not Me? and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling; Food and Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan; Rod by Rod Stewart; The Awkward Family Photos series by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack; The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers; Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris; Tune In by Mark Lewisohn; In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks and Not Taco Bell Material by Adam Carolla; Tommyland by Tommy Lee; The Audrey Hepburn Treasures by Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Too Much Money by Dominick Dunne; and Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Other authors I’m proud to have edited include: Faith Salie, Kate Siegel (from the hilarious @crazyjewishmom Instagram), Tony Fletcher, Mark Lewisohn, Dominic Smith, Rosie Perez, Belinda Carlisle, Dan O’Brien, and Kristin Newman. 

I get excited by authors with voices that crackle on the page and who offer a strong, fresh point of view. I publish nonfiction in the categories of memoir, biography, celebrity, pop culture, humor, film, and music. My fiction tastes are high-end commercial, plot driven, with cinematic storylines.

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Karen Murgolo
Vice President, Editorial Director

I love books that make me hungry, happy or hopeful: whether it’s Pulitzer Prize nominee, Regina Brett’s God Never Blinks or Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good. Both these books inspired me to realize we make choices every day, and we can always find ways to live better. I strive to publish books that help readers live a fuller, more creative and delicious life. I am very happy to be Editorial Director of the Grand Central Life & Style imprint, whose mission is to publish the most exciting and authoritative authors in the lifestyle and wellness categories. I am always looking for strong, original books in the food (both cookbook and narrative), style, big-think psychology or science, self-help, relationship and home subject areas. 

Some of the books I’ve recently published have been: Mario Batali’s America Farm to Table, Gwyneth Paltrow’s #1 New York Times bestseller It’s All Good, Daniel Boulud’s critically acclaimed Daniel: My French Cuisine, Jody Williams’ Buvette, Emily and Melissa Elsen's Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book and Julie Reiner’s Craft Cocktail Party. I am currently working on Ellen DeGeneres’ Home; Christie Brinkley’s Timeless Beauty, and a new cookbook with Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as one with Mario Batali. 

In addition to my work on the Grand Central Life & Style imprint, I edit some inspirational narratives and memoirs for Grand Central Publishing, including Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi’s Keeping Hope Alive, Pulitzer Prize nominee, Regina Brett’s bestseller, God is Always Hiring and Katrina Kenison’s Gift of an Ordinary Day. Also for GCP, I'm working with Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel on a ground-breaking book about telemeres and health.

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Leah Hultenschmidt
Editorial Director

I like to say I started my publishing career at age four at my local library, where I insisted on "helping organize" the children's color. 

I'm acquiring everything Romance, and, let's be honest, I've never met a billionaire, bad boy or biker I didn't like. My current authors include New York Times bestsellers Jill Shalvis, Meredith Wild, Lauren Dane, Katie MacAlister and Carolyn Brown, and Katee Robert. I've been with Hachette for a year and half, and previously worked at the independent houses Dorchester Publishing and Sourcebooks, where I acquired YA in addition to romance. 

My acquisitions range from flirty Regencies to hot romantic suspense, from cowboys to Highlanders, spicy erotic romance to laugh-out-loud contemporaries. And I'll take anything in between as long as it keeps me riveted to the story and cheering all the way for that happily-ever-after.

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Sean Desmond
Editorial Director, Twelve

My twenty-two-year path in publishing has taken me from W.W. Norton to ICM, to St. Martin’s, to Crown and now to my current role as Editorial Director for Twelve Books. The mission and boutique nature of Twelve is an editor’s dream—Twelve is a terrific home for authors to receive excellent attention and every chance to succeed with their writing. My job is to keep Twelve’s tradition of bestsellers and “conversation” books going strong. I am looking far and wide for the best nonfiction—politics, sports, history, current affairs, memoir, biography, science, and culture. The abiding principle: singular books by authors who have a unique perspective and compelling authority; works that explain our world; that illuminate, inspire, provoke, and entertain.

I have worked on a number of major bestsellers including: Decision Points by President George W. Bush, the forthcoming Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Senator Al Franken, And the Good News Is… by Dana Perino, 13 Hours by Mitch Zuckoff, and The Way Forward by Speaker Paul Ryan. 

Other authors I have worked with include: Michael Beschloss, Condoleezza Rice, Maureen Dowd, Charles Krauthammer, David Sanger, Alyssa Mastromonaco, John Dickerson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Morell, Russ Feingold, Max Brooks, Richard Wolffe, Ken Gormley, Henry Paulson, Peggy Noonan, Jack Hitt, Harold Ford, Jr., Magic Johnson, Laszlo Bock, Robert McKee, Anne Kornblut, Chris Dodd, John Podesta, Glenn Greenwald, Stan Greenberg, Byron Dorgan, Kenny Mayne, Joe Conason, Brian Windhorst, Johnnie Cochran, and Ralph Nader. 

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Amy Pierpont

As editor-in-chief of Forever and Forever Yours, GCP’s romance imprints, I have the envious position of working in a world filled with love, laughter, and happily-ever-after! Between our print and digital imprints, Forever publishes over 150 titles a year, which makes for busy, but very exciting days.

Introducing readers to our exceptional list of authors is one of the favorite parts of my day. At any given moment, I can be found live-tweeting images from a cover photo shoot, brainstorming innovative consumer-marketing strategy, or perfecting the art of social listening to better learn what our readers are dying to read next.

As an editor, I look for books that make me laugh and cry. Big emotion, characters that leap off the page, and a story that surprises me are all sure ways to get my attention. At GCP, I have the pleasure of working with some of the best names in romance, including New York Times bestselling authors Elizabeth Hoyt, Kristen Ashley, Rachel Van Dyken, and Denise Grover Swank.

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Millicent Bennett
Executive Editor

I am thrilled to be joining Grand Central in late 2015 as executive editor, where I will acquire both literary and upmarket commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction, including memoir and history. As a reader and an editor, I have always been drawn to smart, vibrant storytelling that feels urgent and inviting, both surprising and emotionally satisfying. And I’m a sucker for any charismatic, authentic voice that can carry me inside a world I’ve never before imagined.

Most recently, I was a senior editor at Simon & Schuster, where the books I edited included journalist Susannah Cahalan’s #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Brain on Fire;  Siri Hustvedt’s L.A. Times Book Prize-winning novel, The Blazing World; Nina Teicholz’s New York Times bestselling work of investigative journalism, The Big Fat Surprise; and PEN/Hemingway Award winner Brando Skyhorse’s memoir, Take This Man, as well as novels by Whiting Award winner Teddy Wayne and Man Booker Prize finalist Steve Toltz. 

Other award-winning and bestselling authors I had the honor of publishing at S&S include Will Allison, Marjorie Celona, Jim Gavin, Adam Higginbotham, Katie Kitamura, Beth Kobliner, Lori Lansens, Phillip Lopate, David James Poissant, Liesl Schillinger, and Lara Vapnyar. My authors have had their books named on numerous Best-of-the-Year lists, and won or been nominated for many awards, including the the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the Books for a Better Life Award, the Edgar Award, the Kirkus Award, the B&N Discover Award, the Giller Prize, and the Pushcart, among others. Before joining S&S, I was the fiction editor at Free Press; I spent the early years of my career at Random House, Ecco, and Knopf, where I was lucky enough to work with, and learn from, some of the most distinguished editors and authors in the business.

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Sarah Pelz
Executive Editor

I moved to New York City to try my hand at book publishing, thinking that I'd stay here for a year or two and then move on to the next adventure. Now I can't imagine doing anything else.

I love working on books that help readers live healthier, happier, and more balanced lives, and I never lose sight of the fact that I learn something new with every proposal that comes across my desk and every book that I edit--whether it's the latest science behind weight loss, style advice from top fashion icons, or simple strategies to de-stress at my desk. My books have inspired me to drink green smoothies, hit the yoga mat, and embrace the occasional fashion risk--and much more--and I'm always on the lookout for the next big breakout books in the lifestyle and wellness categories.

I'm thrilled to be on the Grand Central Life & Style team, where we publish some of the best-known and most respected names in these categories, including Rocco DiSpirito (The Pound a Day Diet), JJ Virgin (The Virgin Diet Cookbook), Rachel Zoe (Living in Style), Rip Esselstyn (The Engine 2 Diet), Lyn-Genet Recitas (The Plan), and Marla Heller (The DASH Diet series). Prior to joining Grand Central, I helped launch and grow the Harlequin nonfiction imprint with New York Times bestselling titles: The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin, The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder, Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny and Your Best Body Now by Tosca Reno. 

I'm particularly interested in health, diet, wellness, self-help, and relationship books, though I'm also looking for inspirational, health and diet cookbooks and the occasional style book. 

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Alexis Logan
Senior Editor

While the majority of my list is romance, I’m also excited about two upcoming titles that happen to be psychological suspense and women’s fiction. From Sandra Block, the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Little Black Lies, which the New York Times called “a psychological suspense story smartly narrated,” comes The Girl Without A Name, her second novel featuring psychiatry resident Zoe Goldman as the young doctor once again tries to piece together the mystery of a patient’s past. Sandra is a neurologist so she brings authenticity and detail to her story as she writes about the imperfect nature of our memories.

Suzanne Redfearn is also back for a second novel with No Ordinary Life, a work of women’s fiction. In addition to being a beautiful, lyrical writer, Suzanne is an architect so I’ve gotten glimpses into such interesting work lives, both through these two authors and their characters. The protagonist of No Ordinary Life is a mother of three children who suddenly finds herself separated from her husband and nearly destitute when her youngest daughter is offered an opportunity to star in a TV sitcom. Reluctantly a stage mom, she must fight not just to protect her famous daughter but the son and daughter who are struggling to live out of the limelight as well.

In romance, new author Kelly Bowen holds a special place in my heart. She is incredibly driven and talented, with lively prose and witty dialogue that readers are comparing to New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean. And she’s writing in the historical genre, which is one of my favorites (along with romantic suspense), because I always learn a little something about Regency manners, fashion…or sometimes murder. Kelly deserves a long, successful career, and it’s collaborating with authors like her that makes the job so worthwhile.

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Lindsey Rose
Senior Editor

I’m on the lookout for all types of suspense, especially psychological suspense, upmarket thrillers, and literary crime, as well as upmarket, book-clubby women’s fiction.  I also do a bit of non-fiction, and would love to find a memoir from someone with a unique story to tell.  I’m particularly drawn to character-driven stories and writing with a strong voice.

At GCP I’m proud to publish bestselling suspense writers such as David Baldacci (most recently No Man’s Land), Sara Blaedel (most recently The Lost Woman, with The Undertaker’s Daughter coming next year), Jeff Abbott (most recently Blame), Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series (most recently The Bourne Initiative), and Margaret Maron (most recently Take Out); commercial women’s fiction such as Ricki Schultz’s debut Mr. Right-Swipe, a sarcastic and hilarious send-up of modern dating; as well as memoir, such as D Watkin’s story of growing up in East Baltimore, The Cook Up.  And forthcoming on my list next year are two new voices in suspense that I’m quite excited about: Tess Sharpe’s Barbed Wire Heart, set in Northern California’s drug country; and Jennifer Bosworth’s The Dark Road, which confronts the dark side of celebrity culture.

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Michele Bidelspach
Senior Editor

I acquire and edit romances for our Forever line and love doing it. After all, what is better than spending your professional life fine-tuning love stories, one happy ending at a time? Whether it's rugged cowboys, kilted Highlanders, sexy billionaires, Regency rakes, or Navy SEALS, I haven't met a hero I didn't like. I've had the pleasure of working with such amazing talents in women's fiction and romance here. Authors like New York Times bestsellers Dorothy Garlock, Jane Graves, Paula Quinn, R.C. Ryan, Lori Wilde, Rebecca Zanetti and USA Today bestseller Marilyn Pappano. And, like a vampire, I'm always looking for new blood.

But woman cannot live on romance alone. I'm also looking for women's fiction with a strong voice, unforgettable characters, and a great hook a la Jane Green, Kristin Hannah, and Jojo Moyes.

There's nothing I love more than being transported by a story, experiencing something completely foreign to me. I was fortunate to work with David Cristofano on his debut novel, The Girl She Used to Be, about a woman who was raised in the Witness Protection Program, which was met with lovely reviews and an Edgar nomination. I'm also on the lookout for great nonfiction: pop culture, women's issues, and narrative nonfiction that are compelling and unique.

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Wes Miller
Senior Editor

I am a Senior Editor at Grand Central Publishing, where I work with a stellar group of mystery and thriller authors, including (in alphabetical order) David Baldacci, Jeffery Deaver, Brad Meltzer, and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Prior to joining GCP, I was part of Little, Brown’s Mulholland Books, which I helped launch in 2011 and which is now an award-winning crime fiction imprint that publishes multiple Edgar Award nominees. At Grand Central, in addition to the above writers, I will be continuing to build Grand Central’s list of commercial thrillers, focusing on blockbuster suspense fiction with the potential to appeal to a wide audience.

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Brittany Mcinnerney

I'm thrilled to be the newest member of the editorial team at Grand Central Life & Style. Prior to joining GCP this spring, I spent my publishing career at HarperCollins where I started out as a rotating editorial assistant, dabbled in the world of literary fiction at Harper Perennial, and then eventually found my true home in commercial nonfiction at Dey Street Books. I've edited a wide range of titles and authors, from health, wellness, and fitness, to humor, fashion, celebrity memoir, parenting, film and television, and photography. I love working on illustrated projects and I'm excited to be a part of an imprint known for creating truly gorgeous books.

As a pop culture fanatic, Instagram addict, and zeitgeist watcher, I'm always looking for platform, personality, blog or brand driven projects. I bring an "I'll try anything . . . once" attitude when it comes to the latest trends in health and wellness. Grand Central Life & Style is the home of the very best in practical nonfiction, and I'm looking to add to the list across categories, including: health and wellness, food and drink (narrative and cookbooks), fashion, home, self-help, and inspirational and humor-driven lifestyle books.


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