From: John Green [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 2:50 PM
To: Strauss-Gabel, Julie
Subject: Looking for Alaska
Thanks again for the phone call. It was wonderful to make your
acquaintance. I’ve attached a copy of LOOKING FOR ALASKA (for what it’s worth, I don’t know about the title. I am partial to lengthy,
full-sentence titles, like, EVERYTHING TOGETHER FALLS APART, but I understand that such titles have limited teen appeal, so I went with
Looking for Alaska).
I’m really excited to be working with you.
Thanks, and take care,"
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the first email I ever sent to Julie Strauss-Gabel, who has been my editor ever since.
We’d just talked on the phone for the first time, discussing Alaska and how to begin the process of wrangling it into a published book.
In the past ten years, Julie has become one of my closest friends and, after a series of promotions, is now my publisher as well. But a lot hasn’t changed. I still fret a lot over titles, for instance, and still have to be dissuaded from full-sentence titles (although not because they lack “teen appeal,” whatever the hell that is). And I’m still really excited to be working with Julie.
It’s impossible for me to imagine my books without her. Julie’s imprint is on every page I’ve ever published, from the labyrinth in Looking for Alaska to Hazel and Gus’s visit to the Anne Frank House.
It’s rare these days in publishing for an author to stay with one publisher for so many years, and rarer still for an editor to stay in one job. We’ve both been extremely lucky, and I’m deeply grateful for Julie’s loyalty to me and belief in my work.
The feeling, is mutual.
If someone had shown 2003-me what August 21, 2013 would look like, I would have believed it completely—and not at all. Honored to look back on a decade and be proud of every day.