Simon Pulse Editorial Team
Simon Pulse Dedicated Team
MARA ANASTAS is the Vice President and Publisher of Simon Pulse and Aladdin Books. She is responsible for the overall editorial content, growth, and development of Simon Pulse and Aladdin Books. In her recent role as Deputy Publisher Mara played a major role in the successes of New York Times and USA Today bestsellers such as Richard Paul Evans, Brandon Mull, Rachel Renée Russell, and Scott Westerfeld. Previously she has held positions managing subrights and trade sales at Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.
WHAT RAISES MARA’S PULSE? A great hook or concept and it’s a plus if there is a romance involved; unreliable narrators; twist endings; great world building future or past; strong female characters.
Vice President, Editorial Director LIESA ABRAMS joined Simon & Schuster in 2006, editing for both the Aladdin and Pulse imprints. At S&S, Liesa launched Rachel Renée Russell’s #1 bestselling DORK DIARIES series and edited New York Times bestsellers from Brandon Mull, Lisa McMann, Suzanne Young, Lynn Weingarten, James Riley, Shannon Messenger, and Scott Westerfeld. She edits a diverse list of teen and middle grade properties from award-winning authors including Jodi Lynn Anderson, Maggie Thrash, Kevin Sands, Christa Desir, and others. Liesa started in children’s publishing in 1997 at the company now known as Alloy Entertainment, editing classic YA series like Sweet Valley High. She left Alloy in 2003 to become a founding editor of Penguin’s Razorbill imprint, where she edited YA titles including R.A. Nelson’s Teach Me, Maureen Johnson’s Devilish, and Justine Larbalestier’s award-winning Magic or Madness trilogy. Follow Liesa on Twitter @BatgirlEditor to hear all you need to know about Batman, comics, and gluten-free treats.
WHAT RAISES LIESA’S PULSE? Stories of #resistance from young women characters; sex-positive characters and storylines; books that navigate the world of rape culture; high stakes stories (bonus points if the whole world is in danger!); angsty characters coping believably with difficult life situations; escapist fantasy grounded in accessible characters; ticking clocks; new ways to create a soap opera; dark and intense concept and voice; people reinventing themselves; toxic relationships of all kinds including family/friendship; magical realism.
Liesa’s titles include:
Senior Editor JENNIFER UNG joined Simon Pulse in August 2015. Her previous experience includes editing books for teens and tweens at Scholastic and hand-selling books and moderating events at Books of Wonder. When she’s not reading or talking about books, you can find her waxing poetic about food, playing uselessly complicated board games, and thinking of appropriate ways to incorporate dog memes into professional emails. Follow her on Twitter @JenPanda.
WHAT RAISES JEN’S PULSE? Underrepresented voices in the contemporary realistic space; stories that are funny and sad and true, that reflect the diversity of our world; messy family dynamics; smart, wry humor; specific stories that speak to universal realities; ordinary stories that explore extraordinary emotions; romantic comedies with depth.
Jen’s titles include:
Editor NICOLE ELLUL joined Simon Pulse in February of 2012 and worked at Bloomsbury Children’s Books before her current position. Nicole received her BA in English and History from the scenic Grand Valley State University (near beautiful Lake Michigan). Originally from the Detroit area, Nicole is a die-hard hockey fan. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleMEllul.
WHAT RAISES NICOLE’S PULSE? Romance with an engaging plot (usually set outside the walls of high school), and a strong structural hook; fairy tales, legends and myths reimagined; stories with a magical / mystical vibe and an incredible storybook atmosphere (reminiscent of The Hazel Wood); light fantasy reads in the vein of Caraval; and anything that feels Tim Burton-like in tone (think Big Fish). I like to say that the books I gravitate toward seem as if the words are sprinkled with magic and star dust, especially pertaining to the atmosphere and musical/lyrical quality of the writing.
Nicole’s titles include:
Associate editor SARAH McCABE joined Simon Pulse in October 2014. Before coming to Pulse, she worked at Springer International Publishing and did freelance projects with Open Road Integrated Media and Full Fathom Five. She received her bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism at the University of Kansas and her Master of Science in Publishing at New York University. Follow her on Twitter @SarahRMcCabe to hear her obsess over the books, movies, and TV shows that have ripped her heart out.
WHAT RAISES SARAH’S PULSE? All SFF, all the time! Lush, inventive fantasies; accessible, character-driven science fiction (especially if it’s set in space!); emotionally complex heroes and sympathetic villains; detailed worldbuilding; classics and fairy tales reimagined; stories exploring the nature of humanity and morality; anything with a time travel, alternate history, or parallel universe hook; and I always love a good conspiracy or deep dark secret.
Sarah’s titles include:
Assistant Editor Jessica Smith joined Pulse in September 2016 soon after finishing NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute. She received her BA in English literature and fiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh where she fell in love with YA literature. Follow her on Twitter @ll_cool_jess.
WHAT RAISES JESSICA’S PULSE? Stories about first experiences—first love, first heartbreak, first experience of loss; observant, thoughtful narrators; characters who are forced to make impossible decisions; seemingly breezy beach reads that are deceptively moving; good old-fashioned love triangles.
Caitlin Sweeny is the associate director of marketing for Simon Pulse and Aladdin books. She joined Simon & Schuster in October 2017 after working in marketing at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Caitlin is an avid YA enthusiast and lover of TV. Her favorite Game of Thrones characters are Ser Davos and Drogon and she will always be Team Cap. She feels very strongly about both these things. You can find her on twitter @caitlin_sweeny.
Amy Hendricks is the marketing coordinator for Simon Pulse and Aladdin Books. She joined Simon & Schuster in the corporate marketing department in March 2015 after graduating from Monmouth University. She loves historical fiction and searching for old books and compasses, and can usually be found trying to convince wild animals to befriend her or going on adventures with one of her faithful pets.
CHRISTIAN VEGA is the Marketing Assistant for Simon Pulse and Aladdin. He joined Simon & Schuster in January 2018, previously interning at Ayesha Pande Literary Agency, St. Martin’s Press and Tor Teen. Christian received his bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Literatures, Language and Criticism from Hunter College. He loves reading science fiction and fantasy YA. You can find him talking about the meaning of each Final Fantasy game, crying over his favorite animes and sharing his favorite books over at his Twitter .
ALISSA NIGRO is the Associate Marketing Manager for Simon Pulse and Aladdin. She joined the team in February 2018, coming from the marketing department at Random House Children’s Books. She has a BA from Tufts University in English and Child Development and prides herself on being the “storytime lady” when she was a bookseller after graduation. Alissa has fooled the world: she never really grew up after middle school and has just been reading up ever since. Depending on her mood, you can hear her quoting Monty Python, How I Met Your Mother, or her newest favorite picture book. She believes in the power of belly laughs and enjoys singing poorly on purpose.