We spoke to Kate Cuthbert about commercial fiction ahead of her one-day workshop, Lessons to Learn from Commercial Fiction, taking place later this month.
What drew you to editing commercial fiction?
I was a commercial fiction reader long before I even knew that editing them could be a career choice. So you can imagine my delight when I made that discovery!
What do you think commercial fiction does well, and what can writers learn from studying it?
I think that commercial fiction authors are some of the most talented, imaginative writers working today. When you have to work within expected frameworks, it takes a lot of skill to make a story feel fresh. I also think that commercial authors know their audience very, very well, and that gives them an advantage.
What is the best piece of genre fiction you’ve read recently?
This is such a hard question! I recently read and enjoyed the first two books of Jodi McAllister’s YA-fantasy Valentine trilogy: only Valentine and Ironheart are out, and I’m desperate to know what happens in the third. And I’ve been really enjoying Candice Fox’s far-north Queensland crime novels, Crimson Lake and Redemption Point.
Kate’s workshop, Lessons to Learn from Commercial Fiction, will take place at the NSW Writers’ Centre on Saturday 24 March from 10am-4pm. Book your spot here.