Facebook: Tera Cuskaden
2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Tera Cuskaden is an award-winning freelance editor who started working in publishing in 2004 as a reviewer and proofreader. After spending nine years with Samhain Publishing as a Senior Editor and Art Department Coordinator, where she edited many New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, becoming the first editor to hit the New York Times bestseller list with a digital-only title, she moved to Entangled Publishing as an Editorial Director for two years, where she continued her work with bestselling authors and finding fresh new voices to bring to the romance genre. In her spare time, Tera attempts to wrangle her herd of cats and enjoys knitting, tattoos, and shoes and trying to convince her husband she needs more of all of the above. Tera holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Indiana University.
What I’d love to see:
- YA: contemporary, sci-fi
- Romance of all heat levels and all subgenres including historical, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, romantic suspense
- LGBTQ stories
- Diverse Characters of all types and abilities
- Alternate history
Things I Especially Love:
- Single dads
- Social issues
- F/F stories
- Enemies to Lovers
- New takes on old tropes
Things I don’t want to see:
- Middle Grade
- Space operas
- Children’s books
- YA Fantasy
- YA Paranormal
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
The first thing that always strikes me when I open a book is the voice. I want to be immersed in a writer’s voice and drawn immediately into the world they’ve created. I want to be cemented in the scene and the characters without too much exposition. I want to have an inkling of why we’re here in this place with these characters, and I want those characters to jump off the page. I’m looking for escape; if you can make me escape, you’ve snagged a new reader.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
My goal is you, your vision, and your success. I want to enable you to be the best storyteller you can be by helping you mold your characters, your plot, your scenes, and your GMCs. We’ll first look at developmental, larger-picture issues and I’ll assess your pages. After I give you that feedback and we’ve worked to implement that, if we have time we’ll work on line edits and I’ll show you how you can hone your voice further. I typically answer emails within forty-eight hours, and Sundays are the day I take to myself and try not to get online at all. If you haven’t heard from me in forty-eight hours, send me a nudge!
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
Communication is important, and I want you to be excited about the process. Checking email is important, because the longer it takes you to get back to me, the less time we have to work on your pages. I want to ensure you’re getting the most out of the process with the limited time we have, so punctuality is important, though I don’t expect or want you to skip important events and not practice your own form of self-care.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
I don’t write. I know, I know. I spend that time reading and knitting instead. I love knitting. Knitting and binging Netflix is my biggest form of self-care other than spending time with my husband and my herd of cats (no, really, I have a herd of them. I believe the proper term is a clowder). And my family and friends are super important to me, so I make sure to carve time out of my week to spend time with them.
What is your favorite book to reread, and why?
Little Women. I reread it every couple of years, and I notice new things about it every time. I didn’t realize how ahead of her time Louisa May Alcott was, and what a feminist she was until a few years ago, and I love rereading to pick new things out that I didn’t notice when I was little and read it for the first time.