When Editorial Director Erika Tsang was in the 8th grade, her Health Education teacher confiscated the Nora Roberts romance she’d been reading under her desk during class. Then he wrote in her yearbook: “May you start reading healthier books”. Taking that to heart, she began her career at a medical publisher where she had to catalog 4-color photos of things she’d rather forget about. But she was still reading romance novels under her desk. So she decided to go back to her first love and now spends her days reading romances on her desk and looking over photos of vampires, dukes and Highlanders for covers.
When not travelling (Erika is known around the office as the traveler of the group. She did a 10-day tour of North Carolina on a whim, took 12 hours to drive from New York City to Pittsburgh when it should’ve taken 6 because she couldn’t just drive by “The Hot Dog King” or the Crayola Factory, and took Amtrak cross-country with a stop in Minneapolis to check out the Mall of America), she is constantly on the lookout for high-concept romantic suspense and dark angsty historicals.
Executive Editor May Chen has been reading wildly inappropriate books since the age of nine. She thought the Sweet Valley High series was salacious until she discovered the romance section in her Queens, NY library and read Shirlee Busbee’s SPANISH ROSE, and Laurie McBain’s CHANCE THE WINDS OF FORTUNE. She’s never been the same since.
After an identity crisis which lead to brief stints in the legal and finance field, May found her way back to the right path by getting her foot in the door at Morrow/Avon. And she’s been there ever since. Now happily reading and working on all the happily-ever-afters she can ask for, she’s the lucky ducky editor of smart, emotional historicals, sexy contemporary romances and angsty romantic suspenses.
When not eating, reading, sleeping, she enjoys an unhealthy amount of reality tv, Cheetos and wine. To see pictures of her French bulldog and calico cat (with occasional forays into the publishing world), follow her on twitter @aMAYzingChen
Tessa Woodward, Senior Editor, has been at Avon since 2005. She would like to thank the three most influential people in her career choice—Archie Andrews, Gilbert Blythe, and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Reading (and rereading) their stories, along with anything else that contained written words (shampoo bottles, cereal boxes, subway ads, the internet) helped her realize that if she didn’t find a job that allowed her to read all day, she’d never get anything done.
Luckily, she made a match at HarperCollins and she’s living happily ever after with her stable of fabulous, talented, award-winning authors. Since there’s never enough to read, she’s always on the lookout for fresh, new voices and exciting stories of all types. Follow her on twitter @TessaofAvonlea for very important thoughts on books, tea, and her #mswl.
Editor Nicole Fischer has been on the hunt for the next great romance for as long as she can remember. From reading Jude Deveraux by flashlight at 4am, to secretly ordering used Sandra Brown paperbacks with her mother’s credit card, she’s always had her nose buried in a love story—or what she wished was a love story (poor Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson didn’t get enough action).
A California girl born and raised, Nicole never imagined her obsession with romance novels would take her to the East Coast in the dead of winter. But the lure of big city life—and an internship at a literary agency—was too tempting to pass up. A year later, Nicole landed her dream job at Avon and the rest, as they say, was history. She now edits many talented authors and is looking for fun, fresh, diverse voices across all subgenres of romance. Right now, she’s hoping to see more raunchy rom coms, super sexy sports romance, witty historicals, and pulse-pounding romantic suspense.
Follow her on Twitter at @nicolefischer13 for the occasional funny, dirty or just plain ridiculous #OverheardatAvon tweets.
Growing up, Associate Editor Elle Keck thought she’d spend her life in the hallowed halls of academia, churning out papers on nineteenth century Britain. Alas, that was not in the cards, but thankfully, she was able to combine her knowledge of pelisses and petticoats with her passion for historical romances. An avid reader of all things Avon, she was delighted to join the team in 2014 where she edits a fantastic list of smart, gripping, and bestselling romances.
Elle’s always on the hunt for high-concept historical romances that make her laugh and make her cry, super sexy contemporary romances that feature rough and ready athletes, and diverse romances of all kinds. If you enjoy musings on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, feminist rants about the genre, and live coverage of all awards shows, follow her on twitter at @ellekeck.