Wonderful Woman is a weekly post on Wednesday with a boss lady. It’s important for women to empower, motivate, encourage and to love one another. One woman’s story and success is an inspiration for another. I hope you enjoy these stories! If you are or would like to suggest a Wonderful Woman to be apart of the series, please email me at ToryLava41@gmail.com with your or their story!
Wonderful Woman – Gabby Vice
Meet Gabby Vice from Vernon, New Jersey (who says she will literally never go back) and is currently residing in East Rutherford, NJ. She is an editorial and administrative assistant for Harlequin Books, which is owned by HarperCollins Publishers. Gabby is a fun-loving and eccentric overachiever. This is her story as a young-adult just trying to achieve my dreams and have the time and resources t to keep myself sane.
Q&A With Gabby:
What is your title / what do you do?
I have recently taken on the position of Editorial and Administrative Assistant at Harlequin Books! I work directly with the Vice President of Fiction (Admin) and the Director of Harlequin TEEN (Editorial). I’m like two people rolled into one – I read through manuscripts submitted by agencies, schedule meetings, create and organize editorial copy for upcoming releases, and a whole lot more but basically: I read, I edit, I organize, I schedule, and I try my best to keep everyone (including myself) going.
How did you get into the business you are in today?
I’ve had such a peculiar journey to where I am today. I originally went to school for graphic design (which I still do on a freelance basis) but after a year and a half in the program and an internship turned job, I hated having to create art for other people in a corporate environment. From there, I was lost – I had wanted to work in design since I was a child. I turned to the only other thing I enjoyed: books. I became an English major, hoping to go into copywriting, editing, or journalism. With that, I took on a double-major of Communication Studies with a concentration in journalism. From there, I fell into a few internships and then my first full-time job in the music industry but it was hell on Earth. I worked in publicity, then to marketing, but I was still unhappy and unfulfilled – so, I looked into editorial positions at “The Big Five” publishing companies and found my home at Harlequin, who had recently been bought by HarperCollins. I finally love my job and what I do!
Tell me more about Harlequin Books! What do they do?
Harlequin began as a Toronto-based company that specialized in romance and women’s fiction. Flash forward about twenty years later, Harlequin has over 10 offices worldwide and is now a division of a major publishing company. Some of our biggest authors include Maisey Yates, Penny Jordon, Susan Wiggs, and a lot more. As a newcomer and a millennial, some of these authors are completely off my radar but I still appreciate their work nonetheless!
What’s your favorite book by them?
In the last month working here, I’ve already read three novels. I’m a total young adult nerd when it comes to reading so working through our upcoming releases have been a dream. The Continent by Keira Drake is coming out within the next few months and it’s the beginning of a trilogy detailing the life of a girl in a dystopian society who crash-lands on a continent of “savages” in which she learns to live amongst. I couldn’t put it down and am itching to get the next one from the author.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced & overcame?
Throughout my life, I’ve almost always felt like I am constantly fighting against failure. I have some super low self-esteem that I’ve had to overcome and fight against in a lot of aspects. When you feel like you’re always not doing enough, it’s hard to enjoy any line of work you’re in, regardless if you’re successful. I’ve had jobs where I’ve cried at my desk because I would get overwhelmed with paranoia and negativity about my performance but – it’s all in my head. I used to joke when people ask me why/how I’ve accomplished so much and say, “Well, I call it ‘Hate Yourself to Success’” but I understand now that it’s not a joke and I need to be easy on myself. I’ve got a great job which I love now, so I’m trying to ride that wave.
What’s your work moto?
“Work now, play later.” I am VERY easily distracted and always a little loopy because of the type of human being I am, so I always have to make a list and plaster it in front of me to get any work done. When I find myself drifting, surfing the web, or getting lost in my phone – I tell myself that if I work now, I can be worry-free later.
What’s the best advice to give someone who is interested in publishing?
Don’t give up and take what you can get. Everyone and their mother seems to want to work in this industry, especially for one of the “Big Five” (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, MacMillan, and Hachette) so competition is TOUGH. One year, I applied for 30 different internships between Penguin, Simon, and Hachette and knew people at 2/3 companies and still never heard a word back. This summer alone, I applied for about 15 positions before landing my job at Harlequin. My position at Oxford University Press seriously sucked, but it gave me credentials for the publishing industry, even if it was academic. It’s a rough ladder to climb but you just have to buy your time and keep going.
What do you like most about this industry?
I HATED the music/entertainment industry because it was filled to the brim with pretentious idiots who were quick to judge – I haven’t experienced that yet in the publishing world, it’s great! Everyone is just a total nerd who wants to talk about stories and grammar; it feels like home. Also, publishing is very woman-centric, which is a great extra.
What would you want to tell your 15-year-old self?
I think about this a lot. There’s a lot to say but I think I would simply state, “Hey, you did it. You’re going to do it. Don’t worry about it. Keep going.”
What does girl power mean to you?
Thus far, my experience working under powerful and hardworking women has been so rewarding, inspiring, and motiving. Whether intentional or not, male bosses almost ALWAYS will talk down/mansplain to their female employees and it puts up a lot of walls. Working for women makes me feel like I can take over the world, as I see them as a positive example. THAT’S girl power – women inspiring the next generation of other go-getters who are sick of the bullsh**.
And that’s this week Wonderful Woman!
Thank you, Gabby, for being a positive role model in the publishing industry!
You go, girl!