Little, Brown Spark’s mission is to publish books that spark ideas, feelings, and change. Our authors are experts and thought leaders in the fields of health, lifestyle, psychology, and science. The hope is that LB Spark readers will learn something new, improve their lives, and inspire others around them. And what better way to introduce LB Spark than to welcome our new editor, Marisa Vigilante!
- Tell us about your role at Little, Brown Spark?
I’m a senior editor at Little, Brown Spark, a new imprint at Little, Brown focused on health, lifestyle, psychology, and science. I’m helping publisher Tracy Behar build up the list and looking for exciting new authors in this space to publish.
- What sparked your interest in publishing?
I’ve always been a big reader, but it wasn’t until I was out in the working world (and not terribly happy at my management consulting job) that it hit me that someone had to actually make the books that I loved reading. Once I started investigating publishing, I was hooked. Could there be a better job than getting paid to read?! Unfortunately, there’s a little more office work involved than I initially thought (that whole pesky business side of the business), but there’s nothing better than getting to work with authors I really admire to help them hone their ideas and bring them out into the world.
- What was the book that made you a reader?
I don’t remember a time before I could read and be devouring books, but the book that really got me into publishing was AND THE BAND PLAYED ON by Randy Shilts. I read this for a senior seminar I took in college and was just blown away by Shilts’s engrossing narrative about the rise of AIDS and our country’s utter indifference to this devastating disease. This book initially led me to pursue public health work and into the health policy world, and later on, helped me transition into publishing.
- What was the last book that sparked a change in you? What happened?
This was several years ago now but is probably my most memorable book-sparking change. I read BORN TO RUN en route to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was totally taken by the idea that humans were meant to run barefoot. The beach seemed like the perfect place to try this out. I was so hyped up on the book’s evangelical message that I ran double my normal mileage and didn’t bother stretching afterward. Two days later, I could barely walk and realized I’d torn my Achilles tendon. It took months to baby it back to health and I returned to running with shoes, albeit ones with a flexible sole that allow the foot to move more naturally. I still love the general theory here but haven’t attempted any #weekendwarrior feats since.
- Which book are you most excited about in 2018?
I’m really excited for Ingrid Fetell Lee’s JOYFUL, which Little, Brown Spark is publishing in September. I love her focus on our everyday environments and the impact they have on our moods. I’ve found myself #joyspotting everywhere I go now and it’s a real delight to notice these little bursts of happiness.
- What is a secret about publishing that nobody knows?
Everyone in publishing loves TV! (And books too, of course!) When I started publishing, I was surprised by how many editorial meetings turned into discussions about favorite shows. I think most of us in publishing are just voracious media consumers in general and try to have our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on culturally, in addition to just enjoying it like everyone else. I’ll admit that I’m a terrible TV watcher (I have a really limited attention span for it) and it’s something I’m always trying to get better at for both professional and personal reasons.