Cover Photo: This header image is a headshot of Kurt Baumeister next to the cover of his novel, 'Pax Americana.'
Photograph courtesy of Kurt Baumeister, book cover via Stalking Horse Press

Kurt Baumeister On the Synergy of Being an Editor, Critic, and Novelist

Christine Sneed interviews Kurt Baumeister about his role as acquisitions editor for 7.13 Books and the history of his authorial, editorial, and critical work.

The Virginity of Famous Men The Nervous BreakdownPax Americana

Please Be Advised: A Novel in Memos

Christine Sneed: Were you first a fiction writer and later a book reviewer or did these two skill sets evolve more or less in tandem?

CS: Can you tell us about how someone gets started as a book critic—like the best way to query and which journals to target?

San Francisco Chronicle

Glengarry Glen Ross

CS: How did you become an acquisitions editor for 7.13 Books?

Superman and the Seven Gods of DeathTwilight of the Gods

notThe Moth for the StarMad Man

CS: What is something you wish more writers who submit manuscripts to 7.13 Books would do? And what do you wish they would not do?

CS: How has being an editor influenced your own fiction writing?

CS: Would you discuss how you begin drafting a novel, and how is it different—if it is—from how you begin drafting a short story?

Homeland

CS: From your editorial/publishing-industry professional’s perspective, since you began writing seriously and publishing your work, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve noted in the business?

CS: What are the main benefits and challenges of publishing a book with an independent press?

Christine Sneed is the author of two novels and two story collections, the most recent of which is The Virginity of Famous Men. She has two books forthcoming in October 2022: Please Be Advised: A Novel in Memos and Love in the Time of time's Up: A Short Fiction Anthology (as editor). Her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, New England Review, Ploughshares, and New York Times. She is the faculty director of Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies’ graduate creative writing program. She also teaches for Regis University’s low-residency MFA program. She lives in Pasadena, California.