Close this message

Celia Johnson

Celia Johnson - Editor

Biddeford, ME, United States

Former acquisitions editor with over a decade of experience at major publishing houses. I specialize in mystery and suspense novels.

Overview

I was an acquisitions editor at Grand Central Publishing for several years. During my time at Grand Central, I edited award-winning and bestselling mystery and suspense novels. I worked with Mystery Writers of America Grand Masters Margaret Maron, Marcia Muller, and Donald Westlake; Edgar-nominated author Cornelia Read; New York Times bestselling author M C Beaton; national bestselling author David Rosenfelt; among many others.

I am the author of two essay collections, ODD TYPE WRITERS and DANCING WITH MRS. DALLOWAY (Perigee/Penguin), which explore the creative process of famous writers and the inspiration behind great works of literature.

Additionally, I'm the Creative Director of Slice, a New York-based literary nonprofit. Slice publishes a semi-annual literary magazine, featuring stories, essays, poetry by emerging writers and literary greats, and conversations about the entire writing process, from the writer's desk to the bookstore shelf. We also host an annual writers' conference in downtown Brooklyn, with an aim to bridging the gap between emerging writers and the professional publishing world.

Services
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
Fiction
Crime & Mystery Thriller

Work experience

Writer

Perigee/Penguin
October, 2011 – Present (about 6 years)

Author of ODD TYPE WRITERS and DANCING WITH MRS. DALLOWAY, which are both about the creative processes of great writers.

Creative Director

Slice Literary
March, 2007 – Present (almost 11 years)

A New York-based literary nonprofit, Slice publishing a semi-annual literary magazine and hosts an annual writers' conference in downtown Brooklyn.

Editor

Grand Central Publishing
February, 2006 – February, 2011 (about 5 years)

Assistant Editor

Potter Craft/Clarkson Potter/Random House
February, 2005 – February, 2006 (about 1 year)

Portfolio (16 selected works)

What's So Funny?

Donald E. Westlake

In his classic caper novels, Donald E. Westlake turns the world of crime and criminals upside down. The bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his intentions. Now Westlake's seasoned but often scoreless crook must take on an impossible crime, one he doesn't want and doesn't believe in. But a little black... read more

In his classic caper novels, Donald E. Westlake turns the world of crime and criminals upside down. The bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his intentions. Now Westlake's seasoned but often scoreless crook must take on an impossible crime, one he doesn't want and doesn't believe in. But a little black... read more

Valley of Ashes (A Madeline Dare Novel)

Cornelia Read

Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets for the tree-lined avenues of Boulder, Colorado when her husband Dean lands a promising job. Madeline, now a full-time homemaker and mother to beautiful toddler twin girls, has achieved everything she thought she always wanted, but with her husband constantly on the road, she's fighting a losing battle against the Betty Friedan riptide of suburban... read more

Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets for the tree-lined avenues of Boulder, Colorado when her husband Dean lands a promising job. Madeline, now a full-time homemaker and mother to beautiful toddler twin girls, has achieved everything she thought she always wanted, but with her husband constantly on the road, she's fighting a losing battle against the Betty Friedan riptide of suburban... read more

Get Real

Donald E. Westlake

John Dortmunder and his merry crew stumble upon a television reality show whose producer decides to push the limits of the medium. The studio will film the gang as they plan and execute one of their patented nothing-can-go-wrong-until-it-does capers. As the gang strategizes its next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and his partner Kelp organize a private side enterprise. It will take ... read more

John Dortmunder and his merry crew stumble upon a television reality show whose producer decides to push the limits of the medium. The studio will film the gang as they plan and execute one of their patented nothing-can-go-wrong-until-it-does capers. As the gang strategizes its next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and his partner Kelp organize a private side enterprise. It will take ... read more

The Crazy School (A Madeline Dare Novel)

Cornelia Read

"Madeline Dare is like that wild smart-mouthed friend who blows into town, sweeps you off into a knife-edge adventure you never saw coming, and makes you laugh out loud even at the darkest, most intense moments. I can't wait to meet her again."--Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods Recently settled in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, Madeline Dare now teaches... read more

"Madeline Dare is like that wild smart-mouthed friend who blows into town, sweeps you off into a knife-edge adventure you never saw coming, and makes you laugh out loud even at the darkest, most intense moments. I can't wait to meet her again."--Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods Recently settled in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, Madeline Dare now teaches... read more

Invisible Boy (A Madeline Dare Novel)

Cornelia Read

"Cornelia Read's darkest, most passionate, and most poignant book yet."-Tana French, New York Times Bestselling AuthorThe smart-mouthed but sensitive runaway socialite Madeline Dare is shocked when she discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in her own weed-ridden family cemetery outside Manhattan. Determined to see that justice is served, she finds herself examining her own ... read more

"Cornelia Read's darkest, most passionate, and most poignant book yet."-Tana French, New York Times Bestselling AuthorThe smart-mouthed but sensitive runaway socialite Madeline Dare is shocked when she discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in her own weed-ridden family cemetery outside Manhattan. Determined to see that justice is served, she finds herself examining her own ... read more

Hard Row (Mystery/Grand Central Publishing a Deborah Knott Mystery)

Margaret Maron

As Judge Deborah Knott presides over a case involving a barroom brawl, it becomes clear that deep resentments over race, class, and illegal immigration are simmering just below the surface in the countryside. An early spring sun has begun to shine like a blessing on the fertile fields of North Carolina, but along with the seeds sprouting in the thawing soil, violence is growing as well. Mutila... read more

As Judge Deborah Knott presides over a case involving a barroom brawl, it becomes clear that deep resentments over race, class, and illegal immigration are simmering just below the surface in the countryside. An early spring sun has begun to shine like a blessing on the fertile fields of North Carolina, but along with the seeds sprouting in the thawing soil, violence is growing as well. Mutila... read more

Death's Half Acre (Deborah Knott Mysteries, No 14)

Margaret Maron

Unchecked urbanization has begun to eclipse the North Carolina countryside. As farms give way to shoddy mansions, farmers struggle to slow the rampant growth. In the shadows, corrupt county commissioners use their political leverage to make profitable deals with new developers. A murder will pull Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant into the middle of this bitter dispute and ... read more

Unchecked urbanization has begun to eclipse the North Carolina countryside. As farms give way to shoddy mansions, farmers struggle to slow the rampant growth. In the shadows, corrupt county commissioners use their political leverage to make profitable deals with new developers. A murder will pull Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant into the middle of this bitter dispute and ... read more

Christmas Mourning (Deborah Knott)

Margaret Maron

It's Christmas in rural North Carolina's Colleton County and Judge Deborah Knott is looking forward to a family celebration when a tragedy clouds the holiday season. A beautiful young cheerleader dies in a car crash and the community is devastated by her death. Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant soon learns that her death was not a simple accident, and more lives may be lost unless he and Deborah ... read more

It's Christmas in rural North Carolina's Colleton County and Judge Deborah Knott is looking forward to a family celebration when a tragedy clouds the holiday season. A beautiful young cheerleader dies in a car crash and the community is devastated by her death. Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant soon learns that her death was not a simple accident, and more lives may be lost unless he and Deborah ... read more

Burn Out

Marcia Muller

Traumatized by a recent life-or-death investigation, Sharon McCone flees to her ranch in California's high desert country to contemplate her future. Deep depression shadows her days and nights, and a chance encounter with a troubled, highly secretive Native American woman begins to haunt her dreams. Even though she is determined not to investigate anything during her stay--and perhaps not ever... read more

Traumatized by a recent life-or-death investigation, Sharon McCone flees to her ranch in California's high desert country to contemplate her future. Deep depression shadows her days and nights, and a chance encounter with a troubled, highly secretive Native American woman begins to haunt her dreams. Even though she is determined not to investigate anything during her stay--and perhaps not ever... read more

Coming Back (Sharon McCone Mysteries)

Marcia Muller

In Locked In, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone was shot in the head and suffered from locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but with an alert, conscious mind. Now, as Sharon struggles to regain control over her body, she wants everything to go back to normal, but realizes that it may not be possible to return to her old life. Meanwhile, Sharon's relationships are suffering. Her hus... read more

In Locked In, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone was shot in the head and suffered from locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but with an alert, conscious mind. Now, as Sharon struggles to regain control over her body, she wants everything to go back to normal, but realizes that it may not be possible to return to her old life. Meanwhile, Sharon's relationships are suffering. Her hus... read more

Death of a Valentine (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries)

M. C. Beaton

Amazing news has spread across the Scottish countryside. The most famous of highland bachelors, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth, will be married at last. Everyone in the village of Lochdubh adores Josie McSween, Macbeth's newest constable and blushing bride-to-be. While locals think Josie is quite a catch, Hamish has a case of prenuptial jitters. After all, if it weren't for the recent murder o... read more

Amazing news has spread across the Scottish countryside. The most famous of highland bachelors, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth, will be married at last. Everyone in the village of Lochdubh adores Josie McSween, Macbeth's newest constable and blushing bride-to-be. While locals think Josie is quite a catch, Hamish has a case of prenuptial jitters. After all, if it weren't for the recent murder o... read more

Death of a Witch (A Hamish Macbeth Mystery)

M. C. Beaton

From the author of the Agatha Raisin television series...DEATH OF A WITCH: A Hamish Macbeth MysteryReturning from a vacation, Constable Hamish Macbeth senses a dark cloud of evil hanging over his Scottish village of Lochdubh. Newcomer Catriona Beldame has cast a bewitching spell over the town, causing the local men to visit her cottage at all hours of the night and infuriating the women. Hamis... read more

From the author of the Agatha Raisin television series...DEATH OF A WITCH: A Hamish Macbeth MysteryReturning from a vacation, Constable Hamish Macbeth senses a dark cloud of evil hanging over his Scottish village of Lochdubh. Newcomer Catriona Beldame has cast a bewitching spell over the town, causing the local men to visit her cottage at all hours of the night and infuriating the women. Hamis... read more

Death of a Gentle Lady (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 24)

M. C. Beaton

Gentle by name, gentle by nature. Everyone in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh adores elderly Mrs. Gentle - everyone but Hamish Macbeth, that is. Hamish thinks the gentle lady is quite sly and vicious, and the citizens of Lochdubh think he is overly cranky. Perhaps it's time for him to get married, they say.But who has time for marriage when there's a murder to be solved? When Mrs. Gentle ... read more

Gentle by name, gentle by nature. Everyone in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh adores elderly Mrs. Gentle - everyone but Hamish Macbeth, that is. Hamish thinks the gentle lady is quite sly and vicious, and the citizens of Lochdubh think he is overly cranky. Perhaps it's time for him to get married, they say.But who has time for marriage when there's a murder to be solved? When Mrs. Gentle ... read more

Dog Tags (Andy Carpenter)

David Rosenfelt

A German Shepherd police dog witnesses a murder and if his owner--an Iraq war vet and former cop-turned-thief--is convicted of the crime, the dog could be put down. Few rival Andy Carpenter's affection for dogs, and he decides to represent the poor canine. As Andy struggles to convince a judge that this dog should be set free, he discovers that the dog and his owner have become involved unwitt... read more

A German Shepherd police dog witnesses a murder and if his owner--an Iraq war vet and former cop-turned-thief--is convicted of the crime, the dog could be put down. Few rival Andy Carpenter's affection for dogs, and he decides to represent the poor canine. As Andy struggles to convince a judge that this dog should be set free, he discovers that the dog and his owner have become involved unwitt... read more

Play Dead (Andy Carpenter)

David Rosenfelt

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before. Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent m... read more

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before. Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent m... read more

Locked In (Sharon McCone Mysteries)

Marcia Muller

Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one of the firm's cases. As Sharon lies in her hospital bed, furiously trying to break out of her body... read more

Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one of the firm's cases. As Sharon lies in her hospital bed, furiously trying to break out of her body... read more

Share this profile :)

It's time to tell the world about this Reedsy profile!

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 700+ profiles.

520be26d547c8ae767ad39bd4861f39192ba65f1

Erica Ellis

Freelance editor offering friendly but thorough editing to independent authors.

Parrish, United States

751b8e7129046d6791d1a15df90b947f14f4066c

Megan McKeever

Formerly of Simon and Schuster, I love being able to work more directly with authors with honest and thoughtful collaborative editing.

New York, NY, United States

To view 700+ more profiles, Join Reedsy

To view 700+ more profiles, Join Reedsy