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Interview with Ruth Cavin of St. Martin’s Press

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Ruth Cavin, an editor at St. Martin’s Press, should be an inspiration to us all. Pushing the age of 90, she is still active and still looks forward to the daily challenges of the publishing field. Cavin’s career began a few short years after the end of WWII, when she began working at the publishing company of a friend. Although the company closed after about five years, Cavin went onto work as an editor for another friend. Afterward, she went on to her present occupation at St. Martin’s, where she has been for about twenty years.

Having worked in the publishing field for several decades, Cavin admits her slight bias against its changing face, “I don’t think I’m the person to ask, because publishing as it was is the publishing that I know and feel at home in.” Cavin also admits, however, that she can see the advantages of digital books and how younger generations can be so drawn to them. Cavin believes that today’s view of books and reading is a matter of convenience, “being able to hold and read what you choose wherever you are.” There is nothing wrong with it,she states, its just not her cup of tea.

For herself, Cavin simply wants an interesting book that will sell. Even if she isn’t particularly captivated by the book itself, if she believes there is an audience, she is willing to publish it. If, however, she finds it to be mediocre and isn’t interested one bit, she will leave it for someone else. When asked for something interesting and unexpected of herself, Cavin states that she would have to think about it and get back to me, hinting that are still miles to go before reaching the essence of this spunky, vivacious woman.

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Jeff Rivera is the author of “Forever My Lady” and the founder of GumboWriters.com.

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