Lucas Books, the publishing division of Lucasfilm, Ltd., has hired former Simon & Schuster editor Jennifer Heddle as Senior Editor to oversee the adult fiction portion of its Star Wars publishing program. Bringing a strong pedigree of publishing experience, enthusiasm, and fresh sensibilities to Star Wars, Heddle is working with publishers Random House and Dark Horse Comics on Star Wars novels, comic books, and graphic novels. “I’m thrilled to be working with Random House and Dark Horse on the adventures of these characters I’ve cherished for my entire life,” says Heddle, who replaces former Lucas Books Executive Editor Sue Rostoni.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled by Lucasfilm’s choice of Jen Heddle to take over the reins,” says Random House Editor-at-Large Shelly Shapiro, who edits Del Rey’s line of Star Wars novels. “She is going to be a valuable player who brings a lot of passion to the table. With Jen joining the Star Wars team, I can stop being mad at Sue for retiring!”
Heddle spent the last seven years at Pocket/Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster, where she specialized in commercial adult fiction, teen fiction, media tie-ins, and pop culture nonfiction. She worked with, among others, popular authors L.A. Banks, Marjorie M. Liu, Kevin J. Anderson, W. Michael & Kathleen O’Neal Gear, Adrian Phoenix, Jennifer Echols, and Christopher Golden. Her pop culture-based New York Times bestsellers include Ghost Hunting by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson and Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli. Prior to her time at S&S she spent six years as part of the Roc imprint at NAL/Penguin, acquiring and editing such bestselling authors as Jim Butcher and Barb & J.C. Hendee.
A native New Yorker, Jennifer decided the only thing that could lure her away from home–not to mention New York bagels—was the opportunity to work for Lucasfilm and the Star Wars brand. She saw A New Hope in its original release and has been a devoted fan ever since, helping to keep the licensing group in business before ever working for them. Her most impressive pieces of memorabilia to date are all gifts: a vintage Ben Cooper Darth Vader Halloween costume, a complete set of Return of the Jedi Burger King glasses, and a “May the Force Be With You” pin that was handed out in movie theaters on May 25, 1977.
“I vividly remember buying Heir to the Empire as soon as it was released and to now be a part of that tradition is both an exciting adventure and a serious responsibility,” says Heddle. “And since I’m also a lifelong comic book fan, I’m really getting to explore the best of both worlds.”
Let’s all give Jen a big, fat welcome to the Star Wars Expanded Universe!