Toni Margarita Plummer

Nov 11, 11 Toni Margarita Plummer

City you live in:
Brooklyn, New York.

Occupation and why?
Editor/Author. I’ve always loved reading. After getting a B.A. in Philosophy, there were only two things I wanted to do, and which I thought I could do: work in publishing and write. So I do both!

A regular day consists of?
Riding the subway into the city, eating breakfast at my desk, answering emails from authors, agents, and coworkers, preparing a manuscript for production or writing jacket copy or looking for old contracts or hearing an agent pitch a new project or signing off on drafts of book jackets or searching for comparison titles. Then I answer more emails from authors, agents, and coworkers, ride the subway home, eat dinner while I watch Netflix, edit a manuscript I bought or readsubmissions on my E-Reader, and then sweet rest!

How do you define success?
Success is finally feeling satisfied with a story, after many revisions, and then hearing that it resonates with a reader. It’s helping other writers to make their stories as powerful and enjoyable as possible.

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge probably pertains to writing and just making the time for it and allowing myself the freedom to write nonsense until I know where a piece is going.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Read contemporary books. Read different genres and read the bestsellers to get an idea of what kinds of books publishers want. Think about what books you’d like to edit. Get your college degree. Move to New York. Pursue internships at publishers. Get as much experience as you can, whether it be working on a literary magazine or writing copy for a website. If you want to be an author, write as often as you can and share your work with a small group of other writers that you trust. Submit your work to magazines and journals. Connect with published authors. Don’t forget you’re going to need a day job!

What’s on your bucket list?
Buying a house. Better yet, designing my own house. Writing several novels, a poetry book, a children’s series, a play, and more! Getting published in The New Yorker.Seeing my work up on the big screen.Traveling more of Latin America and Europe.

I am proud to be Latina because:
I inherit that culture from my mother and she is the most amazing person I know. Also, let’s face it, we’re a fun group.

How do you get your Latin fix?
Mexican food! I’m very excited about all the restaurants and panaderías in my new neighborhood in Brooklyn. If I’m in LA, which is where I was raised, I make sure to get fish tacos. Or I listen to Mercedes Sosa, Chilean folk bands, or Joan Baez singing in Spanish. It’s been awhile, but I enjoy going to salsa clubs.

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
English. But I can have a lot of fun speaking Spanish. I don’t do it very often.

What is your favorite Latin restaurant?
I love Taco Chulo in Williamsburg. They make great micheladas and margaritas.They allow you to pimp your burritos. Need I say more?

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
It’s a tie between the curvaceous, fun-loving Latina and the super religious Abuelita.

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
You can do anything.

Favorite home remedy:
Dabbing the backs of your ears with saliva when they’re plugged, because that’s what’s coming to mind for some reason!

Favorite Quote:
“There is nothing comparable to the endurance of a woman.”–Mark Twain

Career Highlights:
Winning the Miguel Mármol Prize–it got me published and changed my life! Getting a blurb from Sandra Cisneros.Reading in Bryant Park, making the audience laugh.Being applauded in a huge room at Bouchercon when my author Sophie Littlefield won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Having three of my authors (CaridadFerrer, Michael Jaime-Becerra, A.E. Roman) win International Latino Book Awards last year! I just love awards…

[fun]I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish–I learned to speak it better when I did a study program abroad in Santiago, Chile.[/fun]

[career]♦Toni Margarita Plummer is the author of The Bolero of Andi Rowe, and she is the latest winner of the Miguel Mármol Prize for a first work of fiction by a Latino author.

♦ She is an Editor at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, where she has worked for the past 7 years acquiring fiction and nonfiction.

♦Her authors include California Book Award winner Michael Jaime-Becerra, RITA Award winner CaridadFerrer, and Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, finalist for the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship and winner of two Go on Girl! Book Club Awards.

♦ Toni is a fellow of the Macondo Foundation, an association of socially-engaged writers.

♦ Toni attended the University of Notre Dame and currently serves on the Hispanic Alumni Board as the Vice Chair of Communications.

♦She attended the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Facebook: Toni Margarita Plummer
Twitter: @tmargaritaplum



  1. Zoraida /

    I love Toni <3

  2. Silvia /

    Another amazing and fun interview. I am so proud of you.


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