Agent Interview: Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Welcome Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency! Thao is actively building her list, seeking all kinds of YA, selective MG and adult sci-fi/fantasy. Thao Le Literary Agent Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency       What are you looking for/hoping for that you DON’T see coming into your query box? TL: More Middle Grade. I’m a fan of Artemis Fowl and I recently picked up Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, so I’d love to find myself a Middle Grade project. Something fun and adventurous, with charismatic characters. I would also love some YA mysteries, something like Veronica Mars. I love teen sleuths. Or just teens doing cool things. I am a fan of Ally Carter’s Heist Society books and I just love her teen art thieves...

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Agent Interview: Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency

I’m pleased to have Beth Phelan on the blog! Beth joined The Bent Agency in the fall of 2013 and is actively building her list. In addition to the below interview, Beth is active on Twitter and has tweeted about her #MSWL, and also participated in several pitch contests. Beth Phelan Literary Agent The Bent Agency       What’s your background and what brought you to agenting? BP: I’m a graduate of New York University, where I definitely read more than I studied. I hadn’t even declared a major until the end of my sophomore year, when my father suggested I look into book publishing. We were sitting in a Barnes & Noble parking lot where I was sorting through the stack of books I’d just bought. After graduating, I took up an internship with...

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Agent Interview: Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary

Welcome Bridget Smith on the blog! Bridget is a literary agent with Dunham Literary, and also runs a fabulous podcast that covers agenting, publishing and fannishness. If you’re not listening to Shipping & Handling, which she records with fellow agent Jennifer Udden, go! listen now! (OK, maybe after you read this post)   Bridget Smith Literary Agent Dunham Literary       What are you looking for/hoping for that you DON’T see coming into your query box? BS: I always want more YA fantasy, particularly the kind with complex, original worlds and vividly drawn characters. I’d especially like some that’s a bit more optimistic: everything has gone dark and deadly since A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE became popular. While that’s all well and good –...

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Agent Interivew: Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates

Please welcome the fabulous agent Carlie Webber to the blog! Carlie and I go way back–we met in NYC through a mutual friend in 2005, and Carlie was one of the agents that attended Ascendio 2012, the HP conference at which I organized a YA lit track. I’ve seen Carlie in action–she’s smart, has an incisive wit, is business savvy and all-around awesome. After working as a librarian for a decade, Carlie transitioned to agenting, working at Jane Rotrosen Agency for several years before moving out to the West coast in 2013 and starting up her own agency, CK Webber Associates.   Carlie Webber Agent CK Webber Associates       Do you prefer personalized queries? If so, are there any personalizations that ping your pet peeves?...

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Why I’m pro fanfic

What’s a good way to train yourself to write a great novel? Writing fanfiction. Of course fanfic is becoming less and less taboo, so much so that it feels silly to trumpet it as a Good Thing because, obviously, it’s not a Bad Thing. Regardless, I want to talk about *why* a background in writing fanfic can be useful when it comes to writing original fiction. Many successful authors, particularly YA authors, hail from fandom–including and especially Harry Potter fandom, my old stomping ground. Why? Fanfic writers get characters For all that you usually hear that fanfic writers don’t know how to develop characters because they’re used to the characters already being developed for them, fanfic writers figure out early what makes a...

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Agent Interview: Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary

Happy New Year and welcome to the second in my agent interview series! Please welcome Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary! Joanna Volpe founded New Leaf Literary in June of 2012 (previously the Nancy Coffey Literary Agency), and as President oversees a team of three literary agents and two assistants/interns, in addition to acting as an agent extraordinaire for such clients as Veronica Roth, Kody Keplinger, Leigh Bardugo and Susan Dennard. New Leaf is more than just a literary agency–they are unique in that they offer the “Client Care” program, planning book signing events and advising their authors on a variety of publicity and marketing tactics. Joanna Volpe President New Leaf Literary Agency Seeking YA, MG & Adult       You...

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How to: Set-up a professional author blog/website

The first thing I did when I got my agent was set up a domain and build this blog-website hybrid. I believe a professional-looking website/blog is an important tool for building an author platform, as important (if not more so) as building a robust Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr presence. This is all part of “building your platform” that illusive buzz phrase we heard bandied around all the time now. Of course, you can build your platform before getting an agent, and a shiny and professional website/blog can be of assistance in getting an agent… but from most agent interviews I’ve seen, it largely does not matter (though that may change in the future!). A robust website/blog and the *appearance* of both really becomes important as a...

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