Carol Williams, the brilliant and marvelous director of the W.I.F.Y.R. conference (can’t recommend enough) and author of many fabulous books is one of those folks with whom I could cheerfully share a six-hour car ride. And that’s saying something. Also, she invariably makes me blush.
Next year I’ll be returning to Utah, but in the meantime, C and I are chatting about writing / agenting, and where writers get their ideas. You should check it out.
In case you missed it this weekend, check out my interview with Middle Grade Ninja. It gets real, yo.
Question Three: What are the qualities of your ideal client?
The fabulous Brittany Roshelle has interviewed me at THE WRITE STUFF in conjunction with a GIRL PARTS giveaway. Check it out!
1) How did you become an agent for Scott Treimel NY?
I saw a listing on Craigslist for an agent’s assistant. I knew I wanted to work in children’s publishing, and had interviewed for editorial positions (I didn’t even know what agents did). My interview at STNY was a complete disaster; Scott insisted I didn’t really want the job, and I insisted I did. A week later I got a phone call essentially saying, “I like how you argue. Come work for me.”
2) What’s it like being a literary agent?
I absolutely love it. It’s completely different from writing, which I’ve been doing since I was a kid. To me, being a writer means observing, absorbing the world without judging, taking everything in. Being an agent means constantly evaluating, negotiating. But there’s no better education for a writer than reading and selling a manuscripts.
Q: What did you do this morning, John?
A: I collected al my online interviews under “Interviews” on my sidebar.
Check out this very weird (and creepy) interview with a robot on the New York Times video blog. Sometimes I sound like this before I’ve had my coffee.
Have you grabbed your copy yet? The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is what I always recommend to authors seeking agents and publishers. It’s a fabulous and exhaustive resource (you’ll find Scott Treimel NY on page 300).
This year, my article, “An Agent / Author’s Crash Course in Getting Published,” is among the pieces from agents, editors and major authors. It features such salient tips as:
1. Surviving awkward phone calls with potential publishers.
2. Taming your writing as you tame a 100-pound American Bulldog.
3. Getting past “No,” and the far more injurious, “Hmm…“
4. Coffee: infusing inspiration; removing stains.
My career began with an American Bulldog. I’d climbed five flights to interview at S©ott Treimel NY, a boutique juvenile literary agency in the LaGrange Terrace penthouse at Astor Place. Five months previous I’d graduated college, set to dazzle the world with the profundity of metaphor in Russian literature. I wanted to be a novelist, and was also interested in the book business. Now, twenty interviews later, beat and red-eyed, I clasped my double-espresso like a scabbard and faced one hundred pounds of slobbering Cerberus. Its nametag read “Petey.”
My piece aside, this really is the guide. I always had one on my college book shelf. Go buy one!
You may know E. Kristin Anderson by her poetry, published in two dozen literary journals, from Mimesis (her chapbook In Travel was a runner-up there) to the Cimarron Review. What you may not know is she’s a helluva interviewer. Let ‘er rip, EKA.
EKA: The Sakora Company and the Companions have a strict set of morals, based on their views of morality and what they think dating and boy/girl interaction should look like. What do you think of Sakora’s rules?
JMC: They’re awful! Particularly for the Companions. Rose wants to be physical with David before her programming permits, and other Companions might want to take things slower. Ultimately, the decision to have sex or be in a relationship should be up to the two people involved, not some external system. I do think friendship is important to a relationship, and that sex is not something to take lightly. In this sense, Rose really does teach David a healthier way to relate to others. But Sakora’s morality is in service of profit. It’s slapdash and mechanical.
EKA: Some might argue that GIRL PARTS is a feminist book, and some might disagree, finding certain elements anti-feminist. Did you have a feminist ideology in mind while writing?
JMC: GIRL PARTS might have anti-feminist characters, but there’s nothing anti-feminist about its author. Gender and queer issues are important to me, and while addressing what I saw as little-explored themes of adolescent male sexuality, I hoped to convey that David’s — and more dramatically Sakora’s — gender politics are positively Neanderthal.
Read the rest here.
Check out my interview on the fabulous book blog WORD FOR TEENS!