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Agent Interviews
Agent Interviews

Early in my writing career, I had the pleasure of connecting with Chuck Sambuchino, whose Guide to Literary Agents blog for Writer’s Digest is one of the most widely read publishing blogs online. Chuck happily obliged my request to help as a freelance contributor and so, for the past two years, I’ve done exactly that—curating dozens of New Agent Alerts (which are a GREAT way to learn about the industry and agents who are eager for debut novelists) along with conducting a line-up of interesting Agent Interviews for the blog.

Below is a roundup of my agent interviews for 2015. I hope to carry out interviews for Chuck this year:

Pete Knapp of New Leaf Literary & Media

Words of wisdom from Pete: “While you are waiting to hear from agents, start working on the next project. Some authors sign with an agent for the first book they send out, others won’t sign with an agent until the second, third, fourth, or more.  …. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on that book, but sometimes it is best to get some distance and then come back to it later.”

peterknapp

Elise Capron of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

What Elise is looking for from writers: “Really compelling, fresh ideas. I latch onto a proposal or manuscript immediately when I feel like the writer is doing something truly new.

elisecapron

Alec Shane of Writers House

Words of wisdom from Alec: “Every rule, every do and don’t, every cliché, every everything—all of that goes away in the face of a great book. At the end of the day, nobody has any clue what’s going to hit and what isn’t, so find a story that you’re completely in love with and work your ass off to share it with the world in the best way possible.”

alecshane

Greg Aunapu of Salkind Literary

Greg’s advice to writers: “Don’t fall in love with your prose. Faulkner said the hardest part of writing was killing his little darlings and Mark Twain wrote, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Both things take discipline and care.

gregaunapu

Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency

Victoria’s take on what writers want to know from agents: “I think writers are always curious on agents’ takes on current trends—whether a particular genre is on the upswing and whether we think their genre is more or less viable in the current marketplace, which is totally expected and understandable!

victorialowes

Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary Agency

What Maria sees coming across her desk: “There’s been an upswing in contemporary young adult queries (which is fantastic because I love contemporary YA), but the majority of them don’t focus on what makes their book stand apart. With so many realistic stories about teenagers in high school, your manuscript really needs to have a great hook! I’ve also been noticing quite a few manuscripts about pirates… and the pirate’s life is really not for me.”

mariavicente

#writing
My Q&A with Director and Screenwriter Angelo Pizzo

What a thrill it was this fall to interview Hoosier director and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo. This is the man who has written some of the best sports films of all time (Hoosiers and Rudy among them) and this November he’s back with another, My All American, a movie he wrote and directed about Texas football star Freddie Steinmark, an undersized but determined high school player who lead the Texas Longhorns to the 1969 national championship before a dramatic diagnosis sidelines …

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#writing
What to Read Now: Fall 2015

For about a year now I’ve been collaborating with uber-awesome LA stylist Jen Pinkston as her go-to source for seasonal book recommendations for her lifestyle site, EffortlessChic.com. Check out my latest fall reading list and, for a long view, check out my picks for summer 2015, winter 2015, fall 2014, and summer 2014.

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BRB(ish)

More than a month—that’s how long it’s been since I’ve made a new post. The good news: It’s because, after a busy summer, I’ve hunkered down and am writing, writing, writing again (just passed the 100 page mark on my second book —woot!) The bad news: Working in earnest on my novel means, after work and family commitments are factored in, I have little time to write much else. There are blog posts in recent weeks I’ve written in my …

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#reading
Breaking Down My Reading Habit

Only in the last few years have I thought of myself as a “fast” reader. As I post short reviews about the books I read in my Instagram feed (and longer versions on my GoodReads), I field the same question again and again: How do I find the time to read? Often I come back to the same answers: “Here and there,” or “I always have a book on me,” or “I guess I’m a speed reader?” But recently I …

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