What’s up buttercups? Nothing munch, Captain Crunch? Then stay a while and get to know me! I can tell you plenty about the kinds of projects I like to represent, but sometimes don’t you just want to understand who someone is and what makes them tick? Maybe I can help. Whether you are pitching to me or considering me as your agent, these are the TOP-10 things you should know about me.
- If you didn’t catch the Big Bang “Penny” quote above, say because you haven’t watched thousands of episodes of the most incredible show on TV (ahem, Big Bang Theory) over and over like me, then we can still be friends. But you really ought to consider setting your DVR. Truth be told, if I could be those boys’ neighbor, I totally would be. Not just because they crack me up, but because I’d want to pick their brain about the nature of the universe. Maybe I should have been a physicist, but alas I snagged a B.A. in journalism instead. But still, I’m happy. And Google can answer some of my questions even if Sheldon can’t. And my friend who worked at the Large Hadron Collider can answer the rest. And yes, I rep sci-fi…
- I was raised on Star Trek and Jane Austen and anything in their related genres in equal doses. I used to stay up reading said novels until 4 am with a flashlight, hiding under my sheets. I’m pretty sure my parents knew what I was up to, but figured if that’s all I was doing wrong, they didn’t have much to complain about. Then my uncle introduced me to Dune and I got wrapped up in the infuriatingly heart-rending Little Women. And the rest is history.
- I’m sort of a nerd. Don’t judge me. I like my A’s all neatly lined up. I graduated college with a nifty little 4.0, and got to give the commencement speech because of it. But don’t think I just sat around studying the whole time. I’m not boring. In college, I loved playing laser tag at Frost Chapel, got caught swimming in the reservoir (naughty, naughty) along with everyone else on campus (right of passage, anyone?), and I did this thing called “running” that college girls tend to do to stay slim enough to catch a boyfriend. Though unfortunately for me, it worked. I caught one. But I had to throw him back one month before graduation when he started to stink, which makes me so happy because I caught the right one not too many years afterward. I also loved mountain biking on my beautiful campus with the wind racing against me, and I pretty much joined every committee they would let me on. Yes, overachiever. Also, Waffle House lover. That’s where I did most of my studying — over hash browns scattered, smothered and covered. And coffee, lots of coffee.
- If I were a plant: I was potted in California (If you can’t infer what I mean here, I can’t help you), this while my Navy pilot dad flew anti-submarine warfare missions a la Tom Cruise, (he had the glasses and everything) but we moved to Georgia when I was quite young, so most of my roots are in the South. I met my husband on vacation in Florida (I spied him reading a book poolside and he happened to know the friend I was vacationing with). He took me jet skiing in the ocean the next day and called me “darlin'”and you could have stuck a fork in me and called me done. I’m not usually one for “automatic” attraction in a romance novel, but it worked out well enough for me! One husband, a set of twins and a bonus baby later, my branches found the sun in the Northeast where we had moved. While there, I free-lanced and eventually interned at Talcott Notch Literary Agency. But not to be outdone, Georgia called and we’re home again, living on a farm, with more animals than are necessary for modern-day living — though I’m thoroughly happy I won’t have to shovel 2 tons of snow from my driveway ever again.
- I’m jealous of the person behind the idea for a time travel mailbox in the romantic movie, The Lake House. Then I googled it to see if I could read the book, and found out it was taken from a South Korean movie called Il Mare. 1) Not so jealous anymore since it wasn’t from a book, and 2) If I find out the directors of Il Mare did get it from a Korean novel, my best friend will have to read it to me in English. Also, I love kimchi. Her mom made me eat a kimchi pancake when I was 9, and the rest is history, which is surprising because you wouldn’t think kimchi and pancakes a good match. Moment of contemplation here: Maybe that’s why I’m interested in books that don’t always fit the mold, because sometimes the ones that are best are the ones that break all the rules. Those are the kinds of books I want to fight for.
- In first grade, I won a blue ribbon for a writing contest. It’s one of the most precious memories of my life, that and what it felt like to read Charlotte’s Web or The Box Car Children for the first time. There’s nothing like those first books that captivate you and transport you, or those first teachers who motivate you. I hold those memories quite dear. Books have been in my blood ever since. And that’s why I love to rep Middle Grade.
- When I got my first job editing, my boss told me the college professor she called for a reference told her one of the reasons she should hire me was because of my humor. “It’s different. You’ll like it.” I wasn’t sure what I thought about that statement at first, but different can be good, right? I sure hope so! Because I still have a weird sense of humor. Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are right up my alley.
- I’m a very editorial agent. Because I have worked professionally as an editor and dabbled in writing myself in the past, I believe I have the capacity and the compassion to help make people’s work sing while helping them stay true to their convictions as a writer. And as a new agent with a smaller list, I also have the time and enthusiasm to move these writers with such great promise to publication, and hopefully establish wonderful relationships with them as we advance their careers. I believe in professional but personable relationships with my clients. I always have an open ear, and believe kindness goes incredibly far. Oh, and completely blatant personal promotion here, if you’ve ever wondered why you should choose a new agent over an established one, check out this blog: www.upstartcrowliterary.com/new-vs-established-agents/.
- Back to the banal: Did I mention I like Kimchi? I’m convinced that hot hOT HOT, spicy foods are the best kind on the planet. Sweet gets second place. (And they go well together.) I kind of want to cry when I have to eat pizza without Tabasco or copious amounts of hot pepper (powder). It just takes the fun out of it. Of course, I still cry when I eat the pizza covered in the hot peppers too, but then the tears are the happy kind. Give it to me hot. (And no, I don’t rep that genre.)
- I play the piano. By ear mostly, though my old Southern Baptist pastor’s wife of a piano teacher did try her darnedest to get me to memorize the notes, God rest her soul. Try as she might, nothing stuck but the rhythm and the emotion (the woman had some passion). And somehow I figured out that you could tap into that and then the keys would write their own music. I like to create beautiful things. The piano helps me do that.
I’d love to get to know you too! So comment away and tell me something that makes you you.