Friday, May 17, 2013

So Why DID I Want to be an Agent?

I think the one story I’ve never shared is…what made you want to be an agent?

I’ve answered the how I got into agenting; but why did I want to be an agent?

I started writing this post a while ago after Laura Bradford re-sold rights to THE book that made her want to be an agent (plus a sequel! Yeah!). It was a book that inspired her to want to bring good romance to the world.

I wish I had as inspiring of a story; the truth is I was stuck on this post for a long time because…I can’t really think of one shining moment that was IT. I first found out that agents existed when I started writing (and querying) at thirteen; I knew from then on I wanted to be a part of the publishing industry. My Junior year of high school my English teacher asked me what I wanted to do, and I said oh, I have a five year plan: go to college as an English major, move to New York, work as an editorial assistant at a publishing house for a few years to gain contacts, and then be an AGENT!

He was rather skeptical (probably also because, as it turns out, he was in the process of writing a book and trying to get an agent) and though my glorious five year plan (gasp!) didn’t exactly work out THAT way (I went to college as a WRITING major, and interned my way to the agent track), the end result was the same.

I suppose, then, what inspired me to jump into this profession was my love of writing; of wanting to be a part of the magical world of literature.

Today, the inspiring part of my journey is what I love most: making dreams come true.

There’s a great quote by Sterling Lord, from his recent book about his own agent adventures, that says:

"To be effective as a literary agent, you have to constantly hope; you have to generate the optimism to believe that you will make every deal…. Whether a spectacular sale or a client's departure is a triumph or a disaster, you have about 10 minutes to deal with it emotionally. After that, you must move on to other business."  (thanks to Kathleen Rushall for that little gem!)

I am honored to be and love being a driving force within something I’m passionate about, and hopefully, bringing joy, inspiration and optimism to others as well. I will never say it's easy or lacking in challenges, but that wouldn't make it rewarding if it were. I am fascinated by the changing atmosphere of publishing and love combining our modern perceptions and technology with the classic escapism and joy that literature brings.

And I hope to continue doing so for many, many years.


  1. Inspiring story... reiterates, for me, the things I like about you as an agent (you are inspired!) Isn't it great to get up in the morning knowing you'll get to spend your day doing what you (most times) love?!

  2. I plan on submitting mss for many years, so this is a win-win for both of us! ;)

  3. I was truly inspired with your blog post. You have the passion, the drive and the will in one package. How I wish every individual is focused and determined like you. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and I wish you all the success coz’ you deserve it. God Bless!

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  4. This is wonderful! I love the bit about hoping. That's the thing that really got me to make my final decision to sign with my agent; she had this amazing optimism just leaking out of her pores when she called to offer representation, and I think she was more convinced that my book was going to sell than I was! I'd always thought the writer was supposed to be the starry-eyed hopeful one and the agent was supposed to be the jaded, business-minded one, but . . . clearly that's not at all true. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  5. you may own the right to make some decisions, I think it's good for you

  6. Hope is truly the driving force in us all. Finding someone you believe in, and who believes in you, braids that hope into success.

  7. Your story really struck me. My son and I are both writers. We have pulled our talent together to create our first novel. He was 10 at the time we wrote the book. He just turned 13 and we have written the second book and are working on book 3 &4. We are debating on whether there will be a 5th book. Like you, both my son and I wanted to be invovled with the written word at an early age. I started writing "books" about Kola Bears at the age of 8. I'm glad that your dream turned out as did ours.

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