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.