Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Brent Taylor

Hello my darlings! Today I bring you an interview I’ve been dying to post for ages with one of my very most favorite people in the world, literary agent, (one of mine, to be specific!) Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Agency! The first time I worked with Brent, he was a wee intern and was a huge help during the Hook, Line, and Sinker contest back in 2012. When I signed with Uwe Stender and Brent, at the time, Brent was brand new to agenting. I remember saying to friends, “With Brent, it’s not ever a question of if he will sell. It’s when.” and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He’s been kicking ass for his clients and it’s been a pleasure to watch, and be among them. Let me step aside and let the sir speak for his own awesome self.  1. First off, how long have you been an agent? What made you want to dive into this wacky business in the first place? I’ve been an agent since September 2014. I’m terrible at all math that isn’t “how much money does this publisher owe me,” so I think that’s roughly a year and a half. I’ve known that I wanted to be an agent since my first internship in 2011. There’s something so magical about shepherding books into the world that would’ve changed your life as a reader. 2. What genres do you represent? How important is the genre, or will you take on something different just because it gives you the feelings? My taste is eclectic, but I tell people that I represent upmarket fiction across all age categories: middle grade, young adult, and adult. I’m also very interested in illustrated fiction and other unique formats (like novels-in-verse). Even if something doesn’t feel like an obvious fit,...

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Perfect Fits and Pumpkin Juice

Hello my darlings! I’ve dreamt for years about writing this post. Or at the least, having the opportunity to write it. A few years back, the big thrill was writing my “ZOMG I HAVE AN AGENT!” post. I didn’t write one when I signed with my second set of agents. I super wanted to, it’s a great story, but also, I felt weird about it. Like I was demanding a second baby shower or something. Which is stupid, honestly. I love, LOVE reading posts about people signing with new agents, no matter how many they’ve had before. Please never stop posting about your wins, folks. They give me life. Hell, I love going to second/third/infinity baby showers, as well. But I’m super weird about feeling like I’m flailing my arms begging for some level of attention. Despite that absurdity, I’m going to share a little of my tale today. I went to my first writer’s conference when I was 12. It was an RWA con in Indianapolis at a big hotel. My mom drove me and a friend and dropped us off for the day. It was apparently so odd for someone so young to be there, a freaking news crew came. Seriously. I was on the Channel 8 news and an agent was all, I AM HERE FOR THIS KID AND HER BOOK. It was very bizarre. My mom still has a VHS recording of this somewhere. At the time, I also had an offer from an acting agent, and I figured I could always come back to writing, but acting was more time sensitive, so I went with that. Cut to my long and tortuous path to finding an agent as an adult. 12yo me didn’t realize how swell she’d had it. I had two books on...

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Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Jim McCarthy

Hello, my darlings! Today, I am very excited to bring you a chat with literary agent, and all around badass, Jim McCarthy of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency. Jim is a faboo agent who has had a hand in escorting some genuinely amazing books down the publishing path. Let’s dive right in, shall we? 1. First off, how long have you been an agent? What made you want to dive into this wacky business in the first place? I landed at Dystel & Goderich as an intern 17 years ago, the summer after my first year of college. When I graduated, a full time job had just opened up. And I signed my first client way back in 2003. I’d love to say that I chose to work in publishing for noble reasons, but when I started part time, the main reason was that of the 50 resumes I had sent out, the first call, interview, and offer was here. I fell in love with the job, but those early days, I did wonder if I should have held out longer because other people started calling. “I could have been a ticket taker at Radio City,” I complained. But let’s just say it all worked out. And I’m here 17 years later for a host of reasons. 2. What genres do you represent? How important is the genre, or will you take on something different just because it gives you the feelings? I’m willing to represent just about anything (other than poetry where I’m at a loss. That said, I’m best known for doing YA, fantasy, romance, and mystery. Because those have been my most successful areas, they’re where I’m most comfortable and where I see the most submissions. But I’m always looking to push myself. 3. Tell us...

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A Close Shave

Hello, my darlings! Do you ever have those nights where you can’t sleep and you start to get a little loopy? The other night, it was around 3am, and I was lying in bed unable to get to a snoozy place. Everyone in the house was asleep, all was quiet, and I’d been tossing and turning for two hours. Hell, even the Puggle was at the foot of the bed, snoring. As I flopped about the bed trying to get comfortable, I thought I felt something odd. The place of this odd is a place generally only seen by my husband and gynecologist. Now, see, here’s the thing: After the skin cancer scare from two years ago, and the luck we’ve been having lately, feeling anything odd on my skin really super freaks me out. My brain spiraled into a worry hole of all the things that could possibly be killing me and how I was definitely going to die because that’s the one thing that’s been missing from the last few months. I flew out of bed and went to inspect to make damn diggity sure there was nothing wrong. And. Okay. I was tired. Like, super tired. But it was 3am and maybe I wasn’t on top of my game. Because when I realized there was some visual impairment in the form of, uh, shrubbery, my idea was to grab an electric razor to get a clearer view of the area. Basically I panicked. Mistakes were made. I quickly realized all was well, there was nothing to be concerned about, I didn’t see a damn thing out of place. Except that now my *ahem* area was looking a little lopsided. And so, even though I haven’t done such a thing in like, fifteen years, there I stood,...

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Giving Thanks

Hello you magical, glorious, unparalleled loves of mine, I’ve been trying to write this post for a week. I sit down and no words come out because no words seem adequate enough. But if I don’t write this out, I may quite literally explode, so forgive me if I stumble. Not quite two weeks ago, I posted a blog updating on how life was going. It was a hard post to write, letting myself and our family be vulnerable in the digital age by letting others in on a deeply personal struggle. I posted that entry because it’d been a tough few weeks, and at that moment, a particularly tough few days. I needed an outlet to purge some of the thoughts I was having. I needed to share what our lives were like because I didn’t want to feel alone. Once I hit “Publish” it was this weight off my shoulders. Like, the reality of life was still happening, but it wasn’t a silent struggle I was carrying away from everyone I know. It never stops astounding me that people read this blog. It never stops confusing me that anyone would ever be interested in what I have to say. Within minutes of publishing, friends and readers were calling to start GoFundMe’s for our family. As notifications buzzed on my phone, my eyes got wider and wider, and my jaw got lower and lower. I looked like a mix between a very alarmed fish and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of Total Recall by the end of the night. Less than an hour later, two incredible women, Jessa Russo and Tamara Mataya, had set up an online auction to benefit our family, and another glorious gal, Alina Klein, had set up a GoFundMe. People started messaging me, sharing...

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