Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Alec Shane

Hello my darlings! Today I bring you an chat with Alec Shane, awesome person and literary agent with Writer’s House. 1. Let’s start with the basics: How long have you been an agent, and what made you dive into this wacky business in the first place? I originally moved to New York to get into finance, actually; I was familiar with that world and didn’t have any other bright ideas at the moment, so I figured I’d give it a shot. But I arrived at my apartment in Brooklyn in June of 2008, which is – almost to the exact month – when the economy collapsed and a lot of the big hedge funds went under. Knowing that what few financial institutions left weren’t hiring (and probably wouldn’t see “former stuntman with very little experience” as a huge selling point if they were), I decided to see if I could get a job doing something I loved instead. And two of the things I love most are sports and books. Since NYC has a big presence in both arenas, I started applying for both sports and book jobs. I didn’t really even know what agenting was, and I had never even heard of Writers House; I just called them because I stumbled onto the website and thought it was a pretty building. Luckily for me, Writers House was in the process of hiring interns right around the time I first reached out, and the rest is history. I started as Jodi Reamer’s assistant in 2009, and have been building my own list since 2012. 2. Because inquiring minds always want to know, what genres do you rep? Mystery, thriller, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, biography, military history, humor, sports, “guy” reads, and any type of nonfiction about an event/person...

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Class Dismissed

Hello my dears, Okay, so, a thing happened and I really want to talk about it. I’m not a hard-hitting journalist by any stretch, but this is going on in my town right now and I feel it’s important and should be discussed. Here’s what went down. A seven-year-old girl was riding the bus home from school. She is a first grader. An eleven-year-old boy, a fifth grader, was taking pictures and videos of this first grade girl with his phone. The girl asked him to stop. He wouldn’t. The girl told him to stop. He wouldn’t. The girl told him to stop or she would tell the bus driver. The fifth grade boy then took a pocket knife out of his coat, opened the blade, and pointed it at the first grade girl. It is everyone’s understanding that he didn’t say “I’m going to stab you.” or anything similar, but other children witnessing the situation said that it was a clear threat to her, to make her stop. Now, as this is dealing with a child, the school can’t tell me what actions were taken, I’m not press, I’m not one of the parents. I spoke to the mother of the little girl, and they won’t tell her what happened to the boy who threatened her daughter. What she does know is that this boy is still riding the bus every day. She was told his parents are working parents, and they couldn’t “inconvenience” them to find another way to school. (Those were their words, not mine.) This mother is too afraid to let her daughter ride the bus with the boy, so she has now started driving her daughter to and from school every day, even though her daughter very much wants to be back with her...

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Wibbly~Wobbly

Hello my dears, My last post on here was really broke my heart to write, and I fully planned to follow it up with something a bit lighter. An interview with someone fantastic or perhaps a Fizzy Follies in which I lost my pants in public yet again. Alas, the universe seems to have had slightly different plans. I think I’ve reached the point where I need a pretty concentrated dose of therapy because I need to talk about this, but quite plainly, I don’t have the time for therapy right now. 2014 blew. And I mean it blew super hard. Things haven’t been the same since the heart attack. My brain is still glichy as fuck. Medical bills are like, strangling the life out of us. I really hope we have a house when this is all over. That sort of thing. So I had wicked high hopes for 2015. I just really did. I’m working on a new book. I haven’t had a health emergency in a few months. My brain is supposed to be on the road to recovery. So much hope. Then my freaking dog died. Okay. Not a great start. Bad start. I’m going to just come out with it; my uncle died last week. Quite suddenly. He was sitting around with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. They were chatting and chopping strawberries and he suddenly said he couldn’t breathe. Three minutes later he was on the floor and he never woke up again. The official word is he had pneumonia that no one realized, his airways had become so constricted he wasn’t getting enough oxygen, and his heart stopped. The lack of oxygen to his brain caused so much damage that even though they were able to restart his heart eventually, he was...

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The Best Boy

Hello my dears, I’ve been working up the courage to write this for a few days, but I haven’t been able to even think about it without turning into a sobbing mess. The reality is that I’ll be crying as I type here, and that’s fine. There’s been a lot of tears around this house. Thirteen years ago, I’d gotten a call from a distant cousin asking if we wanted another dog. We really didn’t. We already had two, and a cat, and we aren’t a zoo. This was before I embraced my lot in life as a critter magnet. I laugh at my restraint of, “Two dogs and one cat! That’s madness!” *stares at current animal menagerie* Yep. Madness. The not-yet-Hubs and I weren’t even engaged at this point. We’d just left college, moved in together, and were starting adulthood. Big things afoot. But the cousin said there was a poor pup that had been owned by a dude who landed a job as a truck driver, and the people who were supposed to be watching the dog while he was away had stopped. The dog wasn’t being fed or let out and it wasn’t doing well and needed someone to rescue it. Well. Damn. I have a Captain Save-a-Critter complex. This should explain to you why we have so many flufflings now. All of them have dramatic origin stories. It’s my mission in life to offset all the horrible things people do to these animals by rescuing them and letting them spend the rest of their lives in spoiled leisure and belly rubs. Anyway, it was nine at night and winter, but we loaded up in the car, and drove several towns over to find this apartment complex with the abandoned dog. We figured we’d foster him...

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Emotional Miming

Hello my dears! I was a weird kid. I fully embrace that. I knew it at the time, but didn’t necessarily understand why. There were a lot of reasons, sure, but the big focus in the early teen years would be that I was fully taken by untreated OCD and had no clue what was happening to my brain. Everything in my head felt completely rational. My doctor told my parents I was a girl and girls were just dramatic, OCD or no. To everyone around me, I was a very smart kid with wasted potential and a flair for bizarre behavior. When I entered middle school, shit got real. You know what I’m talking about. For anyone, middle school is hardcore. Hormones and small towns and I don’t understand how anyone makes it out alive. There was this teacher who had taken a liking to my older brother. My bro is my polar opposite in every possible way. Where I’ve never met a stranger, he suffers from crippling shyness. This teacher had reached out to my brother and tried to help him in a way. The teacher had a habit of teasing kids, and students either really liked him, or completely hated him. My brother absolutely hated him. When I arrived in 7th grade (that’s the year our school started middle school at the time) I got to see the teacher interact with my brother and even though it was bonding with my brother through picking on him, I thought, “Okay, here is a guy who looks out for his students. That’s good.” As things got worse for me, I started looking for help of my own. By 8th grade, I was circling the drain, mentally and emotionally. I hit a pretty cliche depression. I sort of gave...

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