Good Morning fellow writers! Normally Mondays are the bane of my existence...but today I have a very special guest that has me over the moon with excitement. As promised Joanna Volpe is here not only with a stunning interview, but a contest that is going to have all of you jumping for joy that you got out of bed this morning.
So now the moment you've all been waiting for...Joanna Volpe herself!
Hi Joanna, tell us about yourself and how you got into agenting?
The old-fashioned way...baby steps and lots of mentoring. I took editorial and publishing course classes, I interned, I was an assistant (multiple times), then finally became a full time agent January 2008.
What do you feel sets you apart from other agents?
Well, I'm not sure what does--most of the agents I know are equally as hardworking, passionate and dedicated. I guess when it comes down to working with a new client, it's a connection that we make, and that sets me apart individually, at that specific time.
When it comes to queries, what kinds of things are instant rejections?
When it's clear that someone hasn't don't their research, or all they query about is themselves then attach a synopsis of the story. That's not a query!
What are your top 3 books of all time? And why?
I don't know...I hate questions like these! I'm afraid readers will think those 3 books will define me completely. Plus I always list them, then the next morning or a week like I'm like "Crap! I forgot to include ___." I guess if I HAVE to answer: The Giving Tree, Great Expectations and Salem's Lot.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I've never read PRIDE & PREJUDICE...(cue the gasps!). I've read other Jane Austen books, but not that one. But I know the story so well thanks to movies, fan fic, rewrites and mashups. A client recently gave me a copy as a gift. I really MUST sit down and just read it. I know!
::hides in shame::
What are you looking for and how can authors submit to you?
You can check out what I'm officially accepting queries for on our website http://nancycoffeyliterary.com/, but to be more specific to right now, I'm currently on the lookout for a unique, hi-fantasy for teens, and I'm still looking for a dark read for teen boys (Catcher in the Rye meets Stand By Me meets Lord of the Flies for today's contemporary reader) in the same vein as Charles Benoit's YOU (fantastic read, btw). On the adult side, I'd love to find a big, spectacular gothic or an upmarket women's fiction.
From an agent’s perspective, what is the biggest mistake a writer (agented or unagented) can make?
Giving up because one story didn't hit.
Is there any other advice that you would give to aspiring authors at any stage of the process?
I always say this, but I truly mean it--don't be afraid to trunk a manuscript and move on. You learn from each and every piece you write and each is important, but that doesn't mean that everything you write is publishable. And that's OK.
Thanks again Joanna for stopping by and answering my endless stream of questions!
Now as promised, it's time for the pitch contest! Joanna is ready to peruse your pitches and pick her favorites! So if you're ready to enter read on...
Here are the rules:
1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. You must follow her agencies blog, Coffee. Tea. And Literary. (Which is just a bonus reference for you!)
3. You can only enter one pitch - be sure it is something she is looking for.
Your pitch can only be 1-3 sentences long. (not long run on sentences!) Leave your pitches in the comment section of this post. It's that simple!
3rd place winner will get a query critique
2nd place winner gets a 10 page critique
1st place winner gets a 10 page critique and a 5-minute phone conversation with Joanna to discuss their project and/or publishing.
How fantastic is that! Five minutes of Q&A with a real live agent is priceless! I was so excited when Joanna offered this! Okay, I've talked long enough. The pitch contest starts now...so good luck!
Any questions, please let me know! The contest will run until tomorrow night at midnight Central Time.
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