First off, thanks so much to Jane for the lovely introduction, as well as for inviting me to join the DGLM family in the first place. It’s only been a couple of days, but already it feels like home. As you might guess, I’m very eager to dive into this new world of agenting, so let me give you a brief idea of where I’m coming from, how I got here, and what I’m looking for going forward.
Coming out of college, I had the dubious distinction of graduating with not just one, but two fairly useless majors for the professional world (classics and music). Not really knowing what to do with myself, I moved to Boston for a year and discovered two things: 1) How much I loved reading outside of the academic setting, and 2) there was this industry called book publishing where people seemed to read for a living!
Hence, I moved back to New York and somehow landed an Editorial Assistant gig at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. At the time, I knew less than nothing about kids’ books, but I figured the hardest thing about getting a job in publishing was getting the job—and that maybe after 6 months or so in kids’ books I could “graduate” to the adult side. Very fortunately for me, I discovered that children’s literature was where I belonged, and for the next twelve years I happily immersed myself in that world, moving from S&S to Putnam and eventually editing my own list of novels, picture books and nonfiction for young readers.
As to why I found the young readers department so appealing: For one, there’s a general consensus in kids’ books that no one wants to publish a “bad” book for kids—even the most commercial licensed material usually has an educational element or something positive to recommend it. Along those lines, in the darkest teen novels or dystopian fantasies, there’s almost always a sense of hopefulness to children’s literature, a feeling that in the end things will work out—and I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I love, too, how children’s writers use the first person, giving you an intimate connection with a young character and letting you see the world through a young person’s eyes. And on the younger level, the artwork being created today for picture books is nothing less than spectacular—if you can ever make it to the Society of Illustrators annual exhibition of picture book art here in New York, you’ll see a collection that rivals the finest museums.
While I still relish editing and working with authors and illustrators, finding new talent has always been my favorite part of an editor’s job, and so I’m thrilled for this new opportunity to directly encounter fresh, distinct voices and to help authors transform their voices into books. And while my first love will always be kids’ lit, I’m looking forward to exploring the adult genres that have always interested me—perhaps not quite a “graduation” to adult, but more like a Junior Year Abroad?
For more information on what I’m looking for specifically, please check out my bio and essay on the DGLM website. And then, please query me about your projects—I know there are authors out there waiting to be heard, so let me help you broadcast your voice to the world. Looking forward to reading your work soon!