Saturday, July 10, 2010

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Amy Tipton

Hello there, Esteemed Reader! I am super excited to introduce a brand new feature to the blog today, 7 Questions For Literary Agents! It’s just like 7 Questions For Writers, except it could help you find the perfect literary agent to represent your book! Or if you already have an agent, this will be a fun opportunity to learn about other agents. Or if you’re not a writer, here’s a chance to peek behind the scenes and get to know some of the people who bring us the books we love.

Because this new feature was her idea, and because she is super awesome, our first agent interviewed will be none other than Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency. Here is her official bio from the Signature Literary Agency homepage: Amy Tipton joined the agency in 2009. She graduated from Naropa University with a B.A. in Writing and Literature and received her MFA from New College of California in Writing. She comes to the agency after working as a literary assistant and office manager at several literary agencies including JCA Literary Agency, Diana Finch Literary Agency, Gina Maccoby Literary Agency, and Liza Dawson Associates. Amy has also worked as a book scout for Aram Fox, Inc. dealing with foreign rights. She became an agent with Peter Rubie and continued to agent with FinePrint Literary Management. In addition to her agenting experience, Amy also worked as a freelance editor to Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada. Her work is published in the anthology, Controlled Burn, and pieces of her first and second novel can be found in a variety of literary journals.

Also from the site, Amy’s Wishlist: I am looking for both fiction and nonfiction–edgy or quirky, commercial or literary–in particular, I'm interested in YA, middle grade, and women’s fiction. In nonfiction I'm looking for women’s studies/academia, fashion/beauty, and pop culture.

What I DON'T represent: Exercise/Fitness/Health, Mysteries/Cozies, Romance, SciFi/Fantasy, Chapter books/Picture Books

What I'm likely to pass on: 9/11/terrorist stories, rape/Cancer/abuse stories, drug addiction stories, death/grieving stories (There are plenty of other agents, good agents, who do rep these types of genres/subjects)

Amy Tipton's clients include:  Marci Blackman, Ed Glazar, Mike Green, Teri Brown, Vicki Burgess, Sherilyn Connelly, Sara HantzT.H. Mafi (one of my besties), Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Amy Reed, Victoria Schwab, Scot Sothern (not appropriate for all ages), Stephanie Strowbridge, and Courtney Summers. For more information about Amy Tipton, you should check out Casey McCormick’s amazing blog, Literary Rambles.

And now Amy Tipton faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

I assume we're talking top three favorite MG books; there are a lot of favorite and influential books out there--my shelves are filled with them! To Kill a Mockingbird is probably one of my all-time favorite books and Richard Brautigan is my all-time favorite writer but ...

1. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret

2. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

3. Charlotte's Web/Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (it's a tie)

I also love Harriet the Spy and any Ramona Quimby book ... It's so hard to pick just three!

Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?

I love movies so this is gonna be tough ...

1. Serial Mom (anything John Waters)/Surviving Desire (anything Hal Hartley)--it's a toss up because I love these directors

2. Girls Town (anything Lili Taylor)

3. Heathers (I love the Winona Ryder/Christian Slater movies and the combo is great!)

I also love, LOVE The Goonies. And Paper Moon--which was based off a GREAT book, Addie Pray.

I don't watch a whole lot of TV ,,,

1. Law and Order: SVU

2. Intervention

3. 30 Rock (when I catch it on)

I also occasionally watch the Lifetime Movie Network and the food channels.

Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?

Talented yet easy-going; not high maintenance.

Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?

Again, I'm assuming you mean MG projects ... I am looking for boy-centric MG. Maybe reality-based, adventure more than fantasy. And no redheads! (Do you notice MG is saturated with redheads? Ever since another agent pointed it out, it's all I can see!)

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?

My absolute favorite thing about being an agent is my clients. Hands-down. I love them. My least favorite thing is rejection--I hate getting rejection letters from editors and forwarding them to the appropriate client and giving rejection letters to other writers.

Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)

To minimize your rejections--do your homework!--research the agent before you query them; make sure they rep what you write.

Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Judy Blume to talk about MG, YA, and censorship. Gloria Steinem to talk about her essays/experiences/feminism/if the personal is political. Richard Brautigan because he's AMAZING. Oops that's three ....



  1. YAY awesome interview!! Amy is the best, ever. thanks so much for taking the time to interview her!

  2. Darn it! Too bad she didn't comment on what she was looking for in YA. ;)

    Thanks for the 7 questions!

  3. Great interview Robert and Amy! I'm going to love this new feature.


Thanks for stopping by, Esteemed Reader! And thanks for taking the time to comment. You are awesome.