Saturday, July 17, 2010

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Tina Wexler

We've had a wonderful week of celebrating Kurtis Scaletta and his new book Mamba Point. Today, we have the extreme good fortune to be joined by his agent, Mrs. Tina Wexler of International Creative Management. Thanks so much to Mrs. Wexler for taking time out of her busy schedual.

Tina Wexler is an agent at ICM, representing writers in both the children’s and adult marketplace. Prior to joining ICM, she was with the Ellen Levine Literary Agency/Trident Media and the Karpfinger Agency. She is from southern Maine, holds an MFA in poetry, and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.

What She's Looking For:

Fiction genres of interest: Children's, middle grade, young adult.

Non-fiction genres of interest: Select children's, religion; lifestyle, multi-cultural, memoirs, travel, art, current affairs, women's issues, pop culture, narrative, film and entertainment, cultural/social issues, humor, journalism, juvenile.

And now Tina Wexler faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

Crud. I’m somehow failing this interview when that shouldn’t even be possible. The truth is, I don’t really have three favorite books. It’s not that I don’t fall in love with books—I fall in love all the time. It’s just that the books I’m most excited about these days tend to be the last books I’ve read. (From my July 4th vacation: BAD APPLE by Laura Ruby; HATE THAT CAT by Sharon Creech; and HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER by Sloane Crosley.) I can say that when I was a kid, I loved pretty much everything written by Blume, Paterson, Voigt, and Konigsburg, but since I’m rarely a re-reader, I haven’t dipped into those childhood favorites since, well, childhood. 

How about we go with WHO PUT THAT HAIR IN MY TOOTHBRUSH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and A WRINKLE IN TIME, if only because they are the first three titles that popped into my mind when I read the question, and I’m assuming you mean within MG/YA. (I promise not to be so difficult in all my other answers…maybe.)

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

Of all time? Back to the Future; Heathers; Anne of Green Gables (I know, I know. I don’t even mention the books above and here I’m listing the movies. I’m a traitor to the cause.) TV: Family Ties (clearly, I’ve always had a thing for Michael J. Fox); The Simpsons (still); Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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

Creative, hard-working, kind, funny

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

Within middle grade and YA, anything that’ll make me laugh, cry or get angry. More specifically, I’d love to see more magical realism and contemporary sci-fi, gothic romance and “puzzle-solving” mysteries.

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

Aside from helping my clients realize their dreams of being published? There’s nothing like seeing a book come together piece by piece and then holding a finished copy for the first time. My least favorite thing is delivering bad news that can’t be viewed as a blessing in disguise. Some bad news is just bad news, and that’s the worst.

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)

Get out of your head and out of the house. GO! DO! And then read read read and write write write. Get your characters out of the house. Make them GO. Make them DO.

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

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. I’ve got questions.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to ask Mrs. Wexler a question on Casey's blog, so I feel it's fair to include it here as a bonus (I hope Casey doesn't mind): Were Peter Nelson and Rohitash Rao of HERBERT’S WORMHOLE an established team of writer/illustrator when you agreed to represent them? If so, did this make the submission process more difficult? Would you consider an established team of writer/illustrator for future clients?

Yes, Peter and Ro were an established team right from the start, but that didn’t complicate the submission process. I’m certainly open to considering established writer/illustrator teams.

For the full text of that inteview, click here.


  1. Thanks for this fantastic interview with my wonderful agent, Tina!
    All best,

  2. I like a few of Wexler's clients. I loved Scaletta's first novel Mudville.

    I am suprised no one as talked about remaking Back to the Future. (thankfully)


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