Saturday, August 7, 2010

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Suzie Townsend

Here is Suzie Townsend's official bio from the Fine Print Literary site: Suzie is actively looking for fiction and non-fiction: specifically Middle Grade and YA novels (all subgenres, but particularly literary projects), adult romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy).

Recent sales include Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (Tor, September 2010), All These Lives by Sarah Wylie (FSG, winter 2012), Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulsen(Harper, winter 2012), Sea Rose Red by Cat Hellisen (FSG, spring 2012), Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz (Roaring Brook, fall 2011), and Tempest by Julie Cross (St. Martin’s Press, forthcoming).

She’s interested in strong characters and voice driven stories: she’s particularly keen on strong female protagonists, complex plot lines with underlying political, moral, or philosophical issues, and stories which break out of the typical tropes of their genre.

She drinks too much diet orange soda, has a Starbucks problem (those soy chai lattes are addictive), and lives in Brooklyn with two dogs who know that chewing on shoes is okay but chewing on books is not.

Suzie keeps a blog at and can be found on twitter @sztownsend81.

WARNING: New Leaf Literary has engaged in some poor practices that have negatively impacted a number of authors. I and other authors I know have had very negative experiences with this agency. Query at your own risk.

And now Suzie Townsend faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

This of course feels impossible to just name three! But here goes:

1. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

3. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

As for my top MG:

1. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

3. Sister's Grimm by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson

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


1. Lucky Number Slevin

2. The Shawshank Redemption

3. Things Behind the Sun

TV Shows:

1. Fringe

2. Veronica Mars

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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

My idea client is someone who's open to revisions and turning their work into the best it can possibly be and is always communicative with any questions they have or problems they're coming up against.

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

I'm looking for literary Middle Grade (like When You Reach Me), literary YA with a speculative twist (like Before I Fall or How I Live Now), and in adult fiction, I'm looking for urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and romantic fantasy (for all three the darker the better).

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

I love working with writers, helping them develop their projects and their career. And I love being a part of the publishing industry as a whole - contributing to the publication of great books. The thing I love the least about publishing are the attitudes some people approach agents with. I understand the frustrations of the industry that writers deal with, but angry ranting emails or phone calls aren't going to accomplish anything.

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)

Read. And find critique partners who read and write in your own genre.

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

Alice Sebold. Because I think she's brilliant and inspiring. As a writer and a person.

1 comment:

  1. Suzie's one of my favourite literary agents! It was wonderful to read her take on your seven questions :)


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