AKA represents the books we long to share and the books which make us grow. Currently, Terrie is seeking: well-written MG/YA fiction (especially fantasy, historical and action/adventure) and nonfiction (especially biography and teen pop-culture). Terrie specializes in: Empowerment, Children’s (all age groups – F/NF), Romance, MG/YA, Westerns, Women’s, Multi-Cultural and a variety of Nonfiction.
Ms. Wolf’s MG/YA clients include: Louise Caiola (Wishless: L and L), Tasha Cotter, Kevin T. Craig (Summer on Fire: Muse It Up), Carrie Filetti, CJ Dunham, Katie Lyons, and Robert Spiller (The Bonnie Pinkwater Series: Medallion Press). She also represents clients who write within other genres, such as Dr. Cynthia Koelker (101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care: PLUME), Philip Berk (Letting the Light In: Llewellyn), Christian Piatt (PregMANcy: A Dad, A Little Dude and a Due Date: Chalice Press- 2012), and Johnny Knew (The Tree With No Branches: Cutie Pie Publishing - 2012).
As always, for more information about Terri Wolf and other literary agents, I highly recomend my friends Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre's wonderful blog, Literary Rambles.
And now Terri Wolf faces the 7 Questions:
Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?
I’m sharing MG and almost-YA favorites.
- The Laura Ingalls Wilder books: When I was 12, my parents gave me the entire collection. It still sits happily on a shelf in my office.
- The works of Neil Gaiman (especially Blueberry Girl and The Graveyard Book).
- Helen Lester’s A Porcupine Named Fluffy and Three Cheers for Tacky. I give a copy of these books to every kid I know as they transition from middle school to high school, and even though Lester’s work is considered to be for children, I think it’s pretty deep. Five year-olds think it’s funny, 12 year-olds identify with the relevance of quiet life lessons.
- Honorable Mention: The works of S.E. Hinton: I was such a tomboy – the fact that this girl wrote as a guy was just too cool for me! And, of course, I’d get in trouble if I didn’t mention Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – I shamelessly quote this book – almost daily. Sorry, that’s a few more than three!
Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?
- Movies: Babe (1995), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), and Homeward Bound (1993).
- TV: I still watch Touched by an Angel on the Hallmark Channel (honest!), absolutely love Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Jeopardy. I’ve “competed” it at least once a week with my kids since they were in elementary school…scary how much more they know than me!
Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?
If I had to choose three words, I’d choose six. They’d be:
Intelligence, involvement and innocence. Humor, humility and honor. I love the author who makes me think, who strives to do more than their best and who manages – especially within MG/YA – to do it with a voice that’s sweet and totally authentic. If I can see just a bit of that author when they were going through the trials of fifth grade, or the first crush or sitting behind the kid at school who never took a bath, then I’m really happy. As for having a sense of humor, well, anyone who makes me laugh out loud gets the vote of approval. Authors who understand that being humble in a working relationship is not a weakness and those with a sense of honor who choose to uphold the secret code are the ones that stay off Terrie’s “Naughty List.”
I think, really, I ought to expect from my clients what they ought to expect of me. By the time the book is released, we’ve hopefully come to what might be seen as a really good marriage.
Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?
I’m not great at following trends. I love magical realism – the just-too-good-to-be-true…maybe – stories. I’m a pushover for good historical fiction. I will also consider well-written non-fiction. I like the well-thought, well-researched work that teaches 12 year-old Terrie something. I also like the book that doesn’t ever speak down to my readers.
Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?
Favorite: The sense of fearlessness ranks right up there near the top. I truly believe I can, you can, and we can do anything. The fact that anything centers on the art of writing thrills me! We have the ability to affect future generations. I love the fact that I am given the opportunity to work with brilliant people in an industry that continues to morph and change.
Least favorite: I’m not sure I’ve found a least favorite thing. The industry challenges us all to be better and I like that. Of course, it’s tough to tell a client their work has been rejected with little editorial direction. But on those occasions when an editor enlightens us regarding a given submission, I can’t tell you how exciting it feels. I truly believe being told “no” increases the opportunity of “yes” – if that makes sense!
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)
First bit: I believe in reading. I’m serious when I question authors regarding their top 25 favorites, especially with regard to genre. By the way, your top reads should change from time to time!
Second: I believe the minute you regret what you’re doing, you need to go do anything else for six months. I’m not talking about a little block or indecision about what to write next, how to solve a plotting issue or how to tackle that muse who makes faces at you from the edge of your writing table. Unless you’re writing about the subject of suffering, I don’t believe writing should be painful. Mind you, pain and difficulty are two different things…
Third: The industry is really quite small. Don’t – I repeat – don’t expect me to join in as you talk down my fellow agents and editors and your fellow authors. I’ll just not be a part. My parents taught me all about etiquette, and I believe in using my best manners with everyone I meet.
Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
This might be the hardest question of all! So many authors come to mind! Living; I’d love to sit and chat with Mary Pope Osborne, who created the Magic Tree House series. Her work manages to be all that I would have loved to read as an 8 year-old; fun, well-thought and absolutely fantastic. I imagine she’s a breath of fresh air! As for authors who’ve died, I think Margery Williams who authored The Velveteen Rabbit would be a lovely person to share a meal with because she endured much in life yet saw the good, the silver lining, and truly wanted people to realize the value of love.