Saturday, March 2, 2013

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Julie Just

Julie Just spent sixteen years at The New York Times, most of them at the Times Book Review as Deputy Editor and then Editor of Children’s and Young Adult coverage.

She is building a list that ranges from narrative nonfiction to young adult and middle-grade fiction, with a particular interest in voice and humor, adventure, mystery, fantasy, history and romance.

Since 1998, Pippin Properties, Inc. has been an integrated publishing and entertainment representation agency. Located in New York City, it is a diverse agency dedicated to maximizing the creative and commercial potential of all its properties. Pippin represents the works of these writers and artists to a wide range of publishing, animation, motion picture, television, and licensing companies. Because Pippin both develops and represents its projects, it is a unique, full-service company that prides itself on attention to detail. Small and discerning in choosing its clientele, Pippin is devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in content unmatched in the industry.

For more information, check out my friends Natalie Aguirre and Casey McCormick's wonderful blog, Literary Rambles.

And now Julie Just faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?
That is fun to think about and pretty impossible to answer! The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Three Musketeers and The Golden Compass are way up there. Jane Eyre has to be in there somewhere too.

Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?
I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV – but I’ve spent hours happily glued to the sofa with my kids watching Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, and Pretty Little Liars. And in turn they are now converts to Star Trek.

Movies: Wild Strawberries, The Princess Bride, and North by Northwest.  Or Casablanca, The 39 Steps, and Love and Death??

Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?
Someone committed to getting their own voice on the page and writing great sentences, and caring a lot about that. Someone who knows their field cold. And who is a good partner. At my agency, many clients have been with their agent for 20 or 30 years, or more – I love that.

Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?
I'd love a smart new middle grade mystery – that’s tops; a story that makes me laugh, MG or YA; and a thrilling Bronte-esque romance.

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?
1. Finding something new and great, totally unexpected, in my in-box.   

2. Giving disappointing news to a client. I care a LOT, so I can only imagine how much harder it is for him or her, to get a bad review, or face resistance from editors to a new project.

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 widely and randomly. Follow your instincts. Share your work with fellow writers and readers you trust – but sometimes be prepared to ignore what they say.  When you’re ready to send out, write a short query and attach at least a chapter, or the first 10 pages – let your writing speak for itself. 

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

Samuel Johnson. What a talker!  Such a wide variety of things he loved to talk about, and he could talk to anyone. He would also really enjoy the lunch.

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