Saturday, October 19, 2013

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Linda Epstein

Linda Epstein joined The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in 2011. Before that she read manuscripts and queries at Folio Literary Management, was Submissions Manager at the McVeigh Agency, and interned at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency and Meryl Zegarek Public Relations. She was also a Community Relations Manager at Barnes and Noble. Linda co-edits The New York Bookwoman, newsletter of the New York chapter of the Women's National Book Association. She's a frequent speaker at conferences all over the country but as a native New Yorker her breath is still taken away every time she sees the New York City skyline.

The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency is a New York City-based full-service literary agency founded in 2001 and named one of the top 25 literary agencies in the country by Writer’s Digest. The agency represents children’s literature for all ages – picture books and middle-grade and young adult novels – but also represents high-quality adult fiction and non-fiction in a wide range of genres. The categories we are most enthusiastic about agenting are literary and commercial fiction; mysteries, thrillers, celebrity biographies; humor; psychology and self-help; parenting; health and fitness; women’s issues; men’s issues; pop culture; film and television; social issues and contemporary affairs.

Follow Linda on Twitter @LindaEpstein and subscribe to her blog, The Blabbermouth Blog

For more information, check out my friends Natalie Aguirre and Casey McCormick's wonderful blog, Literary Rambles.
And now Linda Epstein faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

I couldn't possibly pick three favorite books! I've had different favorites for different reasons at different times of my life. I'll give you my top kid lit picks for right now though. For picture books I adore the book WESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick, 1999). I love it because when my son was a little boy we read it a gazillion times and talked about it and imagined and dreamed and then read it again and again. 

Last year I was blown away by the middle grade book THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachmann (Greenwillow, 2012). So interesting, quirky, imaginative, dark yet not depressing. It was so well done! 

And for YA I believe it's required by law for me to state my adoration of OPENLY STRAIGHT (Arthur A. Levine, 2013) by my client Bill Konigsberg. Besides being a fabulous and funny book to read, I'm so proud to have had a part in its publication. And of course I'm a huge Harry Potter fan because... well, you know... it's Harry Potter!    

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

Oh my. Again, I've had different television favorites at different times of my life. Some television shows I'm fond of right now are Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Orange is the New Black. I'm afraid True Blood jumped the vampire fairy shark this past season. And of course then there's Sherlock, Call the Midwife, and Downton Abbey. Oh! There's also always Battlestar Gallactica and every single Star Trek series. (Sorry, I just can't pick.)

Movies? Well of course the Harry Potter movies and the first three Star Wars movies. The Princess Bride and Young Frankenstein are standards in my family. And then in recent years I really liked Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (but what writer wouldn't?!). And Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I used to really like those Merchant-Ivory Howard's End/Room with a View kind of movies. And there are quite a few RomComs that are favorites (Something About Mary and Along Came Polly come to mind). Yeah, I can't really choose.

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

Of course being a terrific writer! But after that: smart, prolific, collaborative and patient. Having a good sense of humor doesn't hurt either.

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

I like to receive queries for manuscripts that make me throw everything else aside, where I tap my foot waiting for the full manuscript to come in and then stay up all night reading it, and then I'm sad when it's over and it sells quickly for a bucket full of money!

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

My favorite thing about being an agent is getting that email with an offer! There's almost nothing better than that, except perhaps calling my client and telling them about it! 

My least favorite thing is not being able to sell a manuscript that I love and that I think is terrific. It's so disheartening because I know other people would like reading them (I can even imagine the lively book group discussions).

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)

My one bit of wisdom is not to aspire to being a writer, just write. Writing is creating art and I believe writers should remember they're artists. Aspiring to getting published is a different thing though. Publishing is business. I think remembering that those are separate things when sitting down in front of a blank screen or piece of paper is the healthiest thing one can do to keep writing and keep honing one's craft.

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

I'd like to have lunch with Kurt Vonnegut. I could probably write a book explaining the reasons why he would be my choice

1 comment:

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