Friday, December 11, 2009

Agent Appreciation Day

Skimming through the Blue Boards this morning, as is my usual a.m. habit, I came across a post entitled "Agent Appreciation Day," complete with a link to a lovely blog by Lisa and Laura Roecker. In their latest post, they pay tribute to Catherine Drayton and encourage everyone to take a minute to celebrate their agents today.  Thank you Kody Keplinger for getting the ball rolling.

Well, it's the first day of Chanukah (or Hanukkah), so it seems as fitting a time as any to pay tribute to my beloved agent, Elana Roth.  Okay, so my name may not ring any significant bells on anyone's list of authors, yet, but I have no doubt that Elana is the one who is going to help me change that.  To follow suit, I guess I'll list three reasons why I love my agent.

1.  She got me from the get-go.  When we spoke the first time about my book and our vision for it, we were definitely on the same page (pardon the pun).  She asked about my process and told me what she liked about my manuscript.  When I asked what kind of revisions she thought would make it stronger, she was dead-on straight with the spirit of the book.  She wasn't interested in stripping the guts out of it and creating something completely different (and believe me, some would).  Her strategy was all about enhancing the story, not changing it.

2.  She puts it all out there.  From pre-selling an idea to editors, to knowing when to put out an idea and then leave you to it, to helping authors develop their promotional presence, she's all about working it.  She's got the whole submission gig down and makes it so much easier for me to obsess about who's reading it, who's going to say yes, when are they going to SAY YES!!!?

3.  Twitter love!  I can't help it.  I always get at least one solid laugh or "uhuh, I know what ya mean" as I pop on twitter and see Elana's journey through the query pile or her latest jaunt through NYC (I miss you, East Coast), or the glory days of teaching Hebrew School.

So, as I await that fabulous first book contract (any day now...), I do appreciate you, dear agent.  Thank you for believing in me.  Thank you for always sharing the positive even when it comes nestled in rejection.  We've both had a wild ride through this last year (outside of our literary lives) and I hope the tracks are a little straighter from here on out.  But then again, where would the fun be without a few mind-numbing challenges?

One more thing...  HAPPY CHANUKAH!


  1. Mary Ann - What a wonderful tribute by a wonderful soon-to-be published author about her wonderful agent! And thank you for welcoming me so whole-heartedly into team Roth.

  2. Yay!!!

    Elana is definitely made of awesome, and this was a fabulous tribute. Can't wait to cheer about that first book sale!

  3. Oh yeah, in my limited experience with her she's a good'n. I queried her when she was at Firebrand and she was nice enough to tell me why my story wouldn't work for YA (Now that NA is abuzz, I'm thinking it's NA.) She totally didn't have to do that.

    Also, in a recent #kidlitchat she was talking about how an editor asked her client to change his entire book's tense, and she said "If he'd been upset, I'd have fought it." I was like, Damn. I want an agent who'd do that for me.

    Good luck with your book! I'm sure it'll get snatched up soon!


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