Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A BBCHAT with Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown

A quick announcement before the newest BBCHAT - Stephanie Diaz was the winner of the Jenny Bent BBCHAT, for correctly (and quickly) guessing that Jenny Bent is NOT soft spoken :)  Steph won a copy of THE ART OF SAYING GOODBYE by Ellyn Bache, one of Jenny's clients.

Today BBCHAT continues! Bigblackcat's Humane Agent Talk: In Which A Particularly Agreeable Agent Answers a Series of Questions that Have Nothing to do with Queries or Submission Guidelines. Yeah, don't try to make an acronym out of that last bit.

The BBCHAT is designed to get the personality of the agent in the spotlight, and an enterprising querier can use this information to figure out if the agent is a good fit for them, rather than just another agent who happens to cover their genre.

The last question involves something that oddly resembles a contest, and ties in with the blog name. Note the rules: to participate you need to follow the blog (so include your screenname in the email so that I can identify you), and your answer must come in an email to me, not a post in the comments section. First person to email me with the correct answer wins. You'll notice the "email me" link above my followers box to the right. Or maybe you won't notice it. In which case, you'll be totally flummoxed.

Jennifer Laughran is an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary agency, as well as the author of an excellent blog that all aspiring writers should follow - Jennifer Represents.  Jennifer began her career in agenting after working as a long-time children's bookseller and buyer. She is also the founder of the extremely popular YA event series "Not Your Mother's Book Club". She joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007.

BBC: What are you reading right now and why do you like it?
JL: I just finished THE LONELY POLYGAMIST by Brady Udall, which I really loved because it was both actually laugh-out-loud funny, but also quite bittersweet, and is about fundamentalist Mormons, which I am into at the moment (and yes, I also watch Sister Wives). I also just read the new Sarah Maclean romance 11 SCANDALS, which I loved because it is delicious and frothy regency-era fun.
In YA: I adored THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson, about a modern American girl who is at school in London when a murderer starts recreating the crimes of Jack the Ripper in her neighborhood... and she just might be an accidental witness, and the next victim. Scary premise, but at the same time super funny and fresh because the characters are just great.  (I tend to like things that are more than one tone at a time, it seems!)   STAR comes out in Fall.
Middle-grade: My fave at the moment is BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX by Laurel Snyder, another fall title, about a girl who finds a box that grants her any wish she wants as long as the wish will fit inside... but then she realizes that the stuff must be coming from somewhere... OH it is so magnificent. Really my favorite middle grade book I have read in a couple of years.
And I am super excited about a number of client manuscripts, which I can't talk about yet! :D

BBC: Paper or plastic?
JL: Paper books, please. I do read manuscripts on an ereader or a computer, but I much prefer paper for leisure reading.

BBC: What's on your bucket list?
JL: Umm... I don't know. I try not to think about death too often.

BBC: Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?
JL: No, but I  would. I feel like I would be very good at it. (I might be wrong!)

BBC: What type of agent are you?
 a) Cheerleader
 b) Therapist
 c) Bushwhacking Guide
 d) Red Ink Saturation Committee Member
JL: I am a super-enthusiast for my clients work, and I am always available  to them, but I am not a super babying hand-holder... I give notes, but I am not an editor... sooo... "bushwhacking guide"? Maybe?

BBC: If you had a guaranteed sell, what type of story would you like to represent?
JL: I only represent things that I like to represent, whether or not there is a guaranteed sale. And I would hate to only have one kind of story - part of why I love this job is that it is constantly allowing me to fall in love with and work on different types of books!  Also I think that the thing I am most looking for is something fresh and exciting that I have never seen before... which means, I can't really tell you about it. :-)

BBC: Tell me three things about yourself, one of them being a LIE! First person to email me with the correct guess as to the lie gets... something awesome.
JL: Besides Bookseller and Agent, I have also been a circus clown, puppeteer, professional movie extra, tour guide, on-foot pizza delivery girl, bartender, waitress, and a telemarketer (for five minutes... literally).

I attended boarding school in Switzerland, but I still am quite terrible at speaking French. However I am now an expert at yodeling and chocolate-eating, and I own a cuckoo-clock, so that's something.

I lived in Turkey for a year, smoked strong cigarettes, ate brain soup with a side of testicles, became involved in a bacon-smuggling ring and at a certain point was detained by the Turkish police.


Anita said...

Haha! What an interesting list there at the end! Doesn't matter which one isn't true, they're all unique and FAB.

Thanks for another great intereview, Mindy!

Jenny Phresh said...

Number 2 got's to be a lie! She doesn't yodel...does she? No, not possible. Oh hell, I should have chosen the bacon smuggling. Who smuggles pig strips?

Mary Jo said...

Fantastic interview! And Jennifer - just looked up your blog, was reading there for, um, a long time. : ) Q: What would you wish for that would fit in a bread box?? (Funny - my husband and I play this every holiday!)

Stephen L. Duncan said...

Jeeezus! The appetite on that woman! ;)

Amberbop said...

My mom grew up in Turkey and #3 that sounds about right. The lie has to be one of the other two.

Jean said...

It's great to see 'the other side' of an agent. Thanks!

Funny, I know a writer who was detained by the Turkish police as well. Separate incident I am guessing. Maybe the Turkish police just like to detain Americans? ;)

Laurie L Young said...

I have no idea which one is the lie--they all seem perfectly plausible to me! But please post the answer once it is revealed, I am dying to know!