Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Agent / Cat Chat with Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates

A new BBCHAT awaits you! For my new followers, this is an acronym for 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.

Today's guest for the BBCHAT is Hannah Bowman. Hannah joined Liza Dawson Associates in 2011. She has a B.A. from Cornell University, summa cum laude in English and magna cum laude in Mathematics. While a student, she spent four summers working in particle physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, before eventually deciding her true interest was books.

Hannah's clients include:
-Pierce Brown (RED RISING trilogy, Del Rey, Feb. 2014)
-Rosamund Hodge (CRUEL BEAUTY, Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, Jan. 2014)
-Brian Staveley (THE EMPEROR'S BLADES, Tor, Jan. 2014)
-Dianna Anderson (DAMAGED GOODS: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON CHRISTIAN PURITY, Jericho Books, Spring 2015)

Hannah specializes in commercial fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, young adult fiction, women's fiction, cozy mysteries, and romance. Hannah is also interested in nonfiction, particularly in the areas of mathematics, science and religion (especially history and sociology of Christianity).

What are you reading right now and why do you like it? 

I’m reading SKINNY by Donna Cooner. It’s a YA contemporary, but I love the way she uses repeated fun details to develop the voice and structure: so, for example, the story has resonances with Cinderella, the main character structures her journey around her playlist of show tunes, the voice in her head is treated as a character in a way that’s almost magical-realism. There are a lot of fascinating things going on in the writing!

Paper or plastic? (a book or an e-reader?) 

Both. For new fiction, I buy mostly ebooks, especially because I often impulsively buy things when they are Daily Deals and read them in the Kindle app on my phone. I love having ebooks on my phone because I’m never without something to read.

However, my husband and I also have a major used-book addiction, so we have thousands of paper books in our house as well! 

I’ve found that the format is completely irrelevant to me – once I’m taken in by a story, I don’t even notice whether I’m reading it in a Word document, on my Nook, on my phone, or on paper!

What's on your bucket list? 

I want to travel north of the Arctic circle at Midsummer and see the midnight sun. I actually have a whole trip planned in my head, starting in Scotland, taking a boat across to Norway, and traveling across Scandinavia to end in St. Petersburg. Someday!

Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull? (It’s on MY bucket list, so that's why it's here).

No. I haven’t even worked up the courage to go skiing yet!

If you had a guaranteed sell, what type of story would you like to represent?

I adore science fiction that has the aspirational feel of the Golden-age/space-age classics like Heinlein and Asimov but a more progressive social stance and a fresh voice or angle. I find epic/ high/ secondworld fantasy intensely comforting, the kind of story I always want to curl up with on a winter day in the reading chair in my library. And I’m always looking for a great girl-power YA fantasy in the vein of Tamora Pierce.

Lastly, Hannah has provided three facts about herself... except one of them is a lie. Vote for the lie in the Rafflecopter below and the winner will receive an ARC of RED RISING by Pierce Brown, a lucky writer who can call himself Hannah's client!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 comments:

MrsAC said...

Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway. I am beyond desperate to get my hands on this one!!

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for this interview! Hannah's on my list of agents to query, and every interview with her that I read convinces me more that she'd be fun to work with.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I think just being able to say, "My agent used to work at the Fermi Accelerator Lab... " like all breezily at a bar would pretty much rock.

Kel @ No Cucumber Sandwiches said...

Particle physics and being a literary agent? Wow. Impressive to say the least. Thanks for the fun interview!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Congrats to Myrna for correctly guessing that "Hannah’s favorite opera is Il Trovatore" was the lie!