Fellow Tenner (2010 debut author) Kody Keplinger (who is EIGHTEEN, you guys — I do not even want to think about what I was [not] doing when I was eighteen) declared last Friday the first Agent Appreciation Day. What a wonderful thing to do!
I've had some intense on and off flu action, so I haven't had the brains to post until now. But. It's important to me that I do. Because there's no way that 95% of you reading this would be here if it weren't for Kate Schafer Testerman, aka Super Agent Daphne Unfeasible.
I love my agent.
LOVE. My agent.
For those of you not in the industry, or relatively new to the industry, who don't understand the full role an agent plays, allow me to explain:
Agents do everything writers do not want to do.
Like . . . tell editors how wonderful you are. Ask those editors if they've read your manuscript yet. Ask them again. Ask them again. Ask those editors for money. Ask those editors for MORE money. Negotiate the unintelligible, horrifyingly lengthy mess that is a publishing contract. Make sure you sign the correct lines. Make sure everything is mailed on time. Make sure that it's a DONE DEAL.
Then they make sure you're paid. They wrestle with taxes. And they make sure you're paid again, later, when it's time to be paid again. And if there's a problem with your publishing house or your editor, guess what? Your agent handles it! So you, the writer, will still look like the good guy.
Then the agent tries to sell your book AGAIN. Foreign markets. Film rights. Television. And they call all of those people you wouldn't want to call — and wouldn't know how to call or where to get their numbers — and they KEEP calling them.
And when you have a new book? They do all of this for you . . . yes! . . . again.
Then there's the other half of their job, the writer hand-holding. Agents have to be good at giving bad news. They have to give a LOT of bad news, and they have to make it sound like it's not *really* that bad. And they have to mean it! Good agents are always optimistic about your future. Agents are TEAM YOU. They want you to succeed, and they guide you (as gently or as forcefully as necessary) towards the goal.
I am lucky.
Because not only does Kate do all of this for me — and with incredible gusto, enthusiasm, and style — but she's also really, really cool. Like, the kind of person I'd want to hang out with anyway. (Which is why I wanted her so badly for an agent!)
Kate loves Joss Whedon. Shoes. The Glee soundtracks and The Princess Bride. She bowls, MMORPGs, and agrees that Chuck's wardrobe on Pushing Daisies is, like, the best ever. She writes a great blog and is a fantastic tweeter. Kate once said in an interview that, "I love novels that get me (in all honesty) hot, horny, and laughing. That’s the trifecta."
YES. YES!! Me too, Kate.
She understands Anna — and she understands Anna's boy — and has done everything to ensure my novel is treated right. And she got me my not-even-in-my-dreams editor. (I am STILL not sure how you pulled that one off, Kate! You are truly magic.)
I am honored to be working with her.
And . . . I'm honored to be a part of her amazing client list. Because that's the other thing about Kate. Not only is SHE amazing, but her writers are too. The kt literary family is made up of incredibly kind, funny, and supportive people. I had no idea that when I signed with her, I would make so many instant friends.
Takk, Kate. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
And I wish everyone else a continued Happy Chanukah! I wanted to share my favorite Chanukah song, Beck's "Little Drum Machine Boy," but this non-embeddable clip was the best I could find. The song gets cooler after the clip ends. Of course. (At least you can still find it on iTunes!)
The song is from the Midnite Vultures era, perhaps my favorite of his. For those of you unfamiliar with Beck's music, that means nothing, so I will say this: IZ FUNKY.