It has been a very busy month since I became an official member of The Bent Agency (TBA) and there's hardly been a moment when I haven't been reading manuscripts, taking pitches, talking to clients, going to conferences/retreats or video conferencing with my fellow agents and new co-workers. But I am so excited to be part of this amazing, growing, and enormously successful and well-respected agency that I wanted to officially say hello to everyone and tell you a little bit about me.
Before coming to TBA I worked in marketing and then I moved over and learned so much as an agent at the L. Perkins Agency, where I represented several New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors.
Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, I developed an early love for books. But it wasn't just love -- it was also a deep respect. Books were extremely expensive in Cape Town when I was a child -- in fact, they're still very expensive, as I discover on my yearly trips back home. Whenever I had the chance to buy a book or received one as a gift, I treated it like a precious treasure. I took care when opening it, careful not to damage the binding. Each page remained immaculate, no matter how many times I turned them. This trait left a lasting mark, as my husband discovers whenever I see one of his books with a tattered cover or dog-eared pages. I do a mean stink eye.
This love of books has only grown stronger. Now that I've been in the industry for several years, I love everything about book publishing, from meeting editors and publishers to hearing from my authors’ fans to conferences to designing book covers. And, of course, I love authors and I love selling their work and being part of the process. Sometimes it starts with an idea that I help cultivate and grows into a full manuscript that we work on for months before submitting it to editors. Other times the manuscript comes to me finished and I work with the author to polish it before I submit it, but each time, the journey begins with my love for the author’s work and our combined dedication and perseverance to see it published.
By the time I started as an agent in 2010, publishing had already undergone tremendous change. With change (often) comes panic or finger pointing and I think we have seen a lot of that in the past few years. There are countless unknowns, but instead of running from these challenges or being scared to try new things, I want to embrace them. I find change exciting!
While I'm not currently open to unsolicited queries, I meet so many wonderful authors at conferences, I read their pitches and manuscripts online and through contests or simply ask for their work. So if you ever want me to read your work, look for me online or at a conference near you.
If I am lucky enough to meet you and am afforded the opportunity to request your work, please know that I'm looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. Don't we all say that? I represent young adult, middle grade, new adult, commercial fiction (including romance) and select nonfiction (pop culture). I've sold picture books and graphic novels and am always interested in reading outstanding work in those categories, as well as erotica and erotic romance. On The Bent Agency website I list some other things I look for, and because I like the way it sounds, I'll repeat it here.
"In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. I'd love to find a young adult thriller that has a bone-deep sense of danger that haunts me from page 1 and doesn't let go of me for days. I want delicious adult romances with creative plots, sexy liaisons and unique characters who sweep me up in their love story. I want to feel something unforgettable when I read your pages. I want manuscripts that I can't stop thinking about."
Truth is, I am open to most things and I love to find and meet new authors. I just have to fall in love with your words.
Beyond excited to be here!