The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Bonus: Jill Grinberg, Literary Agent

November 04, 2021 Season 2021 Episode 91
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Bonus: Jill Grinberg, Literary Agent
Show Notes Transcript

In this bonus episode, Marissa chats with her own literary agent - Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management. Answering questions from listeners, topics include how Jill became Marissa's agent and the author/agent relationship (which shares a lot of similarities to marriage); what, exactly, a literary agent does and why it's important to find one that shares your overall vision; why authors should think long-term when it comes to career planning, and how many sustainable writing careers are built gradually, not necessarily with a big, splashy debut; how publishing is an industry built on relationships, and a little bit of kindness and appreciation can go a long way; and lots and lots of talk about - yes! - the query letter! Including a few Dos and Don'ts, and how you can get your query letter to stand out from the crowd.


Books discussed in this episode can be purchased from your local independent bookstore or buy them online from the Happy Writer bookshop.org store (that benefits indie bookstores) at  https://bookshop.org/shop/marissameyer

 

Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to the happy writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers, more books, to enjoy and to help authors find more joy in their writing. I am your host, Marissa Meyer. Thank you for joining me. One thing, making me happy this week is national novel writing month. As of this recording, we are about to kick it off November 1st, here in a couple of days, obviously once you guys are listening to this, we will be in full swing. Um, I have done nano so many times probably is a lot of, you know, by now this year, I am not starting a new project. I wish that I was, but instead I am going to be using the month to try to wrap up the first draft of the CQL two gilded. So as of right now, I've got maybe like 60 to 70,000 words to go. Uh , so it's a tall order for one month, but I like goals like that. And I'm going to try really, really hard to finish it up by the end of November. So that come December, I can ship it off to my editor and then have lots of fun enjoying the holidays and relaxing and getting lots of reading done. That is my plan. We will see how it goes, but for now I'm just really excited to kick off another nano. Um, if you are also doing NaNoWriMo or even if you're not, and you just want an excuse to hang out virtually and maybe get some writing done , uh, we are going to be hosting a series of Instagram lives on our Instagram account at happy writer podcast all month long. Well , I, where I will be having special guests to come and chat and do a quick writing sprints and get lots and lots of writing accomplished. So I'm excited for that. We'll be posting the schedule on our account. So keep your eye out. And I hope that you will come join us. Of course, I am also so, so happy to be talking to today's guest. She holds a BA in English literature from Tufts university and Oxford, and she has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She's the founder of Jill Greenburg , literary management, and is of course my agent, please welcome Jill Grinberg . Thank you so much, Marissa . I am so thrilled to be here on your happy writer podcast. I can't even tell you. I am so excited to , I know when I first told you that I was thinking of starting a podcast and you were super encouraging, and I remember even back then almost two years ago, you were like, if you ever want me as a guest, just let me know. And I've been

Speaker 3:

Waiting with bated breath for the unit .

Speaker 2:

I know I've been holding out on people.

Speaker 3:

You have no, but if I, if I were to come on, this is the moment, right? So

Speaker 2:

It's not like it. Um , and I'm very excited and , uh, I know listeners are excited. I put up on Instagram that you were going to be on and collected questions. And so , uh , we've got lots of good questions, some writing, some querying , um, a little bit of publishing. So we're going to cover lots of bases and I just can't wait to talk to you. It's so nice to hear your voice is always

Speaker 3:

Great. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

So to kick us off, Jill , uh , I want to know your origin story. How did you get into publishing? How did you become an agent?

Speaker 3:

Wow. Yes. Okay. So how far back

Speaker 2:

I hear you when you first knew what a literary agent?

Speaker 3:

Well, very, very late in the game, I will say I'll try to speed through the early years. So I was just a fanatic reader, you know, like, like a lot of us in publishing, aspiring writers and people work in publishing. I was the kid who was carrying the book around all day long or reading cereal boxes, whatever was in front of me, you know? So my whole kind of growing up, I knew I wanted to do something with books and writing or maybe journalism. I wasn't sure. Then I went off to college and I got, I got into journalism there. Actually I was the arts editor at my paper and I was writing for the college paper and senior year when everyone was talking about what , what do we do next? When we sort of enter into adulthood, you know, leave school and, and try to go out there and enter the workforce. I , I was thinking, I was sort of at a fork in the road. Do I go to the , the journalism route or do I go the book routes? And , um, at that time I don't think they do this anymore, but at that time, random house sent representatives to different universities to meet with, with students who were interested in publishing. So I actually had a meeting with one of these , um , reps and I loved our meeting was a great conversation. And I left that thinking, I do want to go into book publishing. I like the rhythm of it. It's um, you can sort of go , uh, I felt you could go deeper , um, then journalism, which w where the pressure was just kind of a day to day pressure to deliver, meet the deadline, et cetera. Not that book publishing doesn't have its pressures, but, you know, it's just a different, different rhythm. So I , um, I made that choice. I , I interviewed at different places. I got a job in the publicity department at Harper Collins on the adult trade side. And I had a fabulous boss, trig Robinson who mentored me. And then unfortunately for me left the company after probably about six to nine months of my assisting her to , um, to go, she , she went to work at a freelance PR firm. And , um, so that was sad. But the silver lining for me is one of her authors, Amy bloom , who I just adored. She had , uh, sold a short story collection, her debut collection to Harper Collins and trig was her publicist when trig left. I took over and Amy and I worked very closely together so closely that honestly, I started to maybe favor her over other projects that had been assigned bigger budgets by the house. I think , um, the writing was on the wall even then that my loyalties were with the author, not the, not the corporation, which , um, probably would have gotten me into a bit of trouble if I'd stayed, stayed on there. But, but Amy introduced me to her literary agent, Phyllis Wender and Amy was also, and is I think, still a therapist and very intuitive. And she said, Jill, you know, I see you , you having a bright future in this business, but I think you really need to align yourself wholly with the writer. That's really where your heart is. And , um, and that's my , my vision for what that's worth for your , your, your path. So she introduced me to her agent and , and sure enough, she was right. As soon as I entered the aging agenting realm of, of the business, it just felt so comfortable and, and such a good fit. And I assisted Phyllis and then went on my Merry way to another firm and started to build my own list. And it kind of evolved from there. But honestly, I didn't even know there were literary agents until I entered publishing. I had no idea. So it was not like I aspire to be one. It was just something I kind of fell into thanks to Amy. And that book by the way, went on to be nominated for the national book award that year. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, I love that. I think a lot of authors too, don't really know about agents. Um, you know, when you're first kind of starting out and you have this idea, you want to be published, you want to see your name on a book cover. Um, but the , the behind the scenes of how that happens is just kind of this big question, mark to a lot of people. Um , and then you start hearing about agents and you're like, wait, what's an agent. Do I need one? How do I get one? Um, and so one of the questions that we got that I loved, how S how to the point it was someone asked, what does an agent actually do?

Speaker 3:

That is such a good question. It's such a good question. And it's not an easy one to answer because an agent where so many different hats, you know, it's , um, it's what keeps it really fun and interesting after many, many years of doing it, but it , um, it could, you know, I could spend an hour just kind of breaking down the role , shall I try to do it, you know , in a few minutes , um, I mean, the agent is really there as the author's advocate in, in every, in every way. And maybe the easiest way to explain is to, is to kind of take, take you through the selling process, which you know, that that's maybe the easiest way to kind of outline what an agent does. But , um, you know, at the very beginning, often an author comes to me by querying me and I read their work. And when I fall in love with that work, I speak with them. And if it feels like I can offer them what they're looking for, then we, we cement our relationship, which is always a very happy day and we go forth. And that means often it varies a bit between fiction and nonfiction , but let's say we're talking about a novel. That means me rereading the manuscript most likely and giving editorial feedback and critique to help the author bring the manuscript to a place where it feels ready for sale. And as I often say to my colleagues, that doesn't mean perfecting the manuscript. If there is such a thing as perfecting a manuscript, because the editor that we knock on wood sell it to is certainly going to want to put their own stamp on it. You know, they're going to want to work with the author and , and help them help the author, bring the manuscript to a place where the publisher feels. They feels it's ready to go out into the world. So I work with, with the author to get it to a place where it's ready for sale, which is a different, you know, it's a different proposition once it's ready for sale. I talk with the author about who I want to go out to. You know, we pulled together a list of , of publishing houses. And I talked to the author about strategy, how we think we should handle the submission. A lot of, a lot of thought. And, and , um, and discussion goes into that. Then we go out with the manuscript, hopefully knock on wood. We make a sale. And that is hugely exciting, but that's also really often where the real work begins for the agent . I mean, not that it's an easy thing to sell a book, but, but the agent author relationship is so much more than that. You know, it's, I ideally, from my perspective, it lasts the duration of an author's career. It's very much about career management on the big picture level. So it's not just a kind of book by book , um, unfolding it's, it's obviously giving a lot of energy and focus to each book to make sure each book gets the attention it should from the house and has its best shot out there. But it's also helping the authors think more long-term where do they want to go with their career? Are they interested in writing for different audiences? Are they interested in different genres? You know, it's, it's a very , um, close, personal, intimate relationship in that sense because it , it really is the authors or the agent's role to be very up to speed on where an author is at creatively at any given moment, the highs and the lows of it, of that life, you know, we're, we're in it together. So , um, I don't know, I could go on, but does that give something of a yeah ,

Speaker 2:

No, I think that's a great, just kind of starting point to your role in the whole situation. Um , and I know for me, I, I kind of think of you as like my partner in crime, you know, it's like if I have any questions, anything I'm like feeling uneasy about, which I'll admit does not happen in very often. Um, cause we have a great relationship with my publisher as well. Um, but like anything that just doesn't feel right or I'm concerned about, or I'm, you know , feel like I'm not getting the answers that I want. Like you're my kind of go to person to, to either talk me through it or answer those questions or , um , help me get those answers.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes. Good. I'm glad that you think of me that way. Um, and yeah, that is, that's a big, big part of my role. Actually. I think that, and I know I'm not the first person to say this, but the way publishing has evolved, I mean, we are very fortunate and that you are with Liz and McMillan and that has been a long, beautiful relationship. It doesn't always go that way. You know, I mean, it's no one's fault, but it's just one of those businesses where there's a lot of moving around, editors leave , uh, authors decide it's time to move on for whatever reason. And the ideas that the agent is, the partner who was always there. You know, one of my authors jokes that I've, we've been married longer than she's been married to her husband. It really is. It really is , um , a close relationship and it's meant to be a long one. And, and there's, there's a lot of trust. There has to be a lot of trust there, right. On both sides. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Um, definitely. Um, so kind of back to the, the idea that a lot of authors when they're new and just first getting into this , um, and just don't really know how the behind the scenes works. Um, one of the questions that came in was what do you wish new writers knew more about when it comes to publishing? Hmm ,

Speaker 3:

That's such an excellent question. Um, I think that it's something that comes up and I don't know that the , the author, a debut author could know more about it because it's maybe one of those things you have to be in the business. Um, you have to experience it over time. Some of these lessons can't be rushed, unfortunately, you know, with the sort of the education unfolds over many years, but I think there's maybe a tendency to compare oneself with other writers who, who debut at the same time, it's only natural. And , um, the, the, the concern I have about that is it's really a long game. And there are going to be authors that get the huge six figure deals off the bat. And then there are other authors who get modest advances and maybe the publicity marketing campaign is, is , is not on the same level as those who get the six-figure offers because that's sort of the way the industry works. But, but the truth is I have been in this a long time and I've seen authors sustain careers over time. And a lot of those brilliant careers began very gradually. You know, it was just sort of going from one strength to the next and in a very kind of gradual measured way, but they were fabulous at well. I mean, the writing is obviously terrific because that , um, is, is so much, that's a big factory here, obviously, but there were also authors who knew how to forge relationships and to show gratitude to their publishers, their publicity marketing team, et cetera, when , um, when, you know, the , the, the team and , and when everybody was doing their job and doing it really well and helping the author and helping their books and that kind of gratitude, graciousness , um, keeping one expectations , uh, at a level where, you know, it's great to be ambitious and it's great to have goals. I am all for that. And in fact, I think that's very important, but , but again, just understanding that it it's, it's about entering the business and hoping staying in the business for many, many years. Does that make sense? It's

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, it does. And I think the point you make about just relationships is here . Um, and I know in this podcast it's come up a number of times , um, not even just, you know, having good relationships with the people in your publishing house, but like the author to book seller relationship or the author to librarian relationship is, you know, can really add a whole new layer to someone's career. Um, you know, if someone, if the influencers so to speak, you know, start to see you as someone that they like, and they want to have you in their store, they want to hand sell your book. I mean, I don't know, kindness just can just go a long way.

Speaker 3:

No, it really does. It really does genuine kindness and appreciation goes a really long way probably in life. Right. But right . But publishing is a business of relationships. I Al I've said that for years and years, and it's the only industry I've worked in. So maybe that could be said for a number of different fields. I don't know, but I feel like it's a pretty small world publishing everyone kind of knows each other and you, the relationships matter, they really do. And , um, yeah. So I think that that is actually something I would love to impart to writers who are, who are , have just entered the field or who are wanting to get into, into the field. It's it goes such a long way. Yeah,

Speaker 2:

Definitely. Um, so of course, a lot of the questions that came in, no surprise revolve around the querying process. Um, as you mentioned, a lot of your authors, you discovered them, so to speak through queries, that is how you became my agent was through a query letter. Um, so I thought to begin for people who are listening to this who have like no idea what is a query letter , um, do you wanna just kind of break down the , the typical process for people?

Speaker 3:

Sure. Sort of the parts of the query letter.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 3:

More like the process of querying, how that works. Yeah . Okay. So , um, yeah, I mean, I can only speak to it as the recipient of , of queries, but my , um, my general sense these days is authors are often querying a number of agents simultaneously. And , uh, you know, where do I go from there? I mean, what's, I don't know, what's of interest to , to your listeners , but

Speaker 2:

Talk through kind of my process, how I did it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Why don't you do that? Because you actually queried, I'm just, yes. It's different. You'll speak, you'll speak to this more, more , um, helpfully .

Speaker 2:

Right, right. Um, and a lot of people are always asking, like, how do you even figure out who to query? Um , is it a big part of it? Um, so yeah. So for people who aren't familiar with the process, when you are looking for an agent , um, in order to then have your work submitted to publishers , um, usually the path most of us go through is through query letters where you write a, typically just a one page letter that is kind of like a sales sheet. It says, I have written this book. This is what my book is about. You make it sound is exciting and engaging as you possibly can so that the agent reads it and thinks, wow, this sounds amazing. I have to check this. Um, and that, that is pretty much the query letter these days. It's mostly done through email. Um, and then depending on the agent's guidelines, you might include say the first five pages or the first 10 pages of the first chapter, everyone kind of wants something different. Um, so for me, when I was querying cinder , uh, first of all, I had written probably about eight or nine different versions of the query letter. Um, before I finally like , was able to take those and piece together, the lines that I liked the most , um, and I had many people review it and read it and offer feedback , um, until I was really happy with it. And then I had , uh , my little Excel file where I had started collecting the names of agents that I wanted to send it to. And some of those were found through like , um, search engines on the internet. There are websites that you can use to say , um, like I'm writing young adult fiction and I want someone who represents genre fiction. And, you know, you can just like search for different parameters to find agents that kind of fit you and your work , um, or the method that I used , um, was it, I went through some of my favorite books , um, and would look at the acknowledgements page and most authors will think their agent in the acknowledgment . And so for books that I thought, well, this is sort of similar to what I'm writing and I love this author and I hope their agent will love me too. Um, then they kind of were at the top of my list. Um, and fun fact, Jill was actually my number one first agent that I queried. I did receive rejections while I was waiting to hear back from you at the top. Um, the reason being, because you represent Scott Westerfeld and the ugly series was , uh, really, really influential for writing cinder in the lunar Chronicles. Yes,

Speaker 3:

Yes, no, that's great. I'm grateful to Scott for many reasons. And one biggie being that it brought you to me, you know?

Speaker 2:

Um, so, so that is kind of the process. Do you have anything to add to that? Um, or like kind of what happens when we send it off, we email it to you. It usually goes into like, you know, info at Jill Grinberg , literary or whatever. And so I think authors are always really scared that they've sent it off into the universe and it goes into a black hole and is never seen again what actually happens to

Speaker 3:

Do you understand that fear, but I can reassure you. I can only speak to my info box, but we look at every single query that comes in. We really do as, as Marissa knows, I have a brilliant right hand. I mean, assistant doesn't cover it, Denise, you know, Denise, Denise , um, she's fabulous. And she makes sure every query is seen and considered. And if the query sparks for us, then we do ask for chapters. And if we're sometimes a full manuscript, depending, I will say that whether we ask for chapters or a full manuscript, it's not a sign of, you know, I don't want, it's not, if I asked for the chapters versus the full manuscript, it's not a sign of hesitation. It's, it's just , um, depends on the reading schedule at that moment. And there are various factors, but if , if we asked to see work, it's the next step forward, you know, and if we love the work, then we , we go from there, but there's, there's not a black hole. Um, but I think it's just a very scary thing to send an email off and, and wait, you know, I , I really, I feel for authors.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think I have a very, very clear memory of being in bed at like six o'clock in the morning and hitting send for the first time and then like diving under my blankets. And because like, I can't believe it .

Speaker 3:

I know, I know, yes, I can relate to that feeling and other scenarios, but yeah, no, I know. So from your perspective,

Speaker 2:

What makes a query letter stand out from all the other query letters?

Speaker 3:

Well, one thought that came to mind as you were breaking down the sort of parts of the query letter and how you pulled yours together for cinder, which is one of the most fabulous. You've heard me say this, but it really truly was one of the most fabulous queries we had received. And I often have thought about why that query sparked and , um, for us and , and stands out in my mind still. And I think a big piece of that was your infusing that query with your voice. It's hard to even one can't teach that, you know, so I can't, I can't really break it down. There's no science to it, but, but it is something that I, I strongly recommend to writers who are querying for the first time or , um , querying for a new project is it's , it's, it's partly about making sure that the, the premise, the hook of the book really sings and makes people stand up and take notice, you know, that's, that's super important, but it's also very important to get that voice in there, especially for an agent like myself who really responds to voice and writing. I really look for that. And if I don't feel the letter infused with voice, if it, if it feels even if the concept is great, if it strikes me as, as being a little generic , um , lacking in voice that's for me, when I read something that's lacking in voice, it can feel kind of generic. Um, that that is a, is a turnoff for me. And I have to say,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's interesting. I think it's, you know, when you're, you're first starting to query in your writing your query letter, I feel like there is this inclination to sound very professional , um, which is of course not a bad thing. Of course you want to come off as, you know , someone who takes this seriously and someone that's going to be, you know, nice to work with. Um, but I also, I think that maybe some people skew too far toward , um, maybe feeling their, their, their query letter, maybe feeling like a little scholarly or a little serious, and if you're writing fiction or genre fiction, especially, I think it's a good thing to, like, you can live in it and have some fun with it, have some fun with the language.

Speaker 3:

Yes. That's the absolutely. And especially if you're having fun with it and employing language that reflects the book itself, you know, it's , um, I see it as a , I see the voice as, as an extension of the author, as an individual, as a person, but also as an extension of the voice of the book. Um, yeah. So , uh, so that, yeah, I , I respond well to that, but you make a very good point. I mean, it's also walking that line. It should also feel professional. We certainly get queries that also come to mind where the, the writer was so personal, you know , um, it kind of , um, Lee spilling and over oversharing , I guess, is the best way to put it. And that, that can be , um, that can make an agent wary too , you know, because , um, you, you want to work with someone who's both personal and professional, so it's amazing what that little query letter has to pack in. Yeah . Yeah. It's a lot there's , which is why it is an art, you know, that the art of query writing and why so many essays and articles and courses , um , exist, you know?

Speaker 2:

No, definitely. And people who are, who are at that stage , um, you know, definitely recommend that they do their research. There's lots of great resources online. Um, just to read other query letters, read good ones, read bad ones, you know, just kind of get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Yeah . Or even I also I'll often recommend people go and read , um, jacket copy from their favorite books , uh, because it's surprisingly similar. The, the language that a publisher is using to try to sell the book to a reader is similar in a lot of ways to the language we're trying to using to sell the book to an agent.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. That is such a good idea. And in fact, that's one of the things when I'm my submission letters to , when I'm taking a book out to, to , um, to editors, I will often look at jacket copy for books that are , um, have already been published and done well within that genre for the same reason. So that's like one of my little, you know, tools in my toolbox. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. For sure. That makes sense. Um, on a similar note, what would you say are, is maybe the biggest or some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making in their

Speaker 3:

And their query? Well , um, so the oversharing is one that doesn't happen so often, but it's, it's something to , um, to keep in mind again, just making sure to walk that line where it's, it's both personal and professional. Um, you know, I would say the oversharing, those are the bad queries, and there actually are not that many bad queries. There also not many fantastic queries. Most of them fall somewhere in the middle. So, which leads me to believe that one of the biggest mistakes someone can make is not , um, not taking the time to, to literally make every sentence in that query letter saying that this goes back to what you were saying about writing sentences and deleting and piecing it together and just making it the very best. It can be. Every sentence must count because an agent who cares about story cares about writing is, is not going to you're you , you don't want, you , you don't want your eyes to glaze over when you're reading a query. You don't want to be thinking as you're reading. Oh, that sentence wasn't really necessary. Um, you know, if , if you start, if you're starting to edit the query, it's a problem. So I would just, yeah, just, just underscore how important it is to think through every line. And part of that is knowing, knowing the genre, knowing the category of book and reading, reading a ton in that category, because I, I also think there's a way that writers can indicate through the query letter that they, they understand the market and they understand their audience. It's , um, it's not so much telling an agent that as, as showing that, and I think part of the way you show that is by crafting your, your description, your, your pitch, so that it it's, it speaks to the, it , it, it indicates that to the agents , it's hard to even articulate, but I can, I can tell when a writer has done their homework and is, is truly immersed in a deep way, in the, in the area of, of publishing that they're wanting to get into, whether it's Yia, adult, literary, literary, commercial hybrid, thriller romance, whatever it is I can tell when they've done their homework, you can't really cheat that. So that's, that's also something that , um, I would keep in mind. I, I wouldn't write the query until you've , you've done all that homework and you've made sure every, every , um, you're , you're , you've made sure the way that you conceptualize the book for yourself is , uh, is attractive and appealing and, and we'll, we'll get agents to, to perk up.

Speaker 2:

So that brought up another question for me, because a lot of times in like the, the elevator pitch , um, people will make comparisons. You know, my book it's like, you know, Harry Potter meets Twilight or star wars meets, I don't know , hunger games or whatever. Yes. Or against it. Where do you,

Speaker 3:

Oh, my, that is such a good question. I think that I have evolved over time. I think there was a time when I was against it, but I think the way I think I've evolved with the industry, I think it's just become , uh , uh , a fact now that this is how publishers are, this is how agents are selling books. This is how publishers are positioning books, in-house to their sales team. Their marketing team comps really helps . So I, I'm not against that , um, in a, in a pitch letter, but it does tie in directly with what I was saying about wanting to feel that the writer has done their homework, because if they're using the most obvious, you know, it, it makes me a little nervous when a memoirs compared to eat, pray, love, you know, it's, I feel like there are these kind of big books that are almost now categories onto themselves. And I would like to see the writers reference books that , um, that the, the general lay person might not even have on their radar, but that, that, that, that have sold, but that have sold well enough to, to sort of send the message to the agent that my book can sell on that level too. Does that make sense? It's you want to , you just want to make sure that the comps you're using are very accurate and you certainly don't want to use a comp where the agent gets excited and then they read the manuscript and they're thinking, well, actually what I'm reading isn't anything like that comp for XYZ reasons, you know, I would just be very, very thoughtful in choosing those comps.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's, that's excellent advice. Um, one of the questions that came through that I thought was really interesting is in your opinion, what is more important, the query letter or the first pages ,

Speaker 3:

Um , another, well , these are such good questions. They're really deep. Um, and each one could be its own hour. You know , I love that. So I, I mean, they're both important. Of course. I think for me, I would say that the writing, the writing itself is crucial. So the query would probably have to be quite alienating for us to not take a look at the first page, you know, because it's so easy to do you, you skim the query and you go right to the manuscript . So , um, I don't know. I don't know that one is more important than the other. I think, I think the pair , um, can make or break. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's an excellent point. And whenever people ask me about, you know, the first pages of the aquarium, like you got to make them both sparkle, you can , either of them in

Speaker 3:

That's right. You can't sewn it in. They do have to sparkle. Yeah. I mean, I honestly, I get a little chill between my, and I'm sure I've mentioned this to you in the past. Cause I get it when I read your work, you know, I get this chill between the shoulder blades. It's like a physical sensation where I, I, I know that this, this particular query and first page is doing it for me and I want to keep going. Um, so I, I, you want, you want to create the query letter and the page that's going to elicit that chill, you know?

Speaker 2:

No, that's a great, great point. And obviously we writers are readers. Um, and if you think back to the books that you just love, that you hold in such high regard and go back and read their first chapter and see like, what was it that captured

Speaker 3:

That's right. That's that drew you in, right. Drew you into that world on literally, and from page one on,

Speaker 2:

So you you've read a query. You, it sounds great, totally up your aisle . You've requested the full manuscript you're reading along. What will make you stop reading?

Speaker 3:

Uh, I mean, I think what happens, I don't know if this is maybe this isn't really answering the question. Maybe I'm skating, skirting the question, but I think I'm going to try not to cause a tough one. I'm struggling a little with this one, but I, I think maybe the best way I can answer it is by saying that we agents and editors for that matter, get a lot of manuscripts. You know, we are just over overwhelmed. It's just the nature of the business. We were overwhelmed with reading. So if I'm, if I'm reading something and it's not completely grabbing me, if it's, if , if it's not a read where I just have to, I have to keep reading. I have to turn the page and I, you know, I don't want to stop and cook dinner. I don't want to, I don't want to do anything, but, but continue reading this manuscript. That's the pull it has to have on me because otherwise what happens is I put it down and I turned to something else. And , and then another couple of manuscripts get put on the pile. And unfortunately that other manuscript just doesn't necessarily rise up again. You know? So , um, I guess when I stopped reading, it's not, I don't want to stop reading. It's it's, it's just that I, I, I can, I can stop reading because of all of these other demands on my time. And if I, and if I can stop reading, then that's probably a sign that I'm not the right agent for that work. That's sort of how I think about it. Do you think ,

Speaker 2:

Give yourself like, okay, I'm going to read at least 20 pages or I'm going to give myself at least 50 pages, or do you give yourself that you have to give a book a certain amount of time before you make a decision? Or it's like, eh, if it's page three and I'm not into it, then moving on.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Um, I don't, I don't say I , I don't have a rule of thumb like that. Like I have to give it a certain number of pages. I think it's more , um, for me, it's, it's a more organic process. Um, sometimes I can, I mean, I don't, I don't mean to sound , um, you know , uh, uh, mean I guess, but sometimes I can tell from the first page that it's just not, not a book for me, you know? Um, and I, and I don't force myself to keep reading because time is short and there are a lot of other manuscripts and authors to get to, and, and I want everyone to have, have the opportunity, you know? So , um, yeah. And then other times , um, I read a few pages and I'm a little on the fence and I keep going and sooner or later I get that feeling of, I have to keep reading, you know, I get the chill and there's just something driving me through the manuscript, which is always such a high, it's a wonderful thing to feel that, and then with other manuscripts there , they're certainly not bad. And, and often the writing is very good. I just know in my heart of hearts, that that book is not one that's calling me, Jill personally, you know ,

Speaker 2:

Do you ever, I mean, obviously there's other agents in your agency, do you ever read something to think? Well, it's not for me, but I think Caitlin would like this or like, do you have ,

Speaker 3:

We are with each other often we share all of this all the time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that, that is a constant conversation. We are, we are really , um, so , uh, communicative and in touch in that way. Uh, and we know, we know each other's tastes very well. So it's often actually that I'll say to Katelyn , I've read something and, or Larissa or Jessica or Sam, you know, I've read something. And I really like, I can see there's something really special here, but I don't think it's quite right for me or I, I'm not able to take it on at this time. Why don't you read it? And if you love it, nothing would make me happier than to have you run with it. You know, that, that conversation happens a lot and they come to me too with manuscripts, the same kind of thing. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

So one of the questions that I love , um , and I can't wait to hear your answer. Someone asked what happens when you love a book, but you don't think it will sell.

Speaker 3:

Oh , that is so painful, painful thing. Um, yeah, that does happen. And again, such an interesting question. I mean, I will say that I, I am an agent who for, for better, for worse, if I fell in love, I, and I feel very strongly about a manuscript . I, I will take it on, even if I think there are maybe one or two editors out there who will see what I see in it. If I, if I believe in a work to that degree, then the fact that it's not going to be a book that will be snapped up by everyone. I, that's not, that's not going to put me off. I think the times that I've felt the painful feeling you're describing are times when the book is, is, is a, is a book that I really connect with, but I can tell it falls between and between age groups or categories in a way that truly makes it unsaleable , you know, like I have, I have made a point in this business of trying to break ground and take on work that crosses genres and , and , and does, does something different than, than we're used to because it's, it's really fun to, to sell that kind of book in and, and create, create maybe a new path, you know, for, for authors. I love that, but that's different from what I'm describing, which is, which is when I know that no matter how much I love something and how much I'll I push it. And, and my, you know, make the argument that even though this isn't yet a category, it should be sometimes I just know on a gut level that even I, with all my will and best intentions, et cetera, can't, can't make that happen. Can't make people come on board. And that, that defines that sort of manuscript in a nutshell. And it's heartbreaking. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Will you take someone on as a client anyway, kind of in hopes that you're going to love their next work?

Speaker 3:

I think probably what I would do is say I love your writing and I, I love, yeah, I love the way you write. I love the way you think. I , I love there's so much on the page here that grabs me. So let's keep in touch. And, you know , I explained to them why I think that manuscript is not salable and, you know, it can be subjective. So obviously if another agent is able to position it in their minds and figure out how to position it to publishers, I wish them the best. But if that doesn't happen and they develop something else, then I , I would love to read those pages and I make that very clear, you know? So , um, yeah, I mean, in those instances, I, it makes me very happy to be able to keep the dialogue going. And while nothing, I can't recall a scenario right here. And now I'm , I'm sure this has happened in the past. You know, that client, current clients of mine came to me , um, in , in that, in that way where it wasn't an instant offer of representation, but we stayed in touch and they came back with something else and that's something else was what sort of nailed it for me, you know?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. One thing that comes up a lot in talking to other authors, and in the last few months, we've been asking every author on this podcast, what their origin story is and how they got published. And it comes up again and again and again, where an author gets their agent , you know, an agent loves their first book, takes it out and it doesn't sell how, I mean , I don't expect you to like have statistics or anything, but how common would you say that is?

Speaker 3:

Uh , um, how common, well, gosh, I don't, I was going to say, I mean, we, we like to sell most of what we're , we're very selective about what we take on and we like to sell most of what we take on, but it is true. We don't sell every book, you know? And in those instances, we , we absolutely keep going with the author. It is certainly not a, you know, we tried, we failed it's best. We part ways that that really is part of the reason we are so selective about who we take on because we are, we are, and we feel we're entering into a relationship. And that means, that means , uh , I'm in a relationships should last, it should. It should. If God forbid that first book doesn't sell, we, we regroup and we figure out where to go from here. We meaning me and the author or one of my colleagues and their client, you know, it's um, so it, it happens. I wouldn't say it's common, but it does happen. And that is by no means the end of the road. Does that, does that answer the question? Yeah, I , I really , um, that's why I always say to my colleagues and I, and I have kept this in mind. My whole career do not take an author on lightly. You know, it, it doesn't, it it's doing the author a disservice to do so because every career has ups and downs and, you know, it's the first book doesn't sell. And the second one does the good news there is you and your agent have ridden the roller coaster together, at least the first kind of , um , phase of it. And, and it is a bonding experience. It's , it's not what people want when they go into the relationship. Obviously the agent wants nothing more than to sell that author's book and make that author deliriously happy. And of course that's what the author wants to , but, but if you're Siri, if you're a writer and you're serious about your career, and you're thinking about it in the longterm , which as I said, at the beginning of our talk, it's really important to be thinking long-term then, then you figure it out together. If the author has the talent and the drive and the agent, the leaves and that author, I feel strongly that that agent and author we'll figure it out together. I really do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's, that's a great way to think about it. Um, I know so many authors when you're aspiring, like getting the agent can feel like the end goal, it can feel like all of your effort is just going to getting the agent. And then you hear stories about like, well, I got my agent, my book still didn't sell, and I think that's can be really discouraging to hear. Um, but now it is, it is so important to, to think long term and like, you've , you've taken this step and now you just have to keep going.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. It really does take a lot of stamina, but th that , that, that sort of stamina and ability to just kind of stay in the business and keep your head on your shoulders and try to find the joy and the happiness, you know , which me , which is the theme of, you know, which is so important to a writer and , and , and a writer's life. Um, that, that will be it , that will be rewarded. It's um, it , I have to say it reminds me a little bit of marriage, you know, where in the old days, at least you just wanted, I mean, I remember my mother, you know, you just wanted to get that ring on your finger, but , um, obviously, and that's, that's a wonderful thing to find your partner. It's, it's, it's, it's, it's gorgeous, you know, but, but marriage, it takes work and commitment and there are highs and lows and , and, and that's sort of how I think of it, you know, like certainly getting an agent is a high and it , and it is an achievement. There's no doubt, but, but it's just the beginning.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. No, and that's a great analogy.

Speaker 3:

I may have the long

Speaker 2:

Haul,

Speaker 3:

Right . The long haul. Um,

Speaker 2:

So a handful of the questions we got did , um, wonder more about your, in my relationship specifically , um, the , the first one was, how did you become my agent? Um, and so we kind of, of course talked about that a little bit , um, with the , the query letter , um, at which point, you know, I , I sent off the query letter to you and then dove under my sheets. Remember that process, like, or , or reading the query for the first time, or like, what was your side of that story?

Speaker 3:

Ah, interesting. I remember, yes. I remember being blown away by the query to a degree where I read it to , I think to Caitlyn , I can't remember who to niece was with me, then I feel like I read it out loud to Kaitlin . Um, cause you know, we were, we were very taken with that query and then I dove in on the strength of that query and I I'm quite sure it was one of those manuscripts I read in one fell swoop. You know. Do you remember how long it was between your querying?

Speaker 2:

Yeah . Think of what the timeline was. Cause at one point I had offers from two other agents. Um, and so I think that like you had requested the manuscript and then at some point, I don't know if it was a couple of days or a week or whatever I got these other offers and I remember having to email you and be like, so how, what do you think?

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yeah. So that probably I'm mean I must admit it , it , it, that can be very useful in terms of getting us to focus, you know? Yeah. You probably got in touch since then . I've heard from other agents. Can you tell me, you know , what you're thinking? Yeah . Um, yeah . Yeah. So

Speaker 2:

I would see other agents had like a deadline, which I don't know if that's normal. Um, but she wanted to know by like Tuesday or whatever the day was.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. They, they, yes. The agents do do that. Um, yeah, it's a thing it's like the most stressful weekend

Speaker 2:

Of my life.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I don't, I don't really do that. Um, because I, I feel like it's an important decision and while I don't want to be kept waiting for weeks on a, on an answer, I also feel a little funny giving some kind of arbitrary deadline, you know, but , um, but yeah, that probably got me to say, okay, I have to, you know, I, I have to focus on this and , um, and to read the manuscript right then and there. And of course, once I started reading, I was hooked. And then I do remember you and I speaking by phone and I correct me if I'm wrong. Cause it's obviously as many years goes many years back now. But , um, I have a memory of you saying another agent asked you to do something fairly drastic to the manuscripts . And I remember thinking, oh gosh, no, don't don't do that. Does that ring a bell?

Speaker 2:

Yes. And I'm trying to remember what it was exactly. Um, yeah ,

Speaker 3:

I mean, I remember vehemently like saying no, you know, I do , you asked me in a very neutral, you know, polite, gracious way. Would you recommend the same? And I remember thinking, no.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . And I , I catch , I wish I could remember what it was because I remember that that was one of the biggest deciding factors for me was that I felt really strongly. And so to make sure, like, I didn't want to be paired up with someone that wanted me to kind of change my vision and that's going to drive me nuts, trying to remember what that was.

Speaker 3:

I know what that detail was. Yeah. If I rack my it's not going to happen now, but if I, it may be , if I think about it later, it will come to me. Um, but yeah, I remember that very clearly from our conversation. Um, and, and uh, and I'm always honest in those situations. I mean, I can remember another time with another writer. Um, I managed to get that I read and really loved, but I felt like it needed , um, it , it needed required expanding the world. Um, and , and more layering. And I was honest about that. And the author was speaking with other agents and the agent that she went with didn't agree with me. You know, she , she felt like it was, it was, the manuscript was there as is. And so you, you win some, you lose some, but , um, I guess the point being that author and agent must be on the same page editorially or, you know,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, no, and I do think it's important. I think a lot of writers are , um , afraid whether with their agent or their editor, that they're going to be asked to change something about the work that doesn't feel right. And , and I do think that it is so important to listen to your instincts, obviously be open to feedback, be open to changes. Um, but if you, if someone wants to change something that truly feels wrong to you, like you have to maintain control over your own creative work. Um, I , I don't think anyone should ever be made to change something that doesn't feel

Speaker 3:

Right . No, I could not agree more. That's really well said. That's very important. And I know that I've heard this from writers when they find themselves in a situation where they're making revisions changes to the manuscript that they themselves don't fully believe in and own more to the point. You can, you can see it in the, in the writing, you know , um, because really the best revisions are when the author, here's a suggestion, an editorial note or whatever. And then, and then , uh, addresses it in a way that feels , um, like it's coming from them, you know? Yeah . That, and that, that those are the revisions that make a work better. Not, not a revision that's driven by the editor or agent, then it does it doesn't work.

Speaker 2:

Um, so here's a question. I feel a little weird asking it, but I'll go ahead and do it anyway.

Speaker 3:

Technically ,

Speaker 2:

What , if you can remember , uh , what stood out to you about me or my writing style?

Speaker 3:

Oh, wow. Um, well what stood out to me about you was I, and again, it's like the magic, the secret sauce. I don't know how you would instruct another author , uh , to do this, but I, I felt your, I just felt like I would like you and that we would work well together from your query, as strange as that sounds, you know, I , um, I think that there was, you just seem to have a very , um, mature command of, of, and belief in your work without ego. I don't know how else to describe it. You know, I , I felt like you were a debut author. Um, and I think ego ego certainly would have put me off. I would have worried that , um, the authors expectations were too high for me or any publisher to meet. Um, you know, so, so for, for you, with you is just this, this, this wonderful balance of, of confidence and commitment and ambition, but , um, but professional and gracious and collaborative, I guess I'd have to study the query again now to , to dissect it, you know , and figure out why I got that impression. I probably could, and maybe you'll have me back on another,

Speaker 2:

Actually, I should find it. I'll take it up and see if I can post it. Um, we'll see, sit on the , uh, the , the Instagram page for people who, who want to check it out. Cause I'm sure I still have it. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I , I would like to check it out because I would like to remind myself that I remember feeling that, but I , I couldn't say here and now, like it was this sentence or that, you know, I'd love to read it. I mean, I do remember you saying that you were a fan of Scott Westerfeld , um, you did mention that. And, and another thing I, I liked about how you worded that, it , it, it said to me that you knew the genre very well, so you, that it checked the box of this author has done her homework. Um, and that, and she's correct. And comparing herself to, to Scott and his work, you know, that, so that, that, that all made sense to me , um, on reading the manuscript. And I also like when an author is coming to me, because they have read and admire a writer I represent, or they're familiar with my list and they admire the list. There, there is something very nice about being singled out as an agent in a way that makes you feel known. And that the author really put a lot of thought into who she queried, you know, as opposed to feeling like you're part of a random submission. So,

Speaker 2:

And then number 50 on the list and digest ,

Speaker 3:

It's just human nature. You know , um, I mean, when I started in publishing, there was much more of , um, of the way was more authors going to one agent or two maybe. And , um, with, with , with the, having done their homework and decided, okay, your , I feel like you would be the right person to represent me. And if you're interested in representing me, then let's do this. You know, and it, it was, it was kind of great because , um, yeah, but, but I also totally appreciate why authors tire of waiting for agents to respond and how going one agent at a time could take, you know, months and months. So it's not, it's not that I mind the multiple submission at all. I get it. It's just, it's just meaningful within that submission. If you feel the author is querying you for a reason, if that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I can imagine so. And I know for me, like, there's something about knowing that you have hand-picked authors that I admire and respect that then like, okay, well she must put me on that level too. Like it's , it's nice knowing that we share a taste.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes. I completely agree. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I felt that from, from your letter, like the first contact we had, you know, so yeah . Um, yeah, and then the manuscript itself of course blew me away. Hey, this is kind of off topic, but it was, I was thinking about it as I was talking about how I enjoy , um, breaking ground and getting, getting publishers to open their minds a little and, and, and realize that , um, you know, it , it can be, it can be fun to take on something that doesn't quite fit the mold. Anyway, that's a literary long way of saying, I remember that there were a few publishers when we submitted the project that we're concerned about each book having a different protagonist, you know , this , and of course that is one of the most magical, special aspects of this series. And so that, for me, it was an example of you're just wrong. Like I maybe , I mean, you , maybe you don't see this very much and , um, but like get over your sheep, sheep, like mentality, you know, and , and recognize that what Marissa is doing here, the reason they didn't see it very much is because it's very hard to do it well. But when you , when you do it on the level that you did it, I mean, to me, that's golden. And obviously a lot of publishers got that because there was a bidding war, but, but I'll never forget those who didn't.

Speaker 2:

No, I do. I remember one of the feed back from one of the publishers, you know , saying that they , they liked it and they wanted to offer for it, but they didn't like that. It was going to be one continuous story. Like they wanted Cinderella as book one and little red riding hood as the resolve and not to each other. And I was like, you don't get it at all.

Speaker 3:

You just don't get it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So the agent who liked the fierce agent that you want on your side is the agent who gets a comment or a response like that and , and thinks, feels like on the deepest, you know, most sort of gut level. Wow. Did you miss the boat here? You know, that that's the advocate you want? Um,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um , so probably my favorite question of all the questions that we got someone asked , do you guys actually like working together LOL,

Speaker 3:

Oh my, is that coming from a place of,

Speaker 2:

At the end of ,

Speaker 3:

Oh , I don't want to read too much into that, but I wonder if that author has had a not so great experience, you know,

Speaker 2:

I mean , I don't know. I mean, I have met authors who have had bad experiences with agents. Of course. Um, it does happen, but by and large, most people I know really love and respect their agents.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. That's great to hear. I don't, you, you have much more perspective on that than I do because you're out in the world, you know , um , having these conversations with writers, but that's , that's really good to hear. I mean, my general sense is that agents, they go into this business because they love writers and writing and , um, and they're passionate. It is something of a calling, you know? So , um, yeah, I hope, I hope most agents are, you know, giving it their all.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I do like working with you, Jill .

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Marissa . I love working with you so much. Um , I mean, really it's like, it's been such a lovely long ride together.

Speaker 2:

No, we actually, you mentioned earlier that the marriage thing, Jesse and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Um, but we, I think you and I were already signed for like a year before then. So

Speaker 3:

You were married before you and Jessica got married. Yeah. I remember. I remember you planning the wedding actually around cinder, you know, like around that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, we , we flew out to New York like two weeks before the wedding so that we could meet you and meet the people at the publisher. Um , and do like some pre-sale , uh, touring stuff. I don't really remember. Um, but I remember my mom being like, you're leaving, you're getting married in New York there's stuff to do.

Speaker 3:

I do remember being quite impressed that you two made that trip around that time. I do, I do have a memory of thinking, well, that's great. You know, as a writer who can juggle a lot of different things at one time, which proved to be true, that is one of your, one of your gifts when I buy cars. But no, I mean, I don't even know where to begin this question of, do I like working with you? I, I mean, I, I just, I'm almost speechless because , um, I love working with you. I mean, it's truly been one of the great joys of my agency and career, so I just thank my lucky stars. I really do that. You came to me.

Speaker 2:

Um, okay. Two more questions. Before we go into our lightning round one that I have answered so many times over the years. So I'm excited to pass it off to you for once. What is happening with the lunar Chronicles movies or TV shows ?

Speaker 3:

Oh gosh. Oh, what am I allowed to say? I know that's always the balance like, oh gosh, now I know what it feels like to be you. Right. It's all, it's awful. It's awful to have to answer. I mean, I guess I can, I don't know, honestly, what would we have this great agent Matthew Snyder at CAA? And I hear him in my head now, like, you know, don't, don't do

Speaker 2:

X, Y, and Z be vague about this. Yes.

Speaker 3:

Just be big. I mean, there's like, I guess I can say there's actual potential action happening, right? I mean , um, yeah. Yeah. So yes, there , there, there are things and I'm sorry, here. I am sounding so vague. Um, you can all hate me now instead of Marissa, just put your hate towards me. Um , I not

Speaker 2:

Allowed to say stuff. I

Speaker 3:

Know, I know my, like my hands are tied, but, but it's, it's, there are things in motion and I'm hopeful and , um, that's pretty much what I can say. I'm sorry. I can't say more. I would love to. Yeah,

Speaker 2:

No, that's fair. Keep our fingers crossed fingers,

Speaker 3:

Fingers and toes. Very, very tightly crossed. I , I do believe it will have its day. And um, yeah. So ,

Speaker 2:

Um, lastly, someone, so this episode is going up launch week , um, as of the airing of this gilded will have been out for three days, four days, something

Speaker 3:

Like that. That is so thrilling. I was so excited.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So one person asked Jill, what is your favorite thing about gilded?

Speaker 3:

Oh my yes, sir. Now, now we're getting into the really tough questions. The last one choose my favorite child. Okay. Um, I think that, well, God , I mean, there is so much that I love about this book. This book is so good. You guys are in for such a train . I can't , I can't even it's it's uh , uh , but you know, the world, the world of this book is so real feeling and lush and rich and in , in, in lore and mythology and, and touch, it's just, it's very, it really kind of sparks all of the senses is maybe the best way I can put it. And that's really what you want from a novel. I mean, I remember Scott actually giving a little course in novel writing and he said, one of the brilliant things about writing books versus movies is you can allow your readers to smell and taste and feel , um , in a way that the visual medium , uh, it, it, it, it, it, it doesn't, you can do more with a book in that way. And I feel like you have just like gone to town with that here. So I, I'm so excited for readers to immerse. And then of course there's the wonderful romance that gives me chills as I think about it. And , um, and, and such a great protagonist. You just fall in love with her and, and it's, it's haunted and creepy and , and surreal and , and romantic. And yeah, I'll stop there, but I could go on and on, please said

Speaker 2:

Jail . Thank you. Okay. Are you ready for our bonus

Speaker 3:

Round? Yeah, no, I will say I believe it or not . I've never done a bonus round. I know you writers do them all the time and you're very, very good at it. And honestly, this is probably what I was most scared about.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Let me start you really easy. Okay. Tea or

Speaker 3:

Coffee, tea,

Speaker 2:

Music, or silence

Speaker 3:

Music. I'm married to a musician. So that's kind of , you know,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Sunny beach or snowy mountains,

Speaker 3:

Sunny beach.

Speaker 2:

What's your favorite thing about being an agent

Speaker 3:

Following my passion?

Speaker 2:

What is your least favorite thing about being an agent?

Speaker 3:

The slowness of this business?

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh. That's a great one. Oh , kills

Speaker 3:

Me.

Speaker 2:

What is your personal mantra?

Speaker 3:

Trust your gut.

Speaker 2:

What is your favorite way to celebrate an accomplishment?

Speaker 3:

Eating delicious? Um , well probably chocolate, chocolate and champagne is always good for me for celebration.

Speaker 2:

What advice would you give to help someone be a happier writer?

Speaker 3:

My advice would be, be aware of the industry and how the market is evolving, but don't obsess about it may make your primary concern, your work and making that work the very best it can be.

Speaker 2:

What book makes you happy?

Speaker 3:

Well, as a matter of fact, it's a book called happy all the time. What is it about? It's just great. It's oh my goodness . It's an old book. Um, and I actually just gave it to my author, Katherine Murdock , who loved it, who gave it to her sister, Elizabeth Gilbert , um, who I think also loved it. And so I'm trying to spread the word on it. I read it way back in like 92 and it, and it had come out before, before that. So, you know , don't get old, but it's , um, it's a romance between , uh, it's two couples making their way in New York city and it's a romance, but so much more it's , um, it's, it's, it's navigating life as , um, as a, as a young women and falling in love and , um, and finding yourself and it , and it , there's just something so joyful about this book. So I do return to it. I've read it a number of times,

Speaker 2:

Lastly, where can people find you?

Speaker 3:

Okay. Um, so we have a , we have a very comprehensive website, so I would absolutely encourage people to check out our website. It , it talks about our mission and, and every writer we represent and what we're looking for and who we are. And so, yeah, I would say go, and, and then there's instructions on the website as to how to query me and my colleagues. And I really encourage you to get in touch. I, I honestly, I nothing excites me more than reading new work and falling in love. So , um, please, please, don't be shy.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Jill, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you, Marissa.

Speaker 3:

It was such a treat. Thank you so much for inviting me. It was really, really fun.

Speaker 2:

It was really fun for me too . Um , just always nice to chat. Yeah,

Speaker 3:

Indeed. Indeed. They have a good night or day or wherever we are.

Speaker 2:

Rita's this is usually when I encourage you to go out and purchase our guests newest book. Um, but I guess today, I'll say, I hope you check out gilded . It is out now. Um , of course we always encourage you to support your local indie. If you can, if you don't have a local indie , you can check out our affiliate store at bookshop.org/shop/marissa Meyer. Next week, I will be talking to Roseanne AE brown about the conclusion to her fantasy. Duology a Psalm of storms and silence. If you enjoyed this conversation , please subscribe and follow us on Instagram at Marissa Meyer author and at happy writer podcast until next time stay healthy, stay cozy and whatever life throws at you today. I do hope that now you're feeling a little bit happier.

Speaker 1:

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