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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Interview with Agent Suzie Townsend

Today we have another interview with one of my favorite agents. Suzie Townsend is with
New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Feel free to ask any questions you might have for this agent in the comments.

What was your first favorite book ever and why?

The Lord of the Rings was my favorite book as a kid. My dad was a huge Tolkien fan and he inspired the rest of our family to get into Middle Earth as well.

What a cool dad! That's so much nicer than my dad paying me to read Atlas Shrugged in the 7th grade.

What is your current favorite book and why?

I can't ever pick one favorite. There are just too many. Recently I've really loved Alexandra Bracken's new series, starting with The Darkest Minds.

If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chocolate chip cookies. Simple but always good.

If you were not a literary agent, what would you be?

I might have gone back to teaching if I wasn't an agent. Before getting into publishing I taught high school English.

Last month I visited with some local HS English classes and thought I'd really enjoy that as well. 

What kind of book(s) are you hoping to find in the next few months?

I'm really interested in seeing more romantic suspense in the New Adult genre and I'd love to see more magical realism in YA and middle grade. I try to update my wishlist periodically here. Really though I'm open to fiction from middle grade through adult. Anything with great characters can really hook me.

Man I wish my YA fantasy was finished!

Please tell us a bit about your agent style, how you prefer to be queried and why you love your agency.

My submission guidelines are here.

I love New Leaf for a lot of reasons. The people I work with are amazing. They're smart and hard-working and I would be absolutely lost without them. We work together as a team. We read each other's projects and share opportunities and ideas with each other, which ultimately benefits our authors.

Will you be open to queries over the holiday season or taking time off?

I'll be open.

Thanks Suzie for taking the time to answer our questions!

From the agency page:

"My favorite books are ones that keep me up all night with characters that I can't stop thinking about long after I've finished."

After teaching high school English for several years, Suzie Townsend started publishing at FinePrint Literary Management in January 2009 and worked her way up from intern to agent. Now an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, she represents adult and children's fiction. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she's specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8). She's an active member of AAR, RWA, and SCBWI.

She's interested in strong characters and voice driven stories: she's particularly keen on strong female protagonists, complex plot lines with underlying political, moral, or philosophical issues, and stories which break out of the typical tropes of their genre. Some of her favorite novels (that she doesn't represent) are Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Jeaniene Frost's Vampire Huntress series, Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series, and Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series.

She drinks too much diet orange soda, has a Starbucks problem (those soy chai lattes are addictive), and lives in New York with two dogs who know that chewing on shoes is okay but chewing on books is not. More information on Suzie can be found on publisher's marketplace here.

Blog: Confessions of a Wandering Heart
Twitter: @sztownsend81


Liz Blocker said...

Great interview; thank you, Suzie and Charity! I love magical realism, too - and Lord of the Rings. My parents read that to my brother and I, too, when we were very young, and I credit that series (and my parents) for giving me such a love of reading.

Liz A. said...

If it doesn't contain chocolate, it isn't dessert. Chocolate chip cookies are a weakness for me, too.

Carol Riggs said...

Great interview. Rah for choc. chip cookies! I LOVE reading and writing magical realism. Sometimes regular fantasy (esp high fantasy) is just way too magical and out-there for me. I like just a TWIST of weird.