Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Top Ten Things I Love About Agenting

10. The Presents: Where else would I get so many wonderful baked goods, wine, scotch, cupcakes, fruit baskets, and flour?



9. Lunch/Coffee/Dessert Dates: Lunches with editors and writers are the ideal way for me to work through all the restaurants in Manhattan. (hello, flat iron building and all the great restaurants near you!) Who could pass up Jacques Torres, Sweet Revenge, Magnolia, or Max Brenner?



8. Conferences: Sure, I come home tired, overworked, and with a full inbox and an overflowing desk, but when else would I have gotten to the beach on the gulf coast or learned there is such a thing as bear spray? And of course there's the actual writers, some of whom have become great friends.



7. Networking: People laugh at me when I say this or they just straight up don’t believe me.  But once upon a time... I was shy.  As many of us bookworms are, I was an introvert.  No lie, I made it through most of high school without speaking.  To the point that when I actually go into a discussion in Spanish class junior year, my teacher commented on the fact that he wasn’t sure he’d ever heard my voice before.  That kind of shyness just isn’t possible when you’re an agent - and while I worked hard to get past it when I was teaching, agenting might just have cured me.



6. The Work: I'm never bored. There's always something to do.  As an insomniac, I used to spend my nights watching reruns of Law & Order SVU or B movies on the Sci Fi channel (and yes, that’s right, Sci Fi).  Now I can be more productive.



5. The Swag: As a book glutton who spent over $2000 on books last year*, any books I can get my hands on free *and early* are amazingly awesome. Because then I can buy more! I've even been known to turn swagging into a military operation.
*This is according to the receipts I could find when doing my 2009 taxes.



4. The Community: Writers, agents, editors, booksellers, and everyone else involved in publishing! I love that no matter the side of the industry we all want the same thing - to fall in love with books and share them with the world.  And never in my life before, have I been surrounded by so many people who have read the same books I’ve enjoyed, and can talk books endlessly with me and gush about loving them.  It’s divine.



3. My Colleagues at FinePrint: I took a huge risk, leaving teaching, driving across the country, and taking an unpaid internship.  It’s occurred to me more than once to be endlessly grateful about where I ended up.  Working with colleagues who are fun, caring, and knowledgeable, including The Janet Reid. (If you hadn’t heard, I aspire to be Janet or at least to have a telephone persona like hers. In addition she buys me things like sushi or Starbucks and movie tickets and a taser.)



2. Editing & My Clients: I love to edit. I love to dissect character motivations and plot lines and world building. I love falling in love with characters and their voices and working with the amazing writers who share their world and introduce me to their characters and make me laugh and even cry as I go through those characters’ experiences right along side of them.



Which brings me to:



1. The Written Word: There is just nothing like staying awake until 4 am to finish a manuscript or a book, then laying awake until the alarm goes off thinking about those characters, then gushing about it and quoting lines from it the next day at work - or to anyone who will listen - then months or even years later, thinking of it again, rereading it again, or just talking about it again and knowing. [This book] Changed. My. Life.

14 comments:

Brandi G. said...

This sounds wonderful! If only I wasn't terrified of New York, I might try to be an agent too. :)

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

It sounds like you ended up in the perfect job for you. So many people dislike their jobs, so it's definitely refreshing to see that you love yours =)

$2,000! Ah, I don't even want to think how much I spend on books a year...it's so addictive to buy books!

Kristi Helvig said...

I think it shows when someone loves their job like you do--and I can't wait for the day when buying books counts as a tax deduction!

Amanda J. said...

And this is exactly why I want to BE an agent! :D Thanks for sharing, Suzie!

Julie said...

Aaah this is lovely! And it made me smile and get a little teary and the same time. Not easy to do.

L.J. Boldyrev said...

This made me smile. I think I officially *heart* you.
I agree with Kristi on the tax deduction.

Ian said...

Great post, Suzie.

I'm with you on the Sci Fi channel (someone should start a revolution to rename that sucker back to how it was), but she bought you a taser?!

S'pose it's better then using it on you.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Hi Suzie. It's nice to hear from someone who genuinely loves their job. I can feel the truth and passion in this, and your heart beating. It's part of my work. Big sighs here for sharing. A taser! That's cool. I don't write a genre you're looking for, but it's cool to be here.

Kelly Lyman said...

Glad to hear all the positive comments. Too many folks only complain about their jobs-
what exactly is bear spray?

Nikki said...

Ah, Suzie. And THIS is why we love you. You're a gem.

cathellisen said...

I'm late to this entry, but it's so much adorable.

Also $2000! OUCH!

(yay freebies!)

Little Ms J said...

I love this post as well as your affinity for bear spray. Ok, words too.

Sangu said...

Aw that sounds like the most amazing job for you! I think I'd be an agent just for the free books. Probably too shy to be a tough negotiator, though. Eep.

Sher A. Hart said...

I for one am glad you like to edit. Though rejection is disappointing, your advice was a goldmine that kept me going all summer, revising and shortening per the "Suzie Prescription." And you did a masterful presentation at the ECW conference on creating an internet presence. I don't twitter, but I got my facebook page and blog and website, all things I was scared to do before. Thanks again

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?