Before becoming a literary agent, I was an executive editor at Penguin Canada. My decade there—working with agents and authors, negotiating contracts, editing manuscripts, and collaborating with my colleagues in design, production, marketing and sales—informs everything I do.
A few of the books I edited at Penguin
Anita Rau Badami’s Tamarind Mem; Wayson Choy’s Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood; Mark Kingwell’s Better Living: In Pursuit of Happiness from Plato to Prozac; Nega Mezlekia’s Notes from the Hyena’s Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood; and Beth Powning’s Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life.
What I’m looking for at WCA
I’m in this business because I love books that have the power to bring people together, articulate something crucial or profound, transform the reader, or offer a window onto a world we wouldn’t otherwise access. Fresh, distinct writing typically tops my list, but within that I’m seeking unusual perspectives, exceptional ideas, and stories we truly need. I’m always interested in hearing from passionate experts with new and interesting things to say about their fields. Oh, and I love to cry.
While I’m not taking on many new clients these days, I’m always open to being wowed.
Since my fiction roster is fairly full, I’m more likely to be interested in nonfiction. Most of my new clients come to me by referral.
I take pride in representing a small, carefully curated roster of children’s authors and illustrators as well, and would love to make room for another exceptional author-illustrator.
I’m not the right agent for
SF, Fantasy, Crime, Mystery, Thrillers, Horror, Romance, Chick Lit, Cookbooks, Travel, Poetry, or Screenplays. I’m generally not a fan of dark or gritty subjects; I prefer to be inspired, moved, educated, awed.
I grew up in Paramus, New Jersey, which had the dubious distinction at that time of being the shopping centre capital of America. Three of my favourite recent non-WCA books are Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation, Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. I’ve spoken about editing, agenting and publishing at IFOA, the Adelaide Festival of Writers, the Humber School for Writers, Wilfrid Laurier University, Concordia University, University of Prince Edward Island, and George Brown College. I adore my amazing clients, and most of the time I know I have the best job in the world.
Founding member of PACLA