Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview with an Agent: Liza Pulitzer-Voges

Children’s lit writers, get ready--I’ve got another one for you. Today’s interview features Liza Pulitzer-Voges of Eden Street. Happy reading!

KV: How did you get into agenting?

LP: I was “in the right place at the right time!” I was working for a textbook development company that also represented artists; those artists worked primarily in elementary textbooks. My job was to build a list of authors in the trade children's book field, exposing the artists to new markets and helping this company get into trade books. I worked there for 25 years, then started my own agency and took all my clients with me after they closed. I do only children's books.

KV: How would you summarize your personal agenting philosophy? What do you expect from an agent-author relationship?

LP: I tailor my agenting to an author’s goals, working closely together to reach them. We usually agree on these goals; if not, then it wouldn't be a very good relationship. My expectations are openness and loyalty and professionalism. They can expect the same with me.

KV: What client work do you have coming out soon? What drew you to those writers and/or projects?

LP: A wonderful YA novel from Gloria Whelan, which is contemporary, thus a departure from her historical fiction, and then a wonderful historical novel from Gloria that is fantastic!

Dan Gutman has a new middle grade series, THE GENIUS FILES, coming out as well as a new MY WEIRD SCHOOL one coming in 2010.

Alyssa Capcuilli's BISCUIT is celebrating its 15th year in 2010, and lots of excitement comes with its new licensing program that is launching around the series as well as new books in her KATY DUCK line at S&S.

Keith Graves, illustrator extraordinaire, has branched into writing for middle grade and YA, and his debut novel is due out with Chronicle in Fall 2011.

A first-time author Rachel Wildavsky's novel debuted on the Abrams list in Spring 2010. And I could go on and on...

These projects are all fresh and reflect each author's willingness to grow and try new things! Good writing and new ideas make these attractive.

KV: What genres do you represent? What genres do you definitely NOT represent?

LP: I represent all genres! Well, I haven't done any paranormal, so I guess I'm odd that way, but I don't find the need to jump on any bandwagon.

KV: Are you interested in picture book writers who AREN'T illustrators?

LP: Definitely!

KV: What query pet peeves and/or pitfalls should writers avoid when querying you?

LP: I post my requirements on my website, so I get truly annoyed when I get e-mail submissions! I just delete them! And I don't represent adult, so that too is a pet peeve.

That said, my unsolicited pile is large at the moment, and I admit I'm behind with it, but be patient--I will get to each one. I'm open to SCBWI members of course. But most of my clients now come from fellow clients or come recommended by an editor. I look forward to doing some writers' conferences, and then I am open to those writers' manuscripts.

KV: What are you looking for in a manuscript right now?

LP: I love mysteries as an adult reader... I'd love a really good mystery series, hope that it will have some fun humor too! And naturally, great writing, strong voice, and setting.

KV: What’s the best way to query you?

LP: The best way to query me is to read the guidelines on the website, Send a picture book in full; middle grade and YA require a letter, synopsis, and three sample chapters. Also include a SASE.

Thanks, Ms. Pulitzer-Voges, for these responses. And good luck to everyone who decides to query.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!


Lisa_Gibson said...

Great interview. Wish I had something ready to query. ;)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I love reading these, Krista. They make me write faster. :)

And, on a side note, I like Ms. Pulitzer-Voges' last name. Very cool.


Krista Van Dolzer said...

Don't we all, Lisa. Don't we all... :)

Amy, they make me write faster, too. It reminds me of being a kid in Disneyland and how I felt when my parents would make us stop to eat. Watching all those other kids walk past - on their way to my favorite ride, I was sure - was something akin to torture. Even though I knew the ride would still be there when I was finished, it made me antsy to think that all those other kids were getting in line in head of me:)

Myrna Foster said...

Wow. I recognized almost all of the authors that she represents. Thanks for this interview, Krista and Ms. Pulitzer-Vogues. I'm excited to check out her website.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

And Myrna, that's why I think of you as our resident kidlit aficionado:) (Phew, had to look up the spelling of that one...)

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific info - thanks for the interview ladies :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great interivew! Thanks for sharing. It's nice to see an agent who is interested in pb writers. :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Jemi and Sharon, you're welcome!

Jackee said...

I've heard of your interview series, Krista, and now I'm so happy to have found it. Thanks for sharing! And thanks to all the agents who respond to your questions.

I'm sad I wasn't a follower in time to enter naming Bob, but I'm glad I've found your blog now! Looks like we have many friends in common and your blog seems wonderful!

Have a great week!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Welcome, Jackee!