Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview with an Agent: Rosemary Stimola

To round out Culinary Week, I give you Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio, who is the first agent I’ve interviewed to represent cookbooks, I believe. Oh, and did I mention she represents all things kidlit, too? Must have slipped my mind… :)

KV: How did you get into agenting?

RS: This is actually my third professional life in books. I was an academic teaching language and literature, and then a bookseller. An editor friend asked if I had ever considered agenting, noting my backgrounds as good foundations. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

RS: I don’t know if it is a philosophy, but it is a relationship of mutual respect. Every writer is different, in personality and in process. I try to work with each, giving what they need when they need it.

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

RS: A lot of work in the tubes right now. Happy to see how stand alone novels have been growing into series. Mike Beil’s middle grade THE RED BLAZER GIRLS is now at four titles; Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX is about to become a trilogy; Amber Kizer’s MERIDIAN is now a four title series; and Lisa Papademetriou’s SIREN’S SONG and David Gill’s BLACK HOLE SUN now have sequels in the making.

Strong voice, good storytelling, and memorable characters may be found in each and every one.

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

RS: I represent pre-school through young adult, fiction and non-fiction. I also do cookbooks, which I find great fun.

I do not represent adult fiction.

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

RS: Don’t apologize if you are unpublished. Don’t pitch your book as the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Don’t tell me you read it to your four-year-old and she loved it.

KV: You only want to see the query letter in a writer’s initial contact, but several respected industry sites have advised writers to include a few sample pages at the bottom of every query, whether the agent asked for them or not. So if a writer goes ahead and adds those pages, do you find that more assertive or obnoxious?

RS: Neither. I don’t read them. If the query interests me, I will ask for a full ms.

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

RS: Something fresh. Something that doesn’t feel like I have seen it a hundred times before.

KV: What’s the best way to query you?

RS: E-mail at

Thanks again, Ms. Stimola, for these responses. And queriers, take careful note of those query pet peeves and pitfalls. It’s probably a bad idea to tell any agent your book is the next Hunger Games, but I imagine it’s a doubly bad idea to tell that to the agent who sold the series in the first place.

Thanks for hanging with me through Culinary Week, everybody. Next week, I promise to dish up some writing-related posts (pun intended).


A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Thanks, Krista and Rosemary! Great interview.


lotusgirl said...

Nice interview. Rosemary is one of the best.

Krista V. said...

You're welcome, Amy.

Thanks, lotusgirl. And you're right - I think Ms. Stimola is pretty high on a lot of writers' lists.

A.J. Cattapan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.J. Cattapan said...

Great interview! Now I need only several thousand more blog followers so I can send her my ideas for a cookbook--or in my case a "bakebook." :)

Oh, and my students will be psyched to learn The Adoration of Jenna Fox is going to be a trilogy!

Myrna Foster said...

I loved THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, but I didn't know it had a sequel. I'll have to look into that. :)

Ms. Stimola sounds wonderful. Thank you for the interview!

Krista V. said...

Your students, A.J.? What do you teach? (I have a degree in Math Education (and Economics), but when I moved to Smalltown, USA, they needed a computer teacher at the middle school, so that's what I was - until my son was born, anyway.)

Myrna, THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX was a compelling read. I wonder how the other two fit in chronologically...

Lisa_Gibson said...

Great interview! Also great info on query dos and don'ts. :)

Krista V. said...

Glad you found it helpful, Lisa!

HowLynnTime said...

Wow I just started my research on this agency - having read an ARC review on A Carter - the goddess test. I very much appreciate the information.

Krista V. said...

Hi, HowLynn Time! I must say, Stimola Literary Studio is one of the premier boutique agencies in the country. If you're writing in one of the genres she reps, Ms. Stimola is definitely an agent you have to add to your list.