Sunday, April 10, 2011

2011 Conference Series- Faculty Q & A with Tina Wexler

Yesterday the SCBWI WWA Advisory Committee had their final pre-conference meeting for the 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference, and I have to say that the conference is going to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! The facilities, the wine and cheese reception, and the faculty are JUST a few highlights to look forward to at the conference! Speaking of faculty, we've got a Faculty Q & A with Tina Wexler to share! Tina is on our Agent Faculty, and if you missed it you can read Tina's conference bio here.

What is the best and worst advice you were given when you started in children's literature?
The best advice was “Never take on a client just because you think his work will sell; take on clients whose work you love, whose work you believe in, and the sales will follow.”

The worst advice was “Get out of kids books.”

What advice would you give now to others?
Play harder.

What was your favorite book as a child? And now?
Gulp. I know this will sound like a cop out, but I really didn’t have a favorite. I just raced through books—from BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA to BLUBBER, A WRINKLE IN TIME to GO ASK ALICE—without much thought as to favorites, only “what’s next?” And I suppose I’m somewhat still like that; my favorite these days is usually whatever book I’m in the middle of reading, since it’s such a treat when I get to turn off my “agent” brain and read something that’s already published.

As you know, those who are in children's literature tend to have lengthy discussions on the important topic of snacks (usually a baked good). What's your favorite snack?
This is a very important issue. In the category of baked goods, I side with lemon squares. (Donna Gephart has a great recipe for them at the back of AS IF BEING 12 ≤ ISN’T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.) But my all-time favorite snack is popcorn. Or as I call it on really gray days, “dinner.”

Attendees are often nervous to meet you at a conference. What, if anything, makes you nervous about being part of the faculty?
If I answer honestly and say “public speaking,” are you going to rescind my invitation?

What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?
I read for a living. How awesome is that? Least? I have to deliver bad news on occasion. Far less awesome.

What do you most want our attendees to know about you?
For one, they shouldn’t be nervous about meeting me—I’m a “cat person,” if that helps put things in perspective—and I really am interested in signing new clients.

Fabulous answers from Tina (especially the lemon squares answer). And, as a little bonus I found an article by Tina on Wild About Words titled "6 1/2 Ways to Impress an Agent". By the way, if you aren't able to make it to the conference we'll have Blogging Team (a whole team) that will be blogging live updates during the conference!!

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