|Jill. (Photo by Ali Smith)|
Q. What about this opportunity to speak to NW writers made you want to take the time to come?
A: One of my Pacific Northwest-based writers, Kirby Larson, has spoken so highly of SCWBI Western Washington over the years. I was delighted and honored to be asked to speak at this year's event.
Q. What question do you typically not get in Q&A sessions like the one we'll have, but that you think writers should be asking?
A. There is understandably a lot of focus in Q&A sessions on how to "position" oneself as a writer to attract an agent. But I think it would be helpful to broaden that conversation, to include discussion of how and why the positioning of book and author plays a crucial role throughout the publishing process. The fact is the query letter is the first step in a long line of positioning.
I think asking about the bigger picture —and exploring it together—will give new and interesting context to the query letter.
Q. You're someone with a lot of experience in the business and very notable clients. What's your current outlook on opportunities and market demands?
A. My current outlook is positive. There's no denying the market is more competitive than ever. And the growing importance of the digital realm has obviously brought significant changes to the industry. But my job as agent is to help authors navigate this shifting landscape and find the opportunity, and I do believe the opportunity is there.