Monday, October 5, 2015

The Barry Goldblatt Interview


SCBWI-WWA's 2015-16 
First Evening of Monthly Programming
Wednesday, October 21, 7–9pm
Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall
The One, The Only 


We had an opportunity to ask Barry some pertinent questions in advance of his arrival. Besides being the honcho of Barry Goldblatt Literary, LLC, there are other sides to him that are worth knowing about. Here's what he had to say:

Hi, Barry! Our SCBWI-Western WA chapter is just about to go bonkers with your arrival. But I am just a wee bit curious: What do New Yorkers REALLY think of Seattle right now? (Even those dozen or so folks not actually absorbed by the Amazon-Industrial Complex.) 
I don't know what New Yorkers in general think of anything, since there really isn't a general New Yorker. But this Brooklynite loves to visit Seattle! It's a lovely city, the food and wine scene is excellent, and it did birth some incredible music too, so what's not to like? I still don't want to live there, though, because Brooklyn.
Do you own an umbrella? (Trick question: It doesn't rain here any more.)

Nope, I don't believe in umbrellas. If I carry one, it doesn't rain, or it breaks and is useless, so I just accept getting wet.
What's the last book you read for pleasure? Or grabbed out of desperation at the airport? Outside of your clients' work and the literary marketplace you keep up with, I mean....
It's hard, as an agent, to ever truly just read for pleasure, but the last book I read that was not by a client or a friend was Zen Cho's SORCERER TO THE CROWN, which is fantastic: smart, fun, exciting and fresh!
I read in a previous interview that you work from your home office. Do you own an excellent coffee machine, or are you a run-to-the-corner-coffeehouse kind of person? What's the beverage of choice?
I do not drink coffee. (Yes, I hear the gasps of horror...but think of it as meaning more for the rest of you!) I do like the ritual of making coffee, however, so I have both an excellent machine and a french press, as well as a grinder. I love the smell, just hate the taste. My drink of choice in a cafe setting is chai; in a bar, a Dark & Stormy; and in general, I do love root beer (but I'm a snob about it).
Do you operate under a current editorial mantra right now? Are there red flags that change over time, like too much back story at the  beginning or not enough earned resolution at the end? Or, hey, let me ask you straight out: If you could scare a Barry Goldblatt Pet Peeve out of all future manuscripts RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, what would it be?
I don't know that I have a specific mantra, but bottom line is I need to make a true emotional connection to a character pretty early on, or I'm just going to lose interest. I wanna get inside a character's head and live the story right along with them. In general, I think a lot of new authors spend too much time focused on making a great first page, instead of on a great manuscript (in much the same way I see too much focus on query letters). Yes, I need the first page to grab me, but if all the pages after that are a let down, who cares? As for a pet peeve, I (like most of my agent and editor colleagues) hate the "waking from a dream/nightmare" opening and would be happy to never see it again.

I'm sure I'm not the first to ask, but what's your superpower?

My superpower is my ability to find incredibly good things to eat no matter where I am. Why, yes, I am food obsessed, why do you ask?


Twinkies or Cronuts?
Of those two, Cronuts, but honestly, waiting in line for hours for a pastry is not really my thing. Though on occasions it can be worth it.

Graphic novels or classic comics?
These aren't exactly opposites, but I love what's happening in graphic novels right now. So many exciting authors and artists working in this medium!

Netflix or network?
Netflix. More Daredevil and Sense8 now please!

Taylor or Miley?

The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson?
Grimm all the way! Dark is my bread and butter.

Please join us for what is sure to be a fabulous evening of wit and wisdom and,  yes, SNACKS!!!

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