Pub Rants

Tag! Jenny Bent is it!

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Status: Feeling guilty. I only have 70 pages of my client’s manuscript and did I finish that yesterday? No. Too many fires erupted that needed attention. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes standard operating procedure. I do plan to finish up today. Looking good because there were no fires sitting in my email inbox when I checked in this morning. A first for this week. Yea!

What am I listening to right now? IF YOU COULD ONLY SEE by Tonic

Two days ago, Jenny Bent got tagged and she decided to come out and play. She doesn’t have a blog of her own but I was happy for her to guest on mine.

Here are the MEME answers from Jenny Bent of the Trident Media Group. Enjoy.

1. First thing you did when you woke up today?
Turned my alarm clock toward the wall, really loudly, to hopefully annoy my obnoxious neighbor who wakes me up EVERY NIGHT from the hours of one to four AM banging and crashing around with his idiot friends. Then I made coffee.

2. Last book you read for pleasure or are currently reading for pleasure?
The Historian.

3. Something you’re excited about in your job today?
Hopefully I’ll get an offer for a book I have out that’s getting a lot of buzz. Also, if all goes well, we will FINALLY be hiring a new assistant, and I’m incredibly excited about that, because having no assistant has frankly kicked my ass for the last couple of weeks. I was an assistant for about four years, and I’ve been an agent for eleven, and I think that you become progressively stupider about basic office skills the longer you’re away from it. I can barely use the copier!

4. Something you’re dreading?
A conference call with a publisher that is NOT treating my client well.

5. The worst conversation you ever had with an editor?
It was actually an e-mail. When I moved an author from one house to another. I have to say, I was shocked. I haven’t submitted to that particular imprint since. I mean, this is a business, folks, and publishers drop authors all the time. But when I DARE to move an author because she wants to move and I agree it’s better for her career, I get completely slammed in the most personal of ways? I don’t think so, my friends!

6. The happiest conversation you ever had with an editor?
Every time I do a first sale for an author whose been struggling for years to get published. That is my ABSOLUTE favorite part of the job.

7. A habit you’d like to quit?
SMOKING. Does that count?

8. A habit you’d like to acquire?
exercising. God, I lead a sad life….

9. Greatest strength as an agent?
Tenacity. Definitely tenacity.

10. Greatest weakness?
Hmmmm…um, I think my boss would say that I call in sick too much. Hey, what can I say? I smoke and I don’t exercise. What does he expect? Of course I get sick!

11. Favorite book of the past year?
Well, I don’t know if it came out this year or last, but Larry McMurty’s Berrybender series, I LOVED.

12. If you weren’t agenting you might be…
No clue. I can’t think of a better job. It wouldn’t be editing, that’s for sure.

13. You tag??
KIM WHALEN, Trident Media Group. She’s in London at the book fair, but I think she’s back next week. Is it okay to tag someone from my agency?

11 Responses

  1. Benny said:

    Smoking is icky! And in fact, exercise is like MY nicotine.

    But- I do fight dirty against noisy neighbors. We have an obnoxiously amorous couple in the bedroom opposite mine, so when I get up for work at 2:45 in the morning, I listen to NPR with the bass on the highest level.

    Some people. 😉

  2. Nancy said:

    I’m loving these memes!!!

    Jenny, I loved that series! Can he write characters or what? He’s a genius.

    Thanks for playing.


  3. Anonymous said:

    Funny how you tend to judge people by what they like. I thought the Berrybender series to be a real fall-off from Lonesome Dove, and even it’s sequels and prequels. So, I’ve heard that Jenny Bent is a top literary agent, yet now that I learn she LOVED the Berrybender series I find myself questioning her discernment.

    I like this tag thing, though. It helps humanize literary agents–those ruthless, faceless demons standing guard at The Publishing Gates.

  4. Deidre Knight said:

    Hey, tag Jenny! Go for it! And TKA would be happy to post some of our agent buddies who are blogless on the MEME too! 🙂 I love this. I feel like I’m getting to know my fellow agents in new ways.

    I’m still waiting for Jennifer Jackson to answer my tag, and Pamela tagged Miss Snark.

    Man, the email for moving the author. I can feel that pain from here. 🙂

  5. Anonymous said:

    Anonymous 2:19,

    It helps humanize literary agents–those ruthless, faceless demons standing guard at The Publishing Gates.

    A lot you know. It’s not the agents that guard the gates–they want to make sales–it’s the acquisitions. Even if you make it past an agent, and an editor, there are still more people to impress before an offer is finally made.

  6. Anonymous said:

    “Even if you make it past an agent, and an editor, there are still more people to impress before an offer is finally made.”

    Take this as gospel. An agent is more like a friend with a guest pass. Save the demons-at-the-gate description for sales and marketing.

  7. Anonymous said:

    Cynthia writes:

    Just have to say, “Go, Jenny Bent!” She really DOES take joy in selling a first-time author — my friend and CP Cindy Homberger has the great honor of having Jenny B as her agent — she just sold Cindy Homberger’s novel, and Cindy is just absolutely DELIGHTED that she has (a) her dream agent and (b) that her dream agent really IS a dream!

    So, yeah, since my CP is phenomenally talented, Jenny B OF COURSE has incredible discernment … and great sales skills, too, b/c it is incredibly difficult to sell a first-time author!

    I have a soft spot for Kimberly Whalen, too — she was the first agent I queried who requested a full of my work … alas, it didn’t work for her, but that request gave me the courage to put my work out there.

    I don’t know who my future agent will be, but I will forevermore judge agents by the high standard that Jenny B has set with her excellent communication and professionalism and results in dealing with my friend Cindy.

  8. Anonymous said:

    A lot you know. It’s not the agents who guard the gates…

    Sad but true, I know nothing. You speak as one who knows, who may in fact be an agent. But from the point of view of the poor unwashed looking up at the gates, all I see are literary agents.

    I don’t think they are really demons, by the way. If I did, why would I want what they are guarding?