There are many different roads into the publishing industry, and agents have a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Although I began my career way back when in the hospitality management industry in Banff, AB, I still longed for a way to feed my creative soul. When I had my first child, I knew I didn’t want to go back to hotels as the stresses and long, somewhat unpredictable hours weren’t conducive to raising a family. (Getting calls in the middle of the night to deal with unruly guests was not my idea of a good time, especially with sleeping children!) After staying at home to raise my five kids for a number of years, I needed to get back to work, so I focused on what I knew; administration. It allowed for a little bit of creativity in terms of marketing and editing, but I knew the literary scene was what was always missing from my life.
Eventually, I pivoted into my long-awaited literary career. I took my writing more seriously, combined my editing experience with courses at Simon Fraser University, and started a freelance editing business. I officially entered the fascinating world of writing and publishing. Ever since, I’ve gained valuable knowledge and insights about the industry and connected with many authors, agents, editors, and other professionals.
I knew I wanted to be a literary agent to help authors get their stories out into the world. It’s an exciting and rewarding career! I researched how I could make that happen. Because of my connections with people in the industry through my involvement with The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, running my #badasswriters podcast, starting Foxx Editorial, and co-founding #MoodPitch, I positioned myself well for an agenting role with an editorial mindset (and, with my love of travel and different cultures, an eye for international/foreign rights in the future!). And of course, I wouldn’t be here without the encouragement and support of wonderful friends and colleagues, so if you’re reading this, you know who you are, and thank you. 🥰
I was introduced to Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory. He was more than willing to provide mentorship and a strong base of knowledge and experience, and that’s how I landed my Editorial Assistant role. Through this, I’m learning the ropes of agenting and will soon be focusing on building my client list. Although I’m new to it, my exposure to publishing via connections with agents and editors and being a fiction editor myself go a long way in establishing myself as an agent. Rest assured that my enthusiasm and passion for my clients’ work is behind my drive to succeed, and I have an amazing team of experienced agents behind me and my future clients. I’m thrilled to be in a role that will help make people’s dreams come true!
In terms of my personality, you’ll find that I’m professional yet very personable and approachable. I love to laugh, I love kids and animals, and I love helping others succeed. I take a coaching approach in the editorial process, so instead of just pointing out what needs to change, I explain why it needs to change. I *love* brainstorming! I’m a coffee-holic and enjoy a nice glass of Cab Merlot, Argentinian Malbec, or Prosecco! I enjoy a good Netflix or Prime binge here and there and I have my favourite shows.
Something I wondered about when I was researching literary agent roles was how I could continue my editing work without causing a conflict between the two roles. Editing is something I really enjoy doing, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that most literary agents have other sources of income—many of them freelance editors and/or writers. Agenting is not an easy career to break into, and you don’t earn an income for quite a while because let’s face it: publishing books is a very slow process. Agents don’t make money until our clients make money, and for a new agent, that can mean a long time without a proper income. At least for the first few years, it’s necessary to have a job outside of agenting in order to avoid being homeless and penniless! That’s one reason why I continue my fiction editing services—but I will never, ever charge my author clients to edit their manuscripts (that’s a huuuuuuge red flag in an agent!). Manuscripts that I work on as an editor are strictly with my editing clients; they cannot query me with a project I’ve helped them edit.
That said, if we’ve worked together on a project in an editing capacity and you have a different project you’d like to query me with, please feel free!
Also, queries and synopses fall outside of that clause because I haven’t edited the actual manuscript. If I’ve critiqued a query or synopsis for you, you are welcome to then query me with that manuscript, as critiquing query submission packages is something I will continue to do as an editor and in an agent capacity in various events, webinars, etc. (But please don’t misinterpret this to mean I charge to query me! That is absolutely not the case.)
If you know me from Twitter and/or Instagram, you’ll know I’m a positive, supportive, and knowledgeable member of the writing community. I’m beyond thrilled to be moving toward an agenting role, and I can’t wait to see your queries!
Will YOU be my next client? 👀