Interview with Literary Agent Suzie Townsend

Interview with Literary Agent Suzie Townsend

3 minute read

Episode Title:

The Business of Books: Interview with Literary Agent Suzie Townsend

Suzie Townsend

Episode summary:

In this episode, hosts Alix and Kelly interview prominent literary agent Suzie Townsend. They discuss Suzie's journey in becoming a literary agent—her inspiring decision to move across the country and work her way up from intern to agent! They also explore what it's like working in the publishing industry, signing book deals and film deals, and wearing all the hats for their authors and clients.

Guest Bio:

Prior to joining New Leaf, Suzie graduated film school, earned her Masters of Education, taught high school English, and coached a swim team. In her spare time, she read everything she could, which prompted her move to publishing. She got her start as an intern at FinePrint Literary Management where she was hired as an assistant before making the move to literary agent. She’s been part of the team at New Leaf Literary & Media since its inception in 2012.

Suzie represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction. She loves women’s fiction, narrative non-fiction, memoir, and debut fiction. On the children’s side, she is interested in select YA and MG. Suzie loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Suzie's journey in becoming a literary agent [2:40]
  • Off to New York, textbook publishing, and a non-paid internship [6:00]
  • Finding her people and Vampire Romance shame [7:40]
  • Manuscripts Suzie read as an intern that made it to publication [9:50]
  • The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab [10:50] book audiobook e-reader
  • What is "The Slush Pile"? [11:40]
  • The most unique query letter gift box ever! [14:30]
  • Books that deeply impacted Suzie as a reader [16:30]
  • Lucky by Alice Sebold [17:00] book e-reader
  • Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon [17:30] book audiobook e-reader
  • Romantasy and other genres that attract non-readers to books, and how to entice people to read more. [21:15]
  • Signing her first author and falling into becoming an agent [23:30]
  • The process of agents pitching books to publishers [28:10]
  • When a book "goes to auction" [33:15]
  • Suzie's impression of literary agents before and after becoming an agent [36:45]
  • Film rights and selling film rights [38:00]
  • Book "popularity" versus film "popularity" [46:30]
  • Divergent and the reach of film to the masses [49:00]
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth [50:00] book audiobook e-reader
  • The main hats that a literary agent must wear and the hat that Suzie loves the wear the most [52:00]
  • How many authors Suzie represents and keeping busy with her clients [54:57]
  • Iron Flameby Rebecca Yarros [57:10] book audiobook e-reader
  • Ink Girls by Marieke Nijkamp [57:40] book e-reader

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • For more info on Suzie's clients, recent sales, and forthcoming projects, please go here .
  • For submission information go here .

What's Next?:

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Find all episode show notes at The LitJoy Podcast homepage!

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