A BBCHAT with Joanna Volpe

Today BBCHAT continues! Bigblackcat’s Humane Agent Talk: In Which A Particularly Agreeable Agent Answers a Series of Questions that Have Nothing to do with Queries or Submission Guidelines. Yeah, don’t try to make an acronym out of that last bit.

The BBCHAT is designed to get the personality of the agent in the spotlight, and an enterprising querier can use this information to figure out if the agent is a good fit for them, rather than just another agent who happens to cover their genre.

The last question involves something that oddly resembles a contest, and ties in with the blog name. Note the rules: to participate you need to follow the blog (so include your screenname in the email so that I can identify you), and your answer must come in an email to me, not a post in the comments section. First person to email me with the correct answer wins. You’ll notice the “email me” link above my followers box to the right. Or maybe you won’t notice it. In which case, you’ll be totally flummoxed.

A trio of lovely ladies over at Nancy Coffey Literary have agreed to do the BBCHAT, so you’ll want to stay tuned in the days to come to learn more about these great agents and chances to win books!

Today’s guest is Joanna Volpe. Joanna has been a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, an editorial assistant with independent publisher, Blue Martin Publications, and has worked as an assistant and junior agent at FinePrint Literary Management before accepting a full-time agent position with Nancy Coffey Literary in January of 2008. Since then she has sold a number of exciting projects, including Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF, Allan Woodrow’s The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless, Lee Nichols’ Haunting Emma novels, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and Erica O’Rourke’s Torn series.

BBC: What are you reading right now and why do you like it?
JB: I recently read IMAGINARY GIRLS and it was *wonderful* – Nova Ren Suma is a gorgeous, gorgeous writer. She has a way of describing something that makes you stop and savor it.  This particular story of hers is haunting.  I highly recommend it!

BBC: Paper or plastic?
JB: I read all of my work on an e-reader and all for pleasure as books.  I think I’ve equated my e-reader with work now because I have a hard time getting into purchased books on it.

BBC: What’s on your bucket list?
JV: Live in Europe, even if it’s only for a year. And visit Hobbiton!

BBC: Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?
JV: Yes. More than once. And I always get thrown off within 30 seconds.

BBC: What type of agent are you?
     a) Cheerleader
     b) Therapist
     c) Bushwhacking Guide
     d) Red Ink Saturation Committee Member
JV: All of the above.  I don’t know of a single agent who doesn’t do a little bit of all of that.

BBC: If you had a guaranteed sell, what type of story would you like to represent?
JV: Well, if there is anything I’ve learned in this business, it’s that nothing is guaranteed, which is why I sign authors because I love the writing and the story and because I’ve corresponded with the author and feel that we could work together. I know, I know… that’s the boring answer!

BBC: Tell me three things about yourself, one of them being a LIE!  First person to email me with the correct guess as to the lie gets… something awesome.
JV: 1) I grew up in a movie theater.
       2) My mom is an author.
       3) Baboons created over $500 in damage to my car.

That’s right followers – we’ve now discovered TWO mechanical bull riding agents. Seems like Nancy Coffey Literary is probably a pretty fun place to work!


5 thoughts on “A BBCHAT with Joanna Volpe

  1. Cat & Kat 🙂 – No problem, I love doing these little blurbies. I think it's important for author hopefuls to remember that agents aren't just gatekeepers – they're people too! People that ride mechanical bulls!!

    Lynne – The baboons one send me over the edge…


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