A BBCHAT With Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Today BBCHAT returns! For my new followers, this is an acronym for 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.

Today’s guest for the BBCHAT is Pooja Menon, of Kimberley Cameron & Associates which she joinedย as an intern in the fall of 2011, with the aim of immersing herself in the elusive world of books and publishing. She soon realized that being an agent was what she was most drawn to as the job was varied and challenging. She represents both fiction and non-fiction for Adult and YA markets.

As a new agent, Pooja is looking to build her client list and is eager for submissions by debut novelists and veteran writers. She’s looking for writing that has an easy flow and a timely pacing, along with a unique perspective and a strong voice.

  • In fiction, she is interested in literary, historical, commercial, and high-end women’s fiction. However, she’s most drawn to stories with an international flavor, vibrant characters, multi-cultural themes, and lush settings.
  • In fantasy, she’s looking for original, layered plots with worlds as real and alive as the ones that were created by J.K Rowling and Tolkien.
  • In non-fiction, she’s looking for adventure & travel memoirs, journalism & human-interest stories, and self-help books addressing relationships and the human psychology from a fresh perspective.
  • In YA, she’s looking for strong realistic contemporary novels with heart (think John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jennifer Browne, Jay Asher, etc), fantasy (think J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, etc), magical-realism, Sci-fi, dark psychological thrillers, adventure/mysteries, and historical fiction.

What are you reading right now and why do you like it?

PM: The Woman Who Heard Color by Kelly Jones. I say I’m reading this right now, but with all the slush and client reading (not to mention the humanitarian work I do, the people I save, the children I rescue single-handedly…) I haven’t gotten past page 90 since the past month. Mortifying, I know!

The book is very interesting, though. It’s about an art detective who goes about retrieving art that were stolen by the Nazis during World War 2. She eventually ends up investigating an 82 year-old woman whose mother was rumored to have collaborated with the Nazis during the war. She then supposedly escaped Germany and came to America with her daughter and a stash of priceless paintings. The detective eventually uncovers a secret so big, so monumental… I should probably not say more. But it’s a good read, so far.

Paper or plastic?ย 

Paper. No doubt. I have an e-reader, a kindle, somewhere in my house. I get so greedy and excited by the new releases at bookstores, and since I can’t buy them all that minute, I take down their names and download the samples onto my kindle, for future reference (so I can buy them in paper form). But don’t tell my husband that. He thinks I’m using it, a lot.

What’s on your bucket list?

Ah. The question that made me think. I spent a whole evening stressing about my “bucket” list. Managed to come up with a meagre six.

  • Travel to every single continent in the world before I kick my, err, bucket. Especially Africa. I cannot help but feel fascinated by how beautiful and wild that place is.
  • Be a doggy mama. This is going to happen soon as we’re getting a pup in the fall. Looking forward to having many sleepless nights.
  • Learn how to salsa, dive, sail, and bake. I loathe cooking, but something about baking and eating what you bake sounds promising.
  • Be more active and physically fit. Since the gym bores me to tears, I have resolved to use the uneven, hilly terrain of SF as my gym. Now I only have to get my ass off the couch, which is so very hard.
  • Sell lots and lots of books and become a super agent, make my clients very happy, and make myself very happy. Every project I pick is one that I love to death. One that I believe deserves to be read and enjoyed. And I’m positive the universe agrees with me, too. (Gives the universe a hard, threatening glare.)
  • Learn how to drive. I know, I know. I’m the last person on earth who doesn’t know how to drive. Let’s just say my fear of dying in a crash, or causing a crash has been rather hard to wean off. But I’m getting there.

Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull? (Itโ€™s on MY bucket list, so that’s why it’s here).

PM: No, but I want to! I just can’t find anyone who will be willing to go through the mortification with me. Are you up for it?

If you had a guaranteed sell, what type of story would you like to represent?

PM: To be honest, from what I’ve seen, nothing is guaranteed in this business. People’s tastes are so subjective, the best thing you can hope for is that someone will love the book as much as you do and give it a chance. I would represent the story for the story’s sake. If I love it, if it keeps me awake at night, if I worry about losing it to someone else-I would represent it, and then would work hard to make it a sell. Guaranteed or not.

Pooja has shared three facts about herself, but… one of them is a LIE! See if you can figure out which one is false in the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be chosen next week and announced here on the blog. I will also email you separately. You can only enter once, and if you enter twice… I’ll know. Smart kitty. Winner gets a copy of CREWEL by Gennifer Albin. But guess what? Even if you’re not even of a sleuth to figure out what Pooja is lying about, the CREWEL e-book recently went on sale for $2.99! Yeah, so if you don’t win the physical copy you can console yourself with an e-book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Pooja for participating in the BBCHAT! The winner and prize will be announced next week here on the blog. Remember you must be a follower of Writer, Writer to win!

14 thoughts on “A BBCHAT With Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

  1. Love it! I own Crewel too but I'll tweet like Anita (bc I want to be like her in all ways possible) so someone else can win the awesome.

  2. I know Anita very well, and you DO want to be her, Matt. Your wife will be thrilled once she sees her collection of accessories and bobbles, and your daughter's will think they've inherited a Disney Princess. It's a win-win for everyone.

    Great interview, BBC. I'm pretty sure Pooja's the coolest agent on the block.

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