A Chat with Emily Keyes of The L Perkins Agency

A new BBCHAT awaits you! 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 Emily Keyes. Emily has a growing list of clients and is also the Contracts and Foreign Rights Manager at the L. Perkins Agency. She’s very passionate about YA, teen and middle grade novels and is looking to acquire in those areas. Follow her on Twitter for some great publishing talk!

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

I just finished BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle. I liked it because it felt like a new story I hadn’t read before, because the main character (a boy in middle school who doesn’t yet know if he’s gay or straight, but loves musical theater) isn’t a protagonist you see a lot of. It also reminded me why I kind of love New York City, and why I’m privileged to live here, which is nice because I need perspective to keep me from being grumpy and negative.

Paper or plastic?

I’d say paper. I like actually having the books that I love. But I do really enjoy my e-reader for reading manuscripts and submissions—it saves on so much paper waste.

What’s on your bucket list?

My actual list of things to do one day are pretty boring (for example, “redesign website,” “maybe get teeth whitened”). I would like to travel more. My new thing is that I want to go to a conference in all 50 of the states. I have a jpeg and I color in the states I’ve been to in Paint, because I am strange. But I also want to go abroad more—that would probably be personal time.

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

I have not, but now I’m really sad about it.

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

I realize this is not specific, but I would like to sell the kind of book that ten or twenty years from now, some now-adult will remember with such clarity they can remember details like they read it yesterday. So many stories are told and then forgotten. I’d just really like to work on something that stays. (It could be a small thing, for instance, whenever you got to the Metropolitan Museum of Art you have to look in the fountain and see how much change is in there because you’ve read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and know that is how little kids living in the Met pay for their sandwiches. Rest in Peace, EL Konigsburg.)

Lastly, Emily has provided three facts about herself… except one of them is a lie. Vote for the lie in the Rafflecopter below and the winner will receive an e-copy of MY LIFE AS A LUMBERJACK: OR HOW I FELL FOR THE WRONG GUY by Sara V. Olds, a lucky writer who can call herself Emily’s client!

a Rafflecopter giveaway