Agent Monday: Phew!

Happy Agent Monday, everyone!  Phew, this here agent has been BUSY in every which way over the past week. It’s included traveling and going to conferences and meeting clients and taking pitches and traveling some more, and pitching books and coming back each time to more and more and MORE stuff in my inbox. So, while I now hunker down and catch up here, I thought I’d just post some pix today of the action.

Here goes:

At the Willamette Writer’s Conference in Portland, OR (thanks, Willamette folks for a great conference!)… Hanging out with our fabulous film agent Kim Guidone, and the hilarious Rich Johnson, editor at Inklit, Penguin…

photo_3(2)While in Portland, I got to meet with my client, author Jon Price, for the very first time! That was a blast. Jon is the author of the very witty middle grade novel CREEP VIEW

photo_2(1)Back East, I grabbed a coffee with my great client Erin Teagan, and we chatted about her clever middle grade novel STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES, and about some future ideas she’s got brewing…

photo_1(2)Then off to a book launch for the thriller DEAD OUT, written by my very good buddy Jon McGoran! Jon’s book just got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. So excited to read it!…

photo_4(2)THEN it was off to New York for a gorgeous day and an informal picnic in Central Park with my fellow agents from The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. These are seriously not only the most talented and smartest people you’d ever want to meet, but the nicest too!…

left to right: Roseanne Wells, Marie Lamba, Jennifer De Chiara, Stephen Fraser and Linda Epstein

left to right: Roseanne Wells, Marie Lamba, Jennifer De Chiara, Stephen Fraser and Linda Epstein

And now? Soaking my feet, catching up on everything, and staring at my empty refrigerator. Time to catch up and rest up and forge ahead yet again.

Happy August, everyone!

*Marie is an Associate Agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. To keep up with all her posts, subscribe to her site by clicking on the Follow link located on her page on the upper left margin.

 

 

Agent Monday: Which Agent? Part 3

Carolina Jasmine FlowersHappy Agent Monday, everyone!  Right now I’m on my way back from the Willamette Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon, so it’s been a busy weekend for me. Today I’m thrilled to welcome to my blog the head literary agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, Jennifer De Chiara herself!  This is Part 3 of my Which Agent series of posts highlighting each person in our agency. I hope this info helps you writers when submitting to our firm. If you are just checking in here, you’ll also want to click on Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Part 1 also includes some important general submission info for writers.

Note, before subbing to any agent at our firm, first do some research. Go to jdlit.com and click on The Agency and Who We Are, then click on Submissions for specific guidelines for each agent. And now…welcome Jennifer!

Jennifer De ChiaraJennifer De Chiara:
1. What are you most looking for in your query in box right now?

I’m open to just about every kind of book, but the following categories are what I’m eager to find right now: literary fiction, commercial fiction, contemporary Young Adult, quirky and funny picture books, celebrity memoirs/biographies/all-things-Hollywood, well-written non-fiction in a wide range of genres by professionals in their fields with strong platforms.

2. What special interests, hobbies, background distinguish you and your point of view as an agent?
As a former dancer and actress, I love everything about film, theatre, music, Hollywood, behind-the-scenes, etc.  I’m a writer myself, and I’ve also been an editor, so not only can I help my clients become the very best writers they can be, but I can also understand what they go through personally on a daily basis and inspire them and help them succeed.  And, finally, because of my history as an underdog, I’m particularly attracted to the downtrodden, the discouraged, and the downright disgusted.  But these underdogs have to be supremely talented!

3. What are you seeing too much of in your query in box right now?
Paranormal, fantasy, great concepts with poor execution.

4. What one thing would you most like writers querying you to know?
For me, it’s all about voice.  I’m looking for writers who have something special to say and a special way of saying it.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer! By the way, I can say from experience that Jennifer is an AMAZING agent. As well as working with her as an Associate Agent at her firm, I’m also so fortunate that she is my literary agent for my own writing.

Best of luck to everyone sending out queries!

*Marie is an Associate Agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. To keep up with all her posts, subscribe to her site by clicking on the Follow link located on her page on the upper left margin.

Thank you!

MP900341744Today isn’t Agent Monday, it’s Memorial Day Monday.  So I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to our troops.  I’m in awe of your sacrifice and I never take the freedom we have for granted.

Soon I’ll be heading out to my town’s Memorial Day parade to honor our local vets.  I wish you all a relaxing and peaceful day with family and friends.

See you all here next week!

Slice of Life Friday: Rites of Passage

MP900384718Happy Summer, everyone!

I’m currently working in my summer office…on my patio, my laptop attached to an extension cord, and a nice cup of coffee by my side…and my dog on my lap. (My dog is VERY happy.)  Birds are tweeting, gentle wind is blowing, and the skeeters aren’t hungry at all. THIS is what summer is all about.

And you can’t help but be in a relaxed and wondrous summery mood when you start off the day with a long lazy walk, and there are even teeny rabbits watching you as you pass. Sigh.

This summer I’m looking forward to catching fireflies, discovering more original recipes to test out on our ancient charcoal grill, being dreamy and diving into writing a novel I’ve got swarming around my head, and daytripping to the Jersey shore, too.

Summers seem to buzz by so fast, and I fear this summer will absolutely fly – cuz, drum roll please, my youngest child is going off to college in August. Zowie, how did that happen so quickly?  (Break into the chorus of Sunrise/Sunset everyone…)

Two days ago, she graduated from high school, and I sat on the bleachers with the sun blazing in my eyes (not complaining…are you kidding? Those reflective sunglasses meant no one could see any tearful moments).  And like any rite of passage in life, it felt surreal.  You can’t help but say to yourself, am I really watching my baby graduate? Add it to the list… Did I really graduate from college? Just get married? Am I really holding my own child in my arms? Did this dear person really just pass away? Is that really my book on the shelf?

Rites of passage force you to stop and take notice. To reflect on what happened up to that point, and how things will be different in the future. To appreciate things. To be grateful. I’m one of those people who try to do these things on a daily basis anyway, but even for me, it can still hit home pretty strongly.  Even when you think you’ve got it all sorted in your brain.

A few days before graduation, I was in the basement cleaning out a ton of stuff. Sleeves rolled up, I was excited to get rid of crap and tidy things up. Totally ready to tackles those piles on all those basement shelves. A smashed box of Twister. A bunch of moldy Halloween costumes. A humongous stash of crayons. I was on a true roll.  The dumpster was filling up.  Barbie clothes. My little pony gear. More games. A nasty old baby doll.  Then I found a tiny little art smock, and I stopped. My throat closed and it really hit me.

Beach Chairs Watching OceanThe palpable end of childhood and my job as the mom of youngsters.  I’ll always be a mom, of course, but it’ll never be the same.  And the weight of promise ahead is overwhelming in its own way.  The wonderfulness my daughters now have ahead of them, the exciting opportunities and the pure fun. Wow, what a flood of emotion.

I decided to keep the little art smock.

And I’ve vowed to continue to treasure every moment.

Summer is fleeting, so be sure to make your own time slow down and to savor every bit of it.

Slice of Life Friday: High Tea Anyone?

MP900387878Ever do high tea? Proper high tea? It’s truly a brilliant and civilized invention, and I’m fortunate that with my husband’s Indian background he “gets” it too. The British Raj and their 200 plus years in India ingrained the wisdom of high tea pretty solidly into the Indian culture. This means that 1: my husband makes THE perfect cup of tea, including heating the cups ahead of time, and 2: sometimes our tea is accompanied by cucumber sandwiches.

And I’ve been fortunate to have visited India many times. Sitting on the shady veranda of the Ram Bagh Palace in Jaipur sipping tea and overlooking the maharaja’s garden through marble pillars truly feels like a frozen moment in time… Then there’s tea at the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur…a floating palace,  mind you. If you don’t feel like royalty there, what the heck’s wrong with you? (Dude, click on all the links in this article if you want to truly fall in love with tea places!)

Usually I have high tea fantasies on those cold rainy days, days that remind me of when I lived in England for half a year. Perfect time for a cuppa strong Earl Gray, and a plate of dense scones with clotted cream and jam. Yum! Two of the fancier more atmospheric teas I’ve enjoyed were in London.

The first was at the Orangery on the edge of Hyde Park. Gorgeous structure with sweeping high ceilings and vast windows looking out on formal knot gardens…plus it’s part of the Kensington Palace layout. Sipping tea and having scones and mini sandwiches amid the beautiful surroundings and with Greek sculptures staring down at you as if envious for a bite = heaven.

Tea Sandwiches and PastriesThe second really fine tea I had was in Fortnum and Mason’s department store (department store to the Queen, thank you very much). It’s the same place that the snotty brat in  The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson is taken for his coveted “Knickerbocker Glory”…which is still on the menu.  High tea here is delightfully stuffy. All fine china, the usual tea fixins displayed in a beautiful manner, and, honestly, the most shockingly good lox I’ve ever had in my life.

I’ve also had tea in countless bakeshops throughout the Cotswolds. Those upstairs rooms are a fragrant delight with their fussy flowered curtains and little trolley carts wheeled past the table. Every single tea = yum.

Why all this tea nostalgia? Today, I’m heading out to tea with my wonderful daughter. It’s an annual tradition, and yes, there is a wonderful place right here in PA: The Talking Teacup.  I’ve been basically not eating all week so that I’ll have room for this feast. It’s mysterious how those teeny tiny sandwiches and a delightful little cookie shaped like a teapot expand in your stomach.  Then again, it could be all those scones with clotted cream I wolf down first.

But I’m ready!  Bring on the tea.

Have any great high tea spots to recommend across the globe? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Slice of Life Friday: We Made it to March!

Girl Sitting in ChairAm I the ONLY one in the world giddy to flip that calendar and see February is over?  I think not. I bow to the wise one who made February the shortest month of the year. Dark, cold, and what does it have? Valentine’s Day? Psh. Not a happy day for those lonely hearts in the world (though the chocolate’s not bad). President’s Day? Blah. Just an excuse for ad execs to put Lincoln and Washington costumes on actors and make them hawk car sales and furniture deals.

NO! Go the F away February!

It’s March!!!  And, yeah, I know it can snow in March, bladdy bladdy blah. But when I woke up this morning, it was lighter out and I could hear birdies tweeting. It won’t be long before I can shed that dreaded winter coat like a snake skin and ditch the boots for my black and white checkered sneakers (not kidding).

So here is Marie’s list of what is FAB about the up-coming spring:

1. Birdies tweeting in the morning
2. Longer, sunnier, WARMER days
3. Being able to take my coffee outside in the morning onto my patio
4. Working outside on my laptop
5. Taking walks with my pooch in the evening
6. Shedding the heavy winter clothes I’m really sick of
7. Wearing light cheerful stuff instead!!! (And those checkered sneaks)
8. Working in the yard…
9. Seeing those flowers pop up from the ground and the buds on the trees, and, sigh…

So what’s on your list?  Please share what you are looking forward to by leaving me a comment…and join in the springy celebration! :)

Happy WARM March wishes to you all,

Marie

Slice of Life Friday: Sending You Warm Wishes!

SnowflakeThe most wonderful part of our holidays is not in a wrapped box but all around us. Beauty in the world, and beauty in every act of kindness no matter how small.  Nothing is more important than letting the wonderful people in our lives know how much they mean to us. So in these busy days, I hope you’ll take a moment to pause and reflect on all the goodness that touches your life. And to pay it forward today, and every day.

I send out my love and appreciation to each of you who have so enriched my life. Thank you so very much.

I wish you a new year full of joy and peace.

Happy holidays!

Marie