Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An Agent's View: Show Me the Money!

Agent Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency talks about what inspires an agent when the going gets tough. And no, I didn't put her up to this column!

I just love a great movie. Nothing is better than sitting in a crowded movie theater munching on warm, salty popcorn, escaping from it all. This past weekend my Mom and I went to see Jarhead (or Jughead as she's been fondly referring to the flick.) The movie completely gave me an insight to a soldier's mind (you would think being married to one I would've gotten it, but sometimes it takes a whack on my head to really "get" it.) If you haven't seen it, I totally recommend it!! It was a phenomenal movie - I left there in a daze of thoughts.

Another life changing movie in my life was Jerry Maguire. The casting was unbelievable, the actors superb and the storyline amazing! I still remember the first time I saw the film. While my friends were drawn in by the "You complete me" romance plot, I was completely zoned into "Show me the money!" business thread. How cool would it be, I thought, to help someone achieve their dreams? To be the one behind the scenes cheerleading them to success. To have the contacts and the desire to push them to the top. To stop at nothing!

Yes, my dream was born that fateful day. I knew I wanted to be an agent.

Everyday I feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful authors. My clients are not just amazing writers, the are fantastic people. I truly want only the best for them so I strive to be their Jerry Maguire - tenacious, dedicated and persistent.

I'm also like a proud Grandma with my brag book. So, right now, let me put on my shawl and gush a little about our own Stephanie Rowe!

The road to a successful publishing career is often bumpy. As trends change, authors often have to change their course. When Stephanie and I first started working together, she had a handful of Silhouette Desires in her arsenal. She is an extremely prolific and dedicated author. So, as we were awaiting decisions from Desire, Stephanie decided to try her hand at humor. And, the rest as they say, is history.

She first contracted with Flipside for her romantic comedy which propelled her chick lit career with Dorchester's Making It imprint. Her editor at Dorchester loved her adult stuff and wanted to see some YA's for SMOOCH. We were sitting on top of the world - Stephanie had found her niche - comedy.

Now, here's where the true test of author character comes in. Flipside shut down. Making It shut down. SMOOCH shut down. After selling 10 projects in a handful of months, we were back to square one.


At this point, Stephanie could've quit. She could've thought, "I'm cursed and I'm done." Instead, she went down the golden road and never looked back. She never gave up. She just worked harder. She never let these bumps get her down. Oh no! Instead, Stephanie wrote a fantastic paranormal (Date Me, Baby, One More Time) which we sold at auction to Warner. And, she wrote some unforgettable YA projects that caught the eye of a wonderful editor at HarperCollins who called last week to offer Stephanie the chance of a lifetime - to launch a new line of teen romances.

So, Steph, THANK YOU for being my Rod Tidwell. For never giving up. For doing all you needed to do to persevere. Thank you for being you.

Editor's Note: Michelle gets full credit for my success! She is so positive and believes so strongly in her authors that she'd never let any of us give up! Plus, she has great career vision and she's the one who kept guiding me to dabble in new areas until I found my niche. So, thank you, Michelle, for all that you are and all that you do.


At 10:14 AM, Anonymous kendra said...

Wow. You have an amazing agent. Gives me an idea what to look for when my time comes.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Wow! I knew all this about Steph, but after reading this post I'm inspired all over again. As Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never quit."


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