A founding partner of Folio, I’m on the lookout for projects that can make a difference. I love for unique voices, strong characters, unusual premises, and books that offer up some new perspective on something I thought I already knew – or never even dreamed existed.
I’m always interested in learning, and spent years in academic settings: I have a B.A. in English / Modern Studies from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in Italian from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Now I serve as a member of the Advisory Council for The Writer House in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Advisory Board for the Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program.
Over the course of my career I’ve represented a wide range of fiction and nonfiction (including many debuts).
At present I’m actively seeking new projects.
Here’s some of the novels I’ve worked on:
Garth Stein’s heartbreaking and amazing The Art of Racing in the Rain (HarperCollins), the New York Times and international bestseller, with film rights sold to Universal, followed by his wonderful A Sudden Light (Simon & Schuster), a New York Times bestseller.
Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child (Little, Brown). Pulitzer Prize finalist; B&N’s Discover Great New Writers program; New York Times bestseller; CostCo pick; ALA’s Winter Institute Selection Indie Next Pick, and a first novel – stay tuned for her next novel, out in 2016 – it’s amazing!
Robert Hicks’ fabulous The Widow of the South (Grand Central), a New York Times bestseller and a first novel, followed by A Separate Country (Grand Central) and the soon-to-be-published Book of Mariah (Grand Central).
Neil Abramson’s Unsaid (Center Street), a debut novel with film rights optioned by the producer of The Road and The Time Traveler’s Wife, followed by his soon-to-be-published Once Were Animals (Center Street).
Nick Trout’s first novel, The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs (Hyperion) followed by Dog Gone, Back Soon (Hachette).
Averil Dean’s terrific first novel, a dark psychological suspense called Alice Close Your Eyes (Mira), to be followed by her brilliant (yeah, it really is brilliant) Blackbird, out in early 2016.
Jake Smith’s heartbreaking first novel, Wish (Tyndale).
Jon Clinch’s brilliant award-winning first novel, Finn (Random House).
Ella Leya’s gorgeous first novel, The Orphan Sky (Sourcebooks).
Ron McLarty’s The Memory of Running (Viking), a New York Times bestseller and wonderful first novel.
Here’s some of the nonfiction I represent:
Elizabeth Letts’s The Eighty-Dollar Champion (Ballantine), a #1 New York Times bestseller; rights optioned to MGM, an incredible story about inconceivable dreams coming true; followed by her upcoming Code Name Thoroughbred (Ballantine), out in early 2016.
Charles Shields’s Mockingbird, a New York Times bestselling biography of Harper Lee (Henry Holt); its Young Adult adaptation, the award-winning Call Me Scout (Holt); followed by And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, the first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Henry Holt), with several new projects to be published soon.
Kenny Porpora’s extraordinary memoir The Autumn Balloon (Grand Central), about a boy from a deeply dysfunctional family who succeeds in educating himself despite staggering odds against him.
Mick Ebeling’s Not Impossible: The Art & Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done (Atria), an inspiring memoir that makes me believe that all – all – problems can be solved.
Patience Bloom’s Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last (Dutton), a charmingly brilliant memoir from a Harlequin romance editor who, despite her best efforts to the contrary, fell head-over-heels in love.
Dan Riskin’s Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You (Touchstone), a laugh-out-loud science narrative about the ruthlessness of the natural world where living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs.
Bob Tarte’s incredibly funny memoirs Enslaved by Ducks, Fowl Weather, and Kitty Cornered (Algonquin Books).
Neil White’s In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (William Morrow). Booklist Starred Review; Barnes & Noble Discover Award Finalist; SIBA Book Award Finalist. An extraordinary memoir about a man who discovers the true value of life and relationships while incarcerated in the last U.S. leper colony.
Jeff Deck’s and Benjamin Herson’s uproarious The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time (Crown). Boston Globe bestseller, Indie Next List; a memoir about friendship and punctuation (of course).
Lt. Col. Mark Weber’s Tell My Sons (Ballantine), one of the books that I’m proudest to be affiliated with, if in only a small way: the deeply moving, inspiring memoir from a father to his three young sons, to teach them how to be men after he was gone.
Carol Bradley’s Saving Gracie (Wiley), a heartwarming story about a dog rescued from a puppy mill, and then Last Chain on Billie (St. Martin’s) a narrative nonfiction account of an resilient elephant who defied the system even as she struggled to control her past.
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists’ Decoding Your Dog (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which gives scientifically accurate information about dog behavior problems and correct widespread misinformation.
Eric Helms’s Juice Generation (Touchstone) offers practical instructions for making restorative and great tasting fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and tonics.
Mollie Katzen’s The Heart of the Plate (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the latest cookbook by an iconic author.
Why I Love Being an Agent
One of the most amazing feelings in the world is to feel that a story can make a difference: when it changes you, allows you to enter other people’s thoughts and lives – and, when you close the book with a sigh, leaves you feeling changed: maybe a little more grateful, or a little kinder, or a little wiser. A book can be a powerful force. I love books that force me to become better, smarter, more present. This has been the case with several of the books I’ve represented, and it’s one of the main things I look for in new work. Books can make a difference. Good writing and smart ideas can transform our world.
I’ve done interviews for several writers’ websites, including:
Where to find me:
I’ll be at the following conferences:
About the Projects I Represent
Everyone will tell you that one of the most important criteria for a good agent is that s/he is enthusiastic about your work. Believe it. You must find someone who loves the project, and will fight to get it published. So only send your material to me when you think it’s as good as you can get it.
Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, I’m particularly on the lookout for the following kinds of books: