As an expert in the publishing industry with more than thirty-five years of experience under your belt, having been the senior vice president and publisher at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and later the founder and president of Front Street (later acquired by Boyds Mills Press),
Kendra, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions in preparation for the upcoming 2010 SCBWI Bologna Symposium. I’m sure everyone is eager to read more about your agency, so let’s jump right in to some questions.
You started the BookStop Literary Agency in 1984.
I really enjoyed the presentation you gave when you can to speak to our chapter in The Netherlands last October. There was a nice balance of personal history and creative process. Do you like to give presentations and workshops? What do you like about them?
In your bio, you mention that you work with both writers and illustrators. What different skills do you bring to the table when working with each?
The way I view it is not so much what skills I bring to the table,
Before becoming a literary agent at Richards Literacy Agency in New Zealand, you worked in children’s library services.
How did your previous work with children’s literature inspire you to pursue this new avenue?
Following my years as Coordinator of Children’s Services,
Your bio mentions that you began work at Scott Treimel NY literary agency the same year you completed your degree at Wesleyan University. At what point did you realize that working in children’s publishing was something you wanted to do?
First of all, congratulations! Your book Do! illustrated by Ramesh Hengadi and Shantaram Dhadpe, is the Bologna Ragazzi New Horizons award winner for 2010.
The jury praised the books text and artwork stating: “Paper and figures are embroidered with a lace like precision.
Your latest novel, Tricks (McElderry, 2009), focuses on the lives of five very different teens, whose stories interweave to form a larger narrative.
What was it like to work with five different characters and five story lines? Did you feel more attached to one particular character?
First, Rosemary, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our attendees at the 2010 SCBWI Bologna conference.
I should probably admit, up front, that I spent so much time smiling alone in my office while reading about you on the Internet that I began checking to make sure no one was watching me in the process.
As a historian and leading authority on children’s literature in America, your knowledge of the history of books for children is inspiring.
As you followed the development of children’s books through the last 300 years,