Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Agents are creative beings—they read, write, act, invent ways to torture aspiring writers—and sometimes their artistic vision is misunderstood by those around them, as was the case with Brooks Sherman and Julia Churchill.

Brooks Sherman: Agent at FinePrint Literary Management

Brooks Sherman loves hair bands—Whitesnake, Poison, Twisted Sister—and in 2006, he and his cousins formed the group Crystal Guardian, hoping to resurrect 80s metal. (Brooks is pictured in the upper right hand corner) Brooks played the triangle and was known as Gunter Star, the moody German rocker—he even perfected an accent. Crystal Guardian performed at several high school reunions, but the gigs fizzled out. The band blamed Gunter, saying his strange behavior on stage made the crowd uneasy. (He didn’t blink during performances and maintained direct eye contact with one audience member the entire show; his left peck flexed the rhythm of every song; he wept during his triangle solos; and at the end of the concerts, he’d lie on his back with his legs behind his head and fire blue darts at the crowd—the night he wore buttless chaps, he suffered third degree burns and was rushed to the hospital.) Gunter Star was voted out of the band and replaced by Claus Stone, a seventeen-year-old Austrian exchange student. If you’re interested in hiring Crystal Guardian for a Bar Mitzvah or a QuinceaƱera, call (201) 555-7667. Ask for Todd. 

 Julia Churchill: Agent at The Greenhouse Literary Agency

First, we would like to say that Julia Churchill ages extremely well. This photo was taken days before the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" began filming in 1987. Julia heard about an open casting call from Jonny Geller, who was a struggling actor at the time, and she decided to try out for the part of Lieutenant Tasha Yar—just for fun. To her delight, she got the role. After meeting the cast and crew and taking some promotional photos, she sat down with the show’s writers. They described their vision of her character and told her she would have a sexual encounter with Lt. Commander Data, an Android, in episode 3. Julia was enthusiastic about promoting human/robot relations and insisted on full frontal nudity for both her and Lt. Commander Data. The writers explained to her that nudity wasn’t a possibility. She told them it would be tastefully done, but they wouldn’t budge—prudes. Ultimately, Julia gave up the role citing artistic differences. (Agents Gone Wild agrees with Julia. Episode 3 would have been so much better with full frontal nudity.) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Today, we are featuring an agent from across the pond and one from right here in the U. S. of A.

Jonny Geller: Literary Agent and Joint CEO of Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency

On the 14th of May, Jonny Geller won Literary Agent of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards, a prize he'd sought after since his acting career dried up in the 90s. After receiving the coveted award, Jonny began to celebrate by slurping down buttery nipples—his favorite alcoholic beverage. But Jonny has a low tolerance for alcohol, so by the fourth buttery nipple, he peeled off his clothes, tossed them in the faces of industry professionals, his underpants landing on Sheila Crowley's head, and he darted toward his limo, screaming, "I'm agent of the year, bitches!" He told the limo driver to take him to the nearest tattoo parlor. Minutes later, they arrived at Soreskin: Tattoo and Piercing. Jonny stumbled inside, award in hand, and slammed a piece of paper down on the counter. He said, "This. This is the tattoo I want, because I'm awesome." On the paper, Jonny had written, "I'm awsome." He struggles with spelling and had left out an E. For ten minutes, the tattoo artist tried to correct him, but Jonny wouldn't listen. He thrust his award in the tattoo artist's face and said, "How many agents does it take to spell awesome? One. Me. Jonny Geller. Agent of the Year." The tattoo artist muttered, "Prick," and gave Jonny the tattoo he requested. To this day, Jonny believes awesome is spelled with one E and proudly displays his tattoo when he roller-skates shirtless in Trafalgar Square.

Above is a photo taken by an unnamed source who spent the evening cruising the streets of London with a nude Jonny Geller. (Jonny also got a piercing, but Agents Gone Wild is a family friendly blog; therefore, we can’t share that particular photo.)

Pam Van Hylckama: Agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents

Pam is a firm believer in Attachment Agenting, which is a theory based on Attachment Parenting, a style of rearing that aims to help a child form strong emotional bonds with his caregiver. Pam has modified certain principles of Attachment Parenting to fit Attachment Agenting. One of these is babywearing, or as Pam calls it clientwearing. After Pam offers representation, she arranges a meeting where she and the author can spend the weekend bonding. She brings her homemade fleece pullover that has a built in harness which allows an individual weighing under 210 pounds to hang securely from Pam’s chest. She puts on her fleece, the client crawls inside, pokes his or her face through the air hole, and they stroll through the park or go grocery shopping at Whole Foods. (Her original fleece pullover didn’t have a face hole, and a client ended up suffocating in Pam’s cleavage. The incident was ruled an accidental death and no criminal charges were filed. RIP Clint.) 

Below is a list of other methods Pam uses in Attachment Agenting. 
  1. Nurturing Touch. The author reads from his manuscript while Pam brushes his hair and massages his feet. This way the writer associates his manuscript with comfort.
  2. Feed with Love. Pam believes spoon feeding her writers builds trust and demonstrates the agent/client relationship—in other words, without me you would starve to death. 
  3. Practice Positive Discipline. When Pam’s authors miss deadlines, she doesn’t spank them like some agents are known to do. She holds eye contact and says, “I’m obviously failing you as an agent. What can I do to help?”
  4. Co-sleeping. Pam believes it’s important to sleep in the same bed as her client for the first month. One of her authors stated, “In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure about Pam sleeping between me and my husband. She assured me it was a safe, loving environment, and I didn’t want to blow my chance at representation, so I decided what the hell. When I woke up the first morning, I rolled over and Pam was smiling at me. She was like, ‘Happy morning, you beautiful creature. I’m in awe of your creativity. You inspire me.’ And you know, it made me feel special. I wrote an entire 72,000 word manuscript that day.”   

Above is a photo of Pam Van Hylckama clientwearing Rick Lipman, her most eager Attachment Agenting participant. Pam clientwore Rick for an entire month before her husband insisted Rick go home. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Most of us believe an agent spends her free time reading books and taking pictures of her cat, Meowster Darcy, to post on Facebook. But agents aren't all about novels and felines wearing bow ties, as you are about to find out. 

Vickie Motter: Literary Agent at Andrea Hurst & Associates in Washington

Meet Lady McDeath. On a Friday night two years ago, Vickie Motter and the members of her book club had one too many appletinis while discussing The Help. Feeling spontaneous, the women decided to attend a roller derby match down the road. A tipsy Vickie was transfixed by the rollergirls who slammed each other into walls and punched each other in their baby makers. Wide-eyed, she turned to her book club and said, "Guy—s, we could (burp) totely do this. Lez be rollergurs." That night Vickie's book club became The Babes Of Wrath roller derby team. They have made quite a name for themselves too, going undefeated last season. Vickie (Lady McDeath) is the star player but maintains a humble attitude, crediting The Babes Of Wrath's success to her teammates—Katniss Evermean, Nancy Screw, Belt A Swan, Pippi Dong-Socking, Junie Beats Joan, and Bi-curious Georgina. 

For information on upcoming matches, contact Vickie via Twitter at @Vickie_Motter.

Amy Boggs: Agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York

You may know that Amy Boggs is a self-proclaimed sci-fi/fantasy nerd, but I bet you didn't know she was almost a reality superstar. In January of 2012, the producers of Wipe Out contacted Amy asking her to star in the pilot of a new reality show called Librarians To Barbarians. Each week, one literary agent would enter a gladiator arena with one self-published writer. The host, Neil Gaiman, would stand before them with a chalice containing strips of paper, the name of a weapon written on each piece. The contestants would randomly select one. . .and then fight to the death. The winner would advance to the next round; the loser would be fed to the CEO of Amazon. Amy enthusiastically agreed, confident in her physical abilities—thanks to her zumba classes at Curves—and eager to payback the self-published writers who were upsetting the literary world. But Amy was a bit too eager. Once in the arena, she charged after her opponent, leapt onto his back, bit off a chunk of his trapezius muscle, spit it out, said, "You don't need an agent, huh? I bet you wish you had an agent now," then decapitated him. The fight only lasted one minute and forty-two seconds. The self-published writer didn't stand a chance; he had randomly selected a butter knife. The producers shopped Librarians To Barbarians around to various networks, but no one would touch it. The show was too gruesome, and the networks were afraid of lawsuits. Above is a photo taken of Amy Boggs for the pilot. Unfortunately, the public never got to see it. Until now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

For our debut blog post, we at Agents Gone Wild are featuring two literary agents who lead unusual and shocking double lives: Jim McCarthy and Simon Trewin. Their colleagues and clients respect them, aspiring authors hang on their every word, but what we're about to share might change all of that.

Jim McCarthy: Senior Agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in New York.

Not only does Jim McCarthy fight stingy publishers for client advances, he fights muscled men for the title of WWE Champion. Jim may appear mild mannered, chugging diet Coke and reading writers' manuscripts, but his professional wrestling name is Jimmy "The Python" McCarthy. He is known for strangling his opponents with his biceps, thighs, and even between his pecks until they pass out from lack of oxygen. Rumor has it, he put fellow agent Michael Bourret in a chokehold when Michael held a surprise intervention for Jim's diet Coke addiction. According to an unnamed source, he whispered in Michael's ear, "No one comes between me and my Coke. No one." He released Michael only after agent Stacey Glick promised to buy him a twelve pack of diet coke every day for three months. And Jimmy "The Python" McCarthy did it all with a pleasant smile on his face and his glasses in place. Look at him. What a monster.

Simon Trewin: Head of the UK Literary Division at William Morris Endeavour

A statement given to Agents Gone Wild by Rupert Tancock, a London resident:

On Sunday the 6th of May 2012, I was taking a stroll through Hyde Park when I heard a whimper and a rustle in the shrubs. I suspected it was nothing more than a dog, so I got down on one knee, pulled a Cumberland sausage from my bag and called, ‘Heeeere, boy. I have a plump sausage for you. Come on, come get the tasty treat.’ To my surprise and horror, a bald man dressed in pink knickers, waving what appeared to be an inflatable penis, leapt out at me. He grinned, said, ‘Gimme, gimme!’ and snatched the sausage right out of my hand. He was giggling like a nutter—it was truly frightening. I managed to take a photo of the madman before he skipped away. I still have nightmares about that day.

Simon Trewin, literary agent by weekday, Hyde Park Sausage Snatcher by weekend.

Stay tuned for next week's post when we feature two more literary agents. One of them could be you. . .

Would you like to be involved in the next Agents Gone Wild blog post? When we reach 200 followers on Twitter, we will select one lucky individual to choose an agent for our upcoming post. Maybe an agent rejected your 300,000 word paranormal/dystopian YA memoir and now you'd like to see them in a pair of buttless chaps. This could be your chance.