PAS: On the EMLA website, you often wish our books “into the hearts of readers.” What about Katerina’s Wish really captured your heart and/or will capture readers hearts?
EM: Trina (as Katerina is called) is like so very many people (girls and women in particular) in that she’s incredibly empathetic and aware of the needs of those around her, and as the eldest daughter in a poor family, she tends to those needs, as she must–but often, she does it exhausted–willing, but not thrilled about it–and she is aware of her own needs that are NOT being met, and that eats at her a bit. Despite feeling downtrodden, she is, like her father, a dreamer. And she isn’t hardened by hardship; she is made determined, but she doesn’t lose her spirit, her sense of adventure, or her ability to be taken surprise by kindnesses and her own tears. I guess that is a long way of saying that Trina herself captured my heart, and I know she will be beloved by readers, as well.
PAS: As an agent who works with writers through their careers, you must see changes in those writers and their work. Jeannie Mobley had been with your agency for four years before Katerina’s Wish went under contract. How do you think she has changed as a writer in that time (or how has her work changed)?
EM: Jeannie might laugh to hear me say this, but I think she’s become much more confident in her writing–more sure of herself as a craftsperson. I love that; it is well earned!
She’s always been very organized with her time, too, so far as balancing her day job as a college professor with the time she needs to write–but now that she has experienced the whole publishing process, she’s able to even more carefully plan things so within her writing time, she has times of the year that are best for brainstorming/researching, drafting, revising, and working on revisions, copyedits, and proofs with her editor. If only publishing schedules were as cooperative!
PAS: An offshoot project of Katerina’s Wish was the Zombie Chicken Chronicles, written very late one night on Facebook, by Jeannie, and fellow EMLA clients Mike Jung, Deborah Underwood, and Jennifer Ziegler. What future do you see for that series in the world of publishing, movies, toys, and amusement parks?
EM: Oh, it’s going to be huge, of course. Massive! Which also makes me a little sad in the way I am whenever a cult favorite goes mainstream.
PAS: If you were granted one wish by a magic carp, what would it be?
Only one? Stingy carp! In the spirit of KATERINA’S WISH, I would have to say that I would wish for all of my clients, and for that matter all writers, to reach the success due to them from their hard work and talent. (And for all writers’ agents to profit accordingly!)
Wishes are wonderful things and with KATERINA’S WISH the magic carp made sure every dream came true…