Interview With An Agent…aka: Katerina’s First Wish was to be signed by Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy, agent extraordinaire and owner of superdog Lulu.With the debut week for Katerina’s Wish in full swing, it’s time to turn to the first person to recognize the wonders of this book: Agent Erin Murphy.

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!

The Zombie Chicken War Chronicles. It’s gonna be huge!

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…



Filed under Agents, Book Promotion, Interviews

12 responses to “Interview With An Agent…aka: Katerina’s First Wish was to be signed by Erin Murphy

  1. Erin took the words out of my mouth. We were all so ahead of the loop on the Zombie Chicken Chronicles. But now, with the rollercoasters, Saturday morning cartoons and happy meal toys, it’s just part of pop culture. Isn’t that how it always is? Still, I was surprised the first time I saw Kellogg’s Katerina’s Wish Krunch.


  2. What a fun interview. I didn’t realize you had to wait so long for this book to get it’s stride. EMLA agents have this special eye (a fourth one, like on their chin?) that allows them to see something great before others do, and that’s how come I know that all EMLA clients are the best (among other reasons.)


  3. I love this interview! Can’t think of a better way to start the day! 🙂


  4. Mike Jung

    I wish to thank Erin for shepherding Jeannie’s book into the world – it is, indeed, very easy to fall in love with Katerina, and wish for her dreams to come true. I’d also like to thank my fellow ZOMBIE CHICKEN CHRONICLES for their acceptance of the contract terms – 95% royalties for me, 5% split evenly between Jeannie, Jenny, and Deborah. It’s probably a little too generous, but I thought 3% split three ways would be just a little insulting…


  5. The patience and faith and hard work and love of books shines thru this article. I would write more but I’m up to my elbows in plum dumpling dough…Can’t wait to eat and read Jeannie’s creations. Thanks for this!


  6. I loved the plum dumpling recipe in Tara’s interview. I love the questions and answers in this one — great job Peter and Erin. Congratulations to Jeannie on the birth day of this long-awaited wonder of a book, and best wishes to all of EMu’s Debuts.


  7. Okay, I wanna see these Zombie Chicken Chronicles!

    So glad Jeannie and Erin persevered with Katerina’s Wish. It’ll be treasured by kids for many years to come.


  8. I so enjoyed this interview. Not to be plum-dumpling mushy, but part of what makes Erin a stellar agent is that she allows time for books like KATERINA’S WISH to find the right home. Lucky readers! I can’t wait to hand Jeannie’s book to my students. 🙂


  9. Terrific interview, Peter and Erin! I have SO enjoyed all the debut MGs I’ve read this year by Erin’s clients–clearly she is doing something very right. 🙂


  10. Pingback: Happy Halloween…and farewell | EMU's Debuts

  11. Pingback: Pat Zietlow Miller | AN AUTHOR YOU SHOULD KNOW: Jeannie Mobley

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