Hello Mixed-Up Filers! Are we in for a treat today! We have with us, Agent extraordinaire and all-around nice person, and I’m not just saying that just because she happens to be my agent, Nicole Resciniti!
Hi Nicole, thanks for joining us today!
JR: To start, could you tell us a little bit about your path to becoming an agent and also about Seymour Agency?
NR: My path to agenting was definitely unconventional. I grew up in a motorcycle dealership—yes, I sold bikes and boats and even did my fair share of service work. I was a consummate tomboy. School was a full science track—pre-med, resulting in degrees in Behavioral Neuroscience and Bio. Much to my parents’ dismay I didn’t stay on that path (not sure Dad has forgiven me yet, LOL). Resulting in several years as high school science teacher which aligned with when I began interning with my mentor, Mary Sue Seymour. Once Mary Sue offered me the chance to come aboard full time, I never looked back. Sooo, yes, roundabout to say the least, but I can say with certainty that there is nothing I’d rather do. I LOVE my job.
JR: Okay, I have to look at you in a new light, I had no clue that you used to work on motorcycles!
JR: What was the first book you sold?
NR: Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series to Leah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks. Julie has gone on to hit the NYT Bestseller’s list her and Black Knights series just released its twelfth book this past summer.
JR: That’s amazing. What’s changed in publishing between the time you started and now?
NR: So much! There are more opportunities than ever—and competition hasn’t been fiercer. It’s a really wonderful time because there are so many options, so many paths to publication and so many subrights to explore. I’m thrilled by all the new formats and technologies and even as the industry continues to evolve, there will always be room for new, great reads.
JR: I’m certainly glad to hear that. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
NR: My authors. Hands down. They are the most talented, intelligent, driven people. They possess a love for what they do and an enthusiasm for each word they put down on the page. It’s humbling to work amid so many incredibly talented people. Like my interviewer/client, for example. Your sense of humor is brilliant!!!
JR: Awww, thank you. It’s true, but thank you for saying. But, getting back to what others who aren’t me want to hear, what sort of books do you look for?
NR: I handle a wide range. YA, MG, mysteries, thrillers, cozies, romance of every variety, inspirational, cookbooks, historicals. I’m fortunate in that I can focus on just about any title that really grabs my attention. So long as I’m passionate about the project, I’m in!
Not that I’m partial or anything *wink, wink* but books in the vein of your Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies are right up my alley. I adore your humor, wit and the way you craft unforgettable characters. Devin Dexter is a protagonist I can’t get enough of.
JR: And believe me, I’m grateful for that aspect! ? But, as I can attest, I also know that you’re very dedicated to all of your authors. What do you look for in an author/agent relationship?
NR: Communication. It’s vital. Most of the hiccups that occur in the industry can be overcome if we have a plan in place. And knowing what my author needs, wants and aspires toward allows me to formulate that plan.
JR: In your opinion, what’s the state of publishing right now?
NR: In one word: flux.
JR: What’s going on in Middle Grade?
NR: The MG market is still strong. I think we largely have librarians, booksellers, and teachers to thank for that. There is such a concerted effort to bring great books to the market and to talk about them and/or put them into children’s hands. It’s a really fantastic genre in how the authors network to support each other, and in how the publishers push for marketing, publicity, and placement.
JR: What advice can you give to authors?
NR: Enjoy every moment. Writing is a gift, a talent, a craft that can be honed over time. And no matter the road to success—be it a trebuchet bolt to the top or a slow and steady climb, take the time to savor each milestone. The books you create have the power to inspire (and entertain, educate, influence, provide an escape, etc…) and to literally impact someone’s life. That’s a pretty wondrous thing.
JR: I hate that slow and steady climb speech! ? But, yes, you’re right.
JR: Before we go, what was your favorite book as a child?
NR: Oh, I had SO many. Tolkien, for sure. I loved the classics too—Bronte, Joseph Conrad, Hemingway.
I was about to have you do the essay portion of answering in 10,000 words or more about why I’m so great to work with, but Dorian Cirrone has sent me yet another memo about being self-indulgent in my posts.
Thanks again to Nicole Resciniti for joining us today and to all of you for reading!
Until next time . . .