Hello Mixed-Up Filers! Are we in for a treat today! For my last post of the year, I’m pleased to welcome Ann Rose, who besides being a really great author, is also an agent with the Prospect Agency!
JR: Hi Ann, thanks for joining us today!
AR: Thanks for having me.
JR: To start, could you tell us a little bit about your path to becoming an agent and also about the Prospect Agency?
AR: Absolutely. A million years ago (okay, maybe not that long) my niece had asked me to read some books with her. She was a vivacious reader and her friends really weren’t but she wanted someone to fangirl with over books. So I told her to tell me what to buy, and we started our own little book club. After one of her favorite characters died, and she called me sobbing, I told her I’d write her a book and this is were my story truly begins. As a girl who has never liked to do anything halfway, I decided if I was going to write her a book I was going to learn everything there was to know about the publishing industry which included getting an internship at an agency on top of my forty hour(+) a week job managing a portfolio of applications for all of America and part of Latin America.
I found agenting to be fascinating, and I loved how each day brought different challenges to conquer, so after a few years, and my day job being eliminated (thanks corporate America) I took to agenting full time and found a home with Prospect Agency. I call it serendipity because really all the stars aligned to make it happen, and I haven’t regretted it a day since.
JR: That’s a great story. I hope you’ve found some books for her that don’t make her sob now! 🙂 How did you get your first client?
AR: I met my soon to be client at a SCBWI conference here in Houston. She had requested a manuscript critique and from the very first sentence of her story I knew I found something and someone special. I requested the full manuscript. Her book then went on to be sold to Macmillan and comes out next Spring. We are already talking about next projects one of which is a Graphic Novel that I’m super excited about and can’t wait until it’s finished.
JR: You must be very excited about that. What’s changed in publishing between the time you started and now?
AR: Publishing is always changing in some way or another which is why I really like this industry; nothing is ever boring or stagnant. Editors come and go, and they move around—which is always interesting to try to keep track of. I’m excited to say that the amount of diverse books written by diverse authors seem to be getting more attention in the market which is awesome and something I’m always on the lookout for.
JR: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
AR: I love working with my clients. I love helping them bring their manuscripts to another level. I love challenging their abilities and constantly watching them grow as writers. I love texting them and telling them how a particular part of their story made me laugh or cry. And once their books get out in the world I know I’m going to love how readers love their books as much as I do.
JR: Your clients must love having you in their corners like that.
Like me, I see that you’ve moved around a lot. Funny that I almost moved to Texas from New York, but wound up in Florida, and you moved from Florida to Texas. Do you think that living in different places has helped influence your taste in books?
AR: I don’t think the places I’ve lived affects my taste as much as the people I meet. But I will say that my move to Texas (and since I didn’t know very many people here) gave me more than enough opportunities to read lots of books. Now the longer I’m here and the more people I meet and the more integrated my family gets into the community does take some of that pleasure reading time away.
JR: Your friends will just have to understand that you have books to read! 🙂 What sort of books do you look for?
AR: I look for books that make me want to keep reading. I know super specific, right? But really, it’s the voice and heart of a story from the very first line that helps pull me through. I’m always looking for books to take me to new places and that allow me to experience new cultures and worlds. I may have moved a few times, but I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I’ve wanted so anything that can show me something different than I’ve seen before. So, I’d love more diverse books written by diverse authors in my inbox please. (Of all age groups MG-Adult. If it sounds like I could like it send it my way.)
That said, I’d love to see some more middle grade of all genres in my inbox. As well as more adult stories. Rom-coms – historicals with a strong feminist twist (that do or do not have romance) LGBTQIA+ stories. I’m also hoping to open up to graphic novels in the near future.
For a comprehensive list please visit my MSWL page at Ann Rose Manuscript Wishlist
I do try to keep this updated.
JR: That’s great that you represent a wide variety of books and genres. What do you want in an author/agent relationship?
AR: I’m looking for a long-term monogamous relationship. This sounds like a dating service listening doesn’t it, LOL. But seriously, I’m looking to help authors grow their careers. So while it would be great to find that one “Harry Potter” in the bunch, I really want people that I can work with for a long time, because while those big breakout books do happen they are more the exception than the rule. My authors are like my family—we call ourselves the Rosebuds, and I love it.
JR: I LOVE that name! Except now, I’ll probably start thinking of you as the Citizen Kane agent!
You’re also an author of your own books, Road to Eugenica and Breakout. Can you tell us a little bit about them, and also, do you think it helps you to look at your own work through an agent’s eye, or do you sometimes get too critical of yourself?
Road to Eugenica came out in 2018 and basically it is about a girl with superhuman abilities from another dimension on Earth—who is being hunted for those abilities. This is actually the book I wrote for my niece all those years ago (and rewrote a number of times).
Breakout is about a group of teens who are forced to work together to escape and AI enforced prison, except, who do you trust when everyone is guilty?
As for looking at my work through an agent’s eyes, I don’t really do that. I mean it would make sense to, I guess, but it’s still an artform, and so I have to write what my heart wants me to. Whether that’s what’s “hot or not” really doesn’t matter to me as a writer. While sure I’d love to sell all the things I write, it’s a journey and with each book I learn something new along the way.
JR: Your books sound really good. Love Sci/Fi and going to have to pick them up! What advice can you give to authors?
AR: Keep writing. If it’s in your heart and something you can’t not do than keep doing it. If you are writing just because you think your book is the next Harry Potter and you will never have to work another day in your life than maybe it’s time to quit while you’re ahead. Publishing/Writing in general is not for the weak of heart. It’s not easy or simple, and the people who love it and stick with it are the ones that will see their time (eventually). It’s not the newest get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of sweat (and tears) and determination but if you can handle a lot of “no’s” and there will be lots of them. It will make the “yes’s” all that much sweeter.
JR: I can vouch for the seat and tears part! What was your favorite book as a child?
AR: I used to love those choose your own adventure stories. I remember sitting at my friend’s house for sleepovers and staying up way too late deciding if the character should take a ride in the gondola or not. Which I guess it makes sense why I’m a writer now, because I like being the one to make those decisions.
JR: I think I might’ve gasped when you answered! The CYOA books were among my favorites as a kid. My dad always used to get me one whenever we went to the bookstore. And speaking of being a kid, what’s one thing from your childhood that you miss and wish could come back?
AR: Do kids do lip-sync contests anymore? Because if not that should definitely be a thing. I remember going all out having contests and choreographing for lip sync contests as a kid. Those were the days.
JR: Going to have to find out which song was your go-to for lip-syncing. Before we go, I have to ask, I read that you trampoline enthusiast? I’m afraid of even doing standard jumps, so like how good are we talking?
AR: Good? No, I’m horrible. I just think they are lots of fun.
JR: Where can we find you on Social Media?
AR: You can find me of course on Prospect Agency’s website – www.prospectagency.com
On Twitter I’m @annmrose – Twitter
On Instagram I’m @totally_anntastic – Instagram
For my author page, you can find me at Facebook
JR: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us today!
AR: Thanks again for having me. This was such a blast.
Well, that’s it for this month, Mixed-Up Filers! I’d like to once again thank Ann Rose for joining us. You can check out her books over at Indiebound
I’d love to stay and chat more, but Dorian Cirrone is having me scrub the ballroom floor for our big Mixed-Up Files New Year’s bash!
To the rest of you, Happy New Year from your Mixed-Up Files team!