Thursday, March 10, 2011

Speed Date 2 Results for Round 1

Deidre and Pamela were thrilled to see that so many talented writers participated in our second speed date competition, and once again there were some tough choices to be made. In the end, there could only be 25 to move onto the next round. Their names are listed below, as well as some fun Q&A with Deidre and Pamela on how they got started in the agenting biz.

Ann Childs
Annette F. Boone
Bob Martinez
Brandy Shockley
Brenda Heald
Cathy Pritchard
Christine Gallimore
E.M. Lord
Jenna Jaxon
Joseph Wise
Kathleen Foucart
Kelly Bryson
Leeann Morgan
Lin Christie
Lisa Wells
Liz Phelps
Lizzie C. Friend
Mandy Mikulencak
Melanie LeGrand
Meredith Simmons
Michele Shaw
Nancy Kattenfeld
Rhea Ference
Shari Lambert
Tim Renoylds


BIG congrats to those moving onto the next round, and a special thanks to everyone who participated!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROUND 2 --
On Thursday, March 10th we will email the 25 entrants advancing to Round 2 and post their names on the blog by 10am ET. They must email us* their first ten pages by 9:00pm ET that same day. 

*All 25 entrants will receive a confirmation email that their work has been received. If you do not receive a confirmation, please follow up. At this time, we are still advising people to use our Contests@KnightAgency.net addy. If you had trouble with sending to that addy before, you can alternately send it to jia_gayles(AT)yahoo.com. Both inboxes will be checked. 

TKA Q&A with Deidre and Pamela!

What inspired you to hang up your own shingle and open The Knight Agency?
DEIDRE: I’d wanted to start my own business for years prior to opening the agency. Pamela and I grew up working in our family’s business, and apparently entrepreneurialism was in my blood.  My only problem was I just wasn’t sure what sort of business I wanted to actually launch! I’d been thinking, working and praying toward that goal for several years when my husband signed on with an agent.  She’d just moved to Atlanta from New York, and we had dinner at her house one night.  It was one of life’s big “aha!” moments for me.  As we left that agent’s house, I turned to Jud and said, “Okay—editing? Reading? Film rights (I had a background in entertainment)? Marketing? This sounds like ME.”  I didn’t hang up the proverbial shingle right away; I waited for just the perfect moment—which turned out to be in 1996 when the Net really broke loose.

How has your vision of what being an agent means evolved over the years, or is it essentially the same as it was fifteen years ago?
DEIDRE: My definition of my role is constantly evolving, just as the publishing landscape is ever-changing. Right now, of course, I’m seeing my purview expanding as the digital landscape grows wider and more exciting.  At TKA we have many plans in terms of helping clients take advantage of all the emerging digital publishing opportunities; we’ve also spent the past five and a half years growing our publicity wing, which Jia Gayles oversees.  You see that program in operation right here, right now with this contest—and promotion is a huge part of our agenting philosophy, one you see in action via Twitter, our newsletters, blogging, author chats, contests and more.  I really believe that an agent’s job is far more than just placing books with publishers: it’s about overall career management, publicity, exposure and maximizing a wide variety of opportunities, many of which are tied to the multimedia landscape.

How did you get your “foot in the door” as a newbie agent trying to meet with major publishers? Do you think the methods you used then would work for someone trying to make a name for themself in the current industry?
DEIDRE: I am very fortunate that I had an extensive marketing and sales background prior to agenting, so “cold calling” came naturally to me. Phone fear wasn’t a problem.  Within two months of launching my agency, I was already visiting NYC and setting meetings with editors, even though I didn’t have a big client list or a list of accomplishments.  I’d done my research, and did what I’d always done in sales: built relationships. To this day, I think that relationships are the absolute cornerstone of publishing, whether you’re an author, agent, or editor.  As a note: my very first publishing meeting was with an editor at Dell Publishing.  Later, when I was shopping Diana Peterfreund’s SECRET SOCIETY GIRL, I phoned that same editor—and very long story-her assistant took the submission, and beat out four other editors and landed the project at auction. So quite literally, my first publishing meeting led to an auction day win for Diana Peterfreund and me!

Left: Deidre, an agent prodigy wheeling and dealing in her pre-Blackberry days; Right: Pamela, a prima ballerina who developed an early appreciation for the Arts

What sort of career did you have before agenting, and what made you want to leave that industry to join Deidre at TKA?
PAMELA:
I was in computer sales working with banks, and I loved my job. When my family and I left the metro Atlanta area, I continued working from our new home on the lake, but it just got harder and harder.  Deidre and I were as close as ever when she began the agency, and we often talked often about me coming on board when I was ready. I waited until the fall of 2000 when my son was turning one and jumped in with both feet.

Share the story of your most memorable sale.  
PAMELA: All of my sales are memorable. Truly, every one is very important to me. But there is one sale that I am particularly proud of and remember well because it was early in my career and less conventional than some of my other ones. I'd read an interesting article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and it really piqued my interest. I approached the author and asked if he had ever thought of writing a book.  We eventually signed him, and I sold the project. The book was amazing and did very well. This was a great a confidence builder for me early in my career, and it fueled my passion for agenting.

What’s the best part of working with a member of your family? What’s the toughest part?
PAMELA:
I get so much  emotional support from Deidre on a personal level. We have always been incredibly close, which isn’t the case with all sisters.  Maybe because we are 8 years apart we never fought over the usual sister things like boys or clothes. This emotional bond completely carries over to the business, and it makes my career in publishing so much richer.

Needless to say this is a tough business and not for the faint of heart. For every rejection we send one client, just multiply it by 30 (my typical client list) and then you have what we are dealing with daily. Deidre and I do a lot to keep each other afloat during these tough days. And to balance this out, we get to share closely in the success which is even more sweet when you see someone you love dearly achieve it.  The flipside to that is the same thing when we have a tough day. It’s hard to watch my best friend when things don’t go as planned.

Left: Deidre; Right: Pamela

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15 Comments:

Blogger Tina said...

Yay! Congrats to the second roundies!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 9:50:00 AM EST  
Blogger MissSherrie said...

Thank you for the opportunity. I was thrilled to have made the first cut! Congratulations to those who have made it further along!

Cheers,
Sherrie

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 9:56:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Toni Wyatt said...

Wishing all the Second Round writers much luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:06:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Jess said...

Good luck to the people who made it through! And thank you, Deidre and Pamela and the rest of TKA, for this wonderful opportunity!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:16:00 AM EST  
Blogger The Original Drama Mama said...

Since I didn't make the luck of the initial draw I can honestly and without any residual jealousy say congrats to the 25. Love hearing the back story too ladies...my sister and I are 8 years apart as well, it does make for a fun relationship :) (I am the older one, my lil' sis just turned 26 yesterday in fact!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:55:00 AM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Tried posting earlier and lovely blogger ate my comment. :) CONGRATS to all who participated! Los of great talent. And a shout out to my sissy, who is the best--and a great best friend. :) Deidre

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger Bryce Daniels said...

Thanks once again for putting this contest together. It was fun to participate. I am sincerely wishing each of the twenty-five the best of luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:09:00 AM EST  
Blogger Elle Jasper said...

Congrats to all the entrants!! Deidre, Pamela...LOVE the kidlet pics!! Gorgeous even then! You guys at TKA are so super for doing the speed dating! What a great opportunity for writers :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:33:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kelly Bryson said...

As someone who is also very close to my sisters, I loved reading the interview above. It's so nice to see a bit of the personal side. Off to hold my breath...

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:35:00 AM EST  
Blogger Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Congrats to those who advanced to Round 2. Thanks again for the chance to put my name in for this fantastic opportunity. Enjoyed reading the post today and learning more about Deidre and Pamela.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:49:00 AM EST  
Blogger Heather said...

Congratulations to everyone moving on! And thank you for the fabulous interview ladies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 12:43:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Pamela Harty said...

I love these old pictures. The one by the water is Newport RI summer on 1977. Dont you love the clothes!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 1:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I DO love those clothes! :) We look like Charlies Angels wannabes! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 1:08:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Martha Ramirez said...

Very awesome!

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 4:18:00 PM EST  
Anonymous rhea said...

Very informative Q&A and cute pics, especially the ballerina and her agent:-)

I have four sisters, and I wouldn't know what I'd do without them.

Congrats and best wishes everyone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:07:00 PM EST  

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