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An Interview with Emily Keyes

Wednesday, 8 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Notebook and coffee

Lucky you! Another interview from Rae!

For those of you just tuning in, here’s my spiel: As writers, we all Google-stalk agents (and often editors). Come on, admit it, you do. And if you’ve done your homework – and you should have done your homework – you can probably rattle off your dream agent’s most recent sales, submission guidelines, history as an agent, favorite font, and caffeinated beverage. But did you know that agents are people, too? Quirky, nerdy, hilarious, and downright interesting people? These aren’t your standard interviews. These are about the people behind the profile pictures. The ones you would not only want championing your book, but also sitting at your coffee shop table, talking to you over something warm and delicious – caramel apple cider, if you’re me. Note: This is NOT an invitation to coffee shop stalk them in real life. Be polite. Use common sense. If I find out you have used these interviews for evil purposes, be warned – I shall find you. Enjoy!

emilyToday’s interview is with Emily Keyes of Foreward Literary!


Rae: Who would you pick to write your bio? What would it be titled? And if it were optioned to a movie, who would play you?

Emily: I would need someone who is amazingly good at making something boring seem fun and interesting to write my bio. I want to say Mary Roach but I don’t think she’s done a biography. If I die, maybe Sarah Vowell can write a book about a roadtrip she took to my grave! How about that?
My father always said if someone wrote a book about him that he wanted it to be titled WHAT SEX WAS THE DOG? (He’s a judge and this was an actual question regarding a case of a man having intercourse with his dog.) And now I’m really sad I can’t think of anything better than that. Maybe ANXIOUS FOR NO REASON because that kind of sums me up right now.
Who would play me? Probably someone I didn’t want! The best I can think right now is one of the Olsen twins? Because I’m a twin and those are the only actress twins I can think of.


Rae: Ha! Ok, someone needs to write a “What Sex Was the Dog?” book now! And I feel your pain; my dad’s a lawyer. What fictional academy/university/school would you most want to attend? (i.e. Starfleet Academy, Hogwarts, Jedi Academy, Camp Halfblood, Battle School in Space, Beauxbatons, etc)

Emily: Definitely Hogwarts, even though the school is in danger like 90% of the school year. Because Minerva McGonagall is my role model. 


Rae: Another vote for Hogwarts! My Jedi Academy is so lonely! So which fictional character would you drag to Hogwarts to be your confidante?

Emily: Steve Rogers (comic books count, right?). I feel like he wouldn’t judge me nor would he ever spill my secrets.


Rae: What fictional food/beverage would you most want to try?

Emily: Lembas. I want to see if it really does keep you full for so long. I think if I were not hungry every day, that would be a big time saver.


Rae: What ho! A foe? You are faced with your nemesis! You instantly grab your trusty __________? (lightsaber, everlasting gobstopper of doom, phaser, wand, mace, girly scream, katana, broadsword, etc)

Emily: DRAGON!


Rae: YESSS! Woman after my own heart! What song(s) would play in the soundtrack to your life?

Emily: The theme to GOLDEN GIRLS.


Rae: What’s your best rainy day book? Beach book?

Emily: I think books you read when you were small make great rainy day books. They remind you of wonder and joy. I’ll say MATILDA since I went through a wicked Roald Dahl phase as a kid. Beach reads are tricker because you can’t take a book you love or you’ll get sand in the spine and it might get wet. I think that’s a good time to read something popular to keep up on trends.


Rae: What is your work fuel of choice? (food-wise)

Emily: Pepsi and mandarin oranges.


Rae: Something awesome just happened (book deal, signed a client, etc). How do you celebrate?

Emily: I tell someone! Things aren’t real until you tell someone about them.


Rae: TRUTH! But what about when something sucky happens? What gets you through one of these harder days?

Emily: Candy. Laffy Taffy have dumb jokes on the wrapper. Those are fun for bad days.


Rae: I love the silly/lame jokes! Who taught you the ropes (i.e. was your Jedi Master) when you were starting out as an agent?

Emily: Well Louise Fury was never my boss but I did ask her a lot of dumb questions. So she was my Jedi a few grades ahead of me. (Is that a thing?)


Rae: It is definitely a thing. All right, lastly, what classic novel do you wish you could have represented back in the day?

Emily: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It’s an awesome story.


Isn’t she so amazing? And she’ll be stopping by for PITCH WARS!

Didn’t make Pitch Wars? No prob. If Emily sounds like your kind of agent, do your homework, and send her some amazing queries!  Thanks so much for stopping by, Emily, and may the queries ever contain exactly what you are seeking!

Don’t feel like your MS is ready for agent eyes? Head over to bleedinginkinc.wordpress.com and try out the homework exercises I’ve been giving to Team “Here There Be Monsters.” You may just find the missing piece of your MS!

Filed: Interviews, Misc

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Oh my gawd, Minerva McGonagall is my role model too! Wonderful interview Emily and Rae. It’s so fun to see the other side of agents!

  • Sarah Cannon says:

    Well, Emily, you have #TeamOnFire’s endorsement! We had a mutual love-fest about To Kill A Mockingbird the other day, and our mentor, Jaye Robin Brown, has a signed copy! We saw photographic evidence! Best of luck finding Pitch Wars treasure.

  • I love your choice of theme song. I’m sort of a Sanford and Son guy myself. 🙂

  • E.G. Moore says:

    I love these interviews! They make me smile and continually remind me that the agents I am sending my (secretly) desperate queries to are actually human just like me! 🙂 Nice to meet you, Emily Keys! Thanks Rae!

  • E.G. Moore says:

    Darn autocorrect! Nice to meet you Emily Keyes!

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