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An Interview with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Tuesday, 7 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Notebook and coffee

Hey, Rae’s back! Did you miss me?

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!


Today’s interview is with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg 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?

Pam: Wow. That’s a great question. I know I’d want Michelle Richter to be the editor. I think I’d want Andrew Shaffer to write my biography. The title would be 99 THINGS ON THE TO-DO AND I’M JUST WATCHING NETFLIX IN MY PAJAMAS. As for an actress I like that girl from The Heat. She’s got a mouth on her and so do I.


Rae: 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)

Pam: Everyone is going to say Hogwarts… But I’d love to go to the private NYC academy from Melissa de la Cruz’s novels.


Rae: Yes! Finally someone else who doesn’t say Hogwarts! (Jedi Academy, all the way.) So which fictional characters would you drag to the NYC academy to be your confidante?

Pam: One of the girls that can’t talk from The Hunger Games books. I have a lot of secrets. I also like to talk a lot.


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



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)

Pam: Bulldog.


Rae: During this epic duel and your subsequent adventures, what song(s) would play in the soundtrack to your life?

Pam: I play a soundtrack for my life every day. I like the Mass Effect game soundtrack. It makes shopping trips seem epic.


Rae: MASS EFFECT! YES! FemShep makes me feel epic. What’s your best rainy day book? Beach book?

Pam: I don’t like to reread. I like a happy book on a rainy day and a sad book at the beach. I’m odd. That’s why you want me on your agent.


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

Pam: Peanut butter and apple juice.


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

Pam: WINE.


Rae: And when something sucky happens? What gets you through one of these harder days?

Pam: WINE.


Rae: I’m sensing a pattern here . . . . Who taught you the ropes (i.e. was your Jedi Master) when you were starting out as an agent?

Pam: Every agent had/has a mentor. Mine is Laurie McLean.


Rae: All right, lastly, what classic novel do you wish you could have represented back in the day?

Pam: This is my chance to sound very literary because I used to only read classics. But honestly, I’d love to have been the agent for FOREVER AMBER.  


Isn’t she awesome, guys? And she’ll be stopping by for PITCH WARS!

Didn’t make Pitch Wars? No prob. If Pam sounds like your kind of agent, do your homework, and send her some amazing queries!  Thanks so much for stopping by, Pam, 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!

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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