Win a Partial Request from Writers House: Agent Beth Miller Swims with the Mermaids

I am thrilled to welcome the fabulous Beth Miller of Writers House to the lagoon today. And even more excited to tell you that Beth will be requesting a partial manuscript from ten lucky commenters. That’s right – I said TEN. No pitch necessary. All you have to do is leave a comment, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a partial request from Beth.

Even if you have no need for representation, please feel free to say “hi” or ask Beth a question. (Just be sure to let me know you’re not interested in the drawing!) We would love to hear from you!

This contest ends Saturday, May 19, at 11:59 pm, EST. The ten lucky winners will be posted on Sunday, May 20.

Take it away, Beth!

1. There are stories of agents getting manuscripts shoved at them under the bathroom stall door. Has anything like that ever happened to you?

No, but I have definitely heard of that happening, especially at the larger conferences like RWA National. This is actually not a great way to approach agents! You don’t want to be remembered as “that lady who shoved papers at me under the bathroom stall door.” It’s a little creepy. We definitely prefer a face-to-face pitch or a query.

2. If your life story were turned into a movie (face it, “agent” is the perfect job for the lead in a romantic comedy), who would play you and the male lead?

Oh, if only my life was that interesting! May I request Gerard Butler for the male lead? Not sure how much of a role he’d have, to be honest, but it would be fun. And if so, can I play myself?

3. What is your guilty reading pleasure?

Lately, I’ve just been in love with YA fiction, so I’ve been reading more and more (and more) of it. My guilty reading pleasure is more of a confession that I re-read Anne Bishop’s BLACK JEWELS series about three times a year.

4. You have an unusual background for a literary agent. Can you tell us a little about that background and what made you decide to switch careers?

I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology (it started out as a Marine Biology degree, because I wanted to hug whales, but then I switched over in my junior year), and spent several years working in a research lab on Long Island. While I was there, I knew I wanted to go back to school (read: my folks were bugging me to get a Master’s) and I really didn’t want to go for a PhD; neither did I really want to stay in science.

I had always loved reading and writing, and had taken quite a few undergraduate literature classes, so I decided to go for a Master’s in Literature. While I was doing that degree, I was also doing some writing. All of that led me to join a local writers group, which in turn helped me find out about “how to get a job reading manuscripts, because that sounds awesome!” And that led me to the job listing for an assistant to Robin Rue at Writers House, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I have never looked back! Though I do try to go whale watching whenever I can…

5. What would your friends and family be surprised to learn about Beth Miller, the literary agent?

Well, I’m fairly certain my friends and family won’t be surprised by anything about me—I’m a pretty open book. Maybe you guys would be surprised to learn that I’ve been a certified scuba diver since I was 14 years old and absolutely love being immersed in a warm, tropical sea, surrounded by colorful fish and peace and quiet. Or that I used to be big-time into hair bands (Poison, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Firehouse, etc.). If there was a long-haired, leather-pants-clad eyeliner-wearing dude shrieking into a microphone, I probably happily shrieked along to it. I also have a stuffed llama named Sebastian (obviously after Sebastian Bach, Hair Band Singer Extraordinaire).

6. What is your favorite part about being an agent? What is your least favorite part?

My favorite part is finding something fantastic in the submissions. My least favorite part is receiving a pass from an editor on a project that I love and then having to pass that along to the author. That never gets easier.

7. What makes a writer a good choice for you?

Other than that unputdownable manuscript, it’s the sense that the author has a promising career—with more than just this one manuscript. It’s also the sense that the author and I are in sync with what each of us brings to the table.

8. Chemistry is an important component in the author/agent relationship. Is there any possible way for you to judge that through a query letter?

I think that it’s possible to get a sense of the writer’s personality through his/her letter, but I think it’s more likely to get that sense from how that writer interacts via email, and especially by phone. I want to work with someone who wants to work with me, so that’s one thing I’m hoping to determine from those initial communications.

9. Do you have any thoughts on contests as a means of writers reaching out to agents? What value do you place on contest submissions?

I think contests can be a great way of getting some feedback, as well as getting the attention of the judging agents or editors. But we also know that the entries are generally just a few chapters. Most people really work on those first few chapters, but what about the rest of the manuscript? So if I’m judging a contest, and those few chapters are amazing, then I will most certainly want to see more, and we’d go from there. I also think that while there is certainly a value to having contest wins under your belt, it isn’t necessarily a determining factor for me when I evaluate a query. So that may have been a vague answer, but it’s one of those judgment calls. I’d suggest entering ones where you are guaranteed feedback, and not overdoing it. The costs can really add up!

10. Any advice you’d like to give to writers hoping to catch your attention?

I would say that you should do your research. There is so much info out there on the internet about how to write a query letter and what not to do when querying. Your query should be personalized (I don’t mean you should make reference to my love for Damon on The Vampire Diaries, but you should direct your letter to me (and not Dear Agent, etc.). You should give a concise summary of your story, and a little bit about you, including, of course, your publishing history, if you have one (which is not required if you don’t!).

Beyond that, just send me something fabulous! I am looking for new talent, for something that makes me stay up until my eyes cross from reading, or makes me watch my subway stop fly by out the window, or makes me ignore the world outside for days!

Thanks so much, Beth! It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here in the lagoon!

Beth Miller is a junior agent at Writers House, where she has worked with Robin Rue since 2007. She has the pleasure of working with a long list of talented and fabulous authors in a beautiful old brownstone with many, many steps.

In her other life, Beth was a DNA sequencing technician at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island. She much prefers books to E. coli, and enjoys scuba diving and road trips in her spare time. She also has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts).

Beth is looking for romance and YA, though she would be happy to look at an action-packed thriller (think Clive Cussler or Vince Flynn) or a fantasy (think Anne Bishop or Juliet Marillier). She does not represent inspirational or religious fiction.

337 thoughts on “Win a Partial Request from Writers House: Agent Beth Miller Swims with the Mermaids

  1. Beth,
    Welcome to Mermaid Lagoon! Thanks for dipping your toes in this morning. I’m honored to be the first to welcome you–(up at 0530 with my Muse/Zmeu getting antsy so we’ve been writing for a little bit). 😉

    Have a great day and I’m raising my second cup of Vanilla Bean Latte to you and Pintip for the great interview!


    1. Loni,
      Wow — up at 5:30! I wish my muse were as industrious as yours, but alas, she likes to sleep in, lol!
      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Morning, Loni! Wow– an early riser, indeed. I’d barely rolled over at that time. 🙂

      Thanks for the welcome, and happy writing!

  2. Good morning Beth and Pintip! Haha, so you have love for The Damon Diaries as well 🙂 Crazy cliffhanger last week. Sigh.

    Thank you so much for stopping by the pond today. Loved your Q&A, especially the segment (okay, I wish it had been an entire segment) on hair bands and Gerard Butler. I never get to share this story but a few years ago I was at San Diego Comic-Con in Hall H, waiting for the Rock n Rolla panel. Auntie and I were lurking around in the dark hall trying to make our way up to some front seats. We found some off to the side without a great view of the stage. Holy Moly, it didn’t matter! Once the lights were really down and low, Mr. Butler had come out from backstage to watch his own trailer! Six feet away from Auntie and I on the side wings!!! He was smiling and yep, twinkly eyed as he watched his clip. Chuckling at himself. And yes, I may have memorized his entire outfit. (and purchased similar pieces for hubby)

    Have a great weekend!!

    1. Carlene, you are my new hero. To have been that close to Mr. Butler … I probably would’ve passed out or done something equally stupid, which I tend to do when I meet celebrity crushes.

      I’m going to Comic-Con this year. Are you planning to go? If so, we definitely need to meet up.


      1. Carlene’s always been my hero! What a cute story! I can totally imagine your face as you stood six feet away from Mr. Butler! I love it!
        Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

    2. Hi Carlene!

      Yes, The Damon Diaries– swoon! I’m still reeling from that ending!

      So cool about GB at the Rock n Rolla panel! I met him a few years ago in NYC, when he did this fundraiser called Dressed to Kilt, for Friends of Scotland. A fellow GB fan forum lady and I attended the event and then there was a reception after. We said hello, chatted for a minute, got our pictures with him, embarrassed ourselves mightily, and got kissed on the cheek. SIGH. If you haven’t seen Dear Frankie yet, you should. It’s a brilliant movie.

      1. Hi Beth, I love Dear Frankie as well. And now that is an awesome GB story! Big sigh 😉

      2. Beth,
        Loved ‘Dear Frankie’! I have to say, I still like Gerard Butler as Dracula in ‘Dracula 2000’ though–

        There is nothing sexier than when he says– “I don’t drink…coffee.” 😉

        Another one is him in ‘P.S. I Love You’–sexy in boxers and suspenders.

        God he’s so sexy when he’s got that twinkle in his eye! LOL

        1. Hi Loni,

          I love that line from Dracula 2000. And when he walks through the record store and all the women are ogling him. 🙂

          Have you seen Attila? He looks beautiful with his long hair. Yum.

          I love watching him on Leno or Ferguson (especially Ferguson– the Scottish accents just fly around!). He has no filter, and just says the most outrageous things.

          1. Attila–ooooohhhhhh yeeeeaaaahhhh! 😉

            That’s all I’m saying! 🙂

            Beth, So good to have you with us today! It’s great hearing about you in the comments. What a fascinating life–Marine Biology/Diving. I always wished I had gone with my hubby to get NAUI certifide when we were stationed in Hawaii–I did snorkle though. He went and got night- dive certified and all. Believe it or not he was out diving with some friends in one of the coves during the humpback whale migration and the whales were near where his group was diving–they never saw them though. I guess they weren’t close enough.

            Have a great weekend!

          2. 🙂
            That’s such a bummer that your husband missed seeing the humpbacks! I remember when I was doing my internship in Moss Landing, we were out on a boat in one part of the bay surveying for harbor porpoises, and our sister boat was in a different part of the bay and we heard over the radio that they had a pod of orcas, including a calf, come right under the boat. I hate finding out that I was so close to seeing something awesome and missed it, so I can appreciate how bummed your husband must have been!

            Also– being stationed in Hawaii… how awesome!

  3. Hi Beth,

    I love your career path. I have an MBA in Finance, but I never stopped writing. It’s good to follow your head and your heart.

    Mary Jo

    1. Absolutely, Mary Jo! And it’s even better when your head and your heart aligns!

    2. Hi Mary Jo,

      Yes, it can be scary, but sometimes Fate throws an opportunity in your path, and you have to just jump on it. The lab was great– I worked with smart people and we had fun (oh, and worked, too), but at the end of the day, being around books is where my heart is.

    3. I don’t know if he was bummed or not. I happened to be up on the shore (enjoying a novel) while they were out in the open part of the cove. They had just come up for a safety check and only a few moments later I happened to see the whales surface and their tales slap back down about approx. 50 feet from where the group had just come up. (I was sure they would have been walking on water getting back to shore–according to my hubby when I told him what I had seen.) No, he hadn’t seen them at all. I was bummed that he hadn’t had the opportunity to witness them. How majestic!

      1. Wow– fabulous that you saw them! See, this is why reading is cool. 🙂

  4. Good morning Beth and Pintip! and welcome to the lagoon Beth.

    And Beth – love all of that science in your background. Although I love to tweak reality for some of my stories, I have a shelf of books where the title might be Science, Einstein, Chemistry, but the last two words – for dummies (great books by the way for research:)…

    Wonderful interview Pintip, and thank you Beth for such an outstanding opportunity for commenter!

    1. Denny, what a great idea for research! I’ll have to invest in some science Dummies books! Thanks for coming by.

    2. Hi Denny!
      Hey, don’t knock those Dummies books. They have great information in them. I used “Tolkien’s Middle-earth for Dummies” as a reference for one of my graduate papers. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have said that aloud. Wait, I did cite it and everything…
      And it’s fun to tweak reality, isn’t it? 🙂

  5. What a great Q&A session! I love the great advice for writers who are querying– it’s sometimes hard to ask questions and find forums with good advice when you’re starting out, and this is wonderful. Better than asking under the bathroom stall at Nationals, too 🙂 hehe!

    And the offer for ten (!) reads is amazing. I’m not eligible, but what a generous thing to do for writers seeking representation!

    1. Have you ever done that, Kimberly? (Slid a ms under a bathroom stall?) Lol. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Kimberly,
      Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, the bathroom stall door thing gets you remembered– and not in a positive way! 🙂

    1. Yep, I think we’re all pretty much in agreement there! Thanks for your comment, Tracy!

    2. Hi Tracy!

      Oh, 300…. I saw that in IMAX 3D in the city when it came out. That was a wonderful experience…

  6. Hi, Beth — I think I’ve got you beat for academic whiplash. I started out premed, so a straight biology major. Then I took a philosophy course (ooh, thinking about stuff…and for credit!), went to a double major, got a Masters in Philosophy (completely useless in the real world, of course: ooh, she knows how to think about stuff…we can’t hire her!), got rejected from culinary school (!), then after a brief career in public health, went to law school.

    And the sad part is that before all of that, I’d wanted to write romances. It’s just that the ones I wrote in my 20s and 30s were crap. But then a few years ago I finished an amazing book, opened my eyes and thought I can do this!

    But the lure of school is still too great, so I’m currently working for my MFA at Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine’s low-residency program, which actually allows romance novelists in!). That’s right: it will be my fourth degree. The only difference is, I’m looking forward to using this one.

    1. What an interesting academic career you have, Magdalen! I kinda wish I’d been rejected from culinary school, lol. At least that will have meant that I tried it! Maybe someday… (hopefully the school part, not the rejection part…)

      1. Hi Magdalen,

        That sounds like a truly fascinating academic path! You can never learn too much, right? And I’, certain that all the interesting and different things you’ve learned along the way will help you create fabulous worlds in your books!

  7. Hi Beth,

    Who are some of your favorite authors? (In addition to Pintip, of course!) Also, what genres of manuscripts are you seeing a lot of right now? What would you like to see more of?

    1. Great questions, Diana (especially the one about me -ha!) thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi Diana!

      In addition to Pintip, some favorites (in no particular order, and leaving out Robin’s clients) include Suzanne Brockmann, Lynn Kurland, Anne Bishop, Juliet Marillier, Vince Flynn, Nora Roberts, George RR Martin, Veronica Roth, Erica O’Rourke, Ally Condie, Tahereh Mafi, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien.

      I see a lot of YA paranormal, and now the 50 Shades of Grey-type queries are rolling in. Keep the YA coming– I always love a good YA romance/fantasy/anything really. Not as keen on the erotica, though I do like sexy romance.

  8. Hi Beth and Pintip,

    Thanks for posting the wonderful interview. I’m glad to hear someone else has fond memories of hair bands. 😉

    I just finished writing a romance with a superhero theme. Recently, I’ve spoken to a few other writers who are now writing romances focused on the superhero subgenre. I’ve been told by editors that these types of romances just aren’t being bought, except from a few established authors. With the current success of comic movies, do you think this may change?


    1. Hi Jen! Don’t know what editors, but as a reader, I would love to read a superhero romance! I LOVE superheroes.

    2. Hi Jennifer!
      I still love those hair bands. I’m bummed that Def Leppard and Poison are playing together in my home town, and I don’t think I can go. Boo!
      I haven’t heard much on the superhero romance market, to be honest, though if you are hearing it from editors, then it probably is difficult right now. But at the same time, I think there’s always room for something well-written and different, so it’s very possible that the market will change on that.

  9. What a terrific interview! I do have representation, and I must say it’s really comforting to hear that sending along those “passes” is tough for you guys, too. It’s obviously a big part of the business, but it definitely isn’t fun! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment, Natalie. I agree, it was nice to hear that those “passes” are tough for everyone.

    2. Hi Natalie,
      Yes, it’s really the most miserable part of the job. I love the projects that I have on submission, so when I get that “not right for us,” or “it doesn’t stand out,” or whatever response from an editor, it really hurts. It’s a part of the job I don’t think I’ll ever truly get used to.

  10. Aw thanks, Diana. Yep, I can confirm that Beth is pretty awesome. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Thanks for a great interview! As a law student turned writer I definitely appreciate your lesson of following your heart. Finding a “job” you love is such a relief. Thanks for sharing your insights on the agent/writer relationship. It’s always great to hear things from an agent’s perspective.


    Chanel Cleeton

    1. Hi Chanel! I’m a lawyer turned writer, myself. (There seems to be a lot of us around!) Good for you for following your heart! Best of luck to you!

    2. Hi Chanel,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      It can be really scary to give up something that’s comfortable, if not thrilling, and take a new path that has some risk to it, but sometimes it really pays off. Definitely follow your heart and your dreams!

  12. What a fun interview! Thanks for the insight, Beth, on what you do and thanks, Pintip, for the great questions. And don’t enter me in the drawing. 🙂

    1. Hi Abigail,
      Thanks for saying hi! I love to chat about what I do, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

  13. Good Morning, Pintip and Beth! Great interview! I was floating for a few minutes there in that warm, tropical water. My husband scuba dives. I snorkel. It’s not as quiet on the surface, but I so identify with “being immersed in a warm, tropical sea, surrounded by colorful fish.”

    I know many writers who came to writing via another career, but I’ve never heard as interesting a career segue from an agent. 🙂

    And Gerard Butler would definitely be on my ‘A’ list for leading men as well. Thanks so much for sharing all this great info with us!

    1. Hi Susan! Loved your interview on the Get Lost in a Story blog today!

      I love snorkeling. HATE scuba diving. Actually, I have a phobia about scuba diving. Not a great quality for a mermaid, unfortunately!

      1. Thanks for the blog love! I have the same exact phobia of scuba diving. I tried getting certified once, but they made us take off our masks and swim the length of the pool with our regulators in. I paniced and shot to the surface every time I tried. But I love snorkeling. 🙂

      2. Pintip, what’s your phobia? Is it vertigo (my mom has that– she snorkels sometimes, but panics when the bottom drops away), or claustrophobia?

        I can get very claustrophobic– one of the worst dive experiences I had was in Bonaire, diving Town Pier, which is a well-known site for night dives, because of all the critters that cling to the pilings of the pier. You go with a guide, because it’s an active pier. But I felt like everywhere I turned, there was a piling with stuff on it– and I was afraid of banging into them (didn’t want to kill any innocent sponges, corals, critters– and also a lot of that stuff has a protective coating that can sting), and I just had pilings and other divers all around me. Not my favorite. At all.

        1. Oh, the whole claustrophobia/I’m going to drown thing. I was once on vacation in Mexico with my husband, and we paid a lot of money to go scuba diving. I got to the part of the training where I had to be six feet under and have the mouthpiece knocked out of my mouth. I panicked and clawed my way to the surface. And then sat on a bench, tears rolling down my face, while my husband went on the dive. Had nightmares about it for six months afterwards. No joke.

          1. I have the exact same fear. You can barely get me in a pool. And I love near the ocean! Anything at which I can DIE if I do it wrong is probably something I’m not going to do. LOL! No problem admitting I’m a scaredy cat, especially when it comes to water.

          2. Pintip– OMG. That sounds like a pretty awful experience! I did the whole certification course, where you do hours in the classroom and hours in the pool, and they bring you into it slowly. I think in some ways, it’s a better way to do it than the resort course, which is designed to get you in the water quickly.

            I’ve had some scary experiences– unable to find the rest of the group for a bit, long swims to get back to the boat– but never a real moment of terror other than my claustrophobia in Bonaire.

          3. Oh wow. Those experiences sound so scary! So glad you made it, safe and sound. 🙂 And you are right, those certification courses sound much more like the way to go. I definitely need the baby steps. Maybe one of these days I’ll be brave enough to give it another go… My husband definitely wants me to, as scuba diving is one of his favorite things in the world, and he thinks I’ll really enjoy it, if I can just get over my fear.

          4. It is wonderful– hopefully one day you’ll get to do it and enjoy it! But really, if it’s not for you, then it’s not for you. I won’t judge. 🙂

    2. Hi Susan!
      Snorkeling is a lot of fun, but I always find myself diving down to check out what’s below me. 🙂 I only wish I could scuba dive more often. It’s so relaxing (or it usually is, anyway), and I just love watching the marine life.
      Yeah, people seem to be surprised by the switch from science to publishing. I work with a lot of folks who found their way to agenting via other professions/areas of study, so I guess it all comes down to that love of books and ability to analyze a manuscript to see if it is marketable. If you have that, it’s probably more useful than whatever college degree you have on the wall.

  14. Pintip – What a great idea for a promotion and Beth sounds fantastic. I love the idea of a science person switching to literature. I love the idea of a science person period since I have never been one! Thanks so much to both you and Beth for this opportunity.
    Ann Yost

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ann! I’ve never been a science person, either. 🙂 But it does seem fascinating, doesn’t it?

    2. Hi Ann!
      Thanks for the king words. 🙂 Science can be fun– I got to work with some fabulous technology at the lab, and I loved my marine science internships and classes. But the idea of going for that PhD– just not for me. School’s out!

  15. Great interview, Pintip!

    And great answers, Beth — I love Damon, too. And while I’m not usually a fan of the romantic triangle, TVD really twisted it and made it work for me. 🙂

    1. Hi Yvonne!
      Yeah, TVD just keeps knocking me over– every week, something else crazy happens. I’m generally Team Damon, but those last few episodes this season, Stefan was really pretty fantastic as well. Sigh.

  16. Holy crap – was that Loni-Mermaid up at 5:30am???

    Welcome to our lagoon, Beth! And thank you for swimming with us. Great questions, Pintip-Mermaid!

    I have to laugh because I did not see the word “stuffed” before llama and spent a couple minutes imagining where you kept your real-live llama in NYC. Does he ride the subway? Go to Bloomingdales? Ha-ha! Kerri obviously needs more coffee.

    Thanks again for stopping by! 😉

    1. Thanks for the welcome, Kerri! And glad I made you laugh. 🙂 Sebastian the Stuffed Llama travels with me a lot. I have some hilarious photos of him on a tour bus in the UK, hanging in the hotel closet (by a noose made from the wire from an iron–my friend did that, not me) in Los Angeles, relaxing at a B&B in Ireland, taking a deep breath at the top of Masada in Israel. He gets around. Which reminds me that I should remember to pack him for my upcoming trip to San Diego/La Jolla…

      1. My (adult) cousin does that, lol. Travels with two of her stuffed animals everywhere. She even holds them up to the window so they can appreciate the view.
        Thanks for your comment, Kerri! Go drink some coffee!
        And have fun in San Diego, Beth!

        1. I have a friend who I met over a mutual love for the Scottish band Albannach (go check them out– they rock!). She has a little stuffed pig she calls Wee Kilted Pig, and she takes him everywhere, and always photographs him. He hangs out with the band, goes to various scenic places, gets dressed up on Halloween, etc. It’s a lot of fun to do silly things like that. 🙂 Always a kid!

          Thanks, Pintip– I can’t wait to get to San Diego!

    2. Hey Kerri-sis–
      Yeah, that was me up at 0530 (actually 0500 but had to wait for my first cup of coffee). Hey when the “Zmeu” wakes me up– he’s ready to rumble! Almost done with WIP thanks to him. 😉
      Hugs! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Liese,
      Sometimes, yes. Or I might think– is that possible? And look it up to see if I’m right. Make sure you do your research, guys– you never know who’s evaluating your ms and what random weird info they have rattling around in their heads!
      I remember reading a novel by a well-known romance author, and it took place in let’s say 1800s Montana. And there was a seal in the lake. And I said, “wait, what?” I mean, I could buy a seal in a river that leads to the ocean, and there is a seal species that lives in a lake in Russia (I think– my marine mammal survey class was some years ago now). But in an inland lake in Montana?? And in the same book, there were bison feeding on a wolf carcass. I said, “Wait, what?” Bison are cows. Cows are herbivores. They don’t eat meat.
      The book sailed across the room, never to be finished.

    2. Thanks for your question, Liese! Note to self: take out scene with the seal in the lake. Lol!

  17. Thank you, Beth and Pintip for a great interview. What a lovely – and inspiring – way to start the day. I have to say, though, I’m stuck between who I’d want to hug – the whale or Mr. Butler. Tough one. 🙂

    Diana asked my question about what genre’s you’re most interested in. If I may, can I also ask what you’re tired of seeing or what you think is becoming a harder sell?

    1. Hi Orly!
      What a cool name!
      I haven’t hugged any whales yet, but I interned at the NY Aquarium some years ago, when they had the beluga whales, and I did get to rub their tongues while feeding them every once in awhile. That was awesome. Loved those guys.
      I would say I’m a little tired of the obvious Twilight-inspired novels. I mean the ones where the similarities far outnumber the differences. I’m a little tired of vampires and shifters– though sometimes authors really put a new spin on those stories, so it’s case by case. But it has to be really different to sell at this point.
      Also, please don’t send me queries for 50 Shades of Grey for teens– okay? I think that’s illegal.
      I think anything that you’re seeing a lot of in the bookstores is becoming a harder sell, so just try to be as unique as possible.

      1. Thanks Beth. It’s an Israeli name – very common actually. My best friend growing up was also Orly. 🙂

        I love beluga whales. I hugged – and was hugged – by a very large Sea Lion last summer. So wanted to bring him home.

        1. Very cool. 🙂
          The belugas are lovely– there was a young male named Casey when I was interning at the aquarium, and I used to love just watching him through the window. He would hang there and watch me too– he would surface to breathe and then sink right back down to watch me. That was awesome.
          Where did you hug a sea lion?

          1. In the Bahamas. If you look for me on FB my profile pic is of him giving me a kiss. He was such a cutie. 🙂

            The Baltimore aquarium had a beluga years ago who would follow you and watch. They’re such amazing “people”.

      2. Rubbing a beluga whale’s tongue! How cool is that?
        And are you really seeing queries for 50 Shades of Grey for teens? Wow. Just wow.

        Thanks so much for stopping by, Orly! And I love your name, too. Is it short for something, or is that the full name?

        1. Yes, it was really neat. Feeding the belugas was my favorite part of my internship at the aquarium.
          Yeah, I got a query that wasn’t specifically 50 Shades for teens, but it had to do with a 17-year-old’s erotic awakening, or something like that.

  18. Hey Diana!

    Of course, I remember you! Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope all is well with you!

  19. Welcome Beth!
    Hope you enjoy taking a splash through our pool, even though you probably won’t need your scuba gear. And a huge thank you for the offer for partials. What an amazing opportunity.. thanks to you and Pintip!

    1. Hi Masha,

      I’m enjoying the pool very much. Where’s the cabana boy with my rum punch? 🙂
      Thanks for having me!

      1. Darn! I knew I was forgetting something! Coming right up!
        Thanks for stopping by, Masha!

      2. He’s on his way. And if I’m not mistaken, due to your generosity, we were able to procure Gerard Butler to be at your service. Now, I must add a disclaimer.. it’s possible he may be a virtual version, but hey, it’s better than nothing!.. 🙂

        Thank you again!

        1. Thanks, Masha– wow, you guys really know how to get things done! 🙂

  20. Such a fun interview and the chance at a partial read makes my day. I’m another non-English degree writer, coming over from business. Never been much on science, but I’d hug a whale to get that close to Mr. Butler. Though I’d rather sit and listen to James McAvoy talk. For hours. *sigh*

    Another hair band lover here. At 15 I was determined to marry Joe Elliott. Alas, we never worked out, but it’s good to have dreams. Def Leppard and Poison will be here in concert next month. I’m trying to figure out how to get there. Did you ever watch Sebastian on Gilmore Girls? I loved his character.

    1. Hey Terri,
      James McAvoy is another sexy Scot. There was also a recent interview with Richard Madden, who plays Robb Stark on Game of Thrones. He’s from the Glasgow area as well (just like Mr Butler and Mr McAvoy), and you can just melt when you hear him talk.
      Yes! I posted earlier that Def Leppard and Poison are coming to my town– to Jones Beach, in July. But it’s the night before my friend’s wedding, and pretty much anyone that would go with me is going to the wedding (or, like, the groom), and can’t go. May have to just go myself.
      I never really watched Sebastian on Gilmore Girls– but he played at a local bar near my home a few times, and it was cool to see him there. Though he always had issues with the mic or earphone, so he would throw a fit. 🙂
      Bon Jovi is another big favorite, though they’ve broken away from the “hair band,” I think.

      1. My problem is also no one to tag along to the concert. If you want to make a trip to Va Beach, we can go together! LOL! I went to see all of them back in the day. Ratt, Whitesnake, Great White, Warrant. Ah, good times.

        I think Jon Bon Jovi has the fountain of youth in his backyard. He just gets better with age. Off to look up Mr. Madden!

        1. Terri– I just said that the other day, that JBJ gets better looking as he gets older, and I was wondering if he has any pictures in his attic. 🙂

          I’ve seen Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison, Aerosmith, Firehouse, and I’m sure there are others. I was truly sad when Jani Lane from Warrant died this past year.

          1. That was sad. Though I was hit harder when Steve Clark died. Took me days to believe it. Such a loss. (Are we aging ourselves here?)
            I hear Aerosmith is going back on tour. And Van Halen is out there but just postponed the show closest to here. Talk about a band full of drama.

          2. I was in high school when Steve Clark died, and so never saw him play live with them. I saw Van Halen once or twice.. I much prefer Sammy Hagar to DLR, so I don’t think I’d see them again unless he was with them.

    2. Just wanted to sneak I’m and thank you for stopping by, Terri! Although I’ll leave the hair bands conversation to you and Beth… 🙂

  21. I just saw a picture on FB yesterday, the whales are back in Monterey Bay and poising for pictures…if the longing to hug a whale is still part of your big wish list…feel free to visit! Just be prepared to sacrafice a kayak, as these guys aren’t really particular when eating sardines…

    I’m quite impressed by your career path and it just goes to show, you never know where you’ll end up when you walk out your door each morning…

    1. Hi Maureen!
      Oh, Monterey… I did my college internship at Moss Landing Marine Lab, and so spent a wonderful 4 months in that area back in 1996. I LOVED going out on the Bay– so much marine life to see. Whales, porpoises, dolphins, otters, seals, sea lions… so fabulous!
      I will be in Seattle in July, and going up to Friday Harbor to commune with the orcas (hopefully).
      I love that last line, Maureen… it kind of reminds me of a few lines from The Lord of the Rings- my favorite being “Not all those who wander are lost.”

      1. I do love living here and it’s a bit wild right now with the whales feeding. Last year it got crazy, with kayakers in danger, but terribly excited… Twits.

        That line from LotR is one of my favorites. Plus I sorta enjoy being lost that way. Wandering is vastly underated by modern society…

        1. Hi Maureen,
          I would love to kayak among the whales, but I do think it would be a little dangerous. I saw humpbacks bubble-net-feeding off Massachusetts some years ago and it was the coolest thing ever.
          I agree re wandering. 🙂

    2. Oh Maureen, you live in Monterey Bay? You lucky, lucky, lucky girl. I lived in the Bay area for three years, and I would try to get down that way every chance I could get. I think Big Sur is the most beautiful place, ever. Ever. In my wildest imaginations and real life.

      1. Big Sur is a slice of divine inspiration. And now I realize it’s been too long since I’ve taken that drive… I’m along the north edge of the bay, Santa Cruz, where the sun shines.

        1. It’s beautiful there— I love the pier with the amusement park– and the sea lions chilling under the pier!

  22. Thanks for the chance to throw my name into the hat, Pintip. This is a fun interview and I love learning about you Beth. I’m an Aussie by birth but live in California. Have you ever done any snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef? My sisters have and love it, but I have a thing about breathing and water. Ha ha. We were there three years ago. Gorgeous. I ventured as far as the glass botttom boat.

    1. Hi Robena,

      The Great Barrier Reef is one of those places on my “must get here one day” list. I’ve done my diving mostly in the Caribbean and Florida, other than a wicked cold certification dive off Long Island in the autumn and a few dives in Cabo San Lucas.

      Now I really want to get back under the sea…

    2. Thanks for coming by, Robena! I have a thing with breathing and water, too! Lol! Although glass-bottomed boats don’t do it for me, either. Too rocky, and I get seasick really easily. I do love snorkeling, however, so I’m not completely deprived!

  23. Hey Beth, thanks so much for doing this interview. It’s great to hear how someone came into this business — it’s really what I love about it, that you can have been anything and still love to write and read romance. I wanted to be a high school history teacher before life threw me into writing.
    And Pintip, wow, what fabulous questions!! Way to go!

    1. I absolutely agree, Merry — it’s so neat to hear about everyone’s diverse backgrounds. And I wish I could take credit for all the questions, but I have to admit, I had a little help from my mermaid sisters.

  24. Thanks for a very fun, informative interview. DNA sequencing actually sounds interesting, but I’m kind of a closet science geek and in my day job – I’m in healthcare IT. 🙂 Oh I loved big hair bands too!! Whitesnake was my favorite.

    I have three questions: What got you interested in scuba diving at 14? What’s the biggest creature you’ve encountered under the sea? Where is your favorite diving spot?

    Happy Weekend!!!

    1. Hi Tosha!

      DNA sequencing was pretty cool– the robotic sequencers and pipettors were really fun to use.

      My dad actually got me into diving. He got his certification when I was ten, and he knew I’d love it, so when I was old enough (at the time it was 14– now it may even be younger), I did the course. My parents have tried to do a Caribbean vacation every year (gotta love those time share trades!), and always took my brother and me when we could go with them, and my dad and I were always dive buddies. My brother never really got into it as much as I did.

      Biggest creature– we had a quick glimpse of some mantas in Cabo. Other than that, the biggest have been stingrays, reef sharks, and a couple of dolphins in the Bahamas. I would love to one day dive with humpbacks, whale sharks, and maybe even do one of those great white shark dives (maybe from a cage).

      I love Aruba. And Bonaire was great as well– we never even went on a boat, because the reef is within easy access from the shore. We did like 16 dives that week– morning, afternoon, and night. Fabulous.

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Tosha! We’re so pleased to welcome you to the lagoon!

  25. Hi Merry!
    I agree– you can be anything, have any background, and still be a lover of romance, and a writer of it. I am always intrigued by people’s backgrounds and origins and careers when I read their queries.
    Yes, Pintip asked some fun questions!

  26. Thank you Beth for this opportunity. Please throw my name into the hat! I’ve recently discovered George RR Martin. Can’t put those books down. My favorite POV character is Arya. Love her!

      1. Absolutely! I don’t miss a second of it. 🙂 I recently sat by an older gentleman on a long airplane ride. We talked the Game of Thrones books for hours. I’m only on the second one now. He advised me not to get too attached to any of the characters, because they get killed off. As long as Arya doesn’t get killed, I’m good. 🙂

        1. Hi Becky,
          Yes, GRRM tends to twist things in ways you don’t see coming!
          The show is fantastic! In spite of– or maybe because of– the differences from the book.

        2. Hi Becky! Game of Thrones was just VERY highly recommended to me, so it’s on my list of things to check out. Thanks for stopping by!

          1. Hi Pintip, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for throwing this little party.

  27. Hi Beth,

    Did you ever read “The Arm of the Starfish” by M. L’Engle? I so badly wanted to be Polly O’Keefe swimming with the dolphins along with Adam…

    Going to dig out my copy from the basement now:)

    Thank you to Pintip for the great interview!

    1. Hi Jennifer!

      Do you mean A Ring of Endless Light? I think that’s the one where she talks to the dolphins– that one is my favorite. Have to try and dig out my copy!

      1. Yes! The one I’m remembering has poor Polly wearing a pilled red one piece bathing suit while talking to the dolphins/ crushing on Adam while the lithe spy Kiri wore a slinky black two piece.

        Seriously, I’m going to re-read it this weekend now. So glad your post jogged my memory:)

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! I totally love re-reading fave books from childhood to see how they’ve changed from my memory of them.

  28. Hi Beth! I enjoyed reading your interview. Funny, your mention about scuba diving got me thinking how some of my best brainstorming comes when I am in the water – swimming laps at the gym, taking a shower, etc. . . . Woody Allen once made a reference to the ‘water hitting his head’ and how it helped his creativity. I tend to agree! Thanks so much to the mermaids for hosting you today and for making this contest possible!

    1. Hi Jessica!
      I love that reference to water helping with creativity! How wonderful that you brainstorm while swimming! That’s terrific!

    2. Ha — Jessica, I totally take a shower when I get stuck. I remember my friends making fun of me in college because I would take five showers a day while writing my senior thesis. But, hey, it worked, didn’t it?

      1. I’m reading this book called Imagine, How Creativity Works and the author says a hot shower has been proven to assist in making creative breakthroughs! 😉

        1. Nice! I will remember that so I can throw it in my friends’ faces the next time they make fun of me. (And yes, they absolutely still do that.)

          1. Evidently, the color blue is helpful… Alcohol can assist in intuitive leaps, but one seldom remembers that leap. While pot…hee, hee…can be more useful.

            I’m loving this book…

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Amanda! We’re thrilled to have you here at the lagoon!

  29. Hi Beth. Fun to hear about your science background since I also have a Bio degree. When I told my 12th grade English teacher that I was going into science, he told me I’d be back to the humanities. I didn’t believe him, but right around the time I was starting my (science) PhD, I started writing…
    Thanks for a great interview!

    1. Hi Shoshana! That’s wonderful! Congrats on the degree and thanks for stopping by!

  30. Hi Shoshana,
    That’s funny! I guess sometimes teachers do know stuff, huh? Did you finish your PhD?

    1. Yes, they do. Who would’ve thought?
      I did finish my PhD, and I’m doing research, which is cool in a whole different way than writing.

  31. Hi Beth,

    So…. If I wanted to submit something to you, and it has scuba diving, I’d better be sure to know what I’m talking about, right? lol.

    This is a really great interview, very fun to read. Diane Belchase told me she’d met you last year, and that you were an awesome agent.

    So here I am, waving frantically, hoping to get picked, lol. 🙂 (but don’t judge me, because I wasn’t a hair band girl–I was a Madonna Wannabe… Frosted hair, fishnets, and everything)

    Candice Gilmer

    1. Hi Candice! Thanks to Diana for sending you over to the lagoon! Welcome and so glad you enjoyed the interview!

  32. Hi Beth! Thanks for this opportunity to win a partial request! My background is in the chemical sciences, which I find fascinating, but writing is my first love, so now I use my fun science interests in my books. It’s the best of both worlds!

    1. Hi Noelle,

      Chemical sciences? What did (do?) you do? That sounds fascinating!

    2. Noelle, how cool! It’s always so neat when our separate interests merge like that. Good luck with your writing!

  33. Hi Candice!
    Yes, if you have scuba diving in your manuscript, you should certainly make sure it’s accurate. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the interview! And I liked Madonna too, but never quite dressed up. 🙂

  34. Great interview, Mermaids. And thanks for sharing your insight, Beth. I too would cast Gerard Bulter as my leading man 🙂 I write Scottish historicals. That is no coincidence!
    ps- I don’t need a review, but that is so kind of you to offer ten reads!!!! Hope you find some fabulous entries.

    1. Hi Tracy!
      Thanks for coming by! Mr. Butler does indeed inspire those romances. 🙂

    2. Hi Tracy! Seriously great interview today over at the Celtic Hearts blog. Thanks for coming by. The lagoon is so much nicer with you around.

  35. Thank you both for the interview. It’s always fun to have some idea of what an agent finds interesting on a personal level, and how she came to be in this weird business.

    1. Hi Kay! Welcome to the lagoon! So glad you made it over here today and thanks for your comment!

  36. Hair bands rock! My first concert was Warrant opening for Poison. Good memories.

    1. Hi Liz!

      That sounds like a fantastic show! Lots and lots of long hair swinging around, lots of leather pants. 🙂

    1. Hi Lorenda! So glad you could make it, and so glad you like the blog! Thanks so much for coming by!

  37. What a fun interview! It’s always great to get to know the “real” side of agents — like I want to know that you like hair bands and have an affinity for Jon Bon Jovi and Gerard Butler! 🙂 Fun stuff. … Do you still do some writing yourself? What genre do you most enjoy writing?

    1. Hi Laurie!
      I do still do some writing– some romance, some YA– have to get back into it. Hard to find the time. I like YA, though sometimes I think I cross too much into the romancey side and have to remember what it is I’m writing. 🙂

      1. Interesting. I really admire YA writing — there’s so much good YA writing these days! (Actually, there always has been! — I still recall fave scenes from books as a kid.) I now have teens, and I absolutely LOVE to talk with them about the books they read. We all read The Hunger Games together; my daughter (15) adores Sarah Dessen; and now my youngest (12) is reading The Outsiders, which was one of my faves. It’s so fun for me to get to “relive” all the old — and experience the new — in YA. Especially through their eyes. 🙂

        1. Have you ever thought about writing YA, Laurie? I absolutely love it. I tried out several different genres before discovering it, but now that I have, I think I’m here to stay.

          1. Yes, actually, I have, Pintip! But only YA romance (because I do love writing romance), and only since my daughter became a teenager because I now feel like I’m “in the know” a little bit with current language and influences. (!) I hear her stories, and her friend’s stories, and I keep thinking, “That should be in a book!” So I have a window of opportunity … She’s 15, so my window will last a very little while. 🙂

          2. What a great opportunity, Laurie! My kids are still young, but my dream is for them to read something that I’ve written — and enjoy it.

        2. Hi Laurie,
          It’s my favorite genre to read right now– and so hard to keep up with all the fantastic titles coming out all the time!
          How cool to experience the YA experience with your kids. 🙂

    2. Thanks so much, Laurie! Welcome to the mermaid lagoon! I’m really glad you were able to stop by!

  38. Hi Pintip and Beth! Please throw my name into the hat. 🙂 Loved reading more about you, Beth. I so wanted to be a marine biologist growing up! Up until I discovered I’d have to take chemistry and math along with biology. Ack! So I minored in biology and found I loved writing too. Have a great time in San Diego, Beth! (I went to UCSD and miss it down there!)

    Have a great weekend mermaids!

  39. Hi Robin!
    Yeah, the “other sciences” really can be a bump in the road. After I got my bio degree, I thought for a while about going for a forensic science masters at John Jay College. But I would have needed statistics, organic chem 2 (I only took 1 semester of o-chem in college) and physical chemistry even to be considered for the program. That’s when I decided I’d just watch CSI. 🙂

    1. Ha, watching CSI is probably an easier call! Although they make forensics science look so cool, don’t they?
      Thanks so much for coming, Robin! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  40. What a fabulous interview and set of replies! Thank you so much, Pintip and Beth. It’s so much fun to see what different paths we’ve taken to writing. I was a drama major who wanted to write plays. Once I got over that, I taught sewing, was a bridal seamstress and earned my library degree.

    Wish I could claim an addiction to hair bands. Alas, my music love seems to start and stop with Top 40 hits and Elvis Costello. Do we have hair bands on the Top 40 playlist? I never look up the pictures, only listen.

    1. Hi Susan! You have the most interesting background. Playwright turned seamstress turned librarian. How fascinating. I think you’ll be able to turn those interests and experiences into something really hot! 😉

    2. Hi Susan!
      That is, indeed, an interesting background! Do you work as a librarian now?

      1. I do, Beth, for a private boys’ high school. They are so much fun to work with, especially when a book is suddenly ultra-popular (Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones recently). Plus, helping them with navigating research in the Age of Information.

        1. Are they enjoying those books? And do they even still learn about card catalogs, or is it all digitized by now?

          1. Oops. Card catalog? What’s that? Ugly truth: the catalog was tossed after digitizing the collection. The boxes of shelf-list cards are being used as supports under various shelves at the reference desk. Likewise the video collection is at an awkward stage between video, DVD and streaming. Videos being tossed, DVDs not used as much. It really is a different world. Really.

  41. Hi Beth,
    I appreciated hearing your advice on the do’s and don’ts regarding “finding” a compatible agent. I haven’t started the search yet, and I must admit, it scares me. I do plan to enter some contests because I am at the point where I feel I need some feedback.

    By the way, Gerard Butler would be booked solid if all of us (yes, I include myself most definitely!) who LOVE him, could have him play opposite us in a movie. 🙂

    Thanks to The Waterworld Mermaids for this blog interview.

    1. Thank you, Annie, and welcome to the lagoon! We are so glad you could stop by. Best of luck with your contest submissions and agent search! The whole process is rather frightening, isn’t it?

    2. Hi Annie!
      The agent search can definitely be intimidating, but there’s such a wealth of information out there now, which is helpful.
      I’d recommend choosing contests where you are guaranteed some feedback– it can be super-helpful!
      Best of luck to you!

  42. Ok, I just LOVE the idea of working out of a brownstone with many steps.

    1. Me, too, Renci! I gotta admit, I was totally jealous of Beth when I saw that brownstone and kinda wished that I could be a literary agent, too!

    2. Hi Renci,
      It’s a lovely place to work, but running up and down multiple times a day from the 3rd floor to the basement, or to the other building (we’re in two attached brownstones) and back, does get a bit tiring after awhile.
      LOL, Pintip. 🙂

  43. Hi Pintip and Beth!

    What a great interview! And thank you, Beth, for offering to read 10 partials. That’s incredibly generous.

    I’m going to second both the Gerard Butler (I swooned watching PS I Love You, I won’t lie) and James McAvoy accent love. I’ve recently developed a mini-crush on Michael Fassbender. I mean, what a nice… accent.

      1. Hi Marnee!
        Mr. Fassbender and Mr. Worthington are both very appealing as well. And Chris Hemsworth, too… let’s not leave him out.

    1. Marnee, ha. Those accents and voices sure are…nice, aren’t they? Thanks for stopping by!

  44. Beth my critique partner told me to come by because she said, that I could talk hair bands with you for hours…lol. Truthfully, that is why I started writing romance. My best friends were gigantic fan’s of hair bands back in the day and we were lucky enough to quite a few of the guys. We always talked lyrics, and writing…odd, I know, but quite inspiring! I write Scottish historical’s and so what if my hero’s look like Mike Tramp circa 1989 or Nikki Six circa 2005?

    I also took biology last year and would have loved to do DNA sequencing. How cool would that be? Oh and no one has a voice like Sebastian’s. Have you checked out the old videos on You Tube?

    Also would love to learn to dive, but I live in Nebraska. No oceans here.

    1. Hi Tricia! Welcome to the lagoon! Thanks to Laurie for sending you over here. 🙂 How neat to go to writing novels from song lyrics. I love song lyrics; they can be amazingly heartfelt and poignant.

    2. Hi Tricia!
      Thanks for coming by!
      I’d toyed with a romantic suspense manuscript way back in the day (didn’t even remember it until now) about a hair band, and used as my models for the guys various hair band hotties.
      Can I add Peter Loran from Trixter to the list of HB Hotties? The video for Give it to Me Good was always a favorite of mine. 🙂
      Yeah, I guess Nebraska is pretty landlocked– but hey, that’s what vacation is for. 🙂

  45. Thanks for the interview, I always appreciate seeing inside the head of an agent. And I have to say I love it when people are multifaceted that way and surprise you with interests that cross the board. I have a good friend who did her undergrad at MIT and then got a masters in film making lol. It just shows a person knows how to shake it up.

    1. Hi Amber!
      It’s really fascinating to see how varied people’s backgrounds are. We had an intern here last year who was drop-dead-model-gorgeous and was doing a dual major in like astrophysics and microbiology or something like that. I’m not even kidding. And she loved writing and reading.

      1. we do sort of assume that those who are beautiful are somehow supposed to find something else to do with themselves besides excel academically. lol i wonder where we get that idea.

    2. It keeps life interesting, doesn’t it? Did you know that you could actually be an English major at MIT? Although I hear that for most people, the humanities major is a secondary one. But I guess all the commenters on this post have proved that lots of us have very diverse interests. Thanks for stopping by, Amber!

      1. i know someone who majored in anthropology at MIT but it isn’t what you’d immediately think of. it’s all science and robots in my head.

  46. What a great interview! And thank you for the opportunity!!!

    Beth – you had me at Damon!

    I love hearing (or reading, in this case) stories of successful career changes. I am a registered nurse by trade and sometimes miss beeping IV pumps and delivering babies! Beth, do you ever miss your E-coli and research days?

    1. Hi Tif!
      Nice to see another Damon lover. 🙂
      I don’t really miss the lab. I miss some of my friends from there, but I like the variety that the agency brings. The lab stuff was the same thing every day, and just got a bit boring after awhile.

    2. Tif, Can’t say that beeping IV pumps and delivering babies would ever get boring, so I can see why you miss it! Being a registered nurse, you must have a lot of experience to mine for your writing!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Pintip, you’re right, it was never boring…and am looking for the right way to introduce the wonderful world of birthing into a WIP. Tried writing a birthing scene a while back, and I’m not so sure how successful I was! 😉

  47. I have a hard time coming up with a woman who *wouldn’t* want Gerard Butler to play the male lead in the story of her life (granted, husband probably wouldn’t mind it if GB played him, either, though I daresay he’d probably pick Salma Hayek to play me, as long as he got to play the male lead. I guess turn about is fair play). Like Marnee, I’ve developed a crush on Michael Fassbender. He really does have a nice… accent (perfectly put, Marnee).

    1. Hi Meggan!
      True, GB has become quite the fan favorite.
      LOL about Fassbender– apparently there’s some movie with him and his assets that I need to see.

    2. Meggan, I’d love to eavesdrop on the conversation with you and your husband as you try to figure out who would play your respective roles! My husband can never remember any actor’s or actress’s names, so I think he’d be hard-pressed to come out with someone to play me. Thanks for stopping by!

  48. I love agent interviews! I have representation, but I made sure to let my critique partner know about this fantastic opportunity.

    My degrees are something completely unrelated to writing, too. I resigned from my engineering job several years ago. I’d always wanted to write a novel but didn’t think I’d enjoy it. After all, I really, really, really did not enjoy writing technical papers. But once I sat down and experienced that writer’s high the first time a scene came together, I was hooked!

    Oh, and Damon. *sigh*

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for coming by!
      Science writing does not leave much room for creativity, so I see why you prefer novels!

      I remember turning in a draft of my internship paper (on the Diurnal Activities of Pacific Harbor Seals in Elkhorn Slough, California), and of course, I’d done my usual pad the paper with big fun words and flowery language, and the prof was like– “we don’t use adjectives.” Which of course significantly shortened my paper. Alas.

    2. Stephanie, Thanks so much for sending Tif over! And for stopping by yourself! We’re thrilled that you both could make it! There is a big difference between technical writing and creative fiction, isn’t there?
      Beth, LOL. Now, in the legal profession, in contrast, there are some people who enjoy throwing in as many big words and convoluted sentences as possible.

  49. Great post Beth! But I think that now that you’ve given this interview you’ll be hardpressed to find someone who doesn’t mention Gerard Butler or Damon in their query letter!!! 🙂 Love the fact that you started in a different place in your career and moved over to writing … gives you a whole different perspective.

    Thanks Pintip for snagging Beth!

    1. Hi Nikki!

      Well, I don’t mind queries that reference gorgeous actors…

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Nikki! And I think Beth would love being reminded of Gerard and Damon as she reading through her query letters…

  50. Thank you for the posting this informative interview, Pintip. Beth, I admit it, I was (*coughs* am) a hair band lover too. 🙂

    1. Hi Kathleen!
      See– a lot more closet hairband fans out there than one might assume. 🙂

  51. In total agreement with you on Gerard Butler for the male lead.I also wouldn’t sneeze at Chris Hemsworth, the actor who plays Thor. Sign me up for a superhero. I watched “Thor” with my 7-year-old and had to fan myself when he came on screen shirtless. 🙂

    1. Hi Jackie!
      LOL– Oh how I swooned at Thor. And every female I know who’s seen it has had the same reaction.

        1. Agreed, but he does have that sleeveless costume now, so there’s that.

    2. Ever since I saw The Avengers, I’ve been working through all the other superhero movies. I saw the Iron Man movies (which I LOVED), so next up is Thor and then Captain America. Happy to hear I have much to look forward to!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jackie!

  52. Great Interview Beth and Pintip! I was laughing out loud at the hair bands reference. Maybe because I grew up in the eighties and had big hair? And because I loved watching Sebastian Bach on MTV back when they used to show music videos 🙂

    Vampire Diaries is my guilty pleasure–I hope Elena ends up with Damon!

    1. Hi Julie!
      Oh, I remember those days, when MTV aired videos. I used to have to watch it when my dad wasn’t around– he tried to prevent me from watching MTV. 🙂

      1. I remember spending many New Year’s Eves watching the top 100 videos countdown on MTV, LOL.
        Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

  53. Great interview, Beth! I like how you arrived at being an agent after getting a Master’s in Literature—You enjoyed reading that much. I got my bachelor’s in Literature for the exact same reason.

    And flesh-eating bison? Great jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! (I had to look up the spelling for that, btw.)

    Thanks for the post, Pintip!

    1. Hi Oberon!
      Yeah, the FEBison was just wrong.
      And I feel very fortunate to be where I am… and I still love to read!

    2. Hi Oberon! Welcome to the lagoon, and thanks for your comment! Wasn’t reading for school and classes totally fun? It felt like I was cheating somehow, to be enjoying my studies that much!

  54. Hi Beth!
    Great interview. I love hearing about what you do when you’re not wearing your agent cap. My background is psychology, the soft science. While I never worked in the field, it sure came in handy raising teenagers and digging into the minds of my characters, especially villains. Thanks so much for this opportunity.
    Nancy C. Weeks

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy! Psychology is such a great major for just about anything, really. Definitely applicable to teenagers and villains alike, lol!

  55. Hi Nancy!
    I can definitely see where a psychology background would be helpful to your writing (and child-raising!). Very cool!

  56. Thanks for the replies guys, and thanks Pintip, for doing this. I have to ask, is that your real name? It’s very neat and original. I’m jumping off and on, because I am doing a final edit on my manuscript. I’m trying not to be distracted…haha.
    And Beth I agree with you. Peter Loran was very hot. Back in the day I was a huge Poison Fan as well as Trixter, The guys from Slaughter were all very nice, actually and so was Kip Winger. The late 80’s was a fantastic time. I still have all of my original cassettes, and albums.
    Okay, back to editing…

  57. Sebastian Bach? “18 and Life,” baby!

    Actually, I wasn’t big into hair bands in the 80s … but now I sing along every time I hear them on the radio.

    I was excited to read about this chance to get my MS out there. Thanks!

    1. Hi Arlene,

      Oh I love that song! That man has such a beautiful voice. Saw him on Broadway in Jekyll and Hyde some years ago, and he did a great job.

    2. Hi Arlene,
      Singing to the radio is my guilty pleasure when I’m in the car, by myself. Thanks so much for stopping by1

  58. Hi Pintip! and Welcome, Beth! I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments and feel absolutely wonderful to be another one – Biology because I wanted to work with Dolphins but was landlocked, so added Chemistry on track to medical school, was accepted, but went down a different path into heart research, alumina chemistry and All the time, give me a HEA and a book and I was happy, happy. I lived in Turkey when I was young and with only books and music, there are lots of imaginative places to visit 🙂

    A question about diving – I’ve been out in the Gulf, snorkeling, but every time I’m down for awhile I get this crazy disoriented feeling and HAVE to see the horizon…what is that?

    It’s wonderful to see the paths taken by everyone. No wonder great stories rise from this group! 🙂


    1. Hi, Jean! Wow — what an interesting background you have! How fascinating and surprising to have studied all those things. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    2. Hi Jean,

      That really is a fascinating background!

      I know it’s recommended you look at the horizon if you feel seasick– the horizon is unmoving, and it gives you something fixed to look at, which is SUPPOSED to help motion sickness. In theory.

      1. Oh, I never thought of motion sickness. I thought diving might be out because until I see that horizon, I can’t settle. Meanwhile, I have hugging a dolphin on my bucket list. Went Ziplining a couple of months ago. If you’ve never done it…wheee, what a ride. Fun, fun.

        1. Oh wow — ziplining. That is definitely on my list of things to do. Where did you go, Jean?

          1. North Georgia mountains. Funny thing, the higher in the trees you are, the better you feel 🙂 Of course, the camera didn’t work when I zipped across so my sons think the one of me in gear on the ground is as far as I got…lol…nope. I’m doing it again.

          2. That sounds amazing, Jean. Will have to keep North Georgia mountains in mind as a future vacation destination!

  59. Thanks for the tip on stalking at the RWA conference. I’ll be attending my first this summer and I’ll be sure to leave my manuscript outside of the women’s restroom 🙂

    I didnt’ start writing until two years ago (when I was 49) and can’t seem to stop. I appreciate the advice on the query letters, and the contests.

    Thanks for taking the time, Beth.

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      I’m glad you’re finding the advice and tips helpful, and best of luck to you! Have a great time at the conference!

    2. Suzanne, LOL. I would love to witness the whole manuscript under the stall thing happening, wouldn’t you? Best of luck to you, and thanks for your comment!

  60. Hi Beth!! Fun interview and thanks for visiting with all of us! I so appreciate hearing from you about Brenda’s auction every year. Your enthusiastic support is always one of the highlights my work!

  61. Hey Anna!
    Nice to “see” you! And always glad to help out at the auction!
    Hope all is well!

  62. Hi, Pintip! And nice to meet you, Beth! Thanks so much to both of you for this terrific post! Beth, it’s so interesting and reassuring to me to read about your path to agenting. (Also your love of Def Leppard. 😛 ) I focused on literature and foreign languages in college, then went to law school, thinking it was the responsible thing to do, but knew by graduation that it wasn’t the right career for me. It took me a while to admit that to my family, and even longer to admit that what I was doing instead–what I couldn’t stop myself from doing–was writing romance. Their reactions were mixed, to be honest. They’ve mostly come around, now, but it always makes me happy and hopeful to hear the story of someone who has made a big change, and found their bliss in a whole new direction. Thanks for sharing yours with us!

    1. Hi Sally!
      I know a lot of people who have started out in the law field and then went in a different direction.
      And I understand about your family’s mixed reactions– you’ll just have to show them the error of their thinking!

      1. Me! I’m one of those people! I never regretted going to law school or my time practicing law, however. Best of luck with the career change, Sally, and I’m glad that your family has mostly come around. We need all the support we can get in this writing profession.

  63. Hey Beth, fab interview! The whole read I was nodding my head saying “Ooh, me too!”. My husband knows that, to this day, if Nikki Sixx comes knocking on our door, I’m gone. 🙂 And Sebastian Bach? Omg, loved him. What a voice (and face and hair…)! I also love that you were into marine biology. That was actually the plan for my life too. It wasn’t meant to be, but I still swoon over marine animals and am known to wear an octopus necklace on a regular basis. Thanks for the fun glimpse into your career!

    1. Hi Tara,
      Glad you enjoyed! Sebastian still has a great voice (and great hair–somehow!). He has a new CD that came out recently.
      I think for many of us, marine science becomes more of a hobby– going diving, whale watching, etc. It’s a lot easier than trying to get that PhD and find a job!
      I have several whale and dolphin jewelry items that I wear every now and then as well. 🙂

      1. Ooohhh octopus necklace! Dolphin jewelry! Sounds like you two fit in just fine in the mermaid lagoon. We like to wear bright golden or silver pins shaped like mermaids holding a perfect white pearl.
        Thanks for stopping by, Tara!

  64. Hey guys,
    Thank you SO much for having me here today! I will check in as much as I can over the next few days, though it will be pretty sporadic.

    For anyone who would like to query, please feel free to do so by emailing me a query letter and the first five or so pages of your ms pasted into the body of an email. Please mention this blog. Send to bmiller(at)writershouse(dot)com.

    For those who win the chance to send your partial, please send the first 3 chapters as an email attachment, in .doc or .docx format, double-spaced, along with your query, as well as a synopsis if you have one.

    Again, thanks for the great conversation, man-drooling, scuba discussions, and career-path chat! I really enjoyed being here.

    Best of luck to all of you!

  65. Hi Beth! Thanks for the great interview. My current guilty pleasure is reading YA as well. I tell myself I’m reading to make sure it’s appropriate for my 12 year old, but the truth is, I just like it.

    I’m sorry if I’m duplicating a question, but queries kill me. Yes, I can write a basic query, but I wondered if there was anything (aside from publishing credits) that would get your attention enough to request a partial?
    Cindy Skaggs

    1. Hi Cindy!
      I think for me, it’s an interesting idea and a well-written query. Keep the qery letter under a page if you can– you want a paragraph or so about your book, and a paragraph or so about you. And that’s it. If it sounds like something I’m interested in, I’ll probably ask for pages.

    2. Hi Cindy! Nothing wrong with adults reading (and liking) YA. These days, I read mostly YA myself. There’s so much to love! Best of luck with those queries!

  66. What a fantastic interview! I also loved reading all of the comments afterwards =)

    My current MS isn’t finished yet–drat! It’s a sexy historical set in Scotland! Lots of hot Highlanders wearing kilts *waggles brows*

    Oh well, I will just have to query you when I’m ready!!

    1. Hi Natalie!
      Thanks for coming by!
      Well, I do love me some sexy Highlanders, so please do include me in your query list when it’s ready!

    2. Hi Natalie! I’m so glad you stopped by. Best of luck finishing that novel. Go, go, go!

  67. Hi Beth – I feel like I should welcome both of us because I just discovered the Waterworld, and I will definitely be coming back! Thanks for being so generous as to offer your time to ten lucky commenters!

    1. Hi Margaret!
      So glad you stopped by– and will again! This is a great group!

    2. Aw, thanks, Margaret. That is so nice! You are welcome back to the lagoon anytime! We are thrilled you want to come back and visit!

  68. Wow. I don’t know what I enjoyed more… the flashback to my friends and I belting out our favorite Def Leppard songs, or the amazing personalities shining in this interview and comments! I feel very lucky to have found this blog today and will most certainly be back. 🙂

    Thank you Pintip & Beth! And extra thanks, Beth, for such a generous donation of your time! Here’s hoping I might be one of the lucky ones… 😉

    1. Love bites, love bleeds… it’s bringin’ me to my knees…
      Glad you stopped by, Jennifer! This has been so much fun!

      1. Ah, there’s nothing like big-hair 80’s music! My fourteen-year-old daughter is hooked now, and I feel honored to have taught her the proper head-banging technique. Funnily enough, she ‘gets’ that the simplicity of the rock’n’roll lyrics are the best part. She says music today tries too hard. 😉 (wise kid, huh?)

    2. Thanks so much, Jennifer! We mermaids feel so lucky you found us and hope that you will come back!

      1. Oh, absolutely! I’ve been enjoying reading through all the previous posts–what a lovey group of contributors y’all have! Thanks for being out here in the cyber-verse!

        1. Aw, thanks, Jennifer! That is so nice! And the avatars are cute, aren’t they?

  69. Fabulous blog/interview. Thanks Pintip and Beth.
    I normally just lurk but for a chance at a partial I’ll jump in!
    I too come from a diverse background that includes racehorses, airport opperations and emergency dispatching. Writing is my passion and I’d love to share my books with more than just my friends.
    I love living in the PNW because we often get to see whales and seals (plus had a deer in the front yard this morning!)

    1. Hi Kathy!
      Wow– that is an interesting background! What kind of racehorses (Thoroughbreds or Standardbreds?)? I love horses so very much– I don’t think I mentioned that in my interview answers.
      The PNW is gorgeous– will be out there in Seattle for the PNWA conference in July. I would love to live by the sea. One day…

      1. Thoroughbreds 🙂 I love trying to figure out their minds, I seemed to have a knack for keeping them happy. Horseracing is a dying industry on the west coast (especially here north of the border) so I’ve moved on to my new career in dispatch. Meantime my goal is to get my books out there by the end of this year, either in the hands of an agent or self-published ebooks. I started the query and contest stuff a few years ago and through feedback have grown to the point of contest wins and a couple of ‘full’ requests. All of this has helped me become a better writer and my next will be my best.
        Enjoy you trip to Seattle! I’ll be there in the fall for the RWA chapter conference (Emerald City Writers Conf.)

    2. Thanks, Kathy, for coming out of lurker-mode to comment! We hope you do it more often! And race horses and airport operations? I’m so impressed. I wish I could live some of these lives that you all have, but I guess that’s why we have books, right? I do often get deer in my yard, but alas, no whales or seals.
      Beth, I hope you have fun in Seattle! What a schedule you have this summer!

  70. Hair bands of the 80s. Too funny, because I became distracted on Youtube–imagine–and ended up listening to a string of songs from The Cult to B52s to GoGos to Adam Ant. Revisiting my youth, bopping around the living room. The old bladder, she ain’t what she used to… oops. Sorry.

    A quick bathroom break and a pop over to FB and I see Avery has a new post. Nice to meet you, Beth.

    Sure, through me into the draw. My rejections have been getting kinder. Snort.

    1. Hi Sherry!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I had a long ride in my car this evening, and all I wanted was some great music to sing to. Alas, other than the tail end of Welcome to the Jungle (which was perfect for the bumper-to-bumper ride on the cursed Belt Parkway– referred to in my family as the F-ing Belt), there wasn’t much to sing to.

  71. Loved the interview! So nice to hear of all the different passions in your life. Isn’t it wonderful the way they meld us to the way we are. My background of farming, barrel racing, dog shows and veterinary medicine didn’t prepare me for a career writing Scottish historicals, but I’m hooked and just returned from my first (of many, I hope) trip to Scotland for research (and fun, of course 🙂
    Thanks for taking the time to visit!

    1. Hi Cathy!
      Wow– definitely an interesting jump from animal care and animal-hanging-out to Scottish historicals! Where in Scotland were you? It’s so gorgeous there, and I would love to get back there one of these days. Some friends and I did an amazing road trip there in 2005.

    2. Hi Cathy! Maybe I should be keeping a list of all these amazing backgrounds. So much fun. I’ve never been to Scotland, but I hope I get a chance to visit someday! Thanks for stopping by!

  72. Hi Beth and Pintip!
    I wanted to swim by earlier but I somehow became distracted by something shiny in the water. 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    1. That tends to happen in our lagoon a lot, doesn’t it? So many shiny things! Have a great weekend, Kimberly-Mermaid!

  73. Hi, Beth,
    Thanks for your informative interview and for hanging around all day to reply to comments. I’m intrigued by your comments about getting a better feel about potential clients from your email interaction with them and would like to know more about that. I’m guessing that means how their voice comes across even in their emails, but is there more to that? Like the clarity of their comments and questions, conciseness, professional attitude? (By the way, I’ve loved Gerard Butler since he was the Phantom.)

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I think the Phantom really kicked off Gerry’s career. I love that movie as well– maybe even more so than the Broadway show–which of course has better singing, though Gerry didn’t do a bad job– but I loved the way the movie lets you get into the emotions of the characters.

      As for the question about getting to know clients from engaging with them– it’s hard to really quantify that. You just have to get a sense of someone. The first contact is usually through email, where, as you know from writing queries, it can be very formal. Once you establish that contact, and go back and forth a bit, you get a better sense for who this person is, and then of course, speaking on the phone can really help. I think the professional attitude is a big plus– remember that we have to want to work with you! But I’m also impressed when a potential client asks really smart questions that tells me she has done her research and has some savvy about the business.

      I hope that helped a bit!

      1. Taking notes over here, Beth — good to know! 🙂 Thanks for your question, Barbara! I hope you enjoy your time here in the lagoon!

      2. Beth,

        Thank you for answering my question. You’re right – that first query, which is your first and best chance to make a great impression, by its very nature tends to be somewhat formal. Although I try to be concise in my paragraph describing the story, I also try to get my voice in there.


  74. Thanks for doing this interview! I loved reading your interview and the comments. In one of my previous lives I was a technical writer for the engineering and environmental world. Writing YA Fantasy is so much richer! World building is challenging, and I love putting in those romantic elements. I’ve only read about Damon and the rest–we don’t get any TV channels, so I haven’t managed to see the show yet. But I really enjoyed the books, and hear the show is excellent.

    1. Hi Deborah!
      Thanks for the kind words! This was so much fun. 🙂

      I’m glad you found your niche in YA fantasy– it can be so much fun to create a new world with your own rules of that world.

      I have to say that The Vampire Diaries TV series really surpasses the books– which I have from when they first came out. I loved them back then, but the show just takes the characters and the world to new levels. And the actors are fantastic (and stunningly gorgeous– every last one of them).

    2. Hi Deborah! I wonder, do your backgrounds in engineering and environment help you in the world-building? That seems like a fascinating combination. Best of luck with your YA fantasies and thanks for stopping by!

  75. Hi Beth your interview was great. Fascinating that people would be so rude to push a manuscript under the door of a stall. I would be unsure of even approaching you to say hi. But I’ve only been to one small conference in Dallas hosted by DARA. Hope you had a great day. Loni I am never up that early unless I’ve been up all night. Many times I have found my body heading for bed about the time you’re getting up. I am a night owl that can’t seem to change.

    1. Hi Kathy!
      I went to the DARA conference last year– it was great. Lots of lovely ladies, and just a well-run conference!
      And hey, don’t be nervous about approaching us agent-folk! Just maybe not in the loo. 🙂

    2. Kathy, that reminds me of what my cousin used to do. She would sleep all day and be awake all night — and she didn’t even have a night job. She and her friends were students and they all had the exact sane schedule. It was pretty fascinating to see this entire community who kept completely different hours from the rest of the world. I guess that’s what vampires do, lol. Thanks for your comment!

    3. Kathy!
      Hello! Good to have you stop by our Lagoon! Yeah, I’m a ‘morning kind of gal’ blame that one on years in the Navy and all the crazy schedules.

      Good to have you here!


  76. Hi Sonya,
    It was an interesting job, and it was fascinating to see how all the cool technology was applied to the work we were doing. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work there!

  77. Nice interview, fun comments. And Writers House, what a great agency! Thanks for doing this and for responding so generously to everyone’s comments. (And, yes, okay, I’ll add to the swoons – Gerard Butler, yum.) :o)

  78. Thanks, Beth! I’m with you on the subject of GB. And contests. I’ve entered a few and judged a few. The feedback you get varies so much that you need a strong sense of who you are as a writer so you can glean useful bits from the critique and know what to ignore.

    Speaking of whales – in Hawai’i, the whale-watching boats are supposed to keep a certain distance from the whales. That’s great except a curious whale swam right under our boat. I could have just about reached down and touched it – it was completely visible and not that deeply under the surface. That was the high point of the cruise.

    1. Linda, what a great experience! Although it sounds potentially dangerous (glad everything worked out), what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a whale so close! Glad you stopped by the lagoon today! You are always welcome here!

    2. Hi Linda!
      That sounds so cool! I know the boats are supposed to stay away, but most of the ones I’ve been on will cut the engine and then see if the whales approach. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

      And yes, it’s very important as a writer to be able to look closely at the critiques and see what you agree with or are willing to try and what you just plain disagree with. Remember, it is your story– if you really don’t feel comfortable making that change, then don’t. Of course, if 10 readers think you should, then it may be something to think about. 🙂

  79. Hi, I write inspirational so I’ll leave myself out of the chance to win a partial read so someone fabulous who writes in the genres you read has a little better chance at nabbing a spot.

    Great interview Pintip and Beth. You sound like a fun and passionate agent for stories you believe in. Good luck at finding the next great story in the 10 lucky recipients of a partial read.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately, I’m just not familiar with the inspirational market, but I wish you all the best!

      Thanks for the kind words!

  80. Hi Karen! Thanks so much for stopping by! The lagoon is sparkling just a little brighter now! Best of luck with your inspirationals!

  81. In college, I started out majoring in Marine Biology and wanted to work with dolphins, a similar situation. My life took a different turn, literally (long story there), and I in ended up being a professional fantasy illustrator and writing fantasy romance. Great interview. I enjoyed reading it.

    1. What a great combination — an illustrator and writer of fantasy! Glad you enjoyed the interview, Sabrina. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Hi Sabrina,
      Wow– that’s a pretty neat career change! I know so many people who were in my marine science program who changed their minds once they saw how difficult it would be to find work. But there are some who stuck with it, and are scientists out in exotic locales.
      The fantasy illustrating sounds really fun– you must be very talented!

  82. Hi Beth, My parents took me to the Cold Spring Harbor lab and I still remember watching those fish jump at feeding time. Any time I’ve asked any editor who they like to work with, your agency tops the list. Thanks for taking time to visit with us. Margaret

    1. Wasn’t it so much fun to have Beth here with us in the lagoon? I’m so glad you stopped by, Margaret!

    2. Thanks, Margaret! CSHL is a pretty cool lab– just saw a friend I used to work with there and had a lot of fun catching up on all the gossip and technology.

      Writers House is an amazing place to work– so many talented and brilliant colleagues, and such a great client list. I just love being part of it. It’s nice to hear the editors like us, too. 🙂

  83. Beth,
    What exactly is a “junior agent?” The literary equivalent of training wheels? They only let you read 3 chapters? You don’t get to be a double secret senior agent until you sell a blockbuster? Just curious.

    I doff my chapeau at your various interests. You are a true Renaissance agent. BTW, have you been to San Ignazio Lagoon in Baja for gray whale watching? If not, you must go, it is the fastest way to squeal like a five-year-old. Thanks for the interview.

    1. Hi Terri,

      I haven’t been to Baja during gray whale season– was in Cabo San Lucas for a week one summer, but it was out of season for the big cool stuff. Saw grays when I was in San Diego last winter, and that was pretty neat, though seeing the birthing grounds in Baja is definitely on my list.

      As for Junior Agent, it means that I’m still assisting Robin and working closely with her, while taking on my own projects.

  84. I’m another one of those odd ducks who majored in English and minored in biology–and taught both at the same time. By grad school, I was able to combine my interests into psychology, which I taught for yrs. while secretly plotting (and finally writing) books. Always admired scuba divers, Beth, but my bucket list is so huge, I can barely carry it.
    Enjoyed the interview and all the comments.

    1. Jan, Better to have a large bucket list than no bucket list at all, right? I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview! Thanks for coming by!

    2. Hi Jan!
      Thanks for stopping by! I agree with Pintip– wonderful to have that bucket list– I hope you’re slowly but surely crossing things off of it!
      It’s wonderful to be able to combine the things you love into one career or hobby or vocation, so kudos!

  85. I’m with you about Gerard Butler, Beth. Yum!

    I especially appreciate your comments about the value of contests.

    And thank you, Pintip and all the other Mermaids, for the rousing discussion.

    Cheers, Faith

    1. It is our pleasure, Faith! I’m so glad you could join in the conversation!

    2. Hi Faith!
      Thanks for coming by! It’s been a fun discussion!
      I think contests can be really valuable, up to a point. So I recommend entering a few, but kind of knowing when you’ve gotten all you can out of them.

  86. Always good to see someone else who began working in science and continued on into the world of storytelling! Thanks for the interview!

    1. Hi Another Beth!
      There are a lot of science folks on here– just goes to show that you don’t have to be one or the other! Thanks for coming by!

  87. Hi Pintip and Beth,
    How appropriate for this interview, of a nearly-marine biologist, to take place on The Waterworld Mermaids! I had the pleasure of meeting Beth at NJRWA’s conference and love that we have science-oriented agents floating around. Of course, I’m biased, being a naturalist.
    Thanks for the opening up a number of great topics, both in the interview questions and comments. I appreciate your time and the opportunity!

    1. Laurel, I had the sane thought, especially since so much of the conversations revolved around the amazing marine life. Thanks so much for your comment, and I hope you’ll return to the lagoon!

    2. Hi Laurel!
      Thanks for coming by– I enjoyed attending NJRW’s conference last year!
      It is pretty neat to have a bunch of authors chatting about our mutual love for the sea!

  88. I don’t know too much about biology, but I know Long Island! I grew up in East Northport, not too, too far from Cold Spring Harbor. Alas, we moved to Florida but I haven’t seen any whales. Dolphins, alligators, and one Florida panther, but no whales. I enjoyed the interview. Keep reading!

    1. Hi Marian!
      I know a lot of folks from the Northport/Huntington-ish area! I bet the weather’s nicer in FL than it usually is on Long Island (though this has been a gorgeous weekend up here…)
      It’s pretty darn cool that you got to see a panther! Hopefully not too close!

  89. Thanks for stopping by, Marian, and make sure you stay a safe distance away from those animals!

  90. The contest is now closed! Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by and for all the fun conversations. I will post the ten winners of the drawing in the morning!

Comments are closed.