Interview with TBA Agent, Louise Fury

It’s time for our monthly interview with a member of Team Bent!  Up this month, the fabulous Louise Fury…

How did you get into agenting?
In 2004 I married a journalist who wanted to write a book. We spent ages figuring out how to write a query (back when you had to buy a giant book for all the contact info) and then researched editors, trying to learn what we had to do to put together a nonfiction proposal. We sent out about ten queries and received an offer before the week was up. I have a marketing background and since that first sale—and I count that among my sales!—I have been involved in the publishing industry in many capacities. I did everything and anything: Reviewer, marketing consultant for authors, both in e-pub (before it was considered legitimate) and print, as well as for a literary agency and some consulting for a digital press. Because of those experiences I started taking note of market trends and I loved the idea of helping someone make their dreams a reality. Then, Lori Perkins and I started working together and here I am five years later, now at the Bent Agency!
Your background is in marketing; how does that impact your work as an agent? 
Good writing is always in style and always in demand, but I believe if you couple that with good, effective and targeted marketing, you could have a real winner. I am always watching the market and try to keep an eye on trends, author habits, readers’ interest, sales numbers, distribution patterns and what people are interested in. I follow as much pop culture and social media trends that I can and I pay special attention to consumer buying habits. I like to know what readers want to buy, how they spend their money, where they spend their money, what format they prefer (right now) and how they like to receive their content.  I try to help my authors focus on writing good books and then to work toward maximum market penetration.
What’s your favorite part of being an agent?
Reading good stories and manuscripts before they are books. And making dreams come true.
  
Tell us about a book you’ve read recently and loved—something that you didn’t represent.
Just finished reading:
As If! The Oral History of Clueless by Jen Chaney.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang.
All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior.
Obsession: An Erotic Tale by Gloria Vanderbilt.
The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco.
I am currently reading Nimona by Noelle Stevenson and also The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
Do you recall the first book you read and loved? (Or perhaps a major favorite as a child).
As a child, Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree collection. I wish I could find them now!  As a teenager, anything by V.C. Andrews and Sidney Sheldon. I still think about Master of the Game once a week! Plus, all of the Sweet Dreams books.
The natural talent you would most like to have.
I wish I could sing.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
The funny thing is I really haven’t had a terrible one. I don’t accept jobs that I’m not going to like, and I’ve been working since I was 15! I always babysat and my first real job was working for a drug awareness campaign and we handed out bumper stickers on the beach. We spent hours walking in the hot sun and I had a fabulous time. I was a cashier in high school and loved it; even when I was a census worker in college while studying in South Africa, I found it very interesting. I REALLY LOVE to work and the jobs didn’t define me, so they never really got me down. I liked to work in any way that I could. Still do. I suppose one bad one, though, was a regular babysitting job with a mother who made my skin crawl every day. It lasted a year and I rented my first NYC apartment with the money I saved. So it was worth it!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I read a lot so I was interested in every job the characters had in the books. I wanted to be someone new every week, depending on what I’d just read! Lawyer, artist, actress, teacher, librarian. Demon slayer!
Where would you go in a time machine?
High school! I loved it then, so I can only imagine if I could do it again, but with my life experience.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I prefer TV to movies as I like to binge watch. I tend to watch dark TV shows, light movies, and read sexy books! I couldn’t watch a scary movie, but I can watch an entire series about serial killers. But if I had to pick a few movies, I’d say Clueless, Bringing Down the House, Dirty Dancing, and The Devil Wears Prada.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Move to America, by myself, at 21 years old. And then moving to New York City, by myself, at 22. It was the scariest thing but also the most thrilling!
Pie or cake?
Neither! I like my ice cream topped with more ice cream. 

About Louise Fury

Louise Fury represents adult and young adult fiction, including suspense/thrillers, romance, and select nonfiction, as well as novels with a graphic element or illustrations. A native South African, I now live in New York City and travel to Cape Town every year, where I spend time educating South African writers, meeting with international publishers and distributing books. Before agenting, I worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, I worked as a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency. I represent numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors and encourage my authors to have one foot in traditional print publishing and the other in the digital arena. I am a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—I have sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for my clients. I believe in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it. I'm looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. My wish list includes novels with a unique structure or format and books with multiplatform possibilities. I’m also looking for smart romantic comedy. For nonfiction I’m particularly interested in pop culture, cookbooks, true crime, humor, pop science and sports.
Louise's posts

8 Responses to Interview with TBA Agent, Louise Fury

  1. What an excellent interview, and the head shot is adorable. I am such a fan of this agent! Louise Fury, my novel should be polished by January; will you be accepting unsolicited manuscripts then?

  2. "…studied in South Africa."

    I lived, worked and went to school (sort-of), in Jo'burg many years ago. Such a beautiful and troubled country. I guess you can say that of many countries, including this one.
    You moved to America at 21, I had a chance to forever change my path and move back to RSA at twenty-one and chickened out. It's a long, romantic story with a sad ending. Fear won over. (Ha, I should write about it some day).

    You are a brave girl my friend.

  3. Here's a little follow-up to my earlier comment.
    I read your agent-bio. So you are from the Cape. I fell in love with a Cape Town boy and just writing this makes me smile and makes me cry. I loved South Africa and love my memories of how welcomed I felt there. Okay enough about me.
    Great post BTW.

  4. Louise Fury says:

    Thank you! Consider your query solicited! Feel free to submit it to me in January.

  5. Louise Fury says:

    Cape Town boys can be quite delish – carefree beach boys with brains and brawn…

  6. Shana Gray says:

    So great to learn a little bit more about my fab agent! 😀

  7. Julie Glover says:

    Loved this interview! Louise's energetic personality shines through. So excited to be with The Bent Agency.

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