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POP QUIZ – Suzie Townsend

20100725_27It’s a new year which means…a new series! I’m so happy to premiere a fun new Q&A all about life, love and pop culture. I’ve got a ton of wonderful people whom I really admire on board and can’t wait to share their interviews! And I am so, so happy to have the very first POP QUIZ be taken by literary agent Suzie Townsend!
Suzie is an agent at New Leaf Literary, where she represents adult and children’s fiction. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she’s specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens’ she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8). She’s an active member of AAR, RWA, and SCBWI.She’s interested in strong characters and voice driven stories: she’s particularly keen on strong female protagonists, complex plot lines with underlying political, moral, or philosophical issues, and stories which break out of the typical tropes of their genre. Some of her favorites are When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff,The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series.
What did I tell you? She’s amazing! So without further ado, let’s get (forgive the incredibly corny pun) popping.

1. What would you rather drink for the rest of your natural born life, pop or water?

This is hard for me. I know the healthy choice would be water, but plain old water is so boring. If I can have diet sunkist for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy.

2. What television show could you watch over and over and never get bored?

Right now I’m obsessed with The Blacklist. I enjoy procedurals in general and the backstory and the characters (James Spader!) have really sucked me in.

3. Team Marvel Comics or Team DC Comics?

I’m going to go with Marvel. There are just so many great characters, and the recent movies have been better.

4. If you could have any super hero save you, who would it be and why?

I’m more of a save myself kind of damsel, but if I had to choose, it would be Chris Hemsworth as Thor. He’s funny and easy on the eyes. And of course, that accent.

5. Which quote is the one you live by: “To thine own self be true”, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.”, or “Draw me like one of your French girls.”

“This above all: To thine own self be true”

I actually have it written on my skin as a tattoo. I love that it’s such wise and poignant advice and yet it’s said by the most ridiculous character (Polonius) inHamlet. The irony appeals to me.

6. What book best sums up your philosophies on life?

I fell in love with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera in college when I was studying abroad in Prague. I feel like that’s probably the best answer if we’re talking philosophies on life. There are so many poignant and wonderful quotes that I took away from that novel. But at the same time, the more personal answer that speaks to my life, would be Lucky by Alice Seobold. I was really lost and in a dark place when I read that memoir, and while I shouldn’t say that it saved me, it certainly gave me the confidence to save myself.

7. If you could bring any fictional person to life and ask him or her a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

The first name that came to me is Ashley Cordova from Marisha Pessl’s recent novel Night Film. It was one of my favorite books of 2013 the mystery of it all revolves around Ashley’s suicide which takes place at the opening of the novel. When I finished the book, I was so upset that the Cordova films weren’t real–I desperately wanted to watch them. And I’d want to ask Ashley why she was in the park that night. (This is all I can say without spoiling anything).

8. What is the most attractive quality in the opposite sex?


9. What is the least attractive quality in the opposite sex?

The least attractive qualities in anyone, in my opinion, are laziness and entitlement.

10. Which would you choose: being a billionaire at a job you hated or making $20,000 doing your life’s passion?

I feel a little shallow for saying this, but I’d rather become a billionaire at a job that I hated and then retire and focus on my life’s passion. Thankfully, I don’t have to make that choice. Agenting and all things books are definitely my passion and my authors are fantastic–they’re keeping me off the streets.

11. Define what the word “fear” means to you.

12. Define what the word “happiness” means to you.

13. Which is more fulfilling: the moment of creating art, or the moment of sharing it with the world?

For me, as an agent, sharing it with the world. I love working with my authors and helping them create something fabulous, but even more than that, I love seeing it in the real world and watching other people discover it and fall in love with it like I did. One of my best moments as an agent was listening to two women talking about Faking It by Cora Carmack.

14. Which is more difficult: the first rejection from an industry insider or the first negative review from your audience?

15. Is there anyone in your life that you love but are afraid to tell how you feel?

No. I was actually just talking about this with my mom over the holidays. I’ve grown into a person who is borderline too honest and open with my feelings. I would be surprised if there’s anyone in my life who doesn’t know exactly how I feel about them.

16. Who do you admire most in your professional life?

17. Who do you admire most in your personal life?

My sister. She’s younger than me, but completely fearless. She takes amazing and beautiful risks (like quitting her job to move to New Zealand for a year or shaving her whole head just for the experience), and I admire her strength and confidence.

18. To be successful in your field, what traits do you think a person needs to have?

Passion. I never thought I’d be able to be a salesperson or that negotiations would be one of my strengths, but I am so passionate about books and my clients and their work.

19. What motivates you most?

I’m competitive by nature, I always want to do things better than I have before. But again, it’s how passionate I am about books and reading and storytelling that keeps me going.

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