An Interview with Peter Knapp
Hey, it’s Rae again! For those of you just tuning in, here’s my spiel:
As writers, we all Google-stalk agents (and often editors). Come on, admit it, you do. And if you’ve done your homework – and you should have done your homework – you can probably rattle off your dream agent’s most recent sales, submission guidelines, history as an agent, favorite font, and caffeinated beverage.
But did you know that agents are people, too? Quirky, nerdy, hilarious, and downright interesting people?
These aren’t your standard interviews. These are about the people behind the profile pictures. The ones you would not only want championing your book, but also sitting at your coffee shop table, talking to you over something warm and delicious – caramel apple cider, if you’re me.
Note: This is NOT an invitation to coffee shop stalk them in real life. Be polite. Use common sense. If I find out you have used these interviews for evil purposes, be warned – I shall find you.
Rae: Who would you pick to write your bio? What would it be titled? And if it were optioned to a movie, who would play you?
Pete: I think the real question is: Who the hell would read it? But I think you’d need a great essayist or nature writer—can we call E.B. White in for this one?—to take really mundane things and somehow turn them into something interesting. I assure you, the life of an agent is great, but it isn’t particularly glamorous, and it only feels dramatic when you get wrapped up in a fantastic manuscript.
Perhaps Michael Cera could play me.
Rae: Now picturing that . . . Michael Cera, huh? What fictional academy/university/school would you most want to attend? (i.e. Starfleet Academy, Hogwarts, Jedi Academy, Camp Half-Breed, Battle School in Space, Beauxbatons, etc)
Hogwarts. Is there really any question?
Rae: Um, well . . . yes. I would go to the Jedi Academy in a heartbeat over Hogwarts. What fictional character would be your confidante? Enemy? Idol? Kick-butt ally?
Pete: Confidante: Hermione. Always have confidantes who are smarter than you.
Enemy: I still have nightmares about Cruella de Vil. Those puppies were cute. That’s pure evil.
Idol: C. J. Cregg.
Kick-butt ally: Leslie Knope. Is it possible for fictional characters to be real life best friends?
Rae: What fictional food/beverage would you most want to try?
Pete: One Krabby Patty, please, Squidward.
Rae: While munching on your Krabby Patty under the sea, you are faced with your nemesis! You instantly grab your trusty __________? (lightsaber, phaser, wand, mace, girly scream, katana, broadsword, etc)
Pete: Cupcake cannon. A client informed me, via Youtube video, that this is a real thing.
Rae: What song(s) would play in the soundtrack of your life?
I guess the same songs that play on my iPod as I have profound thoughts (“What does it all mean!?”), and not so profound thoughts (“It’s been a long time since I’ve stopped at a hot dog stand.”): Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac. That type of thing.
Rae: What’s your best rainy day book? Beach book?
When You Reach Me for a rainy day. That book makes me profoundly happy. For the beach, I’d prefer short stories, articles, the type of things that don’t mind so much that I’ll be drifting off to sleep any. . . minute. . . now. . .
Rae: What is your work fuel of choice? (food-wise)
Pete: Not including coffee? Brownie bites. Chocolate pilfered from others’ snack drawers.
Rae: Now I know where to look if my chocolate goes missing! Something awesome just happened (book deal, signed a client, etc). How do you celebrate?
Pete: Always ice cream. Then I get to work—there’s always more to be done.
Rae: Something sucky just happened. What gets you through one of these harder days?
Pete: I love where I go home to every day, and who I go home to. As long as I remember this, I’m having a good day.
Rae: Who taught you the ropes (i.e. was your Jedi Master) when you were starting out as an agent?
Pete: My boss and mentor, Theresa Park, my colleagues, as well as a wonderful network of agents and editors we work with. We’re a very collaborative agency and, as such, there’s no one Jedi Master. Everyone teaches something at some time or another.
Rae: What classic novel do you wish you could have represented back in the day?
Pete: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders and (yes, this is now a classic) The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Everyone who is now jealous of Brenda, raise your hands! If Pete sounds like your kind of agent, do your homework, and send him some amazing queries!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Pete, and may the queries ever contain exactly what you are seeking!