Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Interview With Barbara Poelle



Barbara Poelle is a literary agent with the Irene Goodman Agency and is the person responsible for bringing us the delicious medieval romance whose gorgeous cover you see to the right. I met Barbara when the RWA national conference was in San Francisco in 2008. She was lunching with my friend and fellow Pixie Kris Kennedy (who is responsible for writing the delicious medieval romance to the right!) in the same sports bar as my current lunch mates and me. (Of all the sports bars in San Francisco, she had to walk into mine...) Kris grabbed me and introduced us.

Thankfully, I hadn't consumed too much caffeine at lunch or that spontaneous conversation could very well have ended with my name on the HOLY COW DON'T ENGAGE THIS GIRL IN CONVERSATION IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE list at the Irene Goodman Agency. Barbara was enthusiastic, friendly, and even in a short conversation, exuded the kind of savvy, smart, go-for-the-throat business sense she's known for. (This assessment had NOTHING to do with the fact that she requested my manuscript during this convo.) In the time since that meeting, I've come to enjoy and admire Barbara even more, so when I was lining up interviews for the blog, naturally I had to issue her an invitation!

Here's a peek at THE (deliciously medieval) CONQUEROR:

England, 1152. Henry II is king. The country is wracked by bloody civil war. Griffyn Sauvage is a valiant knight with a strict moral code of honour. But when his family's estate and vast treasures are seized, he becomes hardened by the betrayal. Now he will go to any lengths for vengeance - even if it means forming a union with his most despised enemy by marrying his daughter, Lady Guinevere de l'Ami. Then, Griffyn lays eyes on Gwyn and is completely disarmed. As war strikes, Gwyn is left alone to fight her enemies who want control of her ancestral lands. When Griffyn comes to her rescue, she is grateful that the mysterious, brave knight has risked his life to protect hers. With each passing day, she finds herself drawn to him even as she senses he's hiding a dark secret from her. And when another dangerous adversary closes in on both of them, Griffyn and Gwyn's trust in each other will be put to the ultimate test.


Barbara chose to be interviewed by the Were-llama himself.

The Were-llama



Barbara Poelle (aka Beeshark)



Now that you know who's who, it's time to dive into the interview and reveal the amazing cupcake my hubby made for Barbara. Barbara told me she adores the Beeshark (And who wouldn't? Look at his pic!) and wanted his likeness immortalized in cupcake form. Always up to a challenge (Although he did have a "Bee-what???" moment at first ... sort of like his "But what does a Kitten of Doom look like??" reaction to Holly's cupcake request. Lit agents might be the death of him.), my hubby stepped up to the plate and proved once again he is the Cupcake Master. So, without further ado, I give you the cupcake and Barbara's interview with the Were-llama.



1. So, you’re a writer. I’m a super-scary shape-shifter who can command obedience with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. What do we have in common?

WELL, I'M NOT A WRITER, I'M AN AGENT, SO APPARENTLY WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON IS VODKA BEFORE NOON. AND OF COURSE, A DEEP AND UNABIDING LOVE FOR THE DELICIOUS ROMANCE NOVEL THE CONQUEROR BY KRIS KENNEDY.

2. Vodka before noon? Light weight. I can drink vodka from three in the morning until midnight and never miss an opportunity to slay an opponent. I like to spit at my enemies from whichever end is closest to them. Do any of your characters have cool abilities like that?

WELL, MY CLIENTS CAN MAKE ME HAVE A SPONTANEOUS PAVLOVIAN DROOL REACTION WHEN I READ THEIR WORK, SO WE ARE BOTH KINDA SLOBBERY.

3. I beg your pardon. I do not slobber. I spart. If I had a nickname, it would be The Awesome. You?

GENTLE LOTUS FLOWER OF PEACE. (MY HUSBAND JUST FELL OFF OF A CHAIR SOMEWHERE)

4. Gentle? Flower? Peace? Maybe you need to lay off the vodka. Besides, everyone knows true peace will only happen when every living creature gives in to the power of my awesome red eyes. I hang around this blog because I love stories. What’s your story about? Bonus points if it includes a llama.

WELL, IN FACT, IT DOES. BECAUSE WHEN I WAS 18 MY BFF BOUGHT ME A SPONSOR-A-LLAMA IN PORTUGAL THAT PROVIDES FUR FOR CLOTHING FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR. HIS NAME IS PETER. AND I MADE SURE TO TELL THEM TO LOCK HIM UP UNDER THE FULL MOON.

5. You named a llama Peter? And gave humans permission to regularly strip him of his fur? *glares with awesome red eyes* You’re making me a cake worthy of my awesome Were-llama status and decorating it to represent your story. What does it look like?

IT'S A CUPCAKE CAKE. FOUR CUPCAKES, EACH TOPPED WITH A BEAUTIFUL SWEATERS, ONE FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER, EACH KNITTED WITH CARE IN CULTURALLY-APPROPRIATE PATTERN USING TECHNIQUES PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS. AND A FIFTH CUPCAKE, WITH A VERY NAKED AND DISGRUNTLED PETER.

6. Llamas are fierce, predatory creatures. Even transforming one of us into Naked Peter won't stop our awesomeness. Recognize. Any Were-llamas in your book?

WHILE I REPRESENT A NUMBER OF UNDEAD AND HINKY TYPES INCLUDING THE 2011 RELEASE OF THE ZOMBIE DEBUT AFTERTIME BY SOPHIE CRANE AND THE DELICIOUSLY HAUNTING YA WITHER BY LAUREN DESTEFANO, UNFORTUNATELY MY LIST IS TERRIBLY LACKING IN WERE-LLAMAS. WHEN I GET SAD THINKING LIKE THIS, I KNOW THE BEST THING FOR ME IS A SPICY ROMANCE BY KRIS KENNEDY LIKE THE CONQUEROR.

7. Any book titled THE CONQUEROR must surely have a were-llama within its pages. Who else would be doing the conquering? Anyone you know who might be a Were-llama and you just haven’t figured it out yet?

KRIS KENNEDY HAS VERY SILKY HAIR. I'M NOT SAYIN, I'M JUST SAYIN.

8. Well, naturally. Who else could write THE CONQUEROR? Llamas or camels and why? Think carefully.

LLAMAS, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE LIGHT WEIGHT ALPACA FUR ON CHILLY FALL NIGHT IN CENTRAL PARK.

9. You seem obsessed with stripping llamas. I defy you to come over here and try to strip me. It would be the last thing you ever did. I give you a baby Were-llama as a companion. What do you name her? ... Say Naked Peter and I shall terminate both the interview and you.

FAST EDDIE


10. Wise girl. My favorite word is “awesome” because, yanno, look at me. What’s yours?

SOLD

11. As a young Were-llama, I dreamt of taking over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time. What did you dream of doing when you were young?

GETTING A PICTURE RUBBING THE CONICAL NOSE OF A GREAT WHITE BEE-SHARK.

12. The bee-shark seems a fierce beast nearly as awesome as a were-llama. Nearly. Cake or cookies?

NEVER CAKE. CAKE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.

13. Do you share chocolate?

AT GUNPOINT

14. Or when I compel you to with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. The Zombie Goat invasion is upon us. How will you fight them off?

WELL, WITH THOSE JANKY BELLS THEY WEAR, I WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR THEM COMING, SO I AIN'T SCARED.


Thank you, Barbara, for such a fun interview! And for making sure delicious books like THE CONQUEROR make it onto our book store shelves. To learn more about Barbara, visit her agency site or check in with her every Tuesday on the Hey There's A Dead Guy In The Living Room blog. Of course, the fun isn't over yet!

Barbara's Giveaway:

One lucky commenter will win a 10 page critique (if you're a writer) and a copy of THE CONQUEROR! Here's how to enter:

1. Earn entries:

*Comment on this post with a question or comment for Barbara = 1 entry

*Be a follower of this blog = 2 entries

*Tweet the link to this interview = 3 entries (Use @cjredwine or leave url to tweet in your comment so I can see it.)

*Post the contest on your blog = 3 entries (Include link in your comment.)


2. Tally it up: Please tally up your entries and leave the total in your comment.


3. Check back: The contest is open until 8 p.m. Sunday, June 6th. Please check back to see if you've won and to claim your prize.


Good luck to all and happy reading!

39 comments:

  1. Now that I realize were-llamas exist, I'm wondering if that's the reason Tina the Fat Lard llama didn't like her ham dinner when Napoleon Dynamite tried to feed her. Hmmm.

    Barbara, how do you feel about were-alpacas?

    BTW, The Conqueror looks as delish as that ham dinner.

    3 points!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Holy cow, that cupcake is awesome! Does anyone actually eat the cupcakes hubby makes? Been wondering that for a while.

    Great interview, ladies!

    *rubs hands together and cackles*
    I gots six points, sistah!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Question for Barbara: You claim somewhat convincingly that your nickname would be Gentle Lotus Flower of Peace, but what nickname would your authors give you?

    Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/JenniferWriter

    I'm a follower.

    Total=6 points.

    Great interview & amazing cupcake!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great interview, Barbara.

    Toe to toe with the great were-llama and not even one blink!

    That cupcake is awesome! : ) Who gets to eat them?

    Oh, 6 points.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Barbara and C.J. Enjoyed the interview and definitely enjoyed The Conqueror!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Barabara, what one thing most makes you crave vodka before noon?

    Tweet link: http://twitter.com/aislinn_mac

    Blog link: http://aislinnmacnamara.net/?p=62

    Follower? As of now, yes.

    Nine entries.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The mighty were-llama is a fierce opponent - yet Ms. Poelle handled herself well (must've been the threat to card his hair into a sweater?).
    Great interview, as always C.J.! And kudos to your husband for another fantastic cupcake!

    Comment = 1 entry
    Blog Follower = 2 entries
    Retweet = 3 entries http://twitter.com/elschneid
    Posted on my Blog = 3 entries
    http://elschneider6.blogspot.com/
    Total entries = 9

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dudes..this conversation took me back to eighties hair and bad fashion. It made me mumble.

    I am the gatekeeper--are you the keymaster. (for the love of all thats holy--i hope you translate eighties movies mumbles)

    hugs to kris--with silky hair, and conquering nobles--and cj-- were llama's just make me think of jimmy neutron. sorry.

    ronna

    ReplyDelete
  9. That cupcake is so fabulous I licked my monitor. Thanks for a fun interview!

    ReplyDelete
  10. OMG that was a great interview! And loved the cupcake!

    I once named an Emu Vivian so I can relate--kinda sorta LOL

    2 entries please. I commented and follow the blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey--how many people get the chance to say they "bit the shark" and satisfied their sweet tooth all at the same time?

    Barbara, do you usually go with your first instinct when you are considering an author's work? Is there a certain type of story line which immediately turns off your interest?

    I'd love to win "The Conqueror" : )

    US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

    3 entries

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very cute! The book sounds awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fun interview! Barbara, what would you think of a book with a were-beagle (with a really cute face)? I haven't written one, but who would you rather cuddle up to? A werewolf or a were-beagle?

    http://twitter.com/edieramer
    6 points!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a fun interview. I agree - share chocolate only at gunpoint. My husband thinks the way to enjoy chocolate is to smell it because that is how I've taught him over all the years we've been married.

    Saying hi after you gave me such nice comments on my contest entry Night Angel. I am still having luck with my story, but no sale or agent yet. One of the challenges of being a writer is "the challenge" and never giving up.

    My question might be silly but, why are stories that are set anywhere west of the Mississippi River considered westerns when some like mine aren't westerns as people picture the genre?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Holy Cow! That's got to be the scariest looking cupcake I've ever seen.

    Beeshark, you're a fearless soul to take on nightmare cupcakes, were-llamas, and blogs all in the same day!

    Comment = 1 point
    Follower = 2 points
    Post on website = 3 points
    www.monicamccabe.net

    Total: 6!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Barbara, great interview, although I find your lack of faith in the Zombie Goat Apocalypse disturbing. Don't you think they'll have thought of the bells and have a designated bell-eater to rid them of such detection before they attack?

    Tweeted, blog follower, commented and posted on blog.

    http://wantonactsofwriting.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/come-see-the-were-llama-trounced-by-barbara-poelle/

    9 entries.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We can tell Griffyn is a sexy alpha hunk, but would he rather tackle the were-llama or the Bee-shark??

    CJ is so funny I follow her but avoiding the tweet thing so far...

    2 points!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hmm, I might have to move up my were-llama story on my writing schedule after that interview. Maybe Barbara would respect you more then. :)

    Follower and tweeted, 6 entries

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG! That's the best cupcake yet. Love it! Clint rocks!

    Barbara, love your sense of humor and can see why you'd get along with CJ. I've found she's even more hilarious in person (psst, CJ, make sure I don't have too much caffeine around her and plenty of sleep).

    Comment, Follower, RT'd like crazy, AND blogged. Do I get extra entries for posting on two blogs? =p Kidding.

    http://jinxiesworld.blogspot.com/2010/06/barbara-poelle-interviewed-by-were.html

    http://nlgervasio.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/barbara-poelle-interviewed-by-were-llama/

    9 entries!

    Great interview. Laughed out loud several times.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, great interview CJ and Barbara,
    Makes me want to rush to the computer and write a story or two about our Aussie emus and their eccentricities, and try to outdo the llama.

    Commented
    Blog post link - http://suzilove.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/c-j-redwine-blogspot/
    Retweeted
    Blog Follower
    9 entry points Please
    Plus a bonus for a Message on Face Book- Grin!

    Suzi Love

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have made scarier cupcakes. Of course they were supposed to be nice chocolate cupcakes for Kid1's birthday, but my skills are not Clintlike. The scary wasn't on purpose.

    Thank you for the interview, both Llama and Barbara! I learned a lot (about sweaters).

    I am a poster and a follower - 3 pts.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a yummy cover on The Conqueror! I can't wait to read the book.

    I loved the interview, ladies, especially the chocolate comment. My favorite: Is there life after death? Touch my chocolate and you'll find out!

    Post: 1 entry
    Following the blog: 2 entries
    Total: 3 entries

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello all! Thank you for your fabulous comments. To start: Jennifer- clearly my clients would nickname me "Gentle Snuggle Puppy". Colleagues may have another nickname for me and I would assume it would not be as ladylike. Something with "bull" and/or "frothing" in it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. oh, and to Virginia's question: Barbara, do you usually go with your first instinct when you are considering an author's work? Is there a certain type of story line which immediately turns off your interest?
    I do my job like I do my life: with 98% passion and 2% common sense. Go big or go home, I say. If I want it, I want it. I would say the only thing I struggle with that makes me say "nope" would be rape scenes that come off as entertainment- you know them when you see them. Whereas, something like The Lovely Bones does a wonderful job with such a delicate, painful subject. (And if you read Lucky you will have an additional level of respect for the author and how she approached it.)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Paisley! Okay so she is asking: why are stories that are set anywhere west of the Mississippi River considered westerns when some like mine aren't westerns as people picture the genre?
    Hmm, I have to say I am not sure on this one. I guess it's just how some people say they are blonde when they used to be as a kid and they are CLEARLY not now...(okay, OKAY! Yes, I just got highlights.) it is something so ingrained in us as far as what denotes a "western" locale. I think you can always find exceptions though, and you should def be using those as comp titles right off the bat in your query and pitch so people start with the image you are going for.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Edie.
    No werebeagle.
    No.
    You might as well do a werehamster.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I don't have a question, just loved the interview. That is all.


    Entries:
    1 for a comment
    2 for following
    3 for tweeting: http://twitter.com/rebobinar
    3 for blog: http://mysteryrobin.blogspot.com/2010/06/slithery-barbara-poelle.html
    Total: 9

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fun interview, but I was a bit distracted after reading about The Conqueror. I'll be ordering it for sure.

    followed for 2 point
    Twittered for 3 points
    followed on Twitter for 0 points
    commented for 1 point

    Total of 6 entries.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I would just like to say, as a client, I have never once been tempted to call Barbara 'Gentle Snuggle Puppy.' Do not be lead astray by these allusions to sweetness. She is a predator when it comes to selling books, and can engage in very snappy repartee, and therefore, clearly, Bee-Shark is the most fitting.

    ReplyDelete
  30. *Commented, check = 1 entry
    *Followed, check = 2 entries
    *Tweet, check = 3 entries
    http://twitter.com/camillelaguire
    *blogged, check = 3 entries
    http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/2010/06/agent-barbara-poelle-critique-prize.html

    9 (nine) total entries!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have SOOOO missed my blogs!! I tweeted today. Will tweet and post on blog tomorrow (count that how you wish) and I'm obviously a follower :D

    Not sure how many points that is, but I'll leave another comment before the 8th if I remember!

    ReplyDelete
  32. *dies* I SO want to see the book that includes a Were-Llama! I would write it myself, but sadly only have whooping llamas, who prefer tequila over vodka and are vegetarian, except the occasional fish taco.

    I ADORED the interview... Am instantly a true fan of the Bee-Shark. Especially since dubbing the llama 'Naked Peter'. You know, this post had Watery Tart fetishes running ALL the way through!

    ReplyDelete
  33. erp... forgot the tally... 6. I'd blog but tomorrow is a guest and I'm sure I don't have the attention span to remember until Saturday...

    ReplyDelete
  34. What was the beeshark on a plate made of? It looks yummy-in-the-tummy.

    I'm a follower. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Okay, nine entries, unless I get plusses for puttint on twitter twice LOL. Good luck everyone :D

    ReplyDelete
  36. Comment to Barbara - thank you for this contest. I crave feedback~!

    *Be a follower of this blog, YEP

    *Tweet the link to this interview DONE

    *Post the contest on your blog - www.emptyrefrigerator.blogspot.com

    NINE POINTS!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I HAD to become a follower (regardless of the amazing contest with rad prizes) because I NEED to read more interviews with the Were-llama. The cupcake totally freaked me out, though. Don't get me wrong. I do see the talent behind it. Only a genius could create a cupcake so sickeningly terrifying. Therefore, your husband = genius.

    Question for Barbara: Has anyone at any stage in your life nicknamed you "Barbie?" And if so, what was your reaction to that person?

    Thanks for the fun. Looking forward to more posts. Put me down for three (3) points.

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  38. I wasn't going to blog about this because I was planning on going to bed instead. But I couldn't get the Were-llama out of my head, so I went ahead and blogged anyway.

    Here's the post address: http://alsonnichsen.blogspot.com/2010/06/were-llamas-vs-sleep.html

    Add three (3) more points. 3+3=6. Yay!

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  39. Follower of the blog +2
    I love the cover. Your book looks like a good read and I'm not basing that entirely on the cover. :)) +1

    Total +3

    ReplyDelete

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