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Get to Know Jessica Alvarez

Welcome back to the BookEnds “Get to Know” series. You’ve read our bios, follow us on social media, and you know which genres we represent. But behind the business persona, we are real people with real lives, hobbies, pet peeves, and passions. These are the people we want to share with you.

I’ve been with BookEnds nine years now, and I have a dual role. I’m a Senior Literary Agent and manage my own list, but I’m also the Foreign Rights Director, which means I liaise with scouts, our foreign co-agents, and editors to sell translation rights for many of BookEnds’ titles.

Instead of doing a get-to-know-me entry like the others have done, I want to try something different. Let’s play Two Truths and a Lie. I’ll make groups of three statements, and you can guess which one is true. The answers will be at the bottom.

Oh, wait, I already lied. My game should be called Two Lies and a Truth. Oops. Close enough.

#1:

a.         I have three dogs and a snake.

b.         I have two dogs, a full chicken coop, and one Pekin duck.

c.         I have a full clowder of cats.

#2:

a.         I can yodel.

b.         I can play 4 instruments.

c.          I am tone deaf.

#3:

a.         I once gave Chelsea Clinton directions to the bathroom.

b.         I took a step aerobics class with Ivanka Trump.

c.         I skipped class in high school to eat Belgian waffles with a Belgian prince.

#4

a.         I am so camera shy you will never, ever see me on television (or the BookEnds YouTube channel). 

b.         I was on Family Feud

c.         I was once interviewed for a documentary.

#5

a.         I published an erotic romance under a pseudonym.

b.         I used to write for Footwear News.

c.         I’ve never written anything outside of schoolwork. 

And for the answers:

#1       If you guessed (a), you were correct. I have a 14-year-old wheaten terrier-eskimo mix, 4-year-old labradoodle, and a 4-month old lab-Saint Bernard-chow chow mutt. I also have an albino corn snake. I did one have a Pekin duck, but never chickens, and no cats (I’m allergic). 

#2       The correct answer is (b). Now, I’m not claiming I play them very well—though, I once did—but I can play the piano, clarinet, saxophone, and violin. 

#3       This was a trick question. All three are true. I went to boarding school and had some colorful classmates and interactions—though, Chelsea Clinton was just visiting campus, not a fellow student. Also, #MSWL reminder—I am DYING for a boarding school book. Please send me them!

#4       I am somewhat camera shy and my sister wants to get me on Family Feud with her, but (c) is the correct answer. Back when I worked at Harlequin, I was interviewed for a romance documentary because an author thought I wrote an especially kind rejection letter. I must admit, I never watched the documentary for fear of seeing myself on television, so I don’t know if I was left on the cutting room floor. In fact, I kind of hope I was left on the cutting room floor. I remember being very awkward and unnatural while they were filming me—they wanted me to pretend to be typing up that rejection letter. 

#5       I am in awe of all you writers. Even if a book is never published, completing a manuscript is a huge accomplishment that takes drive and talent and persistence. I can’t do it. So, no secret erotic romance from me, but (b) is true. I wrote a number of articles for Footwear News. A few thousand words is all I can muster before I give in to the lure of CandyCrush. So, like I said, my hat is off to all of you writers. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

Category: Blog

8 comments

  1. So nice to learn a little more about you and your interests! I, too, have owned snakes, and even been bitten by rattlesnakes when I was a child (long story). I am so honored you took me on as a client. 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed learning more about you. You wrote me the nicest rejection after reading my full MS…what I appreciate in this interview is your statement about your appreciation of those of us who are slogging away at the dream…

  3. Love it! Creative non-fiction writers tell everyone about our idiosyncrasies, so why not agents? I’ll play, too. Mine will be two truths and one lie:

    a. I plan to send you a query today for my completed manuscript.
    b. It took me over twenty years to write my book.
    c. Oprah has saved a spot for it on her book club list.

    Should I give you a clue or is the answer obvious? lol!

  4. What a fun bio! In your Two Lies and a Truth game I got every answer wrong! I reviewed and now I know you better. I’m sending a query.

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