Name: Elizabeth Holden
What you Write: Light-hearted YA and MG
Agent: Emily Forney
Why BookEnds? I love the collaborative way the BookEnds agents work together. I love their approach to agenting. I also love that bird logo, not gonna lie.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Playing roller derby. I’m obsessed. I’ve played with Madison Roller Derby since 2015, and I absolutely love it. My derby name is Auntie Matter, a pun on the fact that I’m both an aunt and a physics teacher. Since we’re in the midst of a pandemic, I can’t play right now, of course. But I am still organizing socially distant activities for my team, connecting with people virtually, and, of course, writing roller-derby-based fiction.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
My website is Elizabeth-holden.com
You can also find me on Twitter at @ElizabethH_WI
What’s the last book you read?
The Likeness by Tana French. I am in the process of re-reading all of her mysteries before her seventh one is released in October.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
I mostly write in my house or in cafes, and I would still want that, even if money were no object. But I think I’d like my house to be a gorgeous row house with huge windows on the Canal Ring in Amsterdam. Also I’d probably buy more pastries when writing at cafes.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
You can edit bad writing into something good, but you can’t edit a blank document into anything. (I strongly believe in Anne Lamott’s concept of the shitty first draft.)
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
Man, I don’t know, basically EVERYTHING. I am so excited to work with Emily, to have someone who can look at my writing and help me make it better and discuss ideas with me. I am looking forward to getting to know other BookEnds authors, and the other agents. I love the idea of belonging to a new community of people all dedicated to writing and publishing. (I’ve heard that writers are often introverts but that is NOT true for me.)
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Submit to agents in small batches. With a previous manuscript, I got all gung-ho and submitted to dozens of agents, only then deciding I wanted to change my first chapter…
But more importantly, do not give up. Do not let rejection stop you. (Seriously, you should see my spreadsheets showing all my rejections…) That doesn’t mean ignoring feedback or pivoting to something different if a particular manuscript isn’t going anywhere, but don’t EVER let a rejection tell you “I should stop writing.”