Name: Emma Riehle Bohmann
What you Write: Historical fiction
Agent: Amanda Jain
So many reasons! I was really drawn to the collaborative nature of the agency. Knowing that in addition to Amanda’s knowledge and skills, I’ve got the brainpower of the entire agency behind me is both exciting and reassuring. I also really appreciate the focus on developing writers’ careers. The many resources offered—from blog posts to videos to detailed FAQs—are beneficial to writers everywhere.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I love the way she weaves together many pieces to tell one overarching story as well as the way the book travels through centuries. Her historical fiction is always well-researched, immersive, and authentic. I aspire to do the same.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Running, hiking, camping, traveling, cross country skiing, climbing, mountain biking—pretty much anything that gets me outdoors and exploring new places. Either that, or curled up on my couch watching Netflix.
What’s the last book you read?
Pandemic 1918 by Catharine Arnold, about the 1918 flu pandemic—a fascinating read at any time, but especially now!
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
A cabin in the mountains.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
“Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.” —Cheryl Strayed
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
I don’t know that it’s my favorite piece of writing advice, but when I was in grad school, I had a professor who made us write short blurbs about everyone’s work before we critiqued it. It was a difficult exercise, and we complained about it to no end, but it proved to be incredibly helpful when it came to writing my query letter (which still took forever to get right!).
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches? Don’t give up. Querying can be a long and discouraging process. You’ve got to keep at it. If you’re not having any luck, take a break and revise. Remind yourself that some of the world’s most famous and successful authors experienced query rejection. Dive back in and try again.