This week, Barbara Taylor Sissel was signed by literary agent Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Sissel is one of my all-time favorite authors, whose debut novel, The Last Innocent Hour, was pubbed by a small literary press back in the 1990s. After Sissel's agent left the biz, she was marooned for several years, during which she fought the good fight and refused to compromise her vision as an artist.
Last year, Sissel took matters into her own hands and indie pubbed The Ninth Step and The Volunteer, both of which immediately garnered glowing reviews and tens of thousands of downloads, rocketing to the top of various Amazon lists. Meanwhile, she continued working on another novel and started kibitzing with Poehlle, who'd previously expressed an interest in her work.
"She is fantastic," Sissel posted on Facebook. "Initially when she read the story, she made editorial suggestions that, as I worked with them, were amazing to me in the way they so exactly fit my vision and sharpened the story's focus. She was at the top of my list as far as literary representation goes I so hoped when I resubmitted the manuscript to her, she would contact me. And she did!"
Barbara Taylor Sissel embodies the Extraordinary Authors brand -- "indie spirit combined with traditional craft skills" -- so the Goodman Agency is a perfect fit. As many in the publishing industry are struggling to cope with changes, Sissel and the Goodman Agency are among the thrivers. Why?
"The answer is simple and timeless," says agency founder Irene Goodman, "a great story always sells. Good writing never gets old. The technology may change, but we’re ready to embrace whatever format emerges, as long as it contains a story that stops us in our tracks."
Personally, I can't wait to see what The Barbaras do as a team.