Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SCBWI Team Blog Exclusive: Barry Goldblatt!!!

There's never a dull moment when Barry Goldblatt is on the scene. He's been agenting for 14 years and besides being ├╝bertalented (check out his amazing client list!), he is a real kick in the pants. Barry was kind enough to answer some questions for SCBWI Team Blog:

Jaime: Hi BarBar! Do you mind if I call you BarBar?

BarBar: ...

Jaime: BarBar, I'm all about the visuals and interested to hear what catches your eye in a bookstore—do you have any favorite covers (not from your client list) for 2014/January 2015?

BarBar: I love the cover for Nova Ren Suma's THE WALLS AROUND US, 

and Kat Yeh's THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE is also adorable and eyecatching. 
Oh, and Adam Silvera's MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is definitely a cover that demands attention!

Jaime: Those are all so striking! Speaking of striking... Kill, kiss or marry: Beatrix Potter, Randolph Caldecott, Margaret Wise Brown?

BarBar: Kill Margaret Wise Brown, kiss Randolph Caldecott, marry Beatrix Potter. 

Jaime: I appreciate that you don't feel the need to expand upon your reasoning behind these choices, I will assume it's for reasons related to these issues, and that you're not universally anti-Margaret. Here's a question I know all New Yorkers wax eloquent about: Favorite Pizza?

BarBar: Ooh, this is a question that can cause fisticuffs!! I love Franny's and Keste, and Marta is a fantastic new option, but I probably have to go with a Brooklyn classic, Lucali. 

Jaime: Holy hell, we have got a lock on Lucali as top spot! I smell a Brooklyn pilgrimage for a few of our conference goers.  How about non-pizza meals. What does a Goldblatter such as yourself snack on during the day? Does Talde deliver or have you moved on to a new Top Chef? When you do venture into Manhattan, are there any not-to-be-missed snacks there you recommend our conference goers seek out?

The Bluebarry Goldblatt
BarBar: I actually try really hard not to snack throughout the day; working from home can lead to temptation and bad habits. If I need a quick fix, I'll grab a handful of roasted almonds. If there's chocolate nearby, though, I'm doomed.

Talde does now deliver, though I haven't tried doing it yet. I'm in my house enough, and would much rather go out if I can! They won't deliver all the way to Manhattan though, so hop on that train to Park Slope!

As many know, I am a doughnut freak, and there are some amazing doughnut places in Manhattan these days. My favorite is Dough, but Doughnut Plant is a close second! 

Jaime: Doh! Will definitely check out Dough! #NY15SCBWI conference pals, DOUGH has a Flat Iron location that opens at 7 am on the weekends. BarBar, what are you working on this week?

BarBar: I'm doing the final prep work on a couple of submissions for two new clients, Theodora Goss and Myke Bartlett, but those are both adult novels. I do have a few children's projects in negotiation, and am patiently awaiting new manuscripts from a few folks.
Holly Black's latest, THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, just went on sale this week; Jo Knowle's READ BETWEEN THE LINES is due out in March, as is Ellen Oh's KING, and a wonderful first picture book, SUCH A LITTLE MOUSE, illustrated by Stephanie Yue, also out in March.

Jaime: Awesome! BarBar, you're almost done, how about a snapshot of your office?

BarBar: Let's see if I can get this to work right. It's my very messy desk.

Jaime: W├╝nderBarBar! Thank you so much! Folks, you can catch Barry on the Agent Panel Sunday midmorning. If all 1200 attendees feel the need to bring Barry a donut that day, as Barry's agent, I get 15% of said donuts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SCBWI Team Blog Exclusive: Elizabeth Parisi!!!

Elizabeth (R) with pals (R to L) Arthur, Lisa, and FanDango
(photo stolen from Dan's website, thanks, Danders
You guys know the ever effervescent Elizabeth Parisi? She's a creative director at Scholastic and oversees 150+ book titles per year! Holy Hell. Elizabeth's got amazing covers down pat: the little known Hunger Games Trilogy, which she did with her husband, Tim O'Brien as illustrator; Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick; the Gregor the Overlander series, by Suzanne Collins; Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, and What I Saw and How I Lied, by National Book Award winner, Judy Blundell. In addition to being an incredibly talented designer, she's also a swell dame who's generous with her time. Below, Elizabeth answered a few questions for Team Blog:

Jaime: Hiya, Elizabeth. I'm always interested to hear what catches an art director's eye in a bookstore—do you have any favorite covers (not from your publishing house) for 2014/January 2015? 

Elizabeth: Brown Girl Dreaming, of course. So simple, so evocative. They say silhouetted figures are over used, but it looks lovely.

Jaime: Lovely! I do adore a good silhouette. That's probably a fun exercise for making practice covers, figuring out strong silhouettes. The other important element on a cover is the type. Let's talk fonts. Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans?  

Elizabeth: Kill Comic Sans, for sure. Ugly, goofy, over used. Kiss Helvetica, because it’s sexy, versatile, a 'renaissance font,' like a Renaissance Man. Marry Baskerville, because it’s loyal, consistent, reliable, classy, intelligent.

Jaime: Oh man, can you give Helvetica my number? Baskerville sounds alright, but a bit like my dog, minus the intelligent and classy parts. I love how your covers always have amazing palettes, Elizabeth. What's your Favorite Pantone Color of 2015? 

Elizabeth: 318 or 325, lovely aqua colors that are such a bear to match on press!

Jaime: I am an aqua fan for sure, they both look like they could be turned into sour lollipop flavors. Speaking of lollies, let's get down to the really important questions: What does a Scholastickler such as yourself snack on during the day? Does Rice To Riches run a pudding pipe directly into your department? Are there any not-to-be-missed snacks in Manhattan you recommend our conference goers seek out? 

Elizabeth: That’s tricky, I barely leave the office during the day. But if I was an out of towner, I would try to take a quick trip down to Chinatown and have Vietnamese food. It’s fresh, vibrant, cheap. Maybe Pho Bang, on Mott street. Expand the palette horizons.

Jaime: Ooh, pho! Gouda idea, Elizabeth! Can you give us a hint of what books you're working on this week? Or a few of the titles that you've worked on that are just coming out in stores? 

Elizabeth: Really excited about The Ways to Stay in Destiny, by Augusta Scattergood. A sweet, classic story, and the cover was so fun to work on with Sara Wood, the illustrator. 

And Woof, by Spencer Quinn, another great read, with the most adorable lead character, named Bowser.

Jaime: Thanks so much, Elizabeth! Final question, are you willing to share some snapshots of your office?

Making her fishbowl window less fishy

Postcards from illustrators, recognize yours?

One of these is a present from Lisa Yee!
Love that Parisi! Catch Elizabeth at the Winter Conference and hear her talk on cover creation! You might bump into her at the portfolio show, too!