Cari Foulk has been in the quieter areas of the literary world for the past several years, as a freelance editor. After interning with Jonathan Clements, she took on the position of literary agent, heading a new division of Wheelhouse Literary Group, the Tribe Literary Agency. Foulk edits her clients work (couldn’t give that up, she loves it too much) and feels that a supportive, creative environment makes for a good agency. A proponent of individualized attention and accessibility, she keeps the writers in the loop throughout the long road to publication. She loves a deadline, and is somewhat of a workaholic. Foulk is absolutely passionate about the work she represents. Tribe Literary is actively seeking commercial fiction, thrillers, horror, YA, dystopian, mystery and more. Foulk shares insight into her writing background, why she believes in the power of story, and her own personal mission statement. She will be representing Tribe Literary at Killer Nashville 2010.
PC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
CF: Oh this question is priceless. My earliest memory was that I wanted to be a policewoman. I suppose it was the novelty of carrying a gun.
PC: What is it that makes a great mystery/thriller/suspense novel?
CF: An investable protagonist, a fast pace, and a wicked great twist near the end. I love it when I’m shocked at the novel’s conclusion.
PC: What drew you into the world of agenting? (Would you share a little of
your background in publishing?)
CF: I’d been asked to agent a few times in my years in editing, but never felt that it was the right time until this past year. I’ve not had a sale yet, so I’m technically a “junior agent.” I have several contacts at different publishing houses from my editing days, and many of our writers have had fulls requested and are under serious consideration. I am so pleased to be working with Jonathan Clements and Wheelhouse Literary Group, and was thrilled to oversee Tribe.
PC: Why do you believe books are important?
CF: I absolutely believe in the power of the written word. One can learn anything, travel anywhere, be anyone…between the covers of a great novel. I learned great vocabulary, humor, etiquette, and a little about love from reading books as I grew up. There is no healthier hobby or escape than books in my opinion.
PC: Do you write? Any secret desire to become an author?
CF: Absolutely not, I love editing with my authors, and assisting in any way I can with fleshing out a character or smoothing a transition, but I’m an editor and a salesman. Not a writer. *laughs*
PC: Would you share any do’s or don’ts of mastering the dreaded query letter?
CF: Keep it short and interesting, and please don’t tell me your Aunt Patsy “loved the book.” Stay on point, get someone’s attention with the first few sentences.
PC: What advice would you share for aspiring writers?
CF: Never give up. If the story is there, and you are willing to work to improve it, and you’ve got patience and tenacity, never, ever give up.
PC: What is your favorite part of being an agent?
CF: There are so many things, but my favorite is pitching, and a very close second is meeting new people, and growing those relationships.
PC: Is there an aspect you least enjoy?
CF: Grammatical corrections. Not my thing.
PC: What is Tribe Literary’s mission statement?
CF: We are always evaluating, especially as this volatile market dictates. Ultimately–and overly simplistically stated: our mission is to do everything within our power to assure our clients’ hearts and voices will be heard.
My personal mission statement is… wait for it…..”Sell the Metal” (thank you, Jeremy Piven!)
PC: What genres are you currently seeking to represent? Is there anything you
specialize in, or seek most actively?
CF: We represent all types of fiction, with an emphasis on edgier commercial pieces. We are always seeking new talent.
PC: You’re attending Killer Nashville, what drew you to this conference?
CF: I was familiar with Killer Nashville and had heard such positive things about the conference. I suppose you could say the enthusiasm drew me in.
PC: Which aspect of the conference are you most looking forward to attending?
CF: Pitch sessions and critiques, absolutely.
To learn more about Cari Foulk visit: http://tribelit.com/about.com