Thursday, December 11, 2014

3 Agent Heather Alexander of Pippen Properties and Thoughts on the Ebb and Flow of Marketability and More

Heather Alexander used to hide THE PRINCESS DIARIES between Dickens and Hawthorne in college. One Children’s Lit class later, and her path in publishing became obvious. Heather landed in editorial at Penguin, where she happily stayed for six years, working with ​both​ debut and veteran authors and illustrators. As an agent, she is ​excited to develop new talent and help shape careers, which is what she loves to do best. She's looking for authors an illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and YA, including graphic novels.

1. Welcome, Heather! Let's jump right in. Character, world, or plot?

Character! No contest. If a character is well-developed, interesting, and believable, I’m on board. Plot is fixable.

2.  What do you like to do for fun?

I sew sometimes. Although I’ve had the same half-made dress on my dress-form for 2 1/2 months…I see a lot of exhibits at museums and galleries. I’m interested in art, so I try to get to museums as often as possible. I play a lot of Words With Friends. I got a bike recently, and that is a lot of fun.

3.  Lots of varied interests. That's great! Which is more crucial when it comes to manuscripts: emotional connection or current marketability?

For me, it’s always about emotional connection. I know if I feel it, then other people will too. Marketability ebbs and flows so quickly, and I’m looking for books that stand the test of time.


  1. Thanks for this post. It's good to know about Heather and what she's seeking.

  2. As a reader I definitely agree with you, if I cannot connect with a character I stop reading the book. As a writer I am relieved, as I always come up with the character first, the plot seems to follow the character.

  3. Just another reminder that I need to work on my character development. Darn you, Adventures in YA, for giving me a swift kick in the family jewels...


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