Happy Friday! Today, I'm featuring Pippin agent Larissa Helena on the blog. Larissa is new to agenting . . . she was previously an Executive Editor and translator at Rocco in Brazil, but she moved to New York last year with a visa as an “Alien of Extraordinary Abilities in Publishing,” which was awarded to her by the US Government. A few months later she came to Pippin as the Manager of Subsidiary Rights and Associate Literary agent. Now she's looking to build her client list, and I spoke with her about what type of clients and work she is looking for. Check out her answers below.

1. What genres are you most excited to see hit your inbox? 

Funny books! I love middle-grade and YA equally, am crazy about sci-fi and fantasy, but nothing makes me happier than when a book actually makes me laugh. My dream is to describe my reaction to a manuscript as ROFL – but even a LOL will have my heart. 

2. What themes or issues do you like to see books address? 

Being Brazilian, I find ethnic diversity of the utmost importance. I'd love to see stories that address the immigrant experience, the struggle of having to live in a language that's not your own, and stories about children and teens coming to terms with their heritages or discovering the extent to which the tales and cultures of their ancestors have influenced their lives. 

3. Are there any genres you aren't interested in?

 I've never quite developed the taste for historical fiction – it's just not my jam. I also hardly ever enjoy rhyming picture books: people seem to assume this is an easy one to write, but it's the hardest of 'em all! 

4. In your opinion, what makes a book special for readers? 

If you pay attention to any random conversation, you'll see people tend to steer away from those boisterous displays of interestingness that Hollywood movies try to make us believe is just the right way to make friends. Everyone prefers honesty and a sincere listener instead. An open conversation will take you a looong way. I believe the same is true for books: when they are not trying to be something, a formula that has previously worked, that's when they are special. When an author finds the truth within themselves and in what they want to write, magic happens.

5. Do you have any query pet peeves? 

I strongly dislike when authors tell me "You will love this", as if they were my best friends and knew exactly what will catch my eye! I do enjoy when someone says they think this would be a good fit because they read something about me somewhere, but please don't start your e-mail telling me I will love your story! It can only go downhill from there! I also rarely read submissions that do not follow our website guidelines... if an aspiring author didn't care enough to follow them, they're probably not the right fit for me. 

6. Do you have any advice to aspiring authors on getting your -- or any agent's -- attention? 

Long e-mails are discouraging. Make it short and simple, and catch my eye from the beginning. Some authors start their submissions with questions, and this could work really well if it's a good one. If you're not too sure... well, don't do it! Also, make sure you let me know from the start why this story is different from all the others, why this one is worth reading. 

7. What has been your favorite read so far in 2017? 

Emma Straub's Modern Lovers is so much fun! Even though it's an adult title, it's still a really good example of the kind of humor coupled with creative but honest writing I am looking for.

If you are interested in submitting your manuscript, please visit our submissions page for guidelines on how to do so!

Posted by elena at 11:07 PM Link to this post

Hi all! Morgan here, Pippin intern and book enthusiast. I’m making my first post on the Pippin blog, and I couldn’t be more excited!

As a Missouri native, I grew up landlocked and far away from the east coast. Until I moved east in September, I said “pop” instead of “soda,” had never been to New York City, or even on a train . . . Since coming out here, I’ve developed an “East Coast Bucket List” that is helping me to see all that the area has to offer, and I’m hoping it keeps me busy this summer!

With warm weather on the way, I look forward to the weekends when I can escape to the beach and check another “first” off my E.C. Bucket List: the boardwalk. Pick a boardwalk, any boardwalk, and take me there! I love the beach, though I’ve only really experienced the Gulf coast . . .

Coney Island is definitely a summer stop I’m excited about. Why? It’s the setting for one of the newest releases from a seasoned Pip . . .


CYCLONE by Doreen Cronin hit shelves last week, and it has me in the boardwalk mood. Also, I need to check out this roller coaster, which is at the center of this novel.

Okay, the roller coaster isn’t REALLY at the center. CYCLONE is the story of a girl who is learning how to process her guilt after an incident involving her cousin, who ends up in the hospital. But the coaster definitely has a big role, and it’s the first time I’ve ever even heard about Cyclone (Midwesterner, remember?). Nora has waited her whole life to ride Cyclone, and it’s finally her chance.

This is Doreen’s first middle-grade novel and it’s one that kicks off the summer season with themes of determination and self-forgiveness, with a fiery voice from “four-and-a-half-foot-twelve-year-old” Nora. I’m so excited about this debut. There isn’t really anything out there like it, and I think that reading about the self-conflict Nora faces is a learning tool for anyone, not just middle grade readers. Definitely worth the read on your drive out to Coney Island. Grab your copy here!

As Doreen celebrates the release of her first novel, I will be celebrating my first East Coast summer!

Happy Reading!
Image from Lunar Park Attractions Website

                 (Image from Lunar Park NYC)

P.S. Cyclone, which amazingly is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, recently made it on a list of the top four roller coasters within reach by public transit, so if you’re feeling brave, grab your metro pass and try them all! Check out the list here. Maybe I’ll see you at the top!
Posted by elena at 10:05 AM Link to this post
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