Greetings! I am the Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency here in Denver. I read and evaluate submissions for our four-agent team, and I help authors get their novels ready for submission to publishers. I also teach writing and publishing workshops, including at Denver’s esteemed Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and I write a little on the side, too—mostly short stories and nonfiction. I am the author of two books for aspiring writers (Do You Need a Literary Agent? and Query Craft) and am currently working on a third, with lots more planned! I hold both a BA and an MA in English, with concentrations in secondary education and communication development, and I’m also a graduate of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. I love reading (even when I’m not reading for work), movies, knitting, coffee, walking (solvitur ambulando, “it is solved by walking”), yoga, fitness, and cooking.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
My husband, Warren, and I have a brown tabby named Pluma—a former stray we adopted from Foothills Animal Shelter. She is the best cat ever. No, really.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I feel so lucky to be one of those English majors who actually gets to work with words and stories. And as teaching is my passion, I am so fortunate to get to do that on the side as well.
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
I’ve been a big D Bar fan since back when they were on 17th Avenue and had four tables that dozens of people would stand outside in the cold for hours to get. I also love Imperial Chinese and Adrift, both on Broadway.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I moved to Denver in 2002 to attend DU’s Publishing Institute, and I never left. I was raised in Fort Collins, but also lived in Boulder for a couple years when I was really little.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
This is sad. I don’t even know her name, but I had the most amazing—and amazingly brief—conversation with my cashier at the Uptown Safeway once about five years ago. It ended with us hugging and crying. I never saw her again. Just one of those magic moments of human connection that I try to keep an eye out for and be open to when they occur.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I actually have three trips planned! The UK and Iceland in the fall, and Egypt, Jordan, and Israel will be be our next big trip after that. In addition, I’ve put a deposit down with the WWI Museum in Kansas City to go with my dad on their tour of the WWI battlefields in France, where my grandfather fought. That was supposed to happen last May, but…COVID. Waiting for the museum to announce new dates for that tour, as that will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with my dad.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
In general, I’m a big fan of gritty thrillers, crime dramas, and horror, things like True Detective (first season), The Wire, and Breaking Bad. Fun horror I’ve enjoyed lately includes Creep and Creep 2, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, and Super Dark Times.
Q: What advice would you give to people?
Move more and drink more water.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
To finish my novel and get it published!
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
I listen to tons of spa and jazz on Spotify when I’m working—nothing with lyrics, since I work with words.
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
I really miss when Tattered Cover was in Cherry Creek, and when the downtown location was still two floors. Now that it’s under new ownership and soon relocating to the Ballpark area, it will be interesting to see if it retains its legacy or gets rebranded.
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Author Neil Gaiman. I’ve read so much of his work, taken his MasterClass on story, listened to the audiobooks he narrates (his accent is great), and watched his “Make Good Art” speech on YouTube a million times. Seems like lunch is the next logical step.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I love Colfax Avenue. Every gritty, crazy, historic inch of it.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Seeing as how we just went through the craziness of buying, selling, and moving a year ago, my husband has made me swear we aren’t going anywhere for at least 10 years. So…here.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I need a nap every afternoon. Whether I get it or not, I need it. Just 10-20 minutes, and I’m good.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
So many different types of beauty when you travel! I loved the riotous beauty of China, the minimalistic beauty of Japan, and the natural beauty of Patagonia.
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
I love late fall and winter. Nothing speaks to my soul more than the stark quietude of bare trees against a cold, dusky sky.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Tiki cocktails and kitschy mid-century decor.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My husband, who, luckily, already thinks I’m pretty great. Which works out, because he’s pretty great, too.
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Honeysuckle and lilac. I love the cold months, but the smell of honeysuckle and lilac in the spring is so beautiful it makes my heart hurt.
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Comfortable. Safe. Welcoming.