Jacqui Lipton caught up with Raven Quill's new assistant.
Jacqui Lipton (JL): How did you come to be working as the agency assistant at RQLA? Tell us a little bit about your background.
Lindsay Flanagan (LF): I’ve always wanted to work with words. I’ve been writing stories for almost as long as I can remember, and I’ve wanted to be an editor since high school. Dreams come true—I’ve worked as an editor for the past seven years, editing for an editing firm and two small presses. I also own my own editing company, and I’ve completed two literary agency internships.
JL: What are some of your favorite books for children and young adults?
LF: I could never choose an absolute favorite, but I could narrow it down to some that have made an impact on my life. In picture books, I love, love, love the Skippyjon Jones series, especially for reading aloud, but my most favorite might be The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. My favorite young adult book as a child was The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Today, I’m loving books with epic world-building and sweeping stories such as The Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo and An Ember in the Ashes series by Saba Tahir. I was blown away by Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation and Deathless Divide duology. The And I Darken trilogy by Kiersten White is a possible top-ten contender for being my favorite series of the past ten years.
JL: Is there a book you’d love to see someone write in the future?
LF: The incredible Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,” so that is what I do as an author. I write stories that not only I want to read, but that I think my daughters will want to read. I love fantasy, strong heroines, and life lessons in acceptance, tolerance, and love. I also just recently signed a three-book deal for my upper middle-grade series, Anna Grey and the Constellation. I hope to inspire someone else with my stories.
JL: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of interning or assisting at a literary agency?
LF: I love everything! I love helping agents and learning from them about the publishing industry, and I love reading queries and submissions and offering editorial feedback. I’m having a blast with Instagram, creating fun graphics for our awesome authors here at Raven Quill. My least favorite parts are probably finding typos I’ve made. Editor problems!
JL: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your publishing industry experience so far?
LF: That there is so much more to publishing than simply writing a good story. While every voice and every story is important, sometimes it’s simply a matter of finding the right time and right place for the work. Networking, supporting other authors, taking professional feedback to heart and making changes—all of that (and more) goes into publishing a story.
JL: Where would you like to be in five years with respect to the industry or in general?
LF: I would love to still be editing and working here at Raven Quill. I’d also love to see all three of my books out by then! I’m hoping to submit more manuscripts with my agent, too. So many stories to write!