Interview: Sarah LaPolla, Literary Agent

CB picSarah LaPolla is an associate agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. She studied creative writing at Ithaca College, and has an MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School. She joined Curtis Brown, Ltd. in 2008 as the assistant to the foreign rights department, and became an associate agent in 2010. Sarah represents both adult and YA fiction. For adult books, she is looking for literary fiction, urban fantasy, magical realism, mystery, literary horror, and has a soft spot for short story collections. On the YA side, she welcomes contemporary/realistic fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, mystery, thriller, and horror. No matter the age of the intended audience, Sarah is drawn to voice-driven narratives and strong protagonists.

Sarah runs a literary blog called Glass Cases ( and can be found on Twitter at @sarahlapolla.

She is very proud to have worked on K.M. Walton’s latest contemporary YA, EMPTY, which was published by Simon Pulse this past January. Two more upcoming publications include more contemporary YA from debut authors Christa Desir  and Jennifer Mathieu.

What is your idea of happiness?
Doing something I’m passionate about, having good people in my life, and traveling as often as possible.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
Favorites tend to vary, but I think my first favorite song was probably Happy Just to Dance With You by The Beatles. I think I was five or six the first time I heard that one, and it just stuck with me. Now it’s not even my favorite Beatles song, let alone favorite song.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing! I’m not terrible, but no one would ever call me good. I wish I could sing.

On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t really lie because I rarely see a point to it. I’m often quite blunt, but I do know when to show restraint and be polite. But, that’s more “tact” than “lying” I guess.

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?
Don’t worry about things you have no control over (and accept when you have no control).

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Reliability, honesty, knowing when to bring me chocolate.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Also,” “but um,” “probably,” and I’m sure there are more.

Your favorite painting?
I can’t say I have one, but my favorite artist is Keith Haring.

Untitled, 1982Keith Haring

Untitled, 1982
Keith Haring

What is your favorite journey?
Is it cliche to say “an unexpected one?” Oh well!

What is your favorite time of day?
Not morning.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
My imaginary ex-boyfriend, Holden Caulfield, because he should just sit and talk to someone for a bit.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
As long as I’ve accomplished something I can be proud of, not settle for anything less than 100% satisfying, and be a generally good person, I can die happy.

Who or what is your first love?
Raphael (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

What’s the last dream you remember?
I hardly ever remember my dreams. I wish I did. Once I vaguely remember being part of a heist with Spike from Buffy. No idea what we were stealing or why he was there.

What’s your madeleine?
If there’s a smell that combines cigarettes, burnt coffee, and tomato sauce, it would be that. I’d be seven years old and in my grandparents’ house on a Sunday afternoon.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?

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