if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Who is this “Daphne” person anyway?

daphmedOnce upon a time there were two little girls who went to the University of Delaware. They were assigned very hazardous duties in publishing. But I took one of them away from all that and now she works for me.

Ok, not quite. Not exactly. But if you check out this link from way back in the Daphne archives, you too can read the origin story of Daphne Unfeasible, courtesy of Maureen Johnson.

Regular readers of my blog will be well familiar with the name Daphne Unfeasible. Daphne is my literary agent. I get a lot of questions about Daphne, literary agents, and publishing in general. Today, I am going to take an unprescendented step . . . and in doing so, provide you with A LOT of answers. Obviously, I have to tell you a long story first.

Of course, she skips the usual, informative stuff, like how “Daphne” came to be.

Once up on a time… a lot of agents and agencies weren’t on the internet, and were perfectly happy about that. But some agents wanted to reach out to writers, and when they couldn’t do it under their own names for fear of the Powers That Be, or just didn’t want to reveal their true identities, they blogged under pseudonyms.

Back when Maureen and I started working together, and she started blogging, my name wasn’t something that was sharable with the whole wide world. (Thank the internets things have changed!) So she gave me a new one that she could use, frequently. I don’t recall if I was the first person on her blog to get a special MJ nickname, but I know Daphne has since been joined by Emma Lollipop, and Oscar Gingersnort, and Pixie Potpie, among others.

When I started kt literary last year, I’d already been known as Daphne Unfeasible to the readers of Maureen’s blog for a few years, and it seemed silly to give up a perfectly reasonable name just because I could now use my REAL name. Thus, Ask Daphne was born.

For that same reason — familiarity — I use Daphne for my public Facebook and Twitter accounts. They’re all me, but the most important thing about Daphne is that she is an agent, first and foremost. Here to give advice, share interesting articles, talk about publishing, and wear cute shoes. Kate? Well, Kate does all that too, but not just that.

Still, Kate’s the one who reads all your queries and partials and fulls, so when you’re personalizing one of those, do go with “Kate Schafer Testerman” instead of “Daphne Unfeasible”. Because no one wants an imaginary literary agent.

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