Jennifer Johnson-Blalock knew early on she wanted to be a literary agent. Getting there would take her on a circuitous route but, in the end, that journey would turn out to be a valuable one. Now, an agent for Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency she will be among the agents meeting with writers at the Killer Nashville Writers Conference in October.
Jennifer grew up in Oklahoma, and said she read constantly. “I used to hide in the closet with a book and a flashlight when I was supposed to be playing outside, and I routinely got in trouble for trying to sneak a book under the dinner table.”
She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and knew she wanted to be a literary agent, but the thought of moving to New York City, and not knowing anyone, terrified her.
Instead, Jennifer went to Harvard Law School. She gained a strong foundation in contracts, which led her to Los Angeles and then back to Austin. “Finally, I decided to take the leap and have been happily living in the city and working in publishing for the last two years.”
She interned at Liza Dawson Associates in 2013 and had a wonderful experience. She returned to the agency as an associate agent after working as an assistant at Trident Media Group.
The Liza Dawson agency was established in 1997. The founder, Liza Dawson, built the agency after a twenty-year career in book publishing, including posts as executive editor of Putnam Publishing and executive editor at William Morrow.
“We’re a full-service agency with great success in international market and digital publishing, and we’ve launched the careers of many debut authors,” Jennifer added. “Our goal is to build long-lasting careers for our authors, so we look for writers who want to work with us to establish that.”
Jennifer is actively seeking thrillers and suspense novels, particularly ones that are psychological or have a literary bent. She sought out a conference that would allow her to connect with those writers and she found Killer Nashville.
“Killer Nashville has a great reputation, and I’m very excited to be attending.”