yup. he totes uses the word crap, besties.


You might know Mr. Bransford as The Man With the Orange Blog. You might know him as That Guy Whose Email Inbox Dings So Many Times in the Same Minute It Sounds Like Someone Planted a Car Alarm in His Computer. You might even know him as that guy who was like, KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE #$Q@%$@^ RHETORICAL QUESTIONS, OKAY QUERY-PEOPLE? except he probably said it a lot nicer than that.

Because Mr. Bransford is a nice guy.

His blog is one of THE MOST comprehensive sources of literary wonderment on the interwebs. Not only can you cruise by to learn how to format your query letter, read professional critiques, brush up on the publishing biz and discover new ways to use your E-reader, but Nathan Bransford will keep you up-to-date on even more important things, like
  • Where in the world is Heidi Montag?
  • Wait, who in the hell is Heidi Montag?
  • No, really, you can just put your Kindle in a Ziploc bag and TADA! Shower-proof!
  • SUPER important publishing-speak, like, "Sweet, my answer is get out of my car." (Which is quite possibly one of my FAVORITE blog-posts, ever, of all-time, ever.) 
basically, if you don't know who Nathan Bransford is, you are seriously missing out. definitely send him a query letter, RIGHT NOW. (maybe open with a rhetorical question?) because he is a LITERARY AGENT who is single-handedly taking over the world.

now, i'm sure you're all eager to fill his inbox with query-goodness but WAIT! THERE'S MORE!


ahem ahem.

(my comments are in red.)

1. Full name? Place of birth? Earliest childhood memory?

I’m actually hoping to keep my full name off the Internet. Does this make me paranoid or merely sensible?
(sensible! natch.)

Place of birth: Colusa, California. Never heard of it? (nope.) Yeah.

Earliest memory: When I was about two-years-old I was a very sickly kid and I had to stay for a while in the hospital in San Francisco. The zoo brought some animals to entertain us, and there was an iguana that I thought was basically the coolest thing ever. I know people say you’re too young at two-years-old to remember stuff, but THAT IGUANA WAS FREAKING AWESOME. Blew my mind. 

2. Who's your favorite fictional character, and why?

So many to choose from, but I’d have to go with Ahab from MOBY-DICK for being so awesomely insane. 


3. What kind of shoes are you wearing?

White and orange Nike sneakers. I swear not everything I own is orange. Just most everything.

4. When/how/why did you make the transition from agent to writer?

I wouldn’t say that I have actually made a transition from agent to writer as I spend way way way more time agenting than writing and thus feel like I am way way way more an agent than a writer. But basically a couple of years ago I had an idea for a novel that I was very excited about, and so I took the time and went and wrote it. That novel didn’t work out, but the next one did!

(YAY!) (also, notice the HOPE, besties! if at first you don't succeed??) (yes, mm hmm, buy orange Nikes & try try again!)

5. Do you think it's better to have a good concept or strong writing? Why or why not?

I don’t see this as an either/or thing because you definitely need both.

6. Bad habits?


(ahem.) (touché Mr. Bransford. touché.)

7. Before you go to bed at night, you're thinking:

B. Ooh! Dear Wife, did you hear that? That was the lovely chime of a QUERY LETTER RINGING IN MY EARDRUMS! Delight!
            C. DAMMIT HEIDI, why'd you have to ruin The Hills for everyone?!
            D. OTHER: ____________________.

D. OTHER: Holy crap I’m tired.


8. Complete this sentence:
            I really need to fix my _____________________.

 ...wife dinner since it’s my week to cook.

(hidden talents!) (a secret sous-chef, perhaps?!)

9. When people send me queries with rhetorical questions my first instinct is to:
            A. Scream.
            B. Eat a lot of chocolate.
            C. Shake my fist at the world.
            D. DELETE.

C. Shake my fist at the world.

10. Favorite food you've ever eaten, EVER?

I ate at The French Laundry one time and every course was basically the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life.

11. QUICK! Pitch JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW (which will be published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2011) in three sentences or less!

Jacob Wonderbar trades a corndog for a sassy spaceship and blasts off into space with his best friends, Sarah and Dexter. After they accidentally break the universe in a giant space kapow, a nefarious space pirate named Mick Cracken maroons Jacob and Dexter on a tiny planet that smells like burp breath. They have to work together to make it back to their street on Earth where all the houses look the same.

(um. no lie, this sounds like the coolest book i ever wish i'd written. i'd trade a corndog for a sassy spaceship ANYDAY. MAYBE TODAY, in fact.) 

12. One thing we'd never guess about you?

I took piano lessons for thirteen years. Then again maybe you would guess that.

(i, uh, never would've guessed that.) (do you have piano-hands?)

13. Two things you wish we knew about you?

1) I love Disneyland in a wholehearted, un-ironic fashion. That place is magical, people.


2) I have an uncanny talent for catching things before they hit the ground, kind of like in “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.” I should really be working in a museum or tea shop.

14. Complete this sentence:

            Right now I have _________(number) emails in my _________(adjective) inbox.

Right now I have 17 no 18 no 19 emails in my insatiable inbox.

15. Favorite thing about your job?

Helping authors make their dreams come true.


16. Check ('X') the most suitable answers. You may choose more than one:

            __ Team Edward
            __ Team Jacob

All due respect to the chiseled nonhumans, but I have to go with my man Wonderbar, who would come up with a prank that would leave Edward and Other Jacob in tears.


17. After reading Tahereh's blog every single morning without fail, the next best blog I read is:

Tahereh’s again as I re-read it to savor the brilliance, all the while lamenting that I can never again recapture the experience of reading the post for the first time.


18. Your favorite quote?

It takes a smart man to know he’s stupid.

19. Your high school voted you most likely to:

I don’t remember what it was called exactly but it’s the one where they throw the nerd a bone to make them feel better about how they studied all the time.

(MMM YEA, i remember that. they voted you mostly likely to break the universe by accident. remember? they used to call you Jacob Wonderbar for short.)

20. If you could meet any superhero ever, who would you meet, and why?

Does Marvin the Paranoid Android count?

(did you just make that up??)***


21. How do you feel about rhetorical questions?

[Resists the trap]

(*shakes fist at world*)


impressed?? intrigued?? 


to be transported to a place just as magical & unexpectedly delightful as Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! (BUT DON'T EAT THE WALLPAPER.) (if you look closely, you'll notice the Oompa Loompa's have faded into the background!)


tell me, besties, what kind of shoes are YOU wearing today??


***THIS WAS A JOKE! don't worry! i'd have to be cut off from society not to know about the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (but thanks for your concern!)

P.S. ABOUT THE CONTEST RESULTS!! hang tight, loves! i'll be announcing winners in pieces -- i'll probably need the weekend to sort through all the entries because i don't want to make a hasty decision. (after all, you put so much time into your submissions! i want to spend some time reading and rereading everything.) BUT! i will announce the WINNING NUMBER this Friday! stay tuned :D 


Tamara Hart Heiner said...

of course, nathan's awesome! I seriously need to query him!

Remilda Graystone said...

This just solidified for me the idea that Nathan Bransford needs to bottle his awesomeness and sell it, because he's got so much of it!! This was a great interview. Loved the answers.

Thanks, Tahereh and Nathan!!

I'm barefoot. I am 93.6572% of the time.

Clara said...

This was great, thank you so much for this!!! And today I shall wear slippers!

Kari said...

Shoes? I wore my UGLY tennis shoe/sneaker-y things with one braided lace and orthopedic inserts. I am way too young to be subjected to this kind of torture. But they are kinda comfy.

LOL, loved the interview..."I re-read it to savor the brilliance, all the while lamenting that I can never again recapture the experience of reading the post for the first time." THIS IS SO TRUE!!!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Great interview. Thanks guys! Yeah, *ahem*, I've already been rejected twice by Mr Orange so won't be trying again for a while ... :)

Anne R. Allen said...

I am in awe of your interviewing talents. And Mr. Bransford's. (well, of course. He's a bona fide blog-deity.) Delightful. Charming. Funny. Both of you. Remilda is right: bottle the awesome.

Then come to the Central Coast Writers Conference in September. Mr. B will be keynote speaker. Keeping up the awesome.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

"Wait... what? No way, that's too much awesomeness, there must be a mistake... It looks like... *brain explodes* AWESOME!" <-- was my reaction to a Nathan Bransford interview on your blog. Two awesome people of such awesomeness can't POSSIBLY be contained on one blog! (The internet will break, seriously.)
And I'm not wearing shoes, I'm a mismatched socks kinda person. Although, at the moment, I'm barefoot. :D

Caledonia Lass said...

You know, at first I wondered what was so cool about Nathan Bransford... then I got hooked into his blog and now this interview! You rock and so does Nathan. I'm still afraid to send a query though. We'll see. XD

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Ah the legend of Mr. Bransford. I am yet to have my query rejected by him. But loved his interview. :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

(Okay, completely random extra comment/ piece of information, I changed my blog url like a week ago, and I thought it would automatically transfer people through, but it doesn't, and my mom couldn't find my blog (ha) so if you haven't seen any blog updates on your feed, could you pretty please refollow? beyeager.blogspot.com is the new URL. I'm so sorry about this!!!)

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Footwear today:

Greek style thongy-things...alas, not ORANGE...must get a pair in that colour though.

Voted on the prologue dilemma - it seems that writers DON'T hate them as much as other expert writerly folk...why do most Agents shake their fists in frustration....(NOT a rhetorical question) at THE PROLOGUE?

Mr. Bransford:
Are the rumours true that you are (possibly) going to organise a NEW REALITY SHOW designed for writers? I heard that since being lost at LOST, your creativity has flown in another direction. May I ask if it is fact or fiction? Thank you.

Personally Tahereh, I WOULDN'T DARE query Mr. Bransford - although I follow his blog and absolutely agree with you about both the blog and gentleman behind it.

What shoes are YOU wearing today BESTIE-KINS?

Simon C. Larter said...

It's still early in the morning, so I'm wandering my house in socks. Come to think of it, maybe I'll just wander to work in socks too. I think I shall.

Anyway, how'd you score an interview with NB? (Yeah, I think they named the abbreviation after him.) You, good lady, are a surprise a minute. Well, okay, a surprise a day, or every few days, but you catch my drift.

Well done, m'dear. My hat would be off to you if I were wearing one but I'm not so it'll have to be a virtual hat. *takes virtual hat off*

Ann Marie Wraight said...

BTW TAHEREH - Mr. Bransford - or NB as SIME says - may say



SWEETIE - you've talked a lot recently about


so perhaps we shouldn't fling those words/accusations around so much - especially close to a fan...

SIME - you haven't said a sweary word for the last few blog posts ...think I'll start taking bets as to when you'll crack...

Heather Kelly said...

Yay, the intersection of two of my favorite things. That happens a lot here. Thanks, bestie. Shoes, hoping for running shoes today. And then hoping to do the actual running as well. Keep your fingers crossed!

Josin L. McQuein said...

Shoes? Blech. Can't stand 'em. Horrible inventions. I wear flip flops if I must.

Great interview.

Ver word: mullanco -- the company Mulan started in the Forbidden city. She's the President, the snarky dragon is the CEO, and the cricket handles finances. ;-)

Vicki Rocho said...

That was awesome! Great job, T.

Currently not wearing shoes but I suppose I will put some on before I go to work

(where I will take them off because they either clomp on the hardwood floors or squeak. I have a pair of black fuzzy slippers under my desk.)

Jemi Fraser said...

Nathan's awesome - his personality shines through. His blog is super too. Awesome interview! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

When my manuscript is a little shinier, Nathan Bransford is on my list.

Fun interview. My husband also loves orange. If Nathan represents me, maybe they'll be besties.

I'm going to be away next week, so I'll have to make sure to periodically check your blog if I have Internet access. If I don't, I'll figure out something.

Candyland said...

What a cool freaking dude. Seriously. He gets cooler by the second.

Christi Goddard said...

Nathan's the best. Such a sweetie. And today I'm wearing Osiris shoes. Then again, every day I'm wearing Osiris shoes.

Food for thought: you were made to entertain. I predict a T.H. Mafi variety show someday.

JustineDell said...

I <3 Nathan!

Thanks for this!

Oh, flip-flops. Black one's with a cute little jewel on the strap. ;-)


Erica Chapman said...

Love Nathan's blog. Confession... his blog was the first agent/writer blog I found. I owe a lot of my knowledge of the industry to his blog ;o)

Great interview, Tahereh!!

I'm wearing my Aldo, black wedged-heel sandals. I love them ;o)

Kelly said...

Excellent interview!
Fun stuff. And I'm barefoot (but my toenails are painted a bright blue!)

Christina Lee said...

AWWW he trades cooking weeks with wifey? Hmmm... how can I pull that off? What else can you say but he ROCKS!
I am wearing my plain boring black flip flops ;-)but my toes are painted orange!

Jaydee Morgan said...

You couldn't have picked anyone better to interview! What a great job and fun read this was :)

As far as shoes go today, I'm choosing sandals.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Such a cool interview <3! As for shoes, I hate them and go barefoot most of the day, or slide on sandals if I need to. I only where actual shoes while I work out them immediately take them off.

I wish I was at query stage, sigh, Nathan would be top of the list.

Regina said...

Thank you for your fun and insightful interview into the fabulous world of Mr. Bransford. That was great. He is a very colorful person. BTW. Ugly brown shoes for comfort only. Nothing fab.

Mia said...

OMG, this is so cool. You two have officially made my day, thanks for that :)

So, shoes eh? *taps pen* *thinks* Um, it's socks NOW because I just finished the laundry. I will, of course, later put on my WOW space invader rocket trainers (no lie, I have photos) to walk to the shops for chocolate :)

Have a great day ;)

Lisa Gail Green said...

AWESOME interview. Someone probably already said it but I believe Marvin the paranoid android is from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which if you haven't read you ought to. I think you would appreciate the humor.

Meredith said...

Okay, never using rhetorical questions again. Nathan's blog is totally my bible for all writing advice--thanks for interviewing him!

No shoes right now, but socks with Christmas trees on them! I really need to do some laundry.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I have orange Adidas, is that good enough? I can't go around wearing Nike's with the World Cup only days away.

And I also have an uncanny ability for catching things before they hit the ground or countertop! Even when I can't see them. Which is sort of odd, really.

But I might take the corndog. Sassy spaceships are cool and all, but, I mean, it's a corndog. I'm hungry already.

Jck said...

ZOMG! Dear T, you are like a Pandora box girl! Loved, loved, loved *shakes with emotionnnnnnnn* this interview.
Nathan Bransford is the reason I found all of you! I found him when searching for answers to all my rhetorical query questions. Really, when I first read his orangeness, I was so happy I haven’t had queried him during my crazy query frenzy with my first (85K words of crap!) novel. He is great and full of wonderful advice!
Thank you for this. How do you do it? You are the definition of amazing, really. U Rock!

Shoes? boring office black flats. Comfort first! Although I wish I could wear flip flops all day!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

I never would have thought of asking Nathan Bransford for an interview. He's just too cool.

But he's on my list.

Thanks for the interview!!!

brown pleather flipflops with faux-turquoise studs.

Marsha Sigman said...

Ohhh, Nathan(insert happy sigh).

I am wearing black sandals...because boots were getting really hot in 90 degree weather.

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks so much to Tahereh for the interview and to all of you! And yes, if you haven't read HITCHHIKER's you absolutely must. Marvin the Paranoid Android is the most.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Loved this! Loved it!! :-)

And I'm wearing very boring, but comfortable, gray Airwalk sandles. LOL!

Falen said...

Barefoot baby! I refuse footwear unless it's aboslutely required (or a law)

and yes, Hitchhiker's Guide FTW

Tahereh said...

a big THANK YOU to Nathan for this nugget of his generosity!

and YES, i do indeed know of The Hitchhiker's Guide, besties! that was my failed attempt at humor!



Glynis said...

Flip flops kicked off, to enjoy curling up with this gem of a post!

Brilliant interview, loved it.

Caitlin R. O'Connell said...

Awesomesauce interview! A helpful blogger, a nice agent, really hilariously funny, and he wants to be Marvin the Paranoid Android? WIN! Marvin is fantastic.

Also, no shoes right now. Or socks either, for that matter.

Sugar said...

I wuv him! Great interview!! *dies cuz he said CRAP!* lmfao
I'm wearing black sketcher shoesies :)

Angela Ackerman said...

Do his clones wear orange Nike sneakers too?


(Keen sandals, baby. Breaking them in for my Africa trip)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Taryn Tyler said...

I am not wearing shoes. :D

angelwingsbaka said...

What if right now, I was wearing these shoes!!!? (Rhetorical)


Anne said...

Haha this was great. Thanks for posting! (I'm wearing tie-dyed flip flops today.)

lakeviewer said...

Nathan Who?
Are we becoming groupies now? What are we doing?
Seriously, you are funny, with or without what's his name.
Now, if he says anything crappy about you, you tell us. We are so into breaking somebody's ego, slice and saute' his liveroids just for a friend.

That's all. I've used up all the bad words I know. At my age, I don't follow anybody of his age.
Don't tell him I said so. I may have to send a query letter and then, he might remember me.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You both crack me up! I'm wearing socks. Clean socks. Without holes. (believe me, that's a huge deal).

Seriously, Tahereh, where do you get all your agent groupies from? You're begin to rule the agenting world. I love it! :D

Talli Roland said...

What a great interview with the Orange Blog Man! I can't wait to read his book!

Crimey said...

I'm betting everything in his closet is orange. Wait, should I really be discussing a literary agent's closet? Okay, well. Great interview, very fun! :)

Ellen said...

This interview rocks. "Marvin the Paranoid Android" <-- Just when I thought Nathan Bransford couldn't be any more awesome, I am proven wrong. :D

Liza said...

SO FUN! As for the shoes...well, barefoot.

Shelley Sly said...

I love his answers AND your questions! Awesome interview! :D

And my word verification is "mandomm" which I think is hilarious.

Sumayyah said...

I LOVE YOUR INTERVIEWS. (i'll stop with all the caps eventually) (really) (promise) I was giggling all the way through.

Sandy Shin said...


Both you and Nathan are awesome beyond words.

And, The French Laundry -- now I really, really want to eat there. Except it's so expensive...

Bee said...

This is holy freaking cool!
*bows to nathan and tahereh's awesomeness (again and again!)*

And, I'm barefoot.

Jaleh D said...

That interview was hilarious! Love both the questions and answers. Hehe. I've been following Nathan's blog since I started my own. I'd popped on there a few times before that, but now I read it regularly. Great stuff.

Oh and I'm wearing sneakers. White ones with blue and silver accents.

Dawn said...

Fabulous interview. You always amaze me.

CKHB said...

I am barefoot, and how do you not know about Marvin?!?

Shannon said...

Great interview. As always, you're just as fabulous as Nathan. Maybe a little more since you call us beasties. ;)

Slushpile Slut said...

Stalker love "THE' Mr. Nathan Bransford-- his blog, his forum, his wit.

And you Miss Tahereh have the funniest voice in the blogosphere. You make me LOL no matter what topic you're blogging about.

Going shopping right now to buy some orange stilettos to replace my boring black flip-flops in honor of Mr. Bransford!

SWK said...

Loved this interview! Wearing sneakers (blue and white and not very cool or interesting). In truth, I am the UN-fashionista and would have been laughed off the SATC set if I'd ever had any inclination to go near it :)

Dawn Simon said...

Awesome interview! I'm wearing my work shoes (slippers).

Debra Driza said...

Awesome interview!

And I'm barefoot.


Matthew Rush said...

You put this up when? How in the hell did I miss it!?!? This is two of my favorite stalkees in the world.

(You - Tahereh, and NB that is)!

Scott said...

Great interview, very entertaining. Tahereh, your blog oozes "style" and "voice", but the besties/loves things really started creeping me out after a while. Sounds like Gollum. I imagine you gleefully rubbing your hands together as you roll your humongous pale eyes in delight at the thought of slippery fish. Kind of awesome, kind of creepy. Just had to let you know.

Tahereh said...

well thanks, Scott, for that very disturbing visual. while i highly doubt you *had* to tell me that, thanks nonetheless for your, uh, contribution.

Ezmirelda said...

This interview was hilarious, and done very well! I love your humor, I laughed each time I read one of your comments.

Carolyn V. said...

Okay Tahereh, that was the BEST interview ever! I loved it. And you crack me up! Loved it! Plus Nathan is very cool. I love orange stuff. =D

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