Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FML Madness - Amy Boggs

Happy Tuesday!  Here to share her story about a small moment that changed everything is my amazing agent, Amy Boggs.

And don't forget to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a 25 page manuscript and query critique from the best agent in the biz :)

As someone who works in publishing, it's appropriate that the small choice that changed
my life centered on a book.
It was early fall of my ninth grade year. I came home from school, walked into the kitchen through the garage door, and found Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone sitting alone on the countertop. Turned out my younger brother had bought it earlier that day at the Scholastic Book Fair.
As a voracious reader, I had always devoted every possible spare moment of my day to reading. At the risk of TMI, this included time spent in the bathroom, because simply sitting there and letting my mind wander was a waste of valuable reading time. Since there was some urgency at that moment, the book on the countertop seemed the perfect immediate choice for having something to read in the bathroom.
But I had recently decided as a fourteen-year-old high school student that I should only be reading capital-L Literature, because that was what I thought smart adults read. The book on the countertop was clearly a kids' book, so no way I could read it.
That's when I faced my choice.
Yes, whether or not to read Harry Potter in the bathroom was my life-changing decision.
Deciding that anything was better than nothing, and that I could read it to mock it, I picked up the book. I ended up reading until my legs were numb, totally hooked. It became the pebble that started ripples.
Thanks to Harry Potter, I decided to read whatever I pleased and not worry what people thought. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing outside of school, and researched the business of publishing. Thanks to Harry Potter, I discovered an online message board of people from all over the world who loved analyzing the books but also shared their insights on life, which broadened my own worldview. Thanks to Harry Potter, I expanded my introverted shell, and I invited a new classmate and fellow fan to the movie. She ended up becoming my best friend. Thanks to all these things, I went to college in New York, and thanks to that I moved to NYC, and thanks to that I got the job I have now and am writing this.
It was the smallest choice for the silliest reason, but it led to who I am today. Perhaps I would have still found my way here without Harry Potter, but I can't think of how. For me, that's a comfort. I like to think that any little choice I make without thinking might end up being the one that leads me on my next great adventure.

Harry Potter has changed so many lives, and I'm certainly glad it changed yours. I'm sure all your clients are glad. It didn't just change your life, it changed all of ours too. Make sure to comment for a chance to win that critique! And come on back tomorrow when I'll be hosting Michelle McLean, author of To Trust a Thief.

Amy Boggs is a sci-fi/fantasy geek always looking for more things to geek out about. Fortunately, she often gets to do this professionally as a literary agent. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and came to New York City by way of Vassar College. She loves her adopted city, despite its lack of mountains. When not reading, she wanders the streets, museums, and theaters of NYC.


  1. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing, Amy.

    I personally looked down on Harry Potter at first too, and it took my kid convincing me to give it another shot before I finally fell in love.

    And there's nothing wrong with sitting on the toilet until your legs go numb if you've got a great book with you. It's sitting on the toilet until your legs go numb if you don't have a book that's worrisome.

  2. I love that all avid readers have THAT story about THAT reading experience that defined our lives. I never looked down on HP, but I certainly couldn't have guessed that it would be apart of my life for over a decade and that my husband's slowly growing appreciation for literature would stem from the awesome that is HP. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post! I still can't believe how long it took me to pick up Harry Potter. I credit my nephew with putting it in my hands (we still swap and discuss books to this day). Now my own children dream of getting a letter from Hogwarts! (Ok, maybe I still dream about finding out I'm not really a Muggle too!).

  4. Lol. Great story I always had the fear if reading in the bathroom because theres water. And you know, something mught exolode or something. Its a weird fear, I know.
    I first read Harry potter in college. Even though I owened the book in middle school. Better late than never :)

  5. Harry Potter is what made me a writer. I'd scribbled poems before and dabbled in fic, but it wasn't until HP that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  6. Such a great story. Thanks for sharing, Amy! I grew up with Harry Potter, starting in about the fifth grade, and like you, it's certainly helped make me the avid reader and writer I am today. :) It's amazing how wonderful books touch so many lives!

  7. Our family took turns reading the books after dinner to each other. I believe the stories helped cement a love of language in my children. I'm not sure if it was the togetherness or the depth of characters and general enjoyment of the story, but it Harry Potter is a special part of our memories. It is as much a part of our fun times as a growing family as camping trips or birthday palooza's.

  8. I love it, the pebbles, and the ripples, the bathroom time. It's amazing how someone creativity can change our lives so vastly, and become a part of us.

    x x x

  9. I have to admit, I didn't fall in love with Harry Potter on my first read. I blame reading it as a travel book (the only one I brought with me) and deciding to ration the chapters. But when it came time to buy a book for the (6+ hour) flight home, I picked the newly released Goblet of Fire, and then I was hooked.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story! Sometimes I feel silly as an adult nosing around in the YA section at the library, but I can't worry what other people think, I have to read! I've also employed the bathroom library!

  11. I resisted Harry Potter until college when a back injury and nowhere to go left me with a great deal of time to read. Finished the whole series. Many years later I had a similar about-face with paranormal romance while stuck in bed recovering from childbirth. That first vampire novel changed the trajectory of my life. Never say never.

  12. I saw the first movie on DVD freshman year of college. After that, I devoured the books and couldn't wait for the rest of the movies to be made!

  13. I am a terrible person. I used to make fun of people for reading Harry Potter like it was my job. "Why would you read that, its a kids book?" Then I went to visit my friend in the military, and his room mate was reading Harry Potter. And it just so happened that the new book (It was like 4 or so) was coming out at midnight that night. He wasnt with us, but we ended up waiting in line to get him the book as a joke. He was so excited. And I thought well, if this guy (obviously he was really cute) likes it, maybe it isnt so bad.. Went home bought all 4 books, and LOVED them. I felt like such a jerk for every little bit of taunting I did to anyone.


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.