Sunday, 24 March 2013

Interview with Agent Michael Bourret

Interview with Agent Michael Bourret

Michael Bourret is Vice President and Literary Agent at
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

Mr. Bourret heads the West Coast office of DGLM in Los Angeles
and represents an impressive list of award-winning and best-selling authors such as: Sara Zarr, Heather Brewer, Nove Ren Suma, Lisa McMann,
James Dashner, Brodi Ashton, A.S. King, among many others

To connect with Mr. Bourret check here:
Query Email: 


1. Welcome, Michael! Before we jump into music, can you answer that BURNING "work" question all those MG/YA writers out there want to know: what would you love to see in your inbox right now?

I'd love to see anything that's new, original, daring, different, out-of-the-ordinary, that pushes boundaries, that's uncompromising. I'm actively looking for both MG and YA, and I like a challenge. If you've written a book that breaks the mold, that doesn't sound like other things on the market, please be in touch. It can be realistic or fantasy, but it can't be familiar.

2. Now for the big fun. Do you have a musical background? Do you play instruments or sing?

My musical background consists of two weeks of piano lessons and two years of viola in elementary school. I cannot sing to save my life, though those who know me will attest that I still do it, often at the top of my lungs. I can't help but sing along.

3. Do you have specific musicians/bands/albums that have influenced different aspects or chapters of your life?
I tend to add different music and musicians as I go along, and very few have been left behind. I grew up in the 80s, and even in elementary school, I loved music. Honestly, it probably started with Diana Ross's "Diana" album, though I quickly shifted my allegiance to Madonna. Then I had a neighbor/babysitter/family friend who loved Duran Duran, so they were added in, along with New Order, Billy Idol, Blondie, Human League and Pet Shop Boys. I loved New Wave, though I had no idea what it was at the time!

Middle school regrettably brought Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Technotronic and other terrible dance music--freestyle. Oh, did I love freestyle: Lisette Melendez, Cover Girls, Expose, Information Society, Shannon, etc. (I will admit, when the weather is just right, I have a craving for the stuff and will binge on it still!)

By time I got to high school, I was a musical omnivore, and I'd listen to just about anything. The bands and artists I remember liking most then were Soul Coughing (I think I first heard them on NPR), Toad the Wet Sprocket, Annie Lennox, Deee-Lite, Luscious Jackson, Lords of Acid, Sheryl Crow, Garbage, and Ace of Base, not to mention Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and some other random rap music I'm not remembering at the moment.

In college, I rebelled a bit by listening to the most obnoxious pop music I could find: Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and lots of one-hit wonders whose albums are still hanging out in storage somewhere. But college is also when I really got hooked on David Bowie. Though I had a few of his albums in high school, I wasn't a huge fan. But a reintroduction by a friend had me digging deep, and I bought everything available. I also read everything available. For a while, I think I wanted to be David Bowie. Luckily for all of us, I grew out of that!

Since then, I've become an avid consumer of music. My tastes have a strong pop sensibility, but I'd like to think they're pretty varied. I'm a huge Beach Boys fan--seeing them at the Hollywood Bowl this past summer was a dream come true--and my Bowie obsession continues (there were a few years there were I think I saw him live a couple of times a year). Off the top of my head, I really like: Modest Mouse, Interpol, M83, Daft Punk, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, White Lies, Gossip, Broken Bells, Miike Snow, Hot Chip, Passion Pit, Arcade Fire, Kylie Minogue, and The Killers. And, most recently, I've been listening to Django Django, Foals, Capital Cities, Tegan and Sara, Tanlines, STRFCKR and my new favorite, St. Lucia.

4. When do you listen to music? Does your taste in music change depending on the activity?
Now that I work from home, I listen to music quite a bit. And my taste definitely changes based on what I'm doing. I can't listen to "distracting" music when I'm reading or writing, so I tend to listen to more ambient music like M83, Geographer, Active Child, College, or the xx. For working around the house and cooking, I listen to newer music, things I want to pay a bit more attention to. Spotify indicates that I've been listening to The Tins, Night Moves, STRFKR, The Mowgli's and A Silent Film. When I'm driving, I like to sing along and rock out, so I tend to listen to either classic or cheesy pop, like the Beach Boys or Ke$ha. That's right, I just admitted I listen to Ke$ha.

5. Who are some of your all time favorite band/musicians?
Is there a limit? Beach Boys, David Bowie, Madonna, The Killers.

6.  Are you a concert goer? If so, do you prefer small, intimate settings or arenas with legions of fans? Have you met any bands/musicians?
I've always liked concerts, but since moving to LA, I've been going to a lot of shows. I saw Youngblood Hawk a couple weeks back, Django Django last night, and I have Capital Cities, Holy Ghost!, Foals, and The Killers coming up in the next couple of months. I prefer smaller venues, definitely, though I do wish everywhere had seats. This standing-room-only thing is a young person's game! I do love a good arena show, though, for artists who know how to do it right.

I haven't really met any bands, no. Though I'm terrified of meeting people I admire because I worry I'll dislike them in person.

7.  Do you have a recommendation for us  - someone maybe lesser known that you wished others knew about because you love this track/group/album so much?
St. Lucia. Their EP is definitely my most-listened to of the past year.

Music Association:
I list the word, you give me the song/band you associate with it.
 Humor - They Might Be Giants
 Steampunk - Nine Inch Nails
 Adventure - Europe
 Teen Angst - My Chemical Romance
 Supernatural - Evanescence
 Science Fiction - The Firm (look that one up!)

An ENORMOUS thank you to Mr. Bourret for answering our interview questions!

In honor of hosting our first agent, I'll be giving away a $10 iTunes gift card.
Please enter below and thank you for stopping by ATWN!

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  1. He did not say technotronic, rofl. Great post.

    And if he's still a fan of David Bowe, there's a song he did with Maynard, called Bring me the disco king. Its awesome.

    And two thumbs up for mentioning Deelite, loved her.

  2. Deelite was the name of the band, not just "her". :)