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Etta Wilson

Blogger:   Etta Wilson

Location:  Books & Such Nashville Office

Weather:   As above

Wow! Here I am posting for the last time as an agent on the Books & Such blog site, and I realize for the first time that I can now be a “regular” blogger just like most of you.  You see, on December 15, I’ll move into the category of “retired” and am transferring my blogging duties to Books & Such’s newest agent, Mary Keeley, as part of the transition.

I confess that it will be something of a relief not to be posting for a week at each month’s end–no more wondering what blog readers want to know about, what is uppermost on my mind, or what turn the industry is taking at the moment. Looking back, I see that I’ve punched keys about a lot of things–titles, characters, censorship, comics, dogs, idioms, poetry, and series, to name several. And always, trying to be accurate and cogent.

But not posting any more blogs at this site is a bit of a downer as well because I will miss all the stimulating, humorous, and surprising comments you all gave back in our online conversations. You so often made me think deeper about the topic, and many of you shared personal accounts that came from the heart. Thank you.

Recently, Wendy asked me what I would miss most about being an agent, and I knew immediately that it was the connections with people on both sides of the publishing equation. There is such fulfillment in finding just the right publishing home for an author’s work and helping that author go on to write better, publish more, and give great reading experiences to whoever happens to pick up the book or open it up on an  e-reader. Being that bridge between author and publisher is exciting business. It also tends to keep one humble.

Of course, I will miss my wonderful cohorts at Books & Such. What a talented and caring crew! Thank heavens that I, like you, can continue to read their words –and yours–on this blog.

Note From Janet: I want to publicly proclaim my thanks to Etta for joining with the Books & Such team three years ago. What a joy it’s been to have her insights, years of publishing experience, kind heart, and Southern humor as part of our group dynamic. For those of you who might not know, Etta has had a fine agenting career that has spanned eighteen years. She’s represented a Caldecott Honor Book (Peppe the Lamplighter), the Elizabeth Orton Jones’ literary estate (Caldecott winner), and Firefighters to the Rescue by Kersten Hamilton, which was selected for use in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

We at Books & Such are proud of our association with Etta and wish her every blessing as she pursues travel, gardening, piano playing, and of course, reading and time with her charming and gentlemanly husband, Amos. We love you, Etta!

28 Responses

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  1. And I was just barely getting to know you!

    I pray you have a happy retirement and find the time to enjoy lots of traveling and other pursuits you’ve been waiting for.

    God’s blessings on your future!

  2. Diane Stortz says:

    Yes, as Janet said, we love you, Etta! I’m so sorry to lose you as my agent, but I know I am not losing you as my friend. I will always be grateful for your surprising me by saying, “Well, when you’re ready, I will represent you.” Such encouragement! Thank you, friend!

  3. Etta, you have earned the reputation you have, as a professional, as a Christian, and as a lady. Those of us who have known you (or known of you) for a long time say with the Lord, “Well done, faithful servant. Enter into His rest.”

    I learned something interesting about Matthew 11:28. Though our English translations quote Jesus as saying “I will give you rest,” in the Greek it is an active verb, to rest. I pray that the Savior you have served in your life and your career will indeed “rest” you and that this earthly rest will be one of deep satisfaction and continuing service and joy.

    Latayne C Scott

  4. Etta, I saw yesterday on Sally Stewart’s about your retirement, and couldn’t find anything here about it. Congratulations. We will miss you. I checked back and reviewed how many of your posts have sparked a thought in my own mind: most recently thoughts about Tennessee history in the 19th century. The very best to you in your retirement years.

    This week, as all the Books and Such staff have been writing about Christmas books for children, I had the opportunity to attend a book signing for Mike Huckabee’s Christmas children’s book. It was like no other author autograph session I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been trying to write about it for my blog (amidst report cards being due and near-daily radiation treatments). I hope to have it up sometime tomorrow, @

    Once again, Etta, thanks for the memories.

  5. Etta, what a joy and privilege it was to meet you at the ACFW Conference and the Books & Such dinner. You are a kind and gracious person. You will be missed!

  6. Lindsay Franklin says:

    Congratulations on your retirement, Etta. I’ll miss your posts on here, but I wish you a fantastic time as you enter this new period in your life. Many blessings to you! 🙂

  7. It was a pleasure getting to meet you at the retreat, Etta. Well, at least we got to experience that “pat-down” at the Monterey airport together. I guess we looked like dangerous creative types.

    Many blessings to you on your future endeavors!

  8. Lynn Dean says:

    Etta, we will miss you, but we’re excited for you as you type “The End” on a well-crafted career and begin the first chapter of your new story. I hope you’ll pop in with an epilogue from time to time.

    May God richly bless you and Amos.

  9. Wendy Lawton says:

    Etta, I feel like saying “take it back, take it back,” but I know you are looking forward to serving God in a different way.

    How we are going to miss you! But, of course, our friendship goes on. Others may not know this, but Books & Such’s success is in good part based on our collaboration with each other– iron sharpening iron. We’ve always been more than colleagues– our friendship, love and deep respect for each other is our secret weapon.

    I know you are going to continue to live life to the fullest. May God continue to bless you, dear friend.

  10. Caroline says:

    Thank you, Etta, for your insightful words and your faithful years of agenting! I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts here on this blog for the past several months.

    I pray that God blesses your next season of life greatly and know that He will fill it with love and joy!

  11. Etta,
    From the very first moment I met you, your southern gentility, kind heart, and welcoming hug were a blessing to me.

    In this busy, fast moving industry, some people pass through our lives and we enjoy the moment and keep on walking.

    But some people alter our trajectory, our thinking, and our opinions about life and art and humanity, just by being themselves. You are one of these people.

    I have no doubt that your quiet comments and shining example have had this impact on many more besides me, but for myself I thank you.

    We at the PulsePoint Design team will miss you, but we wish you a new season full of rich, irreplaceable experiences and shared joys with your husband.

    With love and thanks for being you and making such a difference.

    Kelli & the PPD Team

  12. Jill Kemerer says:

    Etta, we’ll miss your posts, but congratulations on this new chapter in your life! And dare I suggest…the occasional guest post?? I know I would love it and I’m sure many others would to!

    Blessings on your new adventures!

  13. Lori Benton says:

    Etta, I was thankful before, but now I’m ever so much more thankful I had opportunity to meet you at ACFW in Sept. I look back on our Bookies dinner as one of the highlights of that conference, and am glad we sat next to each other. It was so noisy in that restaurant, I doubt we could have made ourselves heard, otherwise. 🙂 You made this slightly nervous newbie feel very much at ease. May God bless you in this new chapter of your life. I will miss you here on the blog, and will wish you were with us at future Books & Such gatherings.

  14. Etta, I have so enjoyed knowing you and especially our time shared over the spontaneous lunch in the hotel lobby in Monterey. I wish you much joy in your new journey.

  15. Judy Gann says:

    Etta, thank you for always championing quality children’s literature. Your blog posts challenged me in my work as a children’s librarian. You will be greatly missed.

    All the best to you in your retirement.

  16. KC Frantzen says:

    Ms. Etta,

    Congratulations on your news! May you and Amos and 4 footed friends enjoy this new chapter of life. Hope to see you here in TN whenever the timing is right… 🙂

    The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm. Psalm 37:23

  17. janetgrant says:

    Oooh, Jill, a guest blogger. I’m liking that idea. Now, if I can talk Etta into it…

  18. So glad I had the opportunity to meet you this year, Etta, before you decided to live the good life of retirement. Thank you for your sweet southern smile and welcome and words of wisdom. You will be missed by all us Bookies and everybody who follows this blog.

  19. marykeeley says:

    You said it well, Kelli. Etta, the qualities she listed were those you radiated in the brief time I spent with you at the retreat. I wish I’d had more time to colleague with you.

    I hope you have a rich and fulfilling new chapter in your life.

  20. Etta, I greatly appreciated the encouragement you gave me at Mount Hermon. Enjoy your retirement, but don’t think all your time will be free. Some retirees sit in front of the TV until they die, but others say “yes” to everything until they’re overwhelmed and have to back down. I have a feeling you’ll be in the second group.

  21. jane g meyer says:

    Dear Etta:
    May you have a happy, happy retirement! Thank you for your good advice regarding my career over a year ago… You were gracious, honest and full of wisdom. All the best…

  22. PatriciaW says:

    Etta, I’ve enjoyed your posts. Many blessings and best wishes for a wonderful retirement. You will be missed.

  23. Salena Stormo says:

    I was just getting to know you too. I am happy that you will be entering a new phase of your life that I am sure you are so excited about. I am sorry to see you leave and have enjoyed your posts. Thank you for all your hard work over the years. I know there are a lot of grateful authors and readers because of the work you have done!

  24. Etta,

    I am so saddened to see you go, but so happy for the rest you will attain. Thank you so much for the encouragement and the support you gave my work. You will be sorely missed. God bless you.

  25. Etta,

    You will be so missed! Thank you for sharing your talent, your honest answers, and your heart with so many.

    Enjoy retirement!

  26. Etta Wilson says:

    Each message above is so dear to me, and I am speechless to reply (that doesn’t happen often). I do give thanks from a heart filled with gratitude and love for all the wonderful connections that have occurred through Books & Such and on this blog. Let’s just keep on writing!

  27. Valerie C. says:

    Etta, Congratulations on your retirement. I know your love of books will not change and hope you have more time to find and enjoy treasures among the pages. I, along with many others, will miss your voice here. Blessings to you.

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