When literary agent Kate Schafer was hanging out in the online community for the game City of Heroes, she came across another player who was writing short stories about the characters he was playing and contacted him to see if he might have a novel. He did, and she read it on her first flight out to Denver to meet him and some of their other online friends, but, she laughingly recalls, “I told him I preferred to date him rather than represent him.” (Not that there was anything wrong with the manuscript, which is about to be sent out by another agent; it’s just geared towards an older audience than the YA books she was handling.) Now, after a year’s engagement, Schafer and Doyce Testerman are getting married in April, and she’s moving out to Colorado—which means she’s leaving her position at Janklow & Nesbit and setting up shop on her own as KT Literary.
In some respects, the move has surprised even her. “I grew up in Westchester and never had plans to do anything other than move into the city eventually,” she said earlier this week. “And people don’t usually leave Janklow. I’m still the junior member in my department, even though I’ve been with the firm for ten years.” She described the firm as supportive of her move, even considering the possibility of keeping her on as a remote agent, but ultimately heading out on her own felt like the right thing to do, if not always the calmest: “The idea of planning a wedding, starting my own business, and moving cross-country all at the same time isn’t something I ever thought of doing,” she said. But she’s already got three new YA authors whose books she’s preparing to submit to editors shortly after she lands in Denver… and how are she and her fiancé handling the separation until she arrives? “We’ve been playing Lord of the Rings online,” she smiled. “It can almost be like a date night for us, even 1,600 miles apart.”