Landing an agent and being an intern: Heather Van Fleet interview

Heather Van Fleet

Heather Van Fleet is a YA/NA author represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary. She is also an intern at BookFish Books. Here Stephanie Cox interviews Heather about her internship and love of writing.

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and career.

A little about myself, huh? Well, let’s see. I’m a wife, a mom, a YA/NA author represented by the fabulous Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary. I have an obsession (only SLIGHT ones) with coffee creamer, book boyfriends, The Walking Dead and Jamie from Outlander.

I’ve been writing for about six years, been published five times, and after going through the query trenches when trying to find pub houses and agents, I’ve decided I have more patience for behind the scenes action within a publishing house rather than waiting for one of them to tell me they hate (or love) my books. Hence my internship.

2. Why do you want to work in the publishing industry? What is it that appeals to you?

It all stems around the fact that I absolutely LOVE reading first and foremost (even more than writing some days.) I love the escape of it, the way a reader can pull me out of my daily woes into fictional woes instead, and provide me with a (sometimes) happy ending.
After I finally obtained my ultimate goal of landing an agent, I realized that the waiting game didn’t stop there. (And as much as I like to say I have patience…I don’t.) That got me thinking about the submission process itself, behind the scenes, acquisitions and what goes into it. Not long after that, an opportunity just so happened to come about for me to intern through another pub house. This one was very well know, and I learned a LOT from them. But something didn’t quite feel right under them, either. That was the point where I almost gave up on my behind-the-scenes dream for a while.
Until the day BookFish Books announced that they were seeking interns.

3. Tell us a little bit about BookFish books and how you came to be working with them.

Like all normal afternoons when my kids are at school and my younger kiddo is happily playing away without me for once, I was strolling through Twitter. That’s when I just so happened to see a tweet that made my eyes pop and my heart flutter. BookFish was looking for interns. And because I really admired their work, their covers, and the way they interacted with their readers, I knew I had to apply. I’d been actively following them for quite some time, thinking to myself “I really love these guys.” So I sent them a little info on myself and they responded right away, sending me a few questions. I answered and then I waited… And about a week later, Erin Rhew, an author/editor through them, offered me and one other girl a position, immediately assigning me little jobs, and making me feel like a family to this group of ladies. Right away I fell in love with their house even more, their stamina, their ways, their professionalism alone, and said to myself “This feels so right. Don’t mess it up, girl.”

And now I do everything I can NOT to mess it up!

4. What sorts of tasks and projects do you work on as an intern?

As an intern, I am all over the place, and I LOVE it. I read submissions, weigh in on fulls and partials, giving my opinions on what’s good to go, or what’s not. It makes me feel official, a part of something, you know?
I also do publicity, too. Setting up blog tours for upcoming tours/cover reveals/etc. is a big part of that. It’s something I am familiar with, seeing as how I used to be a publicist for a tour company in the past. I love to get the word out on authors. It gives me so much happiness. (And that sounds so mushy, I know. But it’s the way I am.)

To read more of the interview, head over to Stephanie’s blog: Words are my Craft.

Related Articles

Sign up to our Newsletter


* indicates required

BookMachine Ltd. will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.