Monday, June 6, 2011

Questions for the Agent: Personal Preferences

From when I was gone, I asked you, the lovely reader, to ask me questions and/or suggestions for future blog posts. I'm back. I'm (mostly) caught up with work. And now I'm answering your questions in segments. And asking for more questions. Here's the time to find out all you can about the agent (remember most everything is subjective and does not apply to all agents).

Boy POV MCs:

I'm for it. One of my favorite authors of boy POVs of all time is John Green. Of course, I don't expect you to be John Green-- let me correct that: please don't strive to be John Green (his awesomeness is so great I cannot refer to him simply as John or Green). What makes John Green John Green is his personal style and voice and plot. If you emulate him exactly, you won't be unique (he came first so he'll still stand alone at the top and you'll be cast lower). Find your own style and voice and hooks. Remember that boy POVs are less in demand than girl POVs because, sadly, the majority of teen readers are girls (and all readers in general actually). That said, plot accordingly. You probably don't want to write a YA romance from the POV of a boy. And an action/adventure written solely for a boy audience probably won't sell. 


What? Where? Can I have it?
I love dystopians. They are less in demand than they were right after Hunger Games came out, but people are still reading and buying. But don't forget about other genres that haven't been explored as widely. And you can mix genres as well. 

Have I read Jellicoe Road?

Thanks for the suggestion! It's in my TBR pile right now. Have any others for me to read? 

Would I represent an international writer?

Sure. The same parameters apply to non-international writers: namely, I have to love it. So worry about that first. 

How to query LGBT lit:

Cast your net as wide as you can go. Unless an agent specifically isn't looking for it, go ahead and query them (if it meets their other guidelines--for example, I say I'm not looking for Time Travel, so if you have a LGBT time travel, don't query me--that said, I'm personally not looking for LGBT). The thing is, as agents, we understand that we might fall in love with the project even if we've been quoted by saying we didn't like a sub-genre. I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories and guess what? Yup, I signed one. It's about voice and craft.

Any more questions having to do with my personal preferences? This can be genres or how I like things submitted or something general about the business.

Happy writing!


Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Thoughts on Magical Realism? What's the difference between magical realism and urban fantasy or other genres?

Alex said...

Is there a known reason why male POV romances don't work?

Also for all you poor writers out there.

We at Boxing With Pencils are having a weekly 100 words or less flash fiction contest
with a cash prize of 5 dollars. So come on and check it out all you poor ass writers you know
you need the money!

Bidisha said...

What about realistic contemporary?

This was fun to read.

Julia Darcey said...

ZOMG you have to read Jellicoe Road. I just read it this weekend and it's the best YA I've read since...since...when? Since To Kill A Mockingbird. It's almost unspeakably fantastic.

Unknown said...

Great to know!
I'm sending one friend with a dystopian book that I love your way! :D

Cynthia DiFilippo Elomaa said...

If an agent has your partial for more than 6 months with no answer, is it safe to assume the work is lost is the shuffle? Is is okay to email her/him as to the status of it?

Juliana said...

I have one more question.

Do you represent New Adult fiction?
I'm asking, because it's not exactly YA or Adult and normally this category isn't listed as an agent's preferences, but it doesn't mean the agent doesn't want it.