Monday, November 17, 2008

Secret Agent Unveiled: COLLEEN LINDSAY

Tada! This month's Secret Agent is the shoot-from-the-hip, self-admitted book nerd Colleen Lindsay of FinePrint Literary Management, LLC. Ms. Lindsay's heart to teach aspiring authors, coupled with her passion for the written word, make her a great "catch" for this month's contest.

Here's Colleen's bio:

Colleen Lindsay is a literary agent with FinePrint Literary Management, LLC. A book industry veteran with more than twenty-three years experience, Colleen's first job in publishing was in Northern California as a mass merchandise sales assistant for Ballantine Books. For five years she served as Director of Publicity for Del Rey Books where she specialized in the creative publicity and marketing of science fiction, fantasy, pop culture, YA fantasy, graphic novels, manga and third-party licensed media. She's also worked as a freelance publicist and copywriter for several major trade publishers and as a book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle under the inimitable Pat Holt. Colleen's background in independent book publishing goes even further back to her first job as a bookstore manager in 1984 at the now-defunct San Francisco Bay Area bookstore, Central Park Books. She also worked at Printers, Inc. Books in Palo Alto and spent six years as the marketing and events manager at Stacey's Bookstore in San Francisco. Colleen keeps a popular blog, The Swivet, where she and her frequent guest-bloggers talk about writing, agenting and the business of books.

Colleen is primarily interested in great fiction and she has a particular expertise in fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, paranormal romance, YA and YA fantasy, and graphic novels. She's also always looking for strong thrillers, crime fiction, mysteries, edgy or quirky literary fiction, women's fiction and LGBT-themed novels.

In non-fiction, she's looking for strong narrative non-fiction, works of LGBT interest and pop culture. She'd also like to see business, marketing and career books geared toward a female audience.

Some specifics about what she's looking for:

  • I like quirky, offbeat fiction, both literary and commercial. I love writers who can engage me with amazing characters and a strong voice. Above all, I'm looking for writers who understand the importance of storytelling. And yeah, I place a lot of importance on plot. Call me old-fashioned, but I like a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • Although I love YA writing, right now I'd really like to see more submissions geared toward an adult audience.
  • I'm looking for fantasy and science fiction that breaks rules, that moves well beyond the common tropes of the genre.
  • While I do enjoy hard SF, if your novel contains more hard science than engaging characters or a real plot, it's probably not for me. I'm not really looking for a science lesson; I'm looking for Big Ideas.
  • I am always looking for graphic novels, preferably high-concept and non-genre.
  • I'd love to see someone take lesser-known mythologies and re-work them. I'm a mythology freak and nothing stokes my fire more than seeing someone imaginatively rework a creation mythos.
  • I welcome and encourage debut authors!
  • What I really don't want to see: category romance, cozies, Christian fiction, poetry, excessively violent or gory horror, short stories or screenplays.
Thank you, Colleen, for sharing your time and expertise!

Stay tuned for the announcement of this month's contest winners.


  1. I've got to ask something here. I noticed that in nearly every entry that Colleen liked, there were strong sexual overtones.

    Must we write sex to sell these days? Or is this just a personal agent preference?

  2. Ooh--maybe I should've entered my erotic paranormal (eek!) after all. :D

  3. Sharpie -

    I beg to differ. In every entry I liked, there was good writing. Period.

    But if you are writing for the paranormal romance (or any romance), urban fantasy or mot commercial genres (including YA), a romance (not sex) in the story will help pique an editor's interest.


  4. I suspected the agent's identity when she was the only one to pick up on my Farscape reference. ;-)

    Love her blog!

  5. I knew it was you!

    I recognized your voice. ;)

  6. Egads!

    Authoress, you so rock! Your talent at finding such extraordinary agents to take their time here is awesome!

    A big thanks to Ms. Lindsey for her time, input and, dare I say it, her great blog.

    Congrats to all the winners too!!!

    :) Terri