Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Okay, guys -- let's have a little Friday comment fun!

Be honest -- who is your dream agent?  And why?

Shoot high!  I think we'll end up with a wonderful list of agents and reasons, and it will be yet another resource for those of you who are in the querying process, or are getting ready to embark.

Back when I was a neophyte querier, my dream agent was Donald Maass.  Yep.  Totally swooned over him.  Especially after he sent me a Very Personalized Rejection of my very first, very horrible novel.  I was convinced that we would be a match made in heaven.

(I cringe when I remember these things.)

Yep, he's a superstar, all right.  But clearly he wasn't for me (and I eventually stopped querying him with my stuff).

Okay, YOUR TURN!  Let us know what you write, who your dream agent is, and why.  DON'T BE SHY!


  1. Katie Shea Boutillier is my dream agent because (a) she works for the Donald Maass Literary Agency, (b) she's a strong advocate for women's fiction, and (c) she reps Kathryn Craft, who is awesome.

  2. I'm writing YA. I'm drawn to the Bent Agency. I love the whole "boutique firm" idea. I like Beth Phelan. I feel like she would get me and (more importantly) my writing.

  3. I write YA/fantasy, though my latest project is a mix of fantasy and mystery/crime.

    My dream agent would be Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group for a number of reasons.

    She seems to like similar work to mine, she sounds like a great person to work with through interviews and her twitter feed, and she's based in the UK.

  4. I suppose I'd have to say Brooks Sherman of The Bent Agency. He reps PB and MG (which I write) and has a great Twitter personality.

    Now if only I could get my queries through his spam filter...

  5. Ooooooooo, can I say Lauren MacLeod? She is THE BEST and I still want to pinch myself when I get to email her.

  6. If I didn't already have my dream agent (Elizabeth Winick Rubenstein of McIntosh & Otis), who I didn't know would be such a dream when I accepted her offer 8 years ago, I'd probably pick Kristen Nelson. I remember Kristen when she was a new and hungry agent begging for queries and wow, she sure has come a long way. I really admire her hard work. She's like the Rumplestilskin of literary agents. Just about everyone she reps turns to gold.

  7. Jennifer Rofe of Andrea Brown - Not only did I love having her as our group leader at a writing conference, but I really thought she was a knowledgeable, down to earth friendly person who really understands the market and is a HUGE advocate for her clients.

  8. So my dream agent is Pete J. Knapp, because his twitter is awesome, he likes awesome books that I would/have totally read, and he seems like just an overall sweet person, BUT

    he doesn't rep the genres I write.

    Sob sob.

    So then my dream agent would be Caryn Wiseman, because she's looking for space opera, she liked something I wrote a while back (although I wasn't at the point in my writing journey yet that it was good enough to make a connection), and she's bitingly professional and successful. I like her attitude.

    BUT I don't have any projects right now that really fit her tastes.

    So now I'm querying other agents who are more appropriate to write I'm writing, and there are some awesome people out there. I'm constantly surprised at how much experience and talent and just plain fun personality there is out in publishing right now--at least on the corners of the internet I frequent--and I think anyone who's looking for an agent should be on twitter all the time to check up on their potential candidates. I'm not going to mention anyone by name I'm querying right now because that's kind of unprofessional and weird (for me, anyway), but I'm super-psyched about the people who've got my MSes and that's partly because of what I can find out about them via twitter. So, yeah. Your dream agent may be on twitter. Be listening for tweets about what they like and hate!

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  10. i actually ended up getting offers from most of my dream agents, which was awesome.

    But i never did get a request from Laura Rennert or Barry Goldblatt. Big hitters, definitely, and i was aiming high, but there you go

  11. This is a bit depressing, because reading this post made me realize that I no longer have a dream agent...

    Though I have a list of agents who technically represent my genre, based on all my research (reading profiles, interviews, wish lists, etc.), almost none of those agents really seem to be looking for the kind of books I strive to write (serious adult SF and fantasy with a literary bent). My favorite authors may still receive plenty of critical acclaim, but you couldn't say their books have broad commercial appeal, so I'm guessing that's why no one talks about wanting to find new authors who write in that style. :(

    My original dream agent was Virginia Kidd, since at the time she repped my two favorite authors. I was twenty-something when I queried her, and it was both thrilling and daunting when I got a request for a full -- and like you, I now cringe to think about some of the juvenile elements of that early manuscript she read!

    But the wonderful part was that I got a lot more than a brief rejection; she gave me a detailed critique of the entire novel, and although the book had some serious issues, she practically gushed about the writing -- I still get the warm fuzzies when I think about the nice things she said. (She also asked to see either a revision of that book or something new, but sadly she was gone before I had anything ready to query again.)

  12. Steve Malk. He puts out beautiful books, has a fascinating past involving a kids bookstore,likes baseball, and just seems like a solid human being. He has a pretty full list though. I will try him once more with my latest in a month or two, then move on.

  13. My dream agent is the one who gets my writing, my current book and wants to work with an author who writes four or more books a year in different genres. Hard to find but not impossible, I hope. :)

  14. Somehow, I feel weird talking about dream agents that I'm still... well, trying to convince to take me on. Is that normal?

    Leaving names out of it, there is one agent out there who, when I read what genres s/he liked and why, I got very excited and thought, "That is exactly what I love about those genres too!" Got as far as an R&R when I queried. Hope to get that far again with my WIP. :)

  15. Mine was like yours. Donald Mass. I wrote to him and announced I was ready. He rejected me very politely.
    He does polite rejections very well.
    Zara Penney

  16. Russ Galen. For the same reason as you. He was the first agent I queried because he repped one of my favorite authors. It was the sort of query that now makes me cringe so hard I fall out of my chair and curl up into a ball of shame, but his reply was so nice and helpful.

  17. This is an awesome subject to post about!!!

    I personally have a long list of dream agents because they all have the qualities that I look for: tough love, editorial skills, insight, etc.

    It would be amazing to work with Mr. Daniel Lazar or Ms. Brianne Johnson from Writers House.

  18. Sarah Maury SwanMay 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I'm not sure I have a dream agent, but I do like Sarah Davies of Greenhouse.

  19. I don't really fantasize about working with particular agents, but I do about one particular publisher - Jamie Byng of Canongate, which is one of the most prolific publishers in the UK. He's way cool and incredibly progressive, and at events I see him looking at his authors like they are his favourite children. He seems like a nurturer without being too cuddly about it.

  20. Amy Boggs! She became my dream agent after I saw that her professional photo on the Donald Maass website included a finger puppet. Then I saw how invested in diversity she is. Then I talked to her in person and discovered how hilariously fun she is.
    She requested pages and I'm so nervous she'll reject me...but hey, not all dreams get to come true. Still...hoping!