It's that time again!
FIND THE RIGHT AGENT, NOT JUST AN AGENT!
And today, I welcome another
awesomely terrific agent to the blog...
Veronica Park of Fuse Literary
So, you’re a literary agent… Tell us all about how and when that happened!
I've had a lot of jobs over the years, from journalist to professional public speaker, to marketing consultant. When I started working in publishing, I realized it was the only job I'd ever had that used all of my random skills at once. It's also a field that is constantly changing, so you're forced to rethink your perspectives and continually gain new skills, which I appreciate.
And how has it been going so far?
So far, so good. It's a challenging job, but I prefer that. I love working with my authors to bring their stories out into the world.
What’s on your current wishlist?
I'm currently specializing in nonfiction, women's fiction (in particular, stories from underrepresented perspectives that illustrate feminist issues) and adult romance. I am also very selectively considering YA romcoms, particularly if they're diverse with a fresh setting.
And what are you definitely not looking for right now?
I'm not looking for children's books, political thrillers, memoirs that focus on tragic events, or historical stories set during WWII.
Can you tell us what it is that makes you request additional material? What is it that leads to a full request? And what keeps you reading to the final pages?
I'm very into voice and perspectives. If it feels like the writer owns their story in a way nobody else can, if it reads authentically and viscerally, if it makes me forget that I'm reading, that's always a great start. I request full manuscripts when the premise and execution seems solid and well thought out. But I only offer if the entire package seems like a good fit for what I represent, including the author's attitude, habits, and goals.
When you fall in love with a manuscript, what happens next?
I always set up a call to discuss plans and ideas with the author. Just as every author won't be a perfect fit for me, I might not be the perfect fit for every author. It's important to feel like the working relationship will be clear and productive. Otherwise, we're both better off looking for someone else to work with.
What kind of agent are you? How do you approach your side of the business arrangement? What should a potential client expect from you as their agent?
This is a question that will have a lot of different answers, constantly evolving from day to day. Overall, I view the agent/author relationship as a business partnership, in that we are agreeing to combine our efforts in the hope of reaching a mutually-agreed-upon goal or set of goals. In publishing, like most businesses, it's difficult to promise results unless you have insider knowledge, or a crystal ball, or you just don't mind fibbing. Which is why I prefer to promise effort, because that's a thing I can control. I also promise my authors that they will be able to count on me for clarity, inasmuch as they want to know how things work, because I personally believe that the publishing industry should be more transparent and collaborative overall. I'm very aware of the fact that my way isn't always going to be the right way, the best way, or the way that works for everyone all of the time. That's why I regularly attempt to re-educate myself by listening, innovating, and researching more effective ways to support my authors and get their work in front of the right audiences.
And, importantly, what do you expect from your clients?
I expect each of my clients to do the work. To me, that means not only writing, but revising, researching, networking, and building a brand that works with the goals they want to attain. For example, it's okay for an author to avoid social media if they have no intention of ever becoming a bestseller. Or, you might be able to get by being unable or unwilling to revise your book, if you can afford to hire an editor before you submit your work. But I find that it's difficult, if not impossible, to work with authors whose goals don't align with their attitude or work ethic. If someone queries me with something I don't represent, or asks me to tell them who they are as an author, I already know that they haven't done the minimum amount of research or self-reflection required for me to successfully represent them. It shouldn't be that common an occurrence, but unfortunately, it is.
All writers have dreams and goals – win an award, be a bestseller, get a movie deal – but what dreams do you have as an agent?
I enjoy being someone who helps others create a workable road map to reach their goals, particularly if their goals include bettering the world we live in, even if it's in a small way. The best result I can hope for, with any given author, is that they look back at where they started and are amazed at how far we made it together. What we accomplished, what kind of mark we left, and what adventures we had along the way. In that way, I'm kind of like Gandalf.
And to the important stuff...
Ketchup or mayo? - Both, mixed together. It's called fry sauce.
E-book or paperback? - I prefer paperback or audiobooks, when I'm reading for fun, because all of my work-related reading is electronic.
Day or night? - Night.
Walk or drive? - Drive.
Beach or mountains? - Mountains.
Dogs or cats? - Cats.
Chocolate or chips? - If by "chips" you mean the English version, then chips.
Sun or rain? - Rain.
Inside or outside? - Inside if it's raining.
Drama or comedy? - Dramedy.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!