I'm delighted to welcome lit agent Jessica Reino to the blog today, who has recently joined Metamorphosis Literary Agency as a junior agent. If you're thinking of querying her, read on!
So, you’re a literary agent… Tell us all about how that happened!
I’m new to agenting, but not to the publishing industry. I am a multi-genre author and worked as a freelance editor specializing in substantive editing. I love talking with other authors about their process, their goals, and the developmental structure of their books. When I saw that Metamorphosis Literary Agency was looking for interns, I jumped on the chance to learn about the agency-side of things and the rest is history.
And how has it been going so far?
It’s been going great! We have such a wonderful team here at Metamorphosis and I’ve been seeing some stellar queries that I’m excited to take a look at.
What’s on your current wishlist?
My current wishlist is: Adult, psychological/legal thrillers, mystery and suspense, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and fantasy.
YA, contemporary romance, horror, science fiction and fantasy with strong world-building and action to drive the story, magical realism and paranormal.
MG, any and all stories that are character-driven with heart and she is also on the lookout for MG horror.
Nonfiction, pop culture, health, sports, parenting, and humor books.
As you know, I’m very active on Twitter and tweet about my wishlist using the hashtag #MSWL often. I’m very interested in characters that have disabilities, mental illness, or chronic health problems but not have that be the center of the story.
And what are you definitely not looking for right now?
I am not looking for erotica, historical romance, historical fiction, or picture books at the moment.
Can you tell us what it is that makes you request additional material? What is it that might lead to a full request? And what keeps you reading to the final pages?
A well-written query with an interesting concept will definitely get my attention. For a full request and to keep me reading to the final pages, I have to find the concept interesting, the voice engaging, and make a connection to the story.
So, when you fall in love with a manuscript, what might happen next?
If I’m loving the manuscript, I am making editorial notes in my head as well as making a list of possible editors that I know will also love it. That’s when I know there’s something special.
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?
When clients sign with me, I’m all in! Yes, I’m interested in the manuscript that I fell in love with, but I am interested in my client and their career goals. Publishing is a tricky business, and I want clients to know that I am completely invested in their writing and their careers, which will be different for each person. I am definitely an editorial agent so I will always have discussions/comments about a manuscript to make sure it is polished before sending off to editors and will always have my authors’ best interests. With that being said, creativity and final decisions always remain with the author. I want authors I work with to feel comfortable talking to me about their goals, their wishes, and their worries. We’re partners and we’re in this together.
And, importantly, what do you expect from your clients?
I expect clients to be willing to work because the work doesn’t stop once you get an agent. I also expect clients to be open to feedback. Communication is so important for a strong partnership.
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?
This is such a great question! As an agent, my dream would be that my clients would know that I fully support them in their careers and that we brought books and stories out into the world to make it a better place. Awards, bestsellers, and movie deals certainly couldn’t hurt though
And before you go...
Ketchup or mayo? Ketchup
E-book or paperback? Paperback
Day or night? Day
Walk or drive? Walk
Beach or mountains? Beach
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Chocolate or chips? Nut free chocolate (I have a lot of food allergies)
Sun or rain? Sun
Inside or outside? Depends on the day
Drama or comedy? Comedy
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!