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03 February 2007 @ 06:44 am
Q & A - #5 - "If you don't already have an agent, who do you REALLY wish you could have?"  
Q & A - #5 - "If you don't already have an agent, who do you REALLY wish you could have?" ~ cocoskeeper 

I've never met a literary agent, so I can't definitively answer this question. I can only make guesses based on what books certain agents have sold and what authors they represent. But that could be meaningless.

Photo Credit to www.gettyimages.comI want an agent who:

1) Freely and strategically praises my strengths

2) Openly and honestly illuminates my weaknesses and helps me develop past them

3) Has connections 

4) Can sell books (especially mine)

5) Loves and understands my books and purpose for writing

6) Thinks about my career as well as my 1st book and helps me develop a career plan

7) Understands that good novels may (and probably will) take longer to write than churned-out so-so novels

With that out on the table, if there are two authors whose writing I greatly admire, they are Robert Cormier and Markus Zusak. So naturally I am drawn to their literary agents -- Marilyn Marlow (Cormier), who passed away in 2002, and Catherine Drayton (Zusak) -- because I respect the level of work they are/were drawn to. Others include Jodi Reamer (John Green's), William Reiss (Adam Rapp's), and whoever M.T. Anderson and Lois Lowry's agents are. Anyone know? Beyond them and a choice few others who I imagine are like them, I would enjoy any literary agent who loves my work and will work with me to get it into a cover.

I mean, in the grand scheme of Starbucks' takeover of the capitalist world and flannel sheets w/ winter duvets, is that too much to ask?
______________

I'll be answering one of these questions a day for as many questions as I have, so if you've got anything you wish you could know about me,
ASK IT HERE.
 
 
 
Newport2Newportnewport2newport on February 3rd, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
You've got a great list of desired characteristics for a dream agent, Jonathan. I'd add "open, accessible communication style" to the mix. Though it seems that trait would be embedded in the others, it's not a given.

I have NO DOUBTS that your book will find itself on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. It's that good.

Missed you at PFL; it's not going to be the same without you this spring.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 6th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Good point on that communication style quality. I'll jot that one down for sure.

Thanks for your kind comments. It's encouraging to know that quality writers and readers see merit in my book.

I'm going through PFL withdrawals. For serious!
crissachappell on February 3rd, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
It's like matchmaking...Try to look for agents who represent the kind of books you read (and those closest to your own writing voice).
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 6th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Matchmaker, matchmaker...
(Anonymous) on February 3rd, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
FYI if it's helpful, many of Marilyn Marlowe's former clients are handled by Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown. I believe she was Marilyn's assistant and had the luck to inherit her list.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 6th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Duly noted. That it helpful, indeed! Once I hear back from my submission at Curtis Brown, I'll write her. Unless, of course, I hear back on the phone!
Kelsey Johnson Defattecocoskeeper on February 5th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
You answered my question brilliantly! :-)
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 6th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
*humble bow*