If I were an agent…

If I were an agent da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da ,da ,da  (From Fiddler on the roof.) (And now I can’t get that tune out of my head.)

Welcome to let’s pretend I’m an agent. I just started this blog and I’m posting my wish list. I’m a little nervous but I can’t wait to take a swan dive into the slush pile!

Wish list for 2011-2012

Chapter books for boys or girls. I’m looking for the next Clementine or Magic Tree House.

Middle Grade for boys or girls. I’d love to find a commercial literary story like Savvy or Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt. But I’m also looking for high action/adventure with great voice. If you’re writing a mystery with a magical twist – send it! Humor is always a plus.

Young Adult for boys or girls. Romantic suspense or comedy, psychological thrillers, ghost stories, paranormal romance (no vamps), dystopian, contemporary with a great hook.

Most of all I’m looking for a story that grabs me on page one and doesn’t let go. I love a story with heart. I want to be moved. I want to laugh. I want to cry. Send me what you got. I’ll know what I’m looking for when I see it. (famous words)

So all the genres on my list are what I like to read and write. No wonder I have such a hard time picking one genre to write. I love funny and serious. But my favorites end up having mysteries or secrets and a great third act twist.

So if you could be an agent, what would be on your wish list? Would it be similar to what you like to read?


27 Responses to If I were an agent…

  1. Sarah July 15, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I would want YA dark fantasy, horror, and paranormal, as well as contemporaries–but for those, I’d also want stuff than leaned toward the dark side. So yeah, that’s what I write, and what I read. Interesting exercise!

  2. Rosalind Adam July 15, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Well thanks loads. Now I’m singing it too. If I were an agent I’d love my children’s picture books but that’s far too narcissistic. I’d hate having to reject anyone and would probably make a rubbish agent because of that. Actually now I come to think about it, I don’t want to be an agent at all 😉

    • Laura July 15, 2011 at 10:36 am #

      Rosalind – I agree. Not sure if I’d really want to be an agent but if I were…

      Sarah – I don’t usually read chapter books but I’d rep those. Mainly b/c I know how important they are to kids getting over that hump from early readers to bigger books!

  3. Louise July 15, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Funny, for me I started singing “If I were an agent” to the tune of “If I Had $1000000” It doesn’t exactly fit, but close enough that now I’m going to have THAT one stuck in my head all day! (“I’d buy your booook …”)

    I’d want fun, realistic fantasy early chapter books. Something along the lines of Edward Eager and E Nesbit, but aimed a bit younger so that kids could grow into those classic authors. Middle Grade family stories.

    And most especially, YA fantasy along the lines of Lloyd Alexander and Diana Wynne Jones, because I MISS them and we don’t have enough writers coming up in their footsteps!

  4. Kris July 15, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    My heart says MG high fantasy, cause that’s what I loved as a kid. But also realistic contemporary that’s not overly sappy or far fetched. Something along the lines of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. And right, I’ll know it when I see it cause I don’t love all books that fall into that genre.

    Fun post. I wonder if you’ll get any queries. 🙂

  5. Donna K. Weaver July 15, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    I don’t think as an agent I’d want to represent a genre I don’t read because aren’t they supposed to LOVE the books the represent? Why wouldn’t I read in a genre I love?

    Thought provoking post, Laura.

  6. Heather Sunseri July 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I love this, Laura. I enjoy multiple genres and I even like nonfiction, so like you I’m often torn between what I should truly be concentrating on.

  7. Matthew MacNish July 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I wonder how long it’s going to take before agents’ submission guidelines start to say “I’ll accept dystopian, but it will have to be very unique, and have a new voice that really grabs me?”

  8. Ava Jae July 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    If I were an agent, it’d DEFINITELY be what I like to read (after all, how can I like your manuscript if it’s not a genre I enjoy?)

    My wishlist would basically be your YA paragraph. Looks like we have similar taste. 😀

  9. Dean K Miller July 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Why would I want to become an agent and compete against someone like you? I’d rather send you my paranormal romance that you’ve been looking for and hear you say “Let’s get this thing published!” ;-}

    Let me know when you hang your shingle.

  10. Karen Strong July 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    You would make a great agent!

    I would also want some more creepiness. More dark. Ghost stories. Thrillers. Horror.

  11. Laurel July 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Darn, I wish you were looking for clients for real. I think my ms. would be a fit. 🙂

    If I were an agent, I’d focus on MG and YA, mostly contemporary from humor to edgy. I like deeply psychological stories with complex characters and relationships. I’d consider some sci-fi, magical realism, speculative fiction and historical for this age group also.

  12. Marisa July 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    🙂 What a great post, Laura! If I was an agent… hmmm…. this is tough. My library is huge and I get lost amongst the already AMAZING books out there (I’d make a rubbish agent, I think!)

    But I think dark fairy tales for the MG set, along the lines of Mary Downing Hawn’s ghost stories – but for the fairy tale lovers, would be awesome. 🙂 And see, as soon as I think something needs to exist, the story ideas and characters pop straight into my head. Yes, I would REALLY make a terrible agent!

  13. Lisa Green July 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    LOL I’m waiting for you to announce that you aren’t “really” an agent and people should stop sending you queries now!!! You sounded like a real agent though. I’ve seen very similar wish lists. 😀 Yeah, of course I’d pick what I love to read! How could I rep something I didn’t?

  14. Margo Berendsen July 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    What a great idea! My wish list sounds very similar… I’m always looking for romantic tension too. Do you mind if I copy this idea sometime? #ifIwereanAgent!

  15. Leigh Moore July 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    ahh… fun stuff! If I were an agent… I’d want to find the next Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti. Continual reader-pleasers, good writers.

    But I’m not sure I could deal with that inbox situation~ 😀 xoxo ((hugs))

  16. Elizabeth Arroyo July 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    YA Horror/Paranormal/romance. Action from page one.

  17. Leslie Rose July 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    I’d be all over Science Fiction with an emphasis on character over rivets. Although, I do love a good futuristic gadget. Humor always attracts me like an electromagnet.

  18. Jemi Fraser July 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m going to have that song in my head too! 🙂

    I read a ton of genres too: MG, YA, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, adventure…

    • Laura July 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Thanks everyone! I’ve been at the ocean all day! No queries yet in the mail! 😉

  19. Alex J Cavanaugh July 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    Yes, it would! More adventure-style science fiction, fantasy, and some good thrillers with a horror twist.

  20. linda July 16, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    Hehe I’m with Lisa! Has anyone mistaken you for a real agent yet? 😛

    I can’t imagine anyone putting books they don’t like to read on their wishlist! Mine would be super long and include lots of “don’t do this,” thanks to my picky taste in books. 😛

  21. linda July 16, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    Oops, that’s what happens when you write a comment and then forget to submit it until the next day. XD Glad to hear you haven’t had to wade through piles and piles of slush. 🙂

  22. Traci Kenworth July 16, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I would want Ya supernatural horror, dystopian, and fantasy.

  23. Kristin Gray July 17, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    We have similar tastes you know.
    I’d like to be an agent for 1 day – er maybe follow an agent for a day. Just to see what it’s like then leave it to the pros.

    Cute topic. How was the water?

  24. Lynda R Young July 18, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    hehe yep, If I were an agent I’d be looking for the same type of books I love to read and write. There needs to be more of them in the world!!

  25. Ghenet Myrthil July 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Fun idea for a post! If I were an agent, I’d want to acquire what I like to read (and write, for that matter) which is contemporary YA.

Leave a Reply