This week's Agent Spotlight features Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Lucienne Diver joined TKA in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry. A lifelong book addict, she graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Potsdam with dual majors in English/writing and anthropology. She thus came well-equipped for her work as an agent.
“Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, suspense and erotica. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, the Golden Heart, and the Romantic Times Reader’s Choice, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Established in 1996, The Knight Agency has gained worldwide recognition for the success of our authors in the fiercely competitive publishing marketplace. Our philosophy is simple: what you give is what you get. As a company, we are dedicated to cultivating prosperous, long-term writing careers by giving clients unparalleled service. Thus, the agency designed a multifaceted approach to success, which includes maintaining high visibility in the marketplace, fostering the all-important author-agent relationship and operating full-service subsidiary rights and marketing and publicity departments. This conscientious approach anticipates the needs of clients at all stages of the publishing process. The stellar success enjoyed by our clients illustrates the merits of our methodology.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Science Fiction, Mystery, Commercial Fiction, Fantasy, Women's Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, Thrillers/Suspense, Erotica. (Link)
From a Client Post (06/2012):
“I’ve got a pretty full list, though I can rarely resist taking on something truly unique and wonderful. I work with a lot of paranormal fiction, which I adore (fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk), but I’m also a big fan of suspense and forensics. I’d love to see something more mainstream along these lines, whether middle-grade, YA or adult. (For example, the last novel that I read was I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga.)” (Link)
From an Interview (08/2011):
“I’ve got a very full list at this time, so I’m not actively looking for any particular type of work. That said, I’m always happy to be blown away by something new. There’s nothing more exciting than selling someone’s first novel. I represent all kinds of commercial fiction: fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, romance and young adult. I’m looking at middle-grade as well, since I’ve become a big fan of the genre via reading alongside my son.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“Screen Plays, Short Story Collections, Poetry Collections, Essay Collections, Photography, Film Treatments, Picture Books (although graphic novels will be accepted), Children's Books (although young adult and middle grade titles will be accepted), Biographies, Non-fiction Historical Treatments.” (Link)
“It varies on the needs of the author and the particular project. Some authors don’t need much editing at all, some need to be pushed to even greater heights. I don’t take on anything I’m not excited about, so we’re always starting with a base of tremendous talent. Really, it’s generally about anticipating any problems an editor might have with the work that would cause them to pass it over and trying to remedy them before the work ever goes out. I think there are two types of editors, really — those who impose their vision and those who help the authors achieve theirs. I work hard to be the latter.” (Link)
“There’s always going to be room for an exceptional manuscript in any field. The book shelves seem filled to capacity with paranormals of all sorts these days, and yet they’re still selling like hotcakes. I think the important thing is to be innovative with ideas in whatever genre you choose. You can still do vampires, werewolves, shifters, etc., you just need to be unique in your approach and have a very strong voice.” (Link)
“I think that if anything, agents are more relevant than ever. There are so many things for writers to consider, so many directions and so much advice out there (good and bad) that in addition to being an author’s advocate, we’re important to guide an author’s career on the straightest path to success. Whether we’re talking about electronic, audio, film, foreign, serial or initial print publication rights, we’re talking about contracts, terms, definitions like ‘net’ sales, non-compete and reversion clauses…all kinds of things that it’s important to get right so that a writer doesn’t find him or herself boxed in down the line.” (Link)
There is a list of agency clients on the website.
Ms. Diver’s clients include: DD Barant, TJ Bennett, Carol Berg, Laurie Brown, Rachel Caine, J. Kathleen Cheney, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Molly Cochran, David B. Coe, Beth Cornelison, Donn Cortez (a.k.a Don DeBrandt), Keith R.A. DeCandido, Vicky Dreiling, Doranna Durgin, P.N. Elrod, Lynn Flewelling, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Roberta Gellis, Christie Golden, Steven Harper (a.k.a. Steven Piziks), Jasmine Haynes, Christina Henry, Faith Hunter, N.K. Jemisin, Tammy Kaehler, Susan Krinard, David Mack, Janet Mullany, Debra Mullins, Ramez Naam (for his fiction), Chloe Neill, Patti O’Shea, Amy Christine Parker, Steven Piziks (a.k.a. Steven Harper), Kalayna Price, Isabel Sharpe, Wm. Mark Simmons, Kira Sinclair, Susan Sizemore, Rob Thurman, Karen Whiddon.
“Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher.” (Link)
As 11/12, Ms. Diver is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 19 deals in the last 12 months, 12 six-figure+ deals, and 153 overall. Recent deals include: 10 sci-fi/fantasy, 4 women’s/romance, 2 mystery/crime, 2 young adult, 1 international rights.
NOTE: PM is usually not a completely representation of sales.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query no longer than one page in the body of an e-mail. No attachments. No additional material.
See The Knight Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“Writers should think of the query as they would a cover letter that goes along with a resume. You wouldn’t dash that off carelessly (or CC it to everyone in the field, another common mistake), so don’t do it with query letters. Also, I see a ton of queries for material I don’t represent, like nonfiction. It’s important for writers to do their homework on agents so they don’t waste their own or the agent’s time.” (Link)
The agency’s stated response time is 2-3 weeks for queries and 6-8 weeks for requested material. If you have not heard back by the end of the timeframe they ask that you resubmit via an alternative email address.
Stats on the web show Ms. Diver responds to most queries within a month, often two or three weeks. Her response time on requested material ranges from days to several months.
What's the Buzz?
Lucienne Diver is a highly respected agent with over 18 years of experience. She’s sold an incredible number of titles, and her clients seem very happy with her representation. Given her full list, she isn’t taking on many new authors, but she’s definitely worth a shot. You might just be the next writer to blow her away.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with...Lucienne Diver at The Writing Kraft (06/2012).
Wednesday Interviews Literary Agent & Author Lucienne Diver on YouTube (04/2012).
7 Questions for Literary Agent Lucienne Diver at Middle Grade Ninja (08/2011).
Interview with Lucienne Diver at Mad Genius Club (03/2010).
Ask the Agent: Lucienne Diver, Q&A by Barbara Vey at PW (01/2010).
Agent Advice Interview with Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog (09/2009).
Meet Agent Lucienne Diver at Novelists, Inc (09/2009).
Interview with Agent Lucienne Diver at The Writer Brigade (07/2009).
Interview with Lucienne Diver at Much Cheaper Than Therapy (06/2008).
2007 Q&A thread with Lucienne Diver at AbsoluteWrite.
Ms. Diver posts frequently at her blog, Lucienne Diver’s Drivel. Don’t just subscribe, make sure you peruse the labels and archives.
You can find her 2012 conference schedule posted here.
Ms. Diver also blogs monthly at Magical Words. You can see the posts she’s authored here.
Around the Web:
The Knight Agency on P&E ($, Highly Recommended).
Lucienne Diver on P&E ($, AAR).
The Knight Agency thread on AbsoluteWrite.
You can sign up for the agency newsletter here.
Lucienne Diver Explains How to Get a Literary Agent, YouTube video (03/2011).
Please see The Knight Agency website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 11/16/12.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 7/18/11.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com
Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.