This week's Agent Spotlight features Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc.
Status: Open to submissions, actively building his list.
About: “Triada US was founded in 2004 by Dr. Uwe Stender. Over the last decade, the agency's list has included high quality fiction and non-fiction, and our books are consistently critically acclaimed and translated into multiple languages.”
“I started my publishing career in 2011 as an intern at The Bent Agency before joining Triada US as an assistant to Uwe Stender. My list is comprised of a wide range of fiction. My tastes can best be described as upmarket: stories that are well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Our Founder, Dr. Uwe Stender, is a Full Member of the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR).
“Our best known clients are: actress Melody Thomas Scott, CNN HLN and TruTV's In Christi Paul, NPR's Eric Deggans, 4-time Grammy Award winning composer Lalo Schifrin ("Mission Impossible"), Stacy Tornio, legendary NBA referee Bob Delaney, Elizabeth LaBan, and Kate Hattemer.
“Uwe has been a guest speaker at several major conferences, including the SCWC in San Diego, the Crimebake (Mystery Writers of America New England Chapter), CAPA-U in Hartford, the Writers' League of Texas in Austin, Penn Writers, and Book Expo America in New York City.
“We are always open to strong fiction and all non-fiction projects. Check the agents page and submission guidelines to find the right Triada agent for your project.” (Link)
What He's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
General Fiction, Mystery, Suspense/Thriller, Women's, Literary fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Graphic Novels for kids and teens. (Link)
From an Interview (04/2015):
“I represent a wide range, from middle grade to adult, but I do want a really strong MG/YA list. During my career as an intern and an assistant I've worked with over 5 literary agents, so I've developed very eclectic sensibilities. For middle grade, I tend to go for beautiful writing, fresh voice, and a strong sense of place. I love fantasy, magical realism, and contemporary/realistic stories. Some of my favorite MG writers are Rebecca Stead, Jerry Spinelli, Brian Farrey, and Kathi Appelt.
“For YA, I want books with slightly higher concepts but still retain a lot of meaning and really wonderful sentences. Some of my favorite YA writers are Nova Ren Suma, Nick Burd, Stephanie Perkins, and Libba Bray.
“Something at the very top of my list, regardless of genre or category, is a sweeping, sentimental story with a hint of strangeness. I would love to find something at the intersections of stories like Her, The Time Traveler’s Wife, About Time, or Upside Down.” (Link)
From an Interview (02/2015):
“No one’s sending me this generation’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, perhaps because I’m a man, but I’m trying to put the word out there that this is something I desperately want. Beyond Sisterhood, I’m very open to all sorts of YA. For some reason, I’m also having a hard time getting diverse submissions to come through my inbox. All flavors of diversity are welcome, but LGBT characters and storylines are of a great personal importance to me. I would go crazy for a literary MG or a novel written in verse.” (Link)
From an Interview (01/2015):
“After everything I’ve said about humor, it’s funny to think that books of my heart tend to be more boundary-pushing and dark. I would love to find projects that speak truthfully and without any punches about very real issues.
“Every project I’ve signed up in my career thus far has had some sort of personal resonance with me. I want multilayered projects, a story that has more than one powerful thing to say.” (Link)
From an Interview (09/2014):
“My tastes are eclectic, but all of my favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing.
“I am seeking smart, fun, and exciting books for readers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select mystery/crime and women's fiction.
“Middle Grade: for younger readers I am on the hunt for a humorous, intelligent fantasy; a scare-the-pants-off-me ghost or haunting story; fast-paced literary writing similar in style to Jerry Spinelli and Cynthia Lord. I have soft spots for larger-than-life characters and atmospheric setting (creepy and/or quirky).
“Young Adult: I’m always looking for genre-bending books that can be an exciting puzzlement when thinking about how precisely to market; specifically mystery and crime for teens, the grittier the better; high-concept contemporary stories with addicting romantic tension. I’m a sucker for themes of finding your place in the world, new beginnings, and summer-before-college stories.
“Adult: I would love a psychological suspense based on actual events, i.e. CARTWHEEL by Jennifer Dubois which fictionalized the Amanda Knox trial and hooked me from beginning to end. Alternatively, I’d love high-concept women’s fiction; either an exquisitely told story huge in size and scope, or a less ambitious novel that simply warms my heart.” (Link)
Via Twitter 09/2014 - Present:
See this roundup of Mr. Taylor’s #MSWL Tweets.
What He Isn’t Looking For:
“YA scifi isn't really my forte, but I would definitely be open to it in middle grade. My interests in MG are much more vast, and I tend to be extra picky about YA. And, while I enjoy paranormal/supernatural stories, it’s almost impossible to sell these days.” (Link)
“I hate seeing teen protagonists paralyzed by their lack of romance. I think the authors writing these protagonists have the idea that because this is a universal feeling, it will resonate with teens in a huge way. But the truth is that it’s too universal, and it’s impossible to connect or sympathize with a protagonist on only this basis.” (Link)
“I can be, yes, but some clients don’t require it. I’m a flexible agent constantly molding myself to fit the tailored needs of my clients, and if a project needs an intensive edit before going out on submission, I am willing and delighted, even, to provide the necessary editorial guidance.” (Link)
“As far as editorial work goes, it depends on the client and the book. There are manuscripts I’ve sent out as-is, and there are ones that took multiple rounds of revisions. Every project is different, and I’m usually able to gauge what the author-agent relationship will look like once we have that first phone call.” (Link)
E-mail: Yes (preferred).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query and the first ten pages via e-mail or SASE. No attachments.
See Mr. Taylor’s Publisher’s Marketplace Page for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“I prefer queries that jump straight into the story, but personalization at the end is always nice.” (Link)
”Despite the fact that I am not a fan of prologues, and think they’re nearly always unnecessary, I still consider them as part of the first ten pages, which is what I request.” (Link)
The agency’s stated response time is one week. Mr. Taylor often responds within 24 hours. Stats on the web are consistent.
What's the Buzz?
Brent Taylor is a new agent with TriadaUS Literary Agency who is actively building his list. He recently made his first YA sale to Knopf Children’s:
Debut author-illustrator Whitney Gardner's YOU'RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE, an illustrated novel about a Deaf teen artist who must decide between being painted into obscurity or getting caught after she finds herself locked in a graffiti war with an opponent who takes it a step too far, to Stephen Brown at Knopf Children's, for publication in Spring 2017, by Brent Taylor at the TriadaUS Literary Agency (World).
I recommend following Mr. Taylor on Twitter @NaughtyBrent for the latest.
Worth Your Time:
Agent Brent Taylor Interview here at Literary Rambles (04/2015).
Query.Sign.Submit. with Brent Taylor at I Write for Apples (03/2015).
A Behind the Scenes Q&A with Lit Agent Brent Taylor at Robin’s Nest (02/2015).
Q&A: Brent Taylor, Agent at TriadaUS Literary Agency at Kirkus (01/2015).
Brent Taylor Literary Agent at pdpabst (12/2014).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Brent Taylor at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2014).
Agent Interview with Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Agency! at Rachel Writes Things (10/2014).
Query Questions with Brent Taylor at Michelle4Laughs (09/2014).
Around the Web:
TriadaUS at Predators & Editors ($, Recommended).
Last Updated: 7/9/2015.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 7/9/2015.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updated? 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/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying. The information found herein is subject to change.