CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Throwaway Girls through September 19th

Crownchasers through September 26th

Carlise Webber Query Critique through September 26th

Erin Casey Query Critique through October 3rd

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Erin Casey Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/16/20

Lauren Bieker Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/28/20

Adria Goetz and G.Z. Schmidt Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/19/20

Melanie Castillo Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/21/20

Tori Sharp Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/18/20

Maria Vincente Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/7/20

Amy Brewer and Dana Swift Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 1/18/21

Agent Spotlight Updates

All agent spotlights and interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated again in 2023.

Agent Spotlight: Veronica Park Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

 Today I’m thrilled to have agent Veronica Park here. She is a literary agent at Fuse Literary.

 Hi Veronica! Thanks so much for joining us.

 About Veronica:

 1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

Like most agents, my road has been a weird one. I started my first internship for a NYC literary agency when I was living on an island in the Caribbean, back in 2012...ish. After that, I moved around a bit through various editorial and marketing jobs in the publishing industry, to get a better idea of how the system worked from multiple angles. I went back to work at the first agency as a platform and branding consultant, then I started working as an agent, and built up my client list for 3-4 years before moving to Fuse Literary in January 2019.

Most literary agents I know start out working in publishing in some other capacity, coming in from the editorial side, the writing side, the production side, or in my case a mashup of a bunch of different related industries (like journalism, TV/Film production, marketing, travel & tourism, piracy, etc.) before figuring out their “brand” as an agent. Mine has taken a few years to solidify, but I specialize in working with nonfiction and fiction authors who have strong voices, unique perspectives, marginalized experiences, and a plan to change the world in a very specific and personal way. My latest sales have all been for projects that tackle real world issues in a unique and hopeful way, taking the big picture struggles and giving them names and faces.

I particularly enjoy working with authors who (like me) are able to tackle these #struggles with humor, humility, and a willingness to make mistakes and learn to be better as we grow.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

Fuse manages a wide variety of clients, from bestsellers to debut authors, working with fiction and non-fiction for children and adults worldwide. We combine technical efficiency with outside-the-covers creative thinking so that each individual client’s career is fine-tuned for them. A boutique, collaborative agency, Fuse provides each client with the expertise and forward vision of the group.

We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship. We recognize that our ongoing success directly results from that of our clients, so we remain at their side to cultivate and strategize throughout the many lives of each book, both before and after the initial sale.

We pride ourselves on our flexibility and passion for progression in an ever-changing publishing environment.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I represent nonfiction and fiction from MG to Adult. However, I generally tend to focus on contemporary settings and themes and am extremely selective when it comes to kidlit. For nonfiction, I prioritise activism over notoriety; writers who are fully engaged in their subject matter, and not merely name brands. For fiction, I am a big believer in #ownvoices for issues, but also I love to see stories about marginalized experiences of happiness and joy. For example: I work with a lot of projects that have LGBTQIA+ elements, but I rarely find myself as compelled by fraught coming out stories or narratives about characters who are condemned for their identity as those illuminating worlds where everyone can live and love equally. I am currently most actively seeking stories featuring strong voices, with themes of empathy, honesty, humanity, horror, romance, and rebellion from YA to adult. Also, please note: Black lives matter, trans women are women, and love is love. If you don’t believe these to be true and worth fighting for, I’m not the right agent for you.

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

I’m pretty much always looking for #ownvoices BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ contemporary romance, commercial women’s fiction, and feminist horror. This is an oddly specific ask, but I’d also love to work with a poet laureate from one of the (many) places I’ve lived, but particularly Alaska, Oregon, New York, and Puerto Rico.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

Please miss me with any and all romance concepts that deal with someone who is oppressed falling in love with their oppressor. This includes many contemporary and historical political romances, law enforcement romances, and billionaire romances for the most part, unfortunately. Though I am known to RT a tarot meme, I’m also probably not the best fit for NF centered solely around religion, spirituality, or other mindfulness pursuits; unless the concept is also coupled with another theme that’s more universal (like love, empathy, equality, humanity, etc.) For MG-YA, please keep in mind that projects need to appeal to pub industry adults; but ultimately, the goal is to write stories that center and do no harm to the target readership: the youths.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

That’s a complicated question. I guess, particularly lately, my approach is centered around the idea that we can’t control as much as we’d like--in the world, or in publishing. So I use a kinesthetic approach to collaborate with my authors on setting ambitious but achievable goals, with the idea that there will always be room for improvement. The authors who tend to do well with this system are those who have a clear identity, a brand in progress, and at least some idea of what they want to accomplish. But they’re also ready and willing to work together to figure out the best way to get there.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

As a former journalist with many years of editorial experience, I can advise on polishing a project, but these days I spend most of my time on big picture (developmental) edits, because I trust my clients to take the tools they’re given and master mechanics as we go. Depending on the author, depending on the project, sometimes we collaborate on a concept from the ground up, or create a proposal based on a particular publisher’s requirements. My veteran authors may turn in manuscripts that are 99% ready to go, and only need some slight tweaks to be pitched effectively. Others need several rounds of editorial. My style when it comes to revising is very “teach a person to fish.” That way, every round of revision strengthens their skills and increases their confidence for the next project. The goal is for revisions to become less painful over time.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

I currently only accept queries through Query Manager. Information is available on my Fuse page. I also frequently tweet MSWL requests and have a MSWL page that I update pretty regularly. Because there is SO much free information available online for how to query effectively, I won’t go through all my tips here. Overall, please be professional, and briefly tell me why you think I’m a good fit to represent you, your project, and help you reach your goals.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

I don’t like to focus on the negative. Definitely do lots of research into your target genre, to ensure you’re not pitching the project as something that it actually isn’t (for example: a “romance” that doesn’t end in an HEA or HFN) and that you’re either following or knowingly bending the “rules” (reader expectations and industry guidelines) of your given genre. I’ve seen lots of projects that go against the grain and do it well, but rarely are they from authors who don’t have experience or at least significant research in the genre they’ve chosen to break into.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

Unfortunately, thanks to 2020, not as consistent as I would like. I’ve requested pages and read them in less than a week, and I’ve gotten so busy that I didn’t get a chance to dip into my submissions for months at a time. (And in those cases, I will never fault an author for moving on if they don’t want to wait; in those cases, it’s very probably my loss.) But we do what we can, and my goal is to respond to all queries with some idea of my reasoning (unless they’re for a type of project that I have said I do not represent and/or won’t consider, or the query is not personalized--you’d be surprised how many people just kind of blast a bunch of agents with a “Dear Agent” or a “Dear Sir” when I’m not a sir.)

That said, mistakes happen, and we’re all human. I’ve never rejected a query based solely on a typo. I cannot stress enough that most of the time, my #1 reason for passing is that I just didn’t see enough evidence that I’m the best fit to represent and sell your work. The agent/author relationship is a partnership (or it should be) and please, trust me when I say this: you DO NOT want to work with an agent who isn’t really all that passionate about you or your work. That’s how you end up sitting around, agented, wondering what’s going on with your career and whether your agent is pitching your book(s) to the best of their ability. It’s not a situation I’d wish on anyone.

My rule of thumb for query timelines: no news = no news. Don’t automatically assume that a delayed response means your writing isn’t good, or that you did something wrong. The world is an imperfect place. Screws fall out all the time, etc.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis, but please always be honest about a project’s history. And yours.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

Always. As the only publishing professionals whose sole purpose is to be the author’s advocate and representative, IMO we should all be constantly examining our behaviors, beliefs, and standard operating procedures; particularly those that may have been taught or handed down by the “old guard” publishing pros who have been instrumental in encouraging, upholding, and/or excusing prejudice and inequality since the inception of the industry. Sorry to get political for a sec, but if you’re a white person in publishing at any level, it’s up to you--to us--to use our privilege and our position to boost and protect those who have been traditionally, consistently, and systematically marginalized in our industry. There’s no more room to sit on the sidelines.

I realize that your question was more about process, but this is why my answer still makes sense. At every level of publishing, from self-publishing, to hybrid publishing, to publishers of any size, there are those who are allowed into the room with no questions asked (even if, in some cases, they are guilty of bigoted and/or predatory behaviors) and those who have to work many times as hard to even get into the building. Whether we’re talking about #MeToo, #PublishingSoWhite, or #PublishingPaidMe, there is no separating those issues from the process. Inequality is not a bug in the system, it is a feature. But here’s what I believe: a rising tide lifts all boats. The more we work to make our industry more inclusive, transparent, and fair overall, the more writers of all identities will be able to navigate the system in a way that makes the most sense for their goals.

Also, it’d be kind of great if all the most hard-working writers, editors, and agents could all make a living wage from doing what they love. Don’t you think?

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

My current client list can be found here.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

https://www.katejfoster.com/general-blog/agent-interview-veronica-park

https://www.dvpit.com/blog/ryan-la-sala-park

https://www.fuseliterary.com/2019/05/09/agent-spotlight-veronica-park/

Links and Contact Info:

PM: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/veronicapark/

MSWL: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/veronica-park/

Fuse Page: https://www.fuseliterary.com/veronica-park/

Twitter (please don’t pitch me your book on Twitter): https://twitter.com/veronikaboom

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

QM: https://QueryManager.com/QueryVeronica

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

Never give up. Never surrender.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Veronica.

Giveaway Details

Veronica is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment through September 5th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

 

30 comments:

  1. Fascinating post. It's great to learn more about what an agent does and doesn't do, as well as how the agency works. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. This is so neat and helpful! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. This is so neat and helpful! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. This is so neat and helpful! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  5. Great tips and insight! I'm just starting to put together query emails, so perfect timing to read this article.

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  6. Oooh, and agent looking for authors. . . That's always good to see.

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  7. Love this information. Thankyou for the information

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  8. Fantastic, in-depth interview. I have shared this on Twitter :)

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  9. Great information! I shared this to Twitter.

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  10. Great interview. Always grateful for agents who reject the falls in love with oppressor trope - thank you.
    Would love a query critique!
    Heathermcappsauthor@gmail.com

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  11. "You DO NOT want to work with an agent who isn’t really all that passionate about you or your work." Great advice! Thank you!

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  12. This was a great interview! Thanks for the chance to win. :)

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  13. Thanks for the great tips and insight (and also the query critique opportunity!)

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  14. Nice interview. Gotta love a giveaway.

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  15. I really love how in-depth this interview is. Thanks for sharing! (And for the chance to win).

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  16. Thanks for another very useful and interesting interview. I will pass on the giveaway.

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  17. Great information. Thank you. I enjoy almost everything, but my favorites are contemporary settings. To read and to write. Have a great day, all.

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  18. This was such a joy to read. As a YA fantasy writer who writes the LGBTQIA+ characters I wanted to see in fantasy as a kid, it's so nice to see agents who look for underrepresented voices and want to champion those stories.

    I would love to win a query critique from Ms. Park!
    email: jamietucker1035@gmail.com

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  19. Great interview, with some helpful information. No need to enter me in the giveaway.

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  20. great interview. would love a chance to win! :)
    bethany.hensel@gmail.com

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  21. Interesting interview. After finding a home for my novels with a small publisher, I pretty much let go the work of trying to find an agent, but I'm returning to the idea again in hopes of garnering a wider audience for my work. This interview gave me a lot to think on. Thanks! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  22. Another excellent post, Natalie! Thank you!

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  23. So many interesting answers! Thanks.

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  25. I would love to query Agent V IRL. I hear so many good things about her. I followed the blog and shared to my twitter (@jwparente). Email: jwparente13@gmail.com

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  26. Excellent interview. Veronica has a great attitude and ideas for progressing the industry.

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  27. Really good interview. Veronica hit some points I was curious about (i.e., romance that doesn't end in HEA).

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  28. What a helpful perspective! Thanks for continuing this series.

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  29. Wow. I'm very impressed with Veronica and your contest. Thank you! I would love to win a chance to communicate with her.

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