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Literary Agent Interview: Kristina Perez Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Kristina Perez here. She recently started her own literary agency, Perez Literary & Entertainment.

Hi­ Kristina! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Kristina:

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

My path into agenting grew organically out of being an author. I became really engrossed with the business side of publishing and realized I love championing other people’s stories as much as I do telling my own. Being a nerd at heart, I enjoy getting into the nitty gritty of contracts and everything else that goes along with shepherding a project to fruition. I’ve been an agent for over three years but in publishing about a decade altogether. I cover a wide range of genres and categories from Middle Grade to serious adult non-fiction.

 About the Agency:

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

Pérez Literary & Entertainment is based in London but since I’m a native New Yorker, it is a truly transatlantic agency with an international perspective. We are a full-service agency handling translation, dramatic and digital rights both directly and through an extensive network of co-agents throughout the world. We see our clients as business partners and build long-term relationships, guiding our clients through the different stages of their publishing careers. As an author myself, I encourage my clients to think of themselves as small businesses and we therefore provide annual earnings reports to empower our clients in making the best decisions for their careers.

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?

While I do represent some Middle Grade, I am mostly on the hunt for YA. Being a lifelong fantasy fan, I am looking for original world building with protagonists from non-traditionally represented backgrounds in the Upper YA/crossover space. I have a lot of brilliant horror on my list, and I adore horror, but that means I’m quite picky––so surprise me! I am also intrigued by non-linear storytelling and stories that play with narrative form.

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

I would love to see a time slip narrative that feels fresh. I’m also excited by body-hopping that’s pulled off well. Having been raised in a trilingual household, I’m always looking for books that use more than one language on the page and reflect the way multilingual families interact.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I do not currently represent picture books, but I keep an open mind about everything else!

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?

I truly believe in the power of words to change people’s lives and I want to work with authors who have something important to say, something necessary to say. Getting to represent authors and their stories every day is the best job in the world.

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?

It really depends on the project but, in general, I’m a fairly editorial agent. With newer authors, especially debut authors, there is generally a round of structural edits, line edits and perhaps some copy edits, like you would get with a publisher. I want to give each and every submission the best possible chance of making it through an acquisitions meeting.

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 only accept queries through QueryManager and I like to see the first chapter with the query.

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

The query letter is really its own beast and it’s important to spend some time looking at the many templates available online. Agents have very limited time with which to read queries in addition to our client work, so the query should be no more than two paragraphs about the book and a one paragraph bio. I recommend starting with a “Jaws in Space”-style elevator pitch right at the top to grab the agent’s attention.

Response Time:

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

Due to the volume of submissions, unfortunately, at PLE we just can’t guarantee a response to queries unless we want to read more. On requested manuscripts, we try to read within two months, but this may be slower around the book fairs.

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?

I already do represent authors who have previously self-published or been published by smaller presses, so that is certainly no barrier to entry. It’s perhaps more of a marketing calculation when going on submission, depending on whether the author wants to continue writing in the same genre and/or under the same name. There are also a lot of subsidiary rights that an agent can handle (such as foreign or audio) that a self-published author might not be able to do themselves. For authors looking to make a switch, it’s about evaluating your publishing goals and determining the right path to accomplish them.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

In the YA space, among my clients are Pura Belpré Award winner Vincent Tirado, Khadijah VanBrakle and Alexia Casale. I also represent authors who write fantasy and horror for adults that has what I call “crossunder” appeal such as Top 10 Sunday Times bestselling author Sharon Emmerichs.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

Manuscript Wish List: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/kristina-perez/

https://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/things-didnt-know-about-author-kk-perez-1189756.html

http://www.breakingtheglassslipper.com/2018/08/30/five-questions-with-kristina-perez/

https://www.shewrites.com/blog/view/2856318/“the-lady-of-shalott”-and-the-writer-vs-the-author

Links and Contact Info:

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

Please query using QueryManager: http://QueryManager.com/KristinaPerez

Website: www.perezliterary.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/perez_literary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/perezliterary/

Additional Advice:

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

A bad agent is worse than no agent. Don’t settle. Find the agent who’s right for you!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kristina.

­Kristina 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 June 3rd. 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 follow me on Twitter or 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.

 

 

 

13 comments:

Sandra Cox said...

I always enjoy learning the pathway that led an agent to his or her agency.
Best wishes.

Liz A. said...

Interesting coming to agenting from writing. I don't know if I've seen that pathway before.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Three languages. I'm struggling to learn a +1!

Meghan Downs said...

Loved learning more about her! This was a great interview!

msanchez said...

Thank you for another fantastic agent interview! I would love to be considered for the query critique with Kristina. With her interest in females in STEM (and a chess themed book on her manuscript wishlist) I'd love to have her take a look at my chess themed YA thriller. michellesanchez.writer@gmail.com
Thanks!

Alicia J Novo said...

What a great interview! She sounds great and like an excellent fit for my current YA Fantasy. Adding her to my query list. Here's my email for the giveaway: aliciajnovo@gmail.com

Thanks!

nancywestbooks said...

Fantastic interview! I am a big fan of Ms. Perez's "Sweet Black Waves" trilogy, so this interview was doubly fun to read! Sounds like a fabulous literary agency!
Thank you!

Jayme Inman said...

Very interesting that Kristina is trilingual and interested in multi-lingual family stories. Would love to have her take a look at my query letter.

Kim said...

So great to learn about you Kristina! Thank you Natalie!

JP said...

Thank you for the interview and giveaway! I've learned so much from these interviews over the years and have long admired Kristina's agenting awesomeness. I'm at jacki.price at gmail dotcom.

Nina Snyder said...

I love fantasy too!

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Chelly Writes said...

Great interview! Thank you!