Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Literary Agent Interview: Rebecca Lawrence Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Rebecca Lawrence here. She’s a junior literary agent at The Booker Albert Literary Agency.

Hi­ Rebecca! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Rebecca:

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

While in college around two years ago, I began an internship at ArtHouse Literary Agency. That internship really opened my eyes to what kind of responsibilities an agent has, and I really enjoyed the people and my time there. Last May I moved to the Booker Albert Literary Agency where I became a Junior Agent in September, 2023. I’m actively building a list focused on YA, though I am also interested in select MG and Adult. I am currently working on securing contracts for the first few manuscripts that I have signed.

About the Agency:

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

The Booker Albert Literary Agency is based in Pennsylvania and has been around for over ten years. We offer a heavily personalized experience and work very closely with our authors. We are actively working on building up YA titles, breaking into the international market, and expanding the agency.

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 MG, YA, and Adult. One day in the future, I might try and break into PB, but it’s not a genre that I’m that interested in at the moment.  

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

Books that have complete feeling endings. As an avid reader, I have made it a habit to wait for highly anticipated series (The Cruel Prince) to be completely out before I read it. Some of my favorite books (House of the Scorpion, The Scorpio Races) are standalones or read like standalones.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

Romance as a main plot. I love romance as a subplot, but I need something else in the mix to keep my attention. I’m also not a good fit for super spicy romance. PG-13 is about my comfort range when it comes to explicit sexual content (especially when it comes sexual assault or abuse).

Dark books are not my cup of tea. I’m an escapist type of reader.

I would love to work with nonfiction, but it is hard to sell without an established platform.

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 primarily look for books that I would seek out as a reader. While I love reading things that are unique, I often tend to gravitate toward very grounded characters. The most important thing for me is that I can relate with and sympathize with the main cast. While I do like the occasional antihero, I tend to relate more to characters that have a moral compass that lands on the good side.  

My philosophy toward authors is that I look for people who have experience in publishing, a platform, or have held off on self-publishing many books on Amazon. I love debut authors though, and the story always matters more than the author’s credentials.

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?

I am an editorial agent, and my process is different for every author. I try to adapt to each author’s style and figure out what works best for them.

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 accept queries through query manager. Something really important to me is a complete synopsis. While I enjoy reading sample pages, I really want to find books that have a great plot and voice, and I can’t evaluate a plot if I don’t have a synopsis. Endings are something that I put a lot of importance on, and most of the time, I need the book to have a happy ending.

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

Sometimes the beginning of a story can be very confusing, especially with high concept fiction like sci-fi or epic fantasy. My advice to authors is to craft a hook/first chapter that introduces an intriguing concept or tension while introducing the characters and world in a palatable way. Too many worldbuilding or plot details in the first chapter can be disorienting or confusing.

I do not require a personalized query letter. I really appreciate people who did do the research to personalize it, and I really dislike a form query that tries to pretend to be personalized.      

Response Time:

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

For queries I try to get back within two weeks. If I have held onto a query for longer than that, it means that it has landed in the maybe pile.

For full requests, I would ask for three months before the author follows up. I often reply faster than that, but currently I am going through my fulls based on the specific genres/troupes that I want to put on my list.

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 am open to both, but my advice for these people in particular is to self-promote. It is always really great to see an author making an effort to build a platform.  

Clients:

2. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I currently have several clients that are in the process of choosing pen names and working on starting social media accounts, but currently I have three authors that I would love to promote.

Sheri Yutzy is an Acquisitions Editor at sparkflashfiction.com and writes thoughtful and inspirational pieces for women’s magazines. Her writing has won multiple awards, appeared in Casting Call, a Havok Publishing anthology, and House Between the Branches, an anthology from Nightshade Publishing. When she’s not writing, she’s reading to her children, tending her cottage garden, or planning a family hike. 

https://www.instagram.com/sheriyutzyauthor/

Nicole Luiken is the author of fifteen traditionally-published novels. Violet Eyes and Silver Eyes were put out by Pocket Books, and her adult novel Running on Instinct was published by Tor/Forge. Her YA novels have won two Golden Eagle Children's Book Award and a Gold-Medal Moonbeam. Her most recent YA novel, Feral, received a positive review from Kirkus, calling it a “howling good time” and was a finalist for the Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan).

https://twitter.com/NicoleLuiken

Zachary Long is currently working as a professional artist and graphic designer. He has spent many years as a freelance blog writer in the marketing world and University Writing Center Editor before taking the leap to pursue publication of a novel. Though he is currently working on building his writing social media, he is well established on Instagram as an artist.

https://www.instagram.com/zachary_writez/

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/rebecca-lawrence/

https://bookish.netgalley.com/bookish-lifestyle/05/2023/how-to-start-a-booktok-tiktok/

Links and Contact Info:

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

To submit to me please fill out the form on my query manager.

https://querymanager.com/query/rebecca

You can find me on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/beccalawrence_/

Additional Advice:

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

Don’t take rejection personally. I have, unfortunately, had to pass on some great books because of my list. Everything comes down to timing. If you have a really solid book, perseverance is your friend.

The best thing an aspiring author can do is build a platform. Lots of authors feel lost and

overwhelmed when it comes to social media, so the best way to tackle this is to take small steps and work toward a goal. Looking at successful examples and just starting and experimenting and being consistent is enough to kickstart the process. When it comes to marketing, I would encourage authors to take classes, read blogs, and listen to podcasts.

When it comes to the actual craft of writing, I tend to think that experience is the best teacher. Keep writing. If one book isn’t getting any attention, then moving on to another book is the best thing to do. Most debut authors publish the third or fourth book that they have written. Brandon Sanderson wrote 13 books before he managed to sell one.   

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Rebecca.

Giveaway Details

­Rebecca 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 March 23rd. If your email 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 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 email 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.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

Monday, March 27th I have an agent/author guest post by agent Rachel Orr and debut author Cathy Carr and a giveaway of Cathy’s MG contemporary Lost Kites and Other Treasures

Friday, April 1st I’m participating in the Honey Bunny Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, April 3rd I have an interview with debut author Trish Lundy and a giveaway of her YA thriller The One That Got Away With Murder and my IWSG post

I hope to see you on Saturday!

 

 

 

13 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good advice to not take rejection personally. It definitely helps to have a thick skin as a writer. :)

Eileen said...

Thank you for the great interview, and I wish you the best in your Literary Agent career!
Would love to be in the drawing for the query critique give-away. I've shared it on FM & X.

Jacqui said...

Great advice on the query letter.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She had some really practical advice. From her replies, she sounds like she's good to work with and overall a nice and patient person.

Carol Baldwin said...

Great advice. No need to enter my name though.

Shanti Thirumalai said...

Hi Natalie,
I would love to send Rebecca a query.
She seems easy to work with and very sensible.
Please include my name in the drawing.
Best, Shanti

Elizabeth Seckman said...

It's always a good reminder to keep building a platform, though it's hard to do both base building and writing!

Paula McLaughlin said...

Great info! I’d love to know who she feels has built a good SM platform that others can look at and learn from.

Mewla Young said...

Thank you for the great advice, Rebecca! Please include me in the drawing for the query critique give-away.

Valinora Troy said...

Great interview, and great advice! Thanks for sharing!

Karen K. said...

I appreciate Rebecca sharing some of the authors she represents and their websites. Definitely helpful in getting an idea of the kind of stories she's interested in. Thanks for offering a query critique. I would love to be part of the give-away.

MaggieM said...

Wonderful advice! Thank you, Rebecca!

Patti Richards said...

Great interview! Thanks for the great advice! pgwrites5@gmail.com