Monday, February 26, 2007

What Rings My Bells (probably part 1)

I like social science fiction, which means 1984, Brave New World, Jennifer Government. I'm not into hard science fiction and I don't like military science fiction. I also have a soft spot for feminist sci-fi (The Hand Maiden's Tale). I am a liberal Democrat, so that colors the kind of books I want to spend time with. I can't imagine I would represent a Republican or conservative social science fiction novel, unless it was so head-smackingly brilliant I was blinded.

I like dark fantasy. Of course, these are quest novels. They are full of goblins and demons and vampires and shape shifters. I am not particularly fond of elves (although I will read something with them in it, if it is dark) and I don't like fairies, unicorns, Vikings, Sword & Sorcery, etc.

I love horror, of all kinds from splatter to the literary. I have a a particular fondness for vampires. I have sold more than 200 vampire novels. I also love zombies. I really love vampire zombie novels. I also like a good ghost story.

I don't do romance novels because I haven't read them, but I love chic lit. My chic lit is urban and my protagonist is usually over 30. I also like Mom lit. In both fiction and nonfiction.

I am taking on erotica writers, mostly hetero, although I represent a handful of gay and lesbian writers.

I like dark literary fiction. I like dysfunctional families. I like unhappy endings. My favorite lit writers are Rick Moody and John Irving.

I handle very few mysteries and when I do they are "quirky." I had a drag queen detective series and a dominatrix series. I tried to take on an undertaker series, but the author went with another agent.

That's fiction.

In nonfiction, I like books about pop culture. That means books about music (mostly rock), art (mostly contemporary American), TV, film. I am very good at this and one of the few agents who has consistently sold books about other media. I have a whole series of Science of books. I've done a ton of Making of...books. I've done a ton of popular bios. I've sold a lot of books about aspects of TV shows. I've done quite a few companion books (Louie L'Amour, Stephen King, Anne Rice). And I've taught rock stars how to write novels.

I consider trends pop culture, so I'll do books that fall into that category. I did Pokemon, Digimon books for kids when they hit.

I am a late baby boomer, a feminist (card-carrying), a journalist (I started my own newspaper in Manhattan in the 80's), a liberal Democrat, a single mother of a teen-aged son who is a nerd, and a cat owner. I have a degree in art history and journalism from NYU, where I have taught writing for the past 20 years. I went to the Bronx High School of Science because I wanted to be a pathologist (so I'm into death). I have always lived in New York City and I love it. I love Paris, I spent two summers in Tucson AZ, and my father's family is from Belfast, ME. I am a life-long Yankees fan, but do not follow any other sport. All these things play into what I would want to take on.

I don't like the south. It does not call to me and I don't understand it, so I have few clients writing about it.

My mother is a liberal Protestant minister, which is why I am so attracted to horror novels. For me, they are the most religious fiction there is. I know my Bible and Bible stories, which is why I have so little patience for religious fiction or diatribes.

I also do very little of what we'd call inspirational books or New Age, but I do like some old-fashioned occult stuff.

I do very few memoirs, and those that I do take on are usually from pop culture. I did WHAT IT USED TO BE LIKE By MaryAnn Carver, because I love Raymond Carver's work and the story was so compelling.

I also like true crime.


Tyhitia Green said...

Thank you for answering my question, Lori! Good stuff to know.

BernardL said...

'I am a liberal Democrat, so that colors the kind of books I want to spend time with. I can't imagine I would represent a Republican or conservative social science fiction novel, unless it was so head-smackingly brilliant I was blinded.'

You are not the Lone Ranger on this count, and it's a point I suspect represents the industry standard. Once again, you've provided a reality check point. Although not particularly good news for conservative leaning writers, there's no use in avoiding the truth. :)

Sam said...

I just sold e-book rights to an erotic zombie/vampire urban fantasy.

Would you consider a submission for a book that has alraedy come out as an e-book?

Ravenous Romance said...

Yes. Email it to me with the info on publication, as well as more author bio stuff.

Aprilynne Pike said...

I LOVE Rick Moody! I went to a reading of his when he was starting out in his career (I don't believe he even had a novel yet) and I tell you, every time I read "Boys Enter the House" I hear him reading it in my head, just the way he wanted it read. Definitely one of the top 10 short stories of our modern day, IMHO.

Go Rick!


Anonymous said...

Dang. It sounds like I would love some of the books on your bookshelf.

*slides eyes appraisingly toward ms in progress*

I think you'll be on my A-list of agents when I finally get around to querying this. Pity, that you've already got a packed list.

none said...


Usually when I read agent blogs, they rattle off a list of favourite books I haven't even heard of, never mind read. But I've read Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Jennifer Government AND Handmaid's Tale. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now THAT was a disclosure!

If every agent was as specific in the "details" section of, writers could better target their queries, and agents would have to process a lot fewer auto-rejection queries.

Thank you! You saved me at least $3 in wasted postage.

Scott said...

This was brilliant! Thanks. I wish all agents would give this much detail.

Guess I'll cross you off my list for the book I'm shopping around right now, but it sounds like the project I'm just starting might be a match. But there's still a lot of work to do before I start looking around.

Again, thanks.

EGP said...

Hmm, my social science fiction novel COULD have a vampire zombie I think :)

Having pored through both hardcopy and internet lists of agents for the past two months while editing my novel for submission, I'd say that less than ten percent of the agents with posted "wants" are actually specific enough to avoid getting a lot of what they don't want.

Having escaped that horrifically long sentence, I'll add my thanks for being so specific.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Great info - reminds me of the old Steven Wright joke. I may be paraphrasing due to my dottage: A man meets a gorgeous blond Chinese woman on a bus and she says she only dates Jewish cowboys. He sticks out his hand and says "How do you do? I'm Bucky Goldstein."

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