This special weekend edition of “Interactive Interview with an Agent” features Bernadette Baker-Baughman of Victoria Sanders & Associates. Details on the interactive part are at the bottom. Enjoy Ms. Baker-Baughman’s answers to the normal questions, and then I’ll meet you down there!
KV: How long have you been agenting, and how did you get into it?
BB: I started agenting in 2005. I finished my master’s degree and was the Marketing Manager for a publisher, when the right opportunity to move over to agenting presented itself.
KV: How would you summarize your personal agenting philosophy? What do you expect from an agent-author relationship?
BB: My personal philosophy is that publishing is a business of patience and longevity. If you have both, you will go a long way. I want my relationships with my authors to be mutually beneficial, trusting, and always passion filled.
KV: What client work do you have coming out soon? What drew you to those writers and/or projects?
BB: STEALING MONA LISA by Carson Morton and ZAHRA’S PARADISE by Amir and Khalil are both coming out this fall.
STEALING MONA LISA is a fun piece of historical fiction that I was drawn to because it had everything I love in a good story: mystery, love, betrayal, danger, and comedy. I also found the true facts, like the actual theft of the Mona Lisa, to be infinitely intriguing. (St. Martin’s Minotaur, August 2011)
ZAHRA’S PARASIDE is a serious graphic novel about a young protestor who went missing after the botched Iranian election in 2009, and his family’s struggle to find him. It is poignant, beautifully illustrated, and delivers a timely human rights message. (First Second, August 2011)
KV: What genres do you represent? What genres do you definitely NOT represent?
BB: I’ll answer more on the “not represent” side, as that is a bit easier to pin down. I don’t represent Westerns, High Fantasy, Poetry, traditional Romance, or children’s picture books (except when I do).
KV: What query pet peeves and/or pitfalls should writers avoid when querying you?
BB: I really like concise, to the point queries, along with two to three chapters of the work pasted into the body of an e-mail. My pet peeve is when an author sends a query as an attachment with nothing in the body of the e-mail. I always suggest authors try to make it as easy as possible for agents.
KV: What are you looking for in a manuscript right now? What are you tired of seeing at the moment?
BB: Right now I am looking for very emotionally driven work. Make me laugh out loud or cry and I’m sold. I am a bit tired of seeing paranormal, though now I can really easily spot good paranormal when it crosses my desk.
KV: What’s the best way to query you?
BB: Send a query to my attention at firstname.lastname@example.org. The query should be in the body of the e-mail, along with two to three chapters pasted below the query. We respond to every query that comes in, so if you don’t hear from me please resend your query. Also, learn more about Victoria Sanders & Associates on our website: victoriasanders.com.
Thanks again, Ms. Baker-Baughman, for these responses! I always love a little mystery, love, betrayal, danger, and comedy as well, so STEALING MONA LISA sounds like a fun read.
Now for the exciting part. If you have a question for Ms. Baker-Baughman, feel free to leave it in the comments section below. She’ll drop in a few times today and leave her answers down there for you. We’ll wrap everything up at 3:00 p.m. EDT (which is 12:00 noon PDT). Until then, ask away!
(P.S. I’m going to a wedding, so I won’t be around very much today. I’d just ask that you respect the cutoff time and not leave questions after that.)