The prodigal interview series returns (and we came back with a good one)! Today’s INTERACTIVE interview features Kristin Miller of D4EO Literary Agency. Enjoy Ms. Miller’s answers to the usual questions, and then I’ll meet you at the bottom with details on the interactive part.
KV: How long have you been agenting, and how did you get
KM: I have been agenting since February, 2011. Nine months
previous to my promotion to associate agent, Mandy Hubbard put out a call for
interns. I responded pretty much immediately and we clicked right off the bat.
She announced that she had found her intern the very next day. It was and is
great working with and learning from Mandy and Bob (the chief at D4EO) as I
build my own list.
KV: How would you summarize your personal agenting
philosophy? What do you expect from an agent-author relationship?
KM: I want to help my clients build the most successful
publishing career possible. What "successful" means can vary from
writer to writer and it's my job to support and promote that success.
In an agent-author relationship, I expect the author and I
to have an understanding regarding expectations and transparency, as well as
open lines of communication. Beyond that, every relationship is different,
depending on a variety of factors.
KV: What drew you to your clients and their projects?
KM: Great crafting is the first thing that draws me into a
manuscript. Sometimes, this refers to line crafting, while other times it can
be masterful pacing.
One thing that each of my clients has in common so far,
however, is that I laughed out loud at some point while reading their work. I
love a story with well-done wit. In other manuscripts I've requested, however,
it might be a beautifully poetic style or intriguing and fresh plot or idea
that makes me want to read more.
KV: What genres do you represent? What genres do you
definitely NOT represent?
KM: I represent all children's literature, from picture book
to young adult. I do not represent adult fiction or nonfiction of any kind at
KV: What query pet peeves and/or pitfalls should writers
avoid when querying you?
KM: Don't send me your adult fiction query.
Be sure, when you are pitching your book, that you pitch a
plot rather than themes or ideas.
Remember to paste your first five to ten pages in the body
of the query. I used to reply to writers who forgot to paste pages and ask them
to resubmit, but I don't really have time for that anymore. Don't ruin your
chances for a manuscript request by forgetting such a simple thing.
KV: What are you looking for in a manuscript right now? What
are you tired of seeing at the moment?
KM: First, what I'm tired of seeing: paranormal. It's never
been my cup of tea, really, and the market is super tight right now. And
paranormal pitched as sci-fi? Don't do it--I know an angel when I see one.
What I would love to see: a decadent Eastern European
historical YA saga, out-of-the-box sci-fi, middle grade that nails the middle
grade voice, a picture book author/illustrator with groundbreaking art. I
request and enjoy a variety of novels outside those very specific ideas,
KV: You mentioned you were looking for a picture book
author/illustrator with groundbreaking art, but are you interested in picture
book writers who AREN'T illustrators?
KM: At this point, I'm looking for author/illustrators only.
KV: What’s the best way to query you?
KM: Send your query with your first five to ten pages pasted
in the body of the e-mail to Kristin@D4EO.com. When querying an illustrated
project, provide a link to a website or online gallery of samples of your work.
Please, no attachments.
Thanks, Ms. Miller, for these responses! I always like to hear
what an agent’s looking for. (And if anyone has a decadent Eastern European
historical YA saga, feel free to send it my way, too! I’m always up for
beta-reading anything that falls under the category of Awesome:) )
And now for my favorite part! If you have a question for Ms.
Miller, feel free to leave it in the comments below. She’ll drop in
periodically throughout the day to answer anything she finds down there,
leaving her answers in the comments, too. We’ll wrap things up at 6:00 p.m. EST
(or 3:00 p.m. PST), so don’t dilly-dally!