Special Guest Blogger – Caren Johnson

We’ve got something special this week! Literary Agent Caren Johnson (my agent FYI), will be blogging with us all this week. Here’s a chance for all you pre-published authors or anyone who has wondered how this publishing biz works to ask.

Here’s some info about Caren:

  • Caren Johnson recently began her own literary agency, Caren Johnson Literary Agency. She began her agenting career four and a half years ago when she started an internship at Peter Rubie Literary Agency. She stayed at the agency for three years, the first year as an intern and two years as an agent. She then left to join Nadia Cornier at Firebrand Literary where she stayed for a year. She recently made the switch to agenting on her own so she could work more closely with her authors in building their careers. She would like well organized, well crafted stories in the areas of romance (particularly romantic comedy in the vein of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jenny Cruisie and Kelley St. John; and historical in the vein of Susan Carroll, Diana Gabaldon, and Lauren Willig—high concept only please!), Teen fiction (in the vein of Caridad Ferrer/ Adios to My Old Life, Scott Westerfeld/ Uglies Trilogy) and commercial fiction (in the vein of Christopher Moore/A Dirty Job, Carl Hiaassen/ Nature Girl). For the moment she’s full up with wonderful paranormal romance (Caridad Pineiro, Lee Roland) and romantic suspense (Caridad Pineiro, Dianna Love Snell) authors so if an author submits in this genre, she will be more critical than she normally is. She is only accepting queries via email so send to caren@carenjohnson.com.
  • FYI — We’ll have Stacy Boyd, my editor at Harlequin, guest blogging the week of Feb 5! More on Stacy to follow.

    I’m also lining up some other editors and agents to join us during the rest of the year.

    13 thoughts on “Special Guest Blogger – Caren Johnson”

    1. Paranormal Trends:
      I think editors are moving away from vampires, witches and werewolves. They’re looking for different premises. Just a look at some publishers marketplace deals show incubi, shapeshifters (not necessarily werewolves), and ghosts. Readers want new and exciting characters, not the same BtVS/Dark Shadows/Anita Blake handling of paranormal romance (and the case could be made that even Laurell K. Hamilton has changed her style so radicallly that it shifts the focus of the genre).
      Look at movies like Underworld and X-Men (both based on comics, I believe). I think people want new kinds of premises, but with the love story/romance at the center that follows the formula of girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy, end.
      Hope this helps,
      Caren J.

    2. I was wondering if you could expand more on the genre’s you represent and what you’re looking for.

      Do you represent erotic romance and erotic fiction? Also do you handle novellas?

    3. Hi Caren

      I’m curious. You are more critical of paranormal romances but what about fantasy romances? Do you catagorize those in the same genre?



    4. I have a romantic suspense, nine book series that has sparked alot of interest among readers. The first 2 books were previously published in ebook, the remaining 7 books aren’t 100% polished, etc., as yet, but 80% written.
      What would your advice be, steps to take at this point? Should I complete all 9 books and market them together, or should I only offer the first 2 books and let an agent/publisher proceed as they see fit, asking about the other titles in this series?
      Would an agent want all nine books outlined, or just the first 2?

      Thank you

      Live, Love, Laugh
      Kacey Hammell

    5. Hi. Just wondering what kind of historical romances interest you and what type you’d turn down flat.
      Thanks in advance,

    6. Since I’m getting ready to start “shopping” my romantic suspense manuscript to agents…

      My question is: What would it take for a romantic suspense query to stand out enough for you to request more material?


    7. Impressive! I can’t think of questions but if Caren is guest blogging maybe she could tell us about how things work in the publishing biz. Hand her the mic, Caridad. *g*

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