Continuing her sold-out appearance at my blog, please put your hands together and give a big shout out for Caren Johnson, my agent extraordinaire (Come on now! A little louder! I can’t hear you yet!)
I met Caren nearly three years ago when she was recommended by a mutual friend and together we have sold . . . drum roll please . . . 13 assorted books and novellas!!!
Feel free to ask her questions since she will be popping in through out the rest of the week.
Caren — many thanks for stopping by.
So now, without any more delay from lil’ ol’ me, here’s Caren!
If you have any questions, please post them as a comment to this blog! Thanks!
There were a few questions about what I’m interested in and one where someone asked me to elaborate on my tastes. I know this isn’t something you want to hear, but I want to put a warning at the very top of this message.
Just b/c it seems like I like one type of book doesn’t mean I’m going to immediately scoop up one that is just like it. That means if I say I like (for example) Gone with the Wind and someone writes to me and says not only did they love GwtW as much as I did, but there book is just like it, I’m probably not going to take another look. Why? B/c we already have GwtW. Why would we need another? Now if someone tells me they have a Latino version of GwtW or a version that tells the real story of Melanie (was she really that nice or was she quietly planning to murder Scarlet in her sleep), then I’d take another look.
I like romance, esp. romantic comedy, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and historical romance. If you’re submitting any type of romance to me, make sure it’s high concept. Please don’t send category targeted book or category stories written longer. You have as much chance as I do getting yourself into category (bet they don’t tell you that in the rules). While the category houses do work with agents, they also work directly with authors.
Take advantage of that. Now if you have a career where you write 3 or more category novels a year and want to push up to the next level in the category house, then write to me. I can manage a career and see if they’re treating you right.
I like mystery, but I think of it more in the veins of the TV shows I watch than the books I read. I think the cozy market is absolutely saturated.
Therefore I’m staying away from these for the moment until it has a wonderful hook. I want mystery in the vein of Monk (OCD detective? Genius, I say), Psych (hyper aware guy pretending to be a psychic; hilarious), Homicide (I loved that show when it was on; I’m not sure how it would translate into book form, but thought I’d throw it out there) and Alias (girls who kick ass; not really mystery, but more action adventure. I think it could work in with a mystery plot weaved in).
Commercial fiction/women’s fiction with big sweeping stories and interesting characters. Some of the ones I’ve liked were The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber, A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards, The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd, Little Children, by Tom Perotta, The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls and My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. These are stories that I really enjoyed and I’d like to see a few that can keep pace with them in my list.
I like narrative nonfiction because a lot of times it reads like good fiction, but everything is accurate to the writer’s knowledge. A few books I really liked were Medici Money, by Tim Parks, They Call Me Naughty Lola, by David Rose, The Discomfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen, The Little Book of Plagiarism, by Richard Posner, and An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore.
That’s my elaborate list. Hope this helps.