Thursday, November 12, 2015

1 Agent Jen Hunt of the Booker Albert Literary Agency on Setting Trends, Character Building, and Rosebud Teacups

Jen Hunt graduated from the University of Reno, Nevada with an English Literature degree and an
unholy fascination with Victorian literature, although contrary to popular belief, she doesn't wear a corset. She does drink way too much coffee and enjoys watching the BBC. Another remake of a Jane Austen classic? Game on! Also happens to be a huge Bioware fangirl - when she has enough time for gaming.

While Jen doesn’t want to limit herself, she is actively seeking

· Historicals – where the characters actually fit in the era. Historical romance, time travels, fantasy, inspirational, paranormal. (Nothing past the 1940s)

· Science Fiction – must include world building and well detailed environments. (Prefer a hint of romance)
· Fantasy – same as above
· Steampunk/gaslight/ Dieselpunk - would also prefer some romantic element.
I will consider a YA in these areas but no sex, rape, or drug abuse (or abuse of any kind).

You can connect with Jen here: 

Twitter: @Jen_Corkill


Are you an editorial agent?

Yes. My background is in editing and I find I have pretty high standards even before I would consider sending out a manuscript to publishers. Why send out something right away when you can hone and tighten it up and send it out a few months later? If an author is looking for immediate turn around, I am not your girl. I like strong POVs, no head hopping, flushed out environments, and characters that feel real to me. I fear that is why I only have one client as of yet.

Coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, or any other vices?

How are any of those lovely nectars vices? Obsessions might be a better term to engage in this case. I have an industrial coffee pot and a cabinet full of tea. Usually, just to be decedent and posh, I roll out my tea set and fill the creamer and sugar jar. Why be bland? Everything tastes better in a rosebud tea cup, right?

Which is more crucial: emotional connection or current marketability?

I don't chase fashions. I will take on a project if I fall in love with an author's voice and vision. If your concept is in a bookstore, I don't want it. Anyone can follow trends. Why fit in? Set trends, shine brilliantly among the dull grays and browns.

Why did you become an agent?

I became an agent because previously, working as an Acquisitions Editor for a small publisher, I was a step in an author's journey. A notch in their post without breakfast the next morning. While I reveled in their later success, I eventually came to the conclusion I want to be with them every step of the way. I hope to be that friend that will encourage, push, scold, and inspire an author through the creative maelstrom.

Character, world, or plot?

Arg, you mean I have to pick just one? Is this a snog, marry, or push off a cliff game? Idealistically I want them all but for a reader to be pulled into a story, characters are the key. Why? They are the ones we relate to, fall in love with, strive to emulate, and despise with all our essence. Strong character building makes words jump off a page into our imaginations where they wake up early and make us cookies. Like many, I have fangirled over a literary character, wishing just for a split second they brew breath. Make them real and that's where the adventure truly begins.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for introducing us to Jen. Since I'm writing historical fiction, I'll save this post for when the time is right to query. Which, sigh, unfortunately is not yet!


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)