Thursday, November 5, 2015

0 Agent Sue Miller of Donaghy Literary Group on Simplicity, Tone, and Tiffany's!

Sue Miller comes to Donaghy Literary with enthusiasm and experience in the industry. She graduated with a degree in English Literature from York University in Toronto, as well as a certificate in publishing, from Ryerson University. Sue previously worked in children's publishing with Scholastic Canada. Upon connecting with publisher, Fernanda Viveiros, of Fidalgo Books, she was asked to host the Luso Reading Vox series at Dundas West Fest in Toronto. After spending time with these authors, she realized that representing an author and their work is exactly where she wanted her publishing career to be.

Sue began her career with DLG as an intern before moving into the role of Associate Agent. Prior to joining DLG, Sue interned for Bree Ogden during her time at the D4EO agency. She dabbles in writing and has edited short stories for other writers. An admitted social media junkie, Sue is always interested in the latest platforms for networking and relationship building within the industry. This led her to complete her Digital Marketing Management certificate from the University of Toronto. When it comes to her genre preferences, Sue is partial to romance, young adult, new adult and adult contemporary novels.

Sue is seeking new and exciting voices as she begins to build her client list.

She is excited to discover diverse new author voices.

And now the interview!

1. What is it about a manuscript that excites you?

A manuscript excites me when I see a fully realized main character arc and overall journey. Organic storytelling and characters are my favourite. Everything happens for a reason, not just to move the plot along. There is a difference here.

2. What is on your wish list?

I’m really craving YA books infused with diversity. Universal stories told from different perspectives.

My wish list includes YA, Contemporary Fiction, and Romance. (No thanks to anything historical).

3. What are some things you love to see in a query?

I like my queries to be simple - a paragraph (blurb) to introduce the project, and a paragraph about the author. Donaghy Literary Group additionally asks for a short synopsis, along with the first ten pages of the manuscript. The first ten pages are critical to the query because it allows us to see a sample of the writing. A good writer will set the tone of the overall book in these first 10 pages.

4. What are some of the worst things you've seen in a query?
The worst things I’ve seen are queries without the first 10 pages! Not reading our submissions guidelines and not reading about the agent your submitting to in order to make sure your manuscript is a good fit. Also, not knowing my name. I’ve received queries addressed to completely random names.

Lastly, long queries with grandiose ideas and sweeping generalizations that have me lost before I even read the actual query.

5. Character, world, or plot?

For the most part, I like my manuscripts to be character driven. Create your character along with the journey they are about to take, and you’ll see that the world and plot will follow. All three intertwine to create the magic of a great story.

6. Can you define voice for us?

Voice is the tone or writing style that is unique and identifiable to the author. It stands out. In an omniscient POV the “voice” of the novel is the author’s. When we get into a first person POV (which is popular in YA) the “voice” of the novel is synonymous with the protagonist’s “voice” along with the writing style of the author. In any scenario, the “voice” of the novel is critical to the experience and enjoyment of the reader.

For example, when I think of Rainbow Rowell, I immediately think of her distinct contemporary literary voice, which she is famous for.

7. What advice do you have for writers getting ready to query you?

Make sure your project is complete and has been edited by an editor. Keep your query as simple and to the point as possible. Impress me with your command of the English language in your project not your query. It must be to the point. Did I say to the point? Don’t forget to tell me where you are in your writing career. Have you been published? Are you a debut author? Both are equally important and interesting to me.

8. What genres are you drawn to most?

I love, love YA.

9. Why did you become an agent?

I became an agent, because while working with authors I realized that I could be a great advocate for emerging talent in the literary world. Discovering new projects and seeing them through the stages towards publishing is intoxicating. Interning at DLG solidified my decision to be an agent. I’m lucky to be a part of such a collaborative and intelligent business team!

10. Is there anything you'd like to add that you think our readers should know?

Fun fact: I worked at luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co., in my university days and saw some pretty amazing romantic situations happen. I would love to see a fresh romantic twist with Tiffany’s as a backdrop!

No comments:

Post a Comment

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