Friday, April 22, 2016

0 Agent Interview with Rachel Burkot of Holloway Literary

We are thrilled to welcome agent Rachel Burkot with Holloway Literary. Rachel is fairly new to agenting, but not to publishing. She worked for six years as an editor acquiring romance, and is now using her knowledge and skills to advocate for her authors. In reading another interview, I'm happy to see she's also a Harry Potter fan! Rachel's here to share with us what she's looking for right now.

1. What is it about a manuscript that excites you?
Feeling as though I've found a unique voice; fresh writing; compelling characters and engaging storyline; when I can't stop reading; flawed, realistic, three-dimensional characters that are so lifelike you feel like you could run into them in real life.

2. What is on your wish list? 
Some of my favorite authors are Emily Giffin, Diane Chamberlain, Liane Moriarty, Gillian Flynn, Kristan Higgins, Nicholas Sparks, John Green...I'd love to find authors in any of these veins. I'm looking for any of these: deep women's fiction; laugh-out-loud contemporary romance; tearjerker, star-crossed lover stories; psychological thrillers a la Girl on the Train or Gone Girl; intense character studies; coming-of-age literary or YA novels; powerful YA books that give you all the feelings; Southern fiction; urban fiction.

3. What are some things you love to see in a query?
I like to see what I call the book's "demographics" in the first paragraph: title, genre, word count, any comp titles (i.e., X meets X). I like the second paragraph to be a brief teaser of the plot and characters, and paragraph three to give any relevant background/personal info on the author. That's my ideal query!

4. Are you an editorial agent? 
I was an editor for almost 6 years, so yes, I'm definitely an editorial agent. I like to get the story in the strongest shape possible before submitting to an editor, because that gives it the best shot to sell. So if I read a story and have ideas for how to improve on characters, plot or just general writing, I'll make these suggestions to the author at an early stage.

Rachel Burkot
Rachel Burkot has been in the publishing industry since 2009. She got her start as an intern at two literary agencies, reading mostly young adult and thrillers. She then worked as an editor in the romance business, acquiring category romance, contemporary romance and women's fiction. She has decided to transition her skills to the agent world in order to be an advocate and champion for her authors because she loves finding new talent and helping authors' dreams of publication come true. Rachel’s career highlights include helping her authors achieve prestigious romance book nominations and two selective awards, including the National Readers Choice Award, and several top reviews in Romantic Times magazine for her books.

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 -- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers

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