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.
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-- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers