Thursday, June 12, 2014

2 Agent Interview: Jessica Watterson

Hello! Lisa here with a BRAND NEW and AWESOME feature! We all know how important it is to do your research before querying, but finding the right agent to query isn't always easy. So we are going to be introducing some via short interviews. We start today with the lovely Jessica Watterson from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

JESSICA WATTERSON joined SDLA in late 2013, and currently assists Sandra Dijkstra and Elise Capron. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog which has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Jessica is most interested in adult and new adult romance, and women’s fiction. She is specifically not interested in children’s books, middle grade, poetry, religious and spiritual books, and non-fiction.

And YES, Jessica is open to YA submissions.

Jessica, what is on your wish list? 

I really would love to see some more historical romance in my inbox. I have always enjoyed historical romance novels so much and would love to represent the next big name in that genre. I would also love to see an NA reworking of ROBIN HOOD land in my inbox too.

That does sound like an awesome book! In your opinion, which is more crucial: emotional connection or current marketability? 

For me, definitely emotional connection. I’ve found that I will talk someone’s ears off about a book I emotionally connected to and be much more inclined to force someone to read it. I also feel that if an author is writing something that has meaning to them, that will ultimately translate to the reader and make it so much more memorable.

Why did you become an agent?

I’ve known pretty much since middle school that I wanted to do something in publishing, but I never really knew what I wanted to do. On a whim, I started a review blog while I was in college, when the self-publishing movement was really first starting to be noticed; and just getting to talk to authors that I had actually read books by was so surreal and liberating. It also gave me this epiphany that I wanted to be the person who really helps launch and guide an author’s career. That’s how my interest in agenting began, and as I discovered all of the work that a good agent does, I knew that I wanted to be one.

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

I live on coffee, but weirdly when I am reading queries I need to eat sour candy. Watermelon Sour Punch Straws are my particular favorite!

Jessica can be found on Twitter where she rambles about random interests and gives submission and pub tips. Her handle is @jesswatterson


  1. Great interview! It cracks me up that Jessica likes eating sour candy while reading queries. I wonder what that means?????

    I adore historical romance. Nice to know agents still seek it.

  2. Very nice interview. Unfortunately, I think I write a little young for her. Thanks for posting this though.


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