Sharon: Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an agent.
Jordy: A career in publishing has always been something that’s interested me, but as I’ve discovered, it’s a very competitive field, so I decided that I would love to discover new authors and help them achieve their publishing goals. I really wasn’t sure where to start, but a friend pointed me in the direction of Marisa Corivisiero’s blog. I emailed her with some questions, and she emailed me back asking if I’d be interested in helping her go through queries and submissions, learning from her in the process. Of course, I said yes! She is a complete doll. In March she opened her own agency, and it’s been an amazing experience working with the Corvisiero team!
Sharon: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to become an agent?
Jordy: Read. A lot! Know what is selling and what there is too much of in the current market. Keep a look out for internships on different job boards, such as the one on Publishers Marketplace or Bookjobs.com. Or visit different agency websites to find out if they have any opportunities currently available. Follow agents and agencies on Twitter and Facebook because they will often make announcements when they are looking for new blood.
Sharon: The question that every aspiring author is hanging out to know – what is on your submission wish list?
Jordy: I’m currently looking to acquire Adult, Young Adult/Middle Grade. I’m particularly interested in romance, especially historical (Regency) or paranormal. I would love to see more time travel and mythology in submissions. I’d also love to see more stories involving travel and competitions.
Sharon: You’ve talked about the importance of including character motivation in queries on your blog. What other key things should writers include in their queries?
Jordy: I would encourage writers to focus on hooking the agent. Your query is sort of like the blurb on the back of a book (other materials might be requested, so please make sure you always check guidelines before submitting). Grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Recently a number of agents participated in a pitch contest on Twitter: #PitMad. The authors did an absolutely amazing job at catching our attention in just the character limit. Because we receive so many submissions, we can usually tell within the first few sentences if it’s something we’d like to take a closer look at, so you have to make sure you stand out, and that we’ll remember your query.
Sharon: You also work as a freelance editor. How important is it for authors to take the plunge and get a professional to look over their manuscript before they submit?
Jordy: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to get your manuscript looked at professionally. But I would recommend finding Beta readers you trust, joining a critique group, or partnering with a writer friend. Also, proofread because I’ll often come across simple grammatical errors that probably would have been caught by double checking.
Sharon: In both your agenting and editing experience, what are the key mistakes authors are making with their stories?
Jordy: Many stories start with a strong hook, but then fail to grab the reader and make her want to keep reading. I look for stories that make me feel I am with the characters, part of the story and along for the ride. I am looking for an emotional connection with the characters and story—appeal to the readers emotions.
Sharon: Tell us a bit about the clients and stories you have signed so far?
Jordy: I love my clients! They are talented and sweet. The stories range from a Middle Grade fantasy and YA sci-fi to a witty contemporary romance.
Sharon: You call yourself a ‘book carnivore.’ What type of books do you like to devour when you’re not reading submissions?
Jordy: Paranormal romance and historical romances ( I love Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, J. R. Ward, Sabrina Jeffries and Teresa Medeiros). Young Adult titles, such as DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, Hunger Games, and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Unicorns or Dragons - Dragons
Time Travel or Super Powers – Time Travel
Drama or Comedy - Comedy
DVD or Cinema – Cinema
Hard Cover, Paperback or eBook - Hardback
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