Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 27, 2017

Agent Looking for Clients – Victoria Marini

I am a literary agent with the Irene Goodman agency. I represent an eclectic list  including literary fiction, thriller/suspense, mystery, Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction (fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary), narrative non-fiction, and memoir. My clients range from bestsellers to debut novelists to graphic memoirists, and I am always eager for fiction and non-fiction that haunts me. For more information about my clients and what I am looking to represent, please check out the WHAT I’M INTO page of my website!

Formerly, I was a literary agent with the Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency / ICM Partners, before joining Irene Goodman in 2016. The Irene Goodman agency represents a wide range of  range of authors including international and national bestsellers, New York Times bestsellers, and several prize winners. Our Partnership with Film and Foreign co-agents provides our clients with the boutique services of a renowned independent agency and the powerful resources of one of the longest established agencies in New York.

GENRES I  REPRESENT : ADULT – Literary Fiction, Commercial Fiction (suspense, thriller, mystery, psychological, sci-fi) Women’s Commercial Fiction (suspense, romantic suspense, thriller, mystery, urban fantasy and light sci-fi). YOUNG ADULT – pretty much everything! Literary, voicey, character driven contemporary, heartwarming and funny,  dark, edgy and commercial, thrilles,, noirs, horror, light sci-fi/ fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, urban fantasy, suspense, mystery). MIDDLE GRADE – Fantasy / Adventure novels, sci-fi, coming-of-age humorous middle grade. NON-FICTION: I represent narrative non-fiction, memoir, and select humorous/pop-culture non-fiction.

GENRES I DON’T REPRESENT: In non-fiction, I am probably not the best bet for popular science, psychology, philosophy, religious/ new age/spirituality books. In fiction I tend to be unpersuaded by Picture Books, Erotica, New Adult, and Regency Romances.

I think of myself as a future-agent. I am in the business of managing authors’ careers.  I’m a saleswoman, a counselor, a consultant, a social net-worker, a marketer & branding assistant, a digital optimist, and whatever the changing market will require. I am collaborative and responsive. I believe in being professional, hard-working, and responsible.


The Bottom Line: I am looking for amazing stories. I am always interested in strong voice and authentic characters put into wonderful new worlds and/or compelling plots. A great premise will usually get my interest, the writing & the voice will will captivate me, and a great story will keep me reading! I tend to be drawn to tightly written, atmospheric stories that feel innovative. In my new role at the Irene Goodman Agency, I am also actively looking for literary or upmarket commercial suspense, thriller, mystery and drama. Whether supernatural or suspenseful or quietly sinister, I want gripping adult novels that I can’t put down.


In Adult fiction, my tastes run from up market literary and high concept. I am open to almost anything as long as there’s a great story to be told from literary fiction, to sweeping drama, to thrillers, sci-fi & fantasy, and edgy mysteries.  I am particularly drawn to high concepts grounded in younger voices like Karen Thompson Walker’s THE AGE OF MIRACLES,  Carol Rifka Brunt’s TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME, Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME or Robin Wasserman’s GIRLS ON FIRE. I love upmarket thriller/suspense novels like Tana French’s IN THE WOODS,  Flynn Berry’s UNDER THE HARROW, Ruth Ware’s IN A DARK DARK WOOD, Megan Abbott’s THE FEVER,  Emma Flint’s LITTLE DEATHS.  I also like well-written upmarket crime fiction and thrillers like John Connolly’s THE WOLF IN WINTER or Nicholas Petrie’s THE DRIFTER or David Swinson’s SECOND GIRL vein. I’m eagerly looking for under-represented cultures, stories and voices in adult as well as children’s literature and recently loved  MOTHERS by Brit Bennett, HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn and everything by Colson Whitehead.  I am very interested in domestic suspense, small town hysteria and atmospheric novels as well as novels that have a classic noir or gothic feel, with original appeal like Ruth Ware’s IN A DARK DARK WOOD, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, or Dennis Lehane’s GONE, BABY, GONE  or Daniel Woodrell’s WINTER’S BONE. I want a literary page turner like THE SECRET  HISTORY.  I’m also obsessed with tonal, creepy, gothic suspense like Shirley Jackson’s WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE . I am also looking for novels that deal with universal themes  with a hint of magic or in altered worlds like THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE by Aimee Bender or PRACTICAL MAGIC by Alice Hoffman,  and  STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. And I love historical with a strong premise and a sweeping sense of place like THE TIGER’S WIFE by Tea Obrecht or CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff. Some of my favorite authors in adult fiction are Tana French, Sarah Watters, Ruth Ware, John Connolly, Lyndsey Faye, Megan Abbott, Emma Flint, Richard Russo, Julianna Baggott, Erika Johansen, Colson Whitehead, Shirley Jackson, George Saunders, Charles Yu, Jennifer McMahon, Emily St. John Mandel, Cara Hoffman, John Irving and Laura Lippman.

In Young Adult fiction, I’m always on the lookout for heartfelt literary Contemporary novels with a great commercial hook and an indomitable voice a la Jennifer Mathieu’s THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE,  John Green’s PAPER TOWNS, Kate Hattemer’s THE VIGILANTE POETS OF SELWYN ACADEMY and Frank Portman’s KING DORK.  Again, I’m a sucker for a voicey, literary coming of age like Jandy Nelson’s I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and I adored Bonnie Sue Hitchock’s THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES. I also like dark, edgy and commercial YA like DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas, WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart and NOBODY BUT US by Kristen Halbrook. I am also open to big, splashy fantasy Marie Lu’s LEGEND, Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE, or Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES as well as big sci-fi like Beth Revis’s ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Kass Morgan’s THE 100. I’m also dying for YA thrillers and mysteries like NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinksi , NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano,  WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Tracy Bilen, CIRCLE OF SILENCE by Carol Tanzmen and THEN YOU WERE GONE by Lauren Strasnick.  I like gothic creepiness a la THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd or THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS by Sarah Jude. I like Heists and Cons a la Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY and Mary Elizabeth Summer’s TRUST ME I’M LYING.  Anything from Lauren Myracle to Meg Rosoff to Lauren Oliver to Beth Revis to Ally Carter to Elizabeth Wein, from the deep south to the northeast, to gravely serious or irreverently funny.  I also want a classic YA horror in the vein of Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike.

I love Middle Grade with an element of magic, like Neil Gaiman’s  CORALINE, Carolyn Carlson’s THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGUE OF PIRATES, M.P. Kozlowsky’s JUNIPER BERRY,  BREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu, BOUNDLESS by Kenneth Oppel, Ingrid Law’s SAVVY, Hannah Moskowitz’s ZOMBIE TAG, PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES by Jonathan Auxier,  and OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY  by Karen Foxlee, as well as traditional MG with fantastic characters and voice and literary storytelling like HOUR OF THE BEES, or Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME or PAX by Sarah Pennypacker, and I’m always in for an original concept, like Kiera Stewart’s FETCHING, or COLIN FISCHER by Ashley Edward Miller, and CAMO GIRL by Kekla Magoon.  I like adventure tales, goofy boy stories, a dash of scary.

I’m interested in: diversity in novels, being a little bit frightened, a game of cat and mouse, a truly original myth or fairy tale re-imagined, and unexpected mashups (Rapunzel … IN SPACE)

Bottom Line: I want great books!

I think the following things are pretty great:  clockwork, cyberpunks, steampunk, the space-time continuum,  love, forensics, mythology, covert operations, medicine, engineering, stars, nanotechnology, mysterious disappearances, weird science, awesome sidekicks, hackers, math geeks, spies, nerds, disguises, sexual tension, and all sorts of bits and bobs. I am also a big fan of diversity in literature and I am all about minority characters and authors!  I tweet about aforementioned bits and bobs, and divesity  at

If your query is ready please send the query letter and some sample chapters (chapters 1 -3 or the first 30 pages, whichever occurs first) in the body of the email to and make sure to include the word “query” somewhere in the subject line!  One thing to note: Any queries sent to any other e-mail address,  to the physical address, or with attachments will be deleted unread. Additionally, I do not take queries over the phone, so e-mail it will have to be, 

Now, you should receive an automated response confirming the receipt of the query! If you didn’t, please re-send and make sure you included “query” in the subject and that all the material is in the body of the email. If this still doesn’t work, just be patient. It’s likely you ended up the spam filter. Don’t worry! I check that, too.

If you did get the response! CONGRATULATIONS you’ve officially queried me! Exhale!

You can expect a response in about eight weeks. Sorry it takes so long, folks. I’m only one person and I get several hundred queries a month!

You will get a response no matter what, but I do use form rejections and I use batch replies. If you find form rejections or batch reply objectionable, perhaps another agent would be a better fit for you. Additionally, I ask that you query only one title at a time.

Still anxiously refreshing your inbox? You can check my twitter account where I regularly tweet query updates. You can also  come back to this page of the website because I issue a status update (see below) that will show you how up to date I am on my queries.

When to contact me: If it has been more than eight weeks and you have not heard back about your query or your requested manuscript, absolutely send me a friendly reminder! If I have reached or surpassed the date of your query (see below) and you have not heard back, give me a shout!  If you submitted your query to multiple agents and you get an offer of representation (Congratulations!) please inform me of the offer.  I get very sad when I read a wonderful sample, only to discover that it’s no longer available because you’ve already signed with someone else!  Obviously, I can’t enforce this, but I’d be very grateful if you’d do me the courtesy.


Please note, that while I have my wish list, some of my favorites have been the ones that came by surprise.

I acquire an eclectic list of Middle Grade, YA and Adult fiction as well as non-fiction, and I tend be convinced by strong characters, distinct voice, and great storytelling. I’m always looking for contemporary middle grade and YA that delves into emotional territory with authenticity. Fantasy middle grade with an incredible world and strong characters. I love unique retellings of classic myths, novels, and plays in YA and Adult. YA and MG historical fantasy. I’m a sucker for under-represented places and times; Ireland. The 80’s. etc.  I’m looking for authentic literary boy YA like WINGER or KING DORK. Novels with deep and long-term secrets and consequences like BITTERSWEET. Domestic suspense, small-town hysteria, and claustrophobic novels like WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE  or SO MUCH PRETTY.  A great YA gothic creeper like CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS or MADMAN’S DAUGHTER.  I am hungry for contemporary literary YA with a strong hook like SHINE or LIES WE TELL OURSELVES. I want Road trip novels, and magical realism. Essentially, I’m just looking for a book with a voice that won’t let me go and characters I miss when I’m done. My wish-list evolves often, and I tweet and write about it as much as I can.

Submission Guidelines
If your query is ready, please send the query letter and some sample chapters (chapters 1 -3 or the first 30 pages, whichever you reach first) in the body of the email to and make sure to include the word “query” somewhere in the subject line!  And one thing to note: Any queries sent to any other e-mail address or to the physical address will be deleted unread.


  1. Wow, what an amazingly thorough breakdown of a wishlist! 😀 😀 😀 Thank you, Victoria (and Kathy)! 😀


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