Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 14, 2019

June Agent of the Month – Interview with Connor Eck

I’m delighted to introduce Connor Eck, an agent with Lucinda Literary who is actively building an eclectic list in the children’s genre. He is June’s AGENT OF THE MONTH.

CONNOR ECK – AGENT AT LUCINDA LITERARY:

Connor Eck represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, picture books, memoir, business, sports, and narrative nonfiction. Connor looks for fresh voices, unforgettable characters, tightly constructed plot, and thematic storytelling. In nonfiction, he is drawn to powerful narratives that challenge the status quo or ask big questions, original thinkers, and authors with strong platforms.

A sample of books Connor has represented include: YOU BE MOMMY, a picture book in which a tuckered out mother asks her child to “be mommy” at bedtime, and the sequel YOU BE DADDY (Macmillan); BE STRAIGHT WITH ME, a young adult book-in-verse exploring how the author and her male gay best friend unexpectedly fell in love in college (Andrews McMeel); LIFE IS SHORT & SO AM I, the memoir of a little person’s improbable journey to, through, and beyond WWE (ECW Press).

Connor has a passion for writing, nurturing literary talent, and for bolstering the careers of his fellow writers. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Union College. To query Connor directly, email connor@lucindaliterary.com

Here is more about Lucinda Literary:

Lucinda Literary is one of very few hybrid literary, marketing, and lecture agencies for authors. We represent books across categories, but specialize in “ideas” or “big think” books that look to change the way people work, behave, and live. Most often, our clients come to us already well-known in their fields as original thinkers or voices—they are business leaders, scientists, or bring a strong media or online profile.

But sometimes, there is just a great title concept. Or a great story that requires a professional writer. We help develop books from the ground up.

Lucinda Literary selectively represents fiction. We primarily look for voice-driven, emotionally raw, and often unconventionally told novels for adults and young adults. In children’s books, we look for stories that transport us and break new ground, much in the way our adult books do.

Bringing a background in marketing, and publicity relationships to every project we represent, we are strategists and advocates not just for the books, but for the entire careers, of our authors. We do not take on a high volume of clients by design, which allows us to be hands-on, attentive, and editorially invested.

Lucinda Literary has worked with all of the major publishers and more, including:

  • PenguinRandomHouse
  • HarperCollins
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Hachette Book Group
  • Macmillan
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hay House
  • McGraw-Hill
  • Scholastic
  • Amazon

1. What made you decide you wanted to be a literary agent?

I always knew I wanted to do ‘something’ where I could impact storytelling. When I landed with Lucinda Literary, it just felt right.

2. How did you find the job as agent with Lucinda Literary?

Hello, bookjobs.com! And thank you to our president, Lucinda Blumenfeld, for taking a chance on me.

3. Do you work out of the New York City office?

Indeed, with a book mountain on my desk.

4. It looks like you are open to all types of books. Do you have a favorite genre?

This is correct. Hmm… I like all the flavors. Can I plead the fifth?! Okay, if I absolutely had to choose, I’d say that recently I’ve been obsessed with picture books. This might have something to do with the arrival of color interiors for Karla Clark’s YOU BE MOMMY. I can’t wait for Karla’s debut next March—she’s in excellent hands with Feiwel & Friends! It’s a heartwarming role reversal story where daughter becomes mommy at bedtime—and Zoe Persico’s illustrations are utterly gorgeous.

5. Do you have a goal for how many new clients you would like to represent?

I don’t have a specific number in mind. I like to work with good people (criteria #1) who are good writers (criteria #2) who have good stories to tell (criteria #2a). As many of those as I can find without compromising author care.

6. When a writer send a query, would you like to see a few sample pages of their manuscript and maybe a synopsis?

At least the first chapter. I tend not to request pages when a writer submits only a synopsis.

7. What are you feelings about manuscripts with prologues? Should an author avoid at all costs?

I think a book should stand alone without one. If the prologue isn’t killer, axe it.

8. What would you like to see in the query letter? Should writers try to keep it short?

I would like to see brevity. The best query letters are less than 500 words. They include a log line, synopsis, themes stated, marketing pitch, and author bio. Writers should assemble beta readers for query letters as they do with manuscripts!

9. Should the word count for your manuscript be included in the query letter?

Yes, please!

10. Do you like comps mentioned in the query letter?

That would be a nice touch if the comps are immediately recognizable. Ideally these are books that have sold well or found critical success. If not, you’re better off not including comps.

11. Would you have an example of a good query letter to help writers?

I wish! Though I’ve seen many strong query letters, I’m not at liberty to disclose those—so sorry!

12. Have you ever thought about representing an illustrator or do they have to also write?

Have I ever! I would LOVE to represent illustrators. As of 2019, I’m on the lookout. They don’t have to write, but that’s a plus.

13. Do you think it is possible to sell a graphic novel that isn’t illustrated?

Yes.

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR JUNE 2019 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “JUNE FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED! Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.

Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: June 20th.

RESULTS: June 28th.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR the first page results and CONNOR’s comments..

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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