Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 9, 2020

Agent of the Month: Jennifer Herrington – Interview Part One

Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Agency

Jennifer Herrington started her career on the editorial side of publishing with Kensington Books Publishing’s Lyrical Press imprint and an internship with Entangled Publishing. She’s also worked as a freelance editor for independent authors. After an internship at a New York agency, she joined the Harvey Klinger Agency in 2020. Jennifer graduated with a diploma in Radio & Television Broadcasting and recently completed her Publishing Certificate with a designation in children’s literature at Ryerson University.

Jennifer is currently building her list and is interested in representing middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. She’s especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices in the mentioned categories. Jennifer lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, three sons, and two dogs.

Currently Seeking

I am looking for character and voice-driven books that I connect with on an emotional level. I want a book that makes me laugh or cry and extra points for both!

ACTIVELY SEEKING PROJECTS IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

FICTION:

  • Commercial
  • Literary
  • Romance (all genres including SFF)
  • Women’s Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Middle Grade
  • Young Adult
  • Graphic Novels

In middle grade fiction I’d like to see:

  • Contemporary stories that deal with tough and realistic issues kids are facing today.
  • Stories that feature humor and adventure.
  • Paranormal, fantasy (except high fantasy), mystery, horror, and graphic novels are also of special interest.

In YA fiction I’d like to see:

  • Feel-good contemporary and contemporary romance.
  • Paranormals with strong world building and an interesting twist in vamps, wolves, or witches.
  • Romantic comedy.
  • Mystery series featuring a YA detective.
  • Sci-fi, fantasy (except high fantasy), horror, and graphic novels are also of special interest.

In adult fiction I’d like to see:

  • Romance with a fresh twist on trope-driven plots includes best friend’s little sister/brother, enemies to lovers, friends to lover, etc. I like sweet to spicy.
  • A strong sports romance (would love a heroine athlete!) or a sexy cowboy.
  • Dark paranormal romances with gritty vamps, wolves, or witches. Think outside the box for world building.
  • Romantic comedy with snarky protagonists and hilarious plot lines.
  • Romantic suspense with equal parts steamy as action.
  • Mysteries, thrillers, and suspense that keep me up all night.
  • Sci-fi and fantasy with romance threads are also welcome.

How to Submit

Please submit your query letter, synopsis, and first five pages of your manuscript to my QueryManager account. https://querymanager.com/query/JenniferHerrington.

 

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HERE IS PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER:

Interview with Jennifer Herrington – October 2020 Featured Agent

 

When did you know that you wanted to become an agent?

I always knew I wanted to do something in the publishing industry, but I didn’t really know what. I was that kid with her nose stuck in a book or carrying around a notepad writing a story. I spent years studying the craft of writing as a writer. When an opportunity to intern at Entangled Publishing came up, that’s when I discovered my love for the editorial side of publishing. I love studying books and finding ways to strengthen plots and characters. I’m always looking to learn and grow, so I immediately applied when I spotted an internship opening for a NY agency. I knew from the moment I spoke with the intern coordinator that I had found my calling. I was inspired by her words, excitement for her clients, and her love for the industry. Since that day, it has been my goal to become the best agent I can be. I want to continue to learn and grow.

Do you think working at Kensington Books Publishing’s Lyrical Press imprint and your internship with Entangled Publishing has helped you as an agent?

I believe working at Lyrical Press and interning with Entangled Publishing has helped me as an agent. Before I started the internship with Entangled, I had no idea what the publishing world looked like. There is much more than just writing a book and sending it to an editor to publish. I learned by reading queries and requests what make a book great or not so great through my internship. I learned to look at the craft elements and how we could make the book better. It wasn’t until I started at Lyrical Press that I even saw the business part of publishing. By pitching submissions to my managing editor and finding a book that was a good fit for the current market and their imprint, I discovered how things work. As an agent, I feel both the editorial and business side are important, so I’m happy I had some background before becoming an associate agent.

Are you able to visit New York editors, even though you live in Canada? Of course, I don’t think any agents are traveling around to visit agents this year.

At the moment, I wouldn’t be able to visit New York editors, but in the future, I’d love to attend conferences and meet publishing professionals. For now, I’m content with connecting with publishing professionals via phone or webinar chats.

How did you get the job with Harvey Klinger Agency, and long have you been with them?

My ten-month internship with a NY agency had just ended, and I was looking for an associate agent position. A friend of mine heard the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency was looking to add a new agent, so I reached out. I was beyond excited when I received the offer to become an associate agent at the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. I’ve been with the agency since the middle of July.

Do you have a limit on the number of clients you will represent?

I don’t have a limit on the number of clients I’m planning on representing. I want to make sure I can give each client the attention they deserve. A very wise and well-respected agent told me it’s the quality of the clients versus the quantity. I don’t worry about the numbers. I look for books I love and authors I connect with.

Any story or themes you wish someone would submit?

I would love stories that make me laugh. I’m on the hunt for a rom-com or humor mixed with some of the generally more serious genres like fantasy or even horror. I would also love a YA sleuth that solves mysteries. My first love was romance novels, so I am a sucker for a fresh spin on popular tropes.

Which do you lean more towards: Literary or Commercial?

I tend to lean more toward the commercial side of fiction over literary fiction. I do love literary fiction too, but I love commercial fiction just a little more.

Does Harvey Klinger have someone that promotes books with movie potential to Hollywood directors?

The Harvey Klinger Literary Agency works closely with a variety of film/tv agents as well as pitch projects directly to producers.

Do you think it is better for an author to focus on one age group and genre?

This is a tricky question, and each agent has a different view on this. For me, it’s difficult to box authors into one age group and/or genre. I don’t want to stifle an author’s creativity or dream of being published in different genres or age groups. I do think the author has to consider the brand they’ve built. If an author sells in one age group and/or genre, they should continue in that set for branding. I think it’s possible once a readership is built to explore expanding.

If you had an MG or YA author who writes a picture book, would you represent them with the book, pass it on to someone else in your company, or tell them they will need to find another agent for that book?

This is another tough question. I think this depends on each agent. I’d like to say I would seriously consider representing the picture book since I had already formed a relationship with the author. I’m fortunate to work with an experienced group of agents with different backgrounds, so I would look to the group for assistance. If I didn’t have a firm grasp of the picture book and the target market, I would recommend they reach out to other agents. I would want the author to have the best guidance and support for their picture book.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER.

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HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR SEPTEMBER 2020 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “SEPTEMBER 2020 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).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2020 September  – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

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: October23rd. – noon EST

RESULTS: October 30th.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing, Kathy. 🙂

    Like


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