Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2020

Agent of the Month – Interview Part Two

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.

*******

HERE IS PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER:

What do you like to see in a submission?

  • I like a strong query letter that gives me a glimpse of the author’s voice and personality. I think of it as a sneak peek into the author.
  • I love strong comparative titles. It shows me the author knows their genre and their book.
  • I find short, snappy, and engaging pitches will grab my attention, and it will leave me thinking about the book after I finish ready the writing sample.
  • An authentic and intriguing writing voice will pull me into the book and make me read more. I don’t have to love your character, but I need to understand your character.
  • I like to read a well-structured synopsis after reading the writing sample to give me a glimpse of the plot. I analyze the structure to see if it’s a good fit, especially the midpoint until the end.

How important is the query letter?

For me, the query letter is essential. It’s usually the first contact I have with an author. It’s the author’s first opportunity to grab my attention and make me want to read their query. I want to remember the author, and a well-written query letter is a great start.

Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more?

A strong writing sample is one of the best ways to get me to ask for more. I want to connect with the lead character from the first page—heck, from the opening line! I like a deep point of view that reels me in and makes me care about the character’s story immediately. An emotional connection with the character is huge for me. When I finish a writing sample, I want to need to keep reading.

Do you let people know when you are not interested in their submission?

Yes, I answer all queries. It sometimes takes me a few weeks, but I make sure I reach out to every author that submitted it to me via Query Manager. If an author emails me, I reach out and ask them to send their query to https://querymanager.com/query/JenniferHerrington

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

It can take 6-8 weeks for me to respond to the requested material. I would love to answer with a month, but at this point, I’m working toward under two months.

Any pet peeves?

My biggest pet peeve is when an author writes in the synopsis box to look at the query. The query and synopsis are two different things. The query gives me key details and a short blurb about the author. The synopsis shows me the structure of your book from beginning to end. I like to see both.

Also, please include the ending in the synopsis, even if it’s supposed to be a surprise. I need to know how the book ends, or I don’t usually request more.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

The common mistakes are starting the book in the wrong spot or opening with a cliché. I see many writers open their books with their characters waking up from a dream or staring in the mirror and describing themselves. I’m not saying that can’t work, but it’s tricky to get the opening to be fresh and engaging.

I also see writers not spend the necessary time on their pitch proposals—the pitch, the query letter, the synopsis, and the comparative titles. For many agents, these are just as important as the writing sample. There are times when I love the query package, and although the opening doesn’t quite grab me immediately, I’ll request because I want to see more outside of the opening pages.

What are your feelings about prologues?

I’m not usually a big fan of prologues, but some stories really do need them. I’m not too fond of it when prologues are used to dump information at the beginning of the story. I think, for the most part, the information in prologues can be woven through the book.

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog?

Yes, interested authors can check out my website https://www.jenniferherrington.com or my MSWL https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/jennifer-herrington/.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

I do give editorial feedback to my clients. I like to work with my clients to make their manuscript the best it can be before we start submitting to editors and publishers. I’m a hands-on kind of agent, and I love to edit.

*******

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 THREE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: