Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 23, 2020

Agent of the Month – Interview Part three

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 THREE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER:

Interview with Jennifer Herrington – October 2020 Featured Agent
Have you ever represented a children’s book illustrator? Are you only interested in representing writer/illustrators?

I have not represented a children’s book illustrator. At this time, I’m focusing on representing writer/illustrator.

What is your typical response time to email/phone calls with your clients?

I try to answer as quickly as possible when a client wants to chat. If they email, it can take me a few hours, depending on the time of their email. If they need to get a hold of me quickly, then texting is their best option. I reply quickly. I try to put my phone away after dinner to spend time with my kids before bed.

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)? And how often do you communicate during the submission process?

I think email is the easiest way to communicate, but I’m always happy to jump on a phone call or a web chat too. It depends on the author and what their preference is. If we are working through edits, we might meet up a couple of times to work through revisions and polish the copy. Once the manuscript is out on submission, I will reach out as soon as I hear anything.

What happens if you don’t sell a book? Would you drop the writer if he or she wanted to self-publish a book you could not place?

If we don’t sell that book, then we move on to the next book. I don’t represent a book; I represent an author and an author’s career. When I offer representation to an author, I am looking for a long-term relationship. I’m not going to drop a writer if the book doesn’t sell, or they opt to self-publish. We can work together on their next book and get it ready to go out on submission.

How many editors would you go to before giving up on a manuscript?

I don’t think there is a specific number. I would keep shopping the manuscript until all respectable and reliable publishers are exhausted. There are a lot of great smaller presses out there that are looking for excellent books too. I wouldn’t just give up. The author and I would make this decision to stop submitting.

Would you ever send a manuscript to another agent at Harvey Klinger if it was good, but not your style?

Yes, I would absolutely send a manuscript to another agent at Harvey Klinger if it was good, but not my style.

What do you think of digital and audiobooks? Are they part of every sale these days?

Most publishers insist that digital be a part of every sale, and often audio as well. Where possible, though, we try to retain audio rights and sell those separately.

Do you see any new trends building in the industry?

A more experienced agent friend had said she thinks the pendulum is swinging back toward paranormal and urban/contemporary fantasy. She thinks thriller and horror, especially with subversive societal commentary, is growing. I’m also hearing there’s a move away from the darker and grittier stories and moving toward more light and fun, rom-com even in fantasy.

Any words of wisdom on how a writer can improve their writing, secure an agent, and get published?

I think the first step is to learn the craft. Take classes, find a critique partner or critique group, read books in your genre, and study them. Find out what makes those books great or what makes others not so great. I also think being well-read, especially in their genre, is essential to writers. Writers should have an understanding of what readers are looking for right now.

Also, ensure you have an excellent query package (pitch, query letter, synopsis, and writing sample). When an agent gives you some feedback, especially an R&R (revise and revision), consider that feedback and grow as an author.

If you love writing, then don’t ever give up. Keep learning and growing. Your time will come. J

Would you like to attend other conferences, workshops writer’s retreats?

I would love to attend conferences, workshops, and writer’s retreats in the future. I also enjoy attending online events. I love meeting new people and chatting about books.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your time and expertise with us. It was nice getting to know you through your interview.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR THE FIRST PAGE RESULTS WITH JENNIFER.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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