Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 13, 2020

November Agent of the Month – Brent Taylor

It is my pleasure to announce that Senior Agent Brent Taylor at Triada US is our Agent of the Month for November. Scroll to bottom to learn how to submit a first page for a chance to win a critique with Trent. 

Triada US was founded in 2004 by Dr. Uwe Stender. Since then, the agency has built a list of high quality fiction and non-fiction for readers of all ages. Brent is a senior literary agent and subsidiary rights manager at Triada US.

After years of interning in trade book publishing, Brent joined Triada US in 2014 to assist Uwe Stender while building his own list of fiction and non-fiction for readers aged 0-18. He was promoted to associate agent in November 2015, to agent in April 2017, and to senior agent in October 2020. In 2019, he was named a PW Star Watch Honoree. He is incredibly proud of his list—his clients’ books have won major awards, collected starred reviews, and hit the bestseller lists. In addition to his role as an agent, he manages the agency’s subsidiary rights, licensing audiobook and foreign rights to our titles around the world and attending international rights fairs.

Brent describes his reading tastes as upmarket: He’s passionate about books for young readers that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.

To see recent book deals he has brokered, visit his Publishers Marketplace page.

For more information about Brent and his list, visit his website or his Publishers Marketplace page. He focuses on books for kids and teens and describes his taste as upmarket: He falls in love with books that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.

Picture books: I am seeking picture book projects from authors and author-illustrators. My taste in this category covers a wide range: I love picture books that are fun and bonkers, as well as ones that are more literary. I’m open to fiction, non-fiction, and picture books in unusual formats or styles—verse, rhyme, comics, etc. Some of my favorite picture books are Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros and Julie Morstad, and The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito and Julia Kuo. Some of the picture books I’ve worked on include Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, Seven Bad Cats by Moe Bonneau, and The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil. Some forthcoming picture books on my list include Poultrygeist by Eric Geron, Big Wig by Jonathan Hillman, and I’ll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca. I’m looking for picture books with an energy that pops off the page, that kids have never seen before, and that will turn them into life-long readers.

Middle grade: My middle grade list covers first kisses, demon-slaying, water dragon races, magical baking competitions, and everything in between. I love a wide range of middle grade, and the best way to describe what I’m looking for is to tell you about my favorite middle grade novels: Keeper by Kathi Appelt, The Best Man by Richard Peck, Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhhà Lại, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Some of the middle grade projects I’ve worked on include the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series by New York Times-bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta, YALSA-ALA Excellence in Non-Fiction Award-winner Free Lunch by Rex Ogle, and Smoke and Mirrors and the Silver Batal series from K. D. Halbrook. Being between the ages of 8 and 12 is so difficult. Kids are on the cusp of what feels like a vast, overwhelming, and unwelcoming world. I want to represent middle grade that enlightens kids to all the love and joy that the world has to offer.

Young adult: Though I lean more toward realistic/contemporary fiction, my interests encompass high fantasy and lightly speculative projects too. I love YA that captures the dichotomies of being young—how, as a teen, you yearn for freedom, but at the same time it’s incredibly scary for so many parts of your life to be changing. My favorite YA novels are bittersweet, authentic portrayals of what it’s like to be figuring out who you are, what this world is, and how those two things fit in with one another. Some of my favorite YA novels are The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd, Dig by A. S. King, Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh, and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Neal Shusterman’s novels (particularly the Arc of a Scythe series) are a great example of the type of smart, commercial, and high-stakes YA that I love. Some YA novels I’m proud to have worked on include Whitney Gardner’s Schneider Family Book Award-winning You’re Welcome, Universe, 500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario, The Pursuit of Miss Heartbreak Hotel by Moe Bonneau, and Perfect Ten by L. Philips. I’m passionate about young adult fiction that helps teen readers discover, love, and live as their most authentic selves.

Graphic novels (for kids or teens): I’m open to both text-only graphic novel scripts and author-illustrated projects. My favorite graphic novels include The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks, and Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. Some of my graphic novel clients include Whitney Gardner, Tori Sharp, Rex Ogle, Bre Indigo, and Eric Gapstur.

Non-fiction (for kids or teens): I’d love to see all sorts of non-fiction in the categories that I represent, including but not limited to biographies, memoir, narrative, history, science, and how-to.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to brent@triadaus.com

Send your query letter and first ten pages pasted in the body of the message to brent [at] triadaus [dot] com. Put “Query” in the subject line

Vital Info

brent [at] triadaus [.] com
Website

HERE IS PART ONE OF MY INTERVIE WITH BRENT:

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

When I was a teenager, I started following my favorite YA authors online, and I would see them mention members of their publishing team (publicists, agents, etc.) on their websites and social media. So I became very curios—who were these people, and what role did they play in the publishing process? As I did my research, the agents’ job appealed to me the most because it was a perfect combination of creativity and entreprenurial spirit.

How did you get the job with Triada US and long have you been with them?

I did an internship with Uwe Stender, the president of our agency, in the summer of 2014. We got along so well, and he had so much faith in me, that he offered me a position as an agent that fall. I have been here ever since, for 6+ years. I love our team and this is my forever home.

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

No, I do not. I am always open to submissions and the possibility of falling in love with a new manuscript.

Any story or themes you think are overdone in the market?

No, I’m always open to reading a brand-new perspective or hearing from a new voice, and I think there’s a way to breathe a new life into common or overdone themes or topics.

Which do you lean more towards: Literary or Commercial?

This is a tough question because I love both. My final answer would be that my taste is 55% literary, 45% commercial. I love books with strong, commercial premises that are written beautifully and jam-packed with emotion.

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

It depends on the author and their interests. I have many clients who write and publish in a variety of genres and age categories—Whitney Gardner, Jason June, Rajani LaRocca, to name a few.

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

If the query communicates the premise of your book in a very clear and precise way, and the pages shine with voice, I’m all in!

What do you like to see in a submission? Heart—I want to get the feeling that the author’s writing is very important to them.

How important is the query letter?

Very important. If I read the query and can’t wrap my mind around the concept, I lose faith that the manuscript itself will be in strong shape.

*******

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

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

In the subject line, please write “NOVEMBER 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 November  – 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: November 24th. – noon EST

RESULTS: December 4th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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