Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 19, 2021

November Agent of the Month – Claire Anderson-Wheeler – Interview Part Two

November’s Agent of the Month

Claire Anderson-Wheeler at Regal Hoffmann & Associates

Claire Anderson-Wheeler started her career at the Christine Green Authors’ Agency in London in 2008, before crossing the pond to New York. She has been at Regal Hoffmann & Associates (RHA) since 2013. Claire has a Law degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK. Claire is Irish, was born in DC, and grew up in Dublin, Geneva, and Brussels.

She’s currently seeking MG and YA fiction, be it fantasy, historical, contemporary, or a mash-up – so long as it is challenging, emotionally sophisticated, and sincere. #OwnVoices manuscripts by BIPOC writers are particularly welcome.

Claire loves a story arc, no matter the genre. In terms of the fiction side, there is little she would reject out of hand, but there are certainly some genres she is less likely to go for. Example: Horror has never been her thing; nor has romance. 

She likes some fantasy, and some sci-fi. As with any other genre, though, the story has to feel original.  She, also likes books where there’s a little bit of fatalism, and some really interesting characters. 

She is seeking: YA or MG with a strong voice (realistic or high-concept).

FICTION GENRES

Middle Grade
Young Adult

SPECIAL INTERESTS

  • Enjoys historical and crime elements in YA
  • Likes alt-historical fantasy and smart mash-ups

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • No paper submissions accepted currently
  • Email: query and please feel free to attach the first 3 chapters/6000 words as a Word file

How to submit: Please email your query letter, attaching a full synopsis (i.e. please include spoilers) and the first three chapters (6000 words) as MS Word documents.

To submit to Claire, please email claire@rhaliterary.com.

*******

PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE:

Would you have a sample of a good query letter or a link to one you saw on the Internet?

I would not find it appropriate to share someone else’s query letter with you without their express permission, but Nathan Bransford has obtained permission from an author called Emily Conrad to share hers online, and I agree with Nathan’s assessment that it’s a good query letter. You can easily find it by searching for those names online.

Do you have any tips on how to find comps of book to use in a query letter?

I think the best way to find good comps is to read a lot. Read books that have been recently published, like in the last three years, and read books that are in your genre and are speaking to the same themes and ideas that you were speaking to. You can use Amazon or similar sites to browse for inspiration.13. Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more? I don’t think there are any shortcuts to this. I think the work just has to be good enough, and also a good enough fit for a particular agent.

Will you let people know if you are not interested in their submission?

Per our website, unfortunately since some years ago our agency has had to change its policies and only notify people if we are interested in following up in their submissions. I’d love it to be otherwise, but we simply don’t have the available staff and extra time required to get back to the huge volume of people who contact us.

After you request more of a book, how long do you think it will take to respond?

It takes different lengths of time depending on how much I have on my plate, both in terms of personal life and obviously in terms of my reading list. If I’ve asked for a full manuscript I aim to get back to someone in a couple of months. I am sure there have been various occasions where it has gone longer than that. I also think it’s OK for an author to ask, once an agent has expressed interest in seeing the full manuscript, for a ballpark estimate of when they can expect to hear back.

Do you have any pet peeves, yet?

I think my biggest pet peeve is being addressed as “Mr.”

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

I think we’re all just trying to learn and to become the best artists and creatives that we can be. I guess one thing I can point to is, it’s important to know where your book should actually begin. Sometimes writers take a while to “warm up”, and the beginning can actually read a little flat the first few chapters can actually read a little flat. I would encourage authors to think about whether they are opening the book into a tone and atmosphere that is already fully engaged with the story and has the power to keep their reader interested.

What are your feelings about prologues?

I don’t hate prologues. I know some people do. I think–a bit like my comment above about where a book begins–the important thing is to consider why the prologue is there, and whether it’s necessary. If it feels self-indulgent, or like a shortcut to provide an information that’s best provided elsewhere, then it should go.

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

I don’t have a blog. It’s a nice idea but I just don’t have time for it

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

I give a lot of editorial feedback to my clients. That’s part of what I’m here for!

*******

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR NOVEMBER 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “NOVEMBER 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, 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 2021 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. Sending it to my hotmail account will probably keep me from seeing it and including you in the running.

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 23rd. – noon EST

RESULTS: DECEMBER 3rd.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Like


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