Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 18, 2022

March Agent of the Month – Lauren Spieller Interview – Part Two

MARCH AGENT OF THE MONTH – LAUREN SPIELLER AT TRIADAUS LITERARY

Literary Agent Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye and is passionate about author advocacy. Lauren is seeking Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult fiction, as well as platform-driven non-fiction. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about representing diverse and underrepresented voices.

Middle Grade: Lauren is looking for high concept contemporaries, magical fantasy and kid-friendly sci-fi, exciting historical, and spooky horror! She’d also love to find a MG graphic novel, especially if it’s set in our real world. A few favorites: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, King and the Dragonflies, The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jonathan Auxier, Kelly Barnhill, and Natalie Lloyd.

Young Adult: Lauren is especially drawn to books with a strong voice and a great hook. She loves fantasy (all types!), contemporary, suspense/thrillers, and horror. She is a sucker for a smart genre-bending tale, and would love to see more romcoms. A few favorites: The Wilder Girls, Female of the Species, Jenny Han, Maggie Stiefvater, Julie Murphy, Leah Johnson.

In Adult: Lauren is seeking female-driven suspense/ thrillers (The Lion’s Den, Lucy Foley, Gillian Flynn, Oyinkan Braithwaite), immersive, upmarket SFF (Mexican Gothic, Gideon the Ninth, The Vanished Birds, Jade CityThe Ten Thousand Doors of January). She is also seeking hilarious RomComs (Dial A For Aunties, The Hating Game, and Red, White and Royal Blue), and unique non-fiction with an existing platform (Ijeoma Oluo, Jenny Lawson, Lindsey West).

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INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN – PART TWO:

In case you missed this: I have repeated the first question below from last week, since I feel it is something you might want to save and refer to when you write a query letter.

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

I actually wrote a two-part blog post about querying back when I was an intern! The second part is here, and focuses on pitching your novel: https://www.laurenspieller.com/2012/11/29/the-dreaded-novel-summary-and-prizes/

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

Yes, always. As long as I am open to queries, I respond to every single one.

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

It depends on how busy I am but typically between 30 to 90 days.

Do you have any pet peeves?

People who talk loudly on cell phones at restaurants. 😉 But in querying? Probably when authors submit projects only to pull them a few weeks later when they realize they weren’t finished revising. Sometimes we are struck by brilliant ideas and that’s OK, but often times I think people are are in a hurry to query and they rush to do it before their books are truly ready.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

Starting their books in the wrong place—either too early or too late.

What are your feelings about prologues?

They are fantastic, but only if you absolutely need one/earn one. If they are being used as a shortcut to backstory then that will stand out from a mile away.

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

My wish list is on the Agency website and on manuscriptwishlist.com. I also regularly tweet about things I am looking for.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

Yes, always.

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)?

It depends on what we are discussing, but usually email because it’s faster.

Once you submit a manuscript to a publisher, how often do you communicate with your client during the submission process?

We talk before the book goes on submission and I let them know when we have a sale. Some clients also want to be updated as rejections come in so I do that as well. Clients are also always welcome to check in for an update.

What happens if you don’t sell a book and the author wants to self-publish a book? Would you be okay with that?

It’s not up for me to decide what an author does with their book, but we would first have a conversation about what is best for the author and their career going forward. Sometimes that means self publishing and sometimes it doesn’t.

Do you seek help from other agents at your agency to get suggestions on editors and/or publishers to submit to for the clients you sign up to represent?

All the time! We are very collaborative.

Would you ever send a manuscript to another agent at the TriadaUS Literary Agency if it was good, but not what you want to represent?

Yep!

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

Almost always.

Do you handle your own foreign/film rights contracts or does your firm have someone else who handles those contracts?

We handle them, but work with co-agents abroad who know their territories best.

Do you see any new trends building in the industry?

Editorially we are seeing a resurgence of vampires. In terms of the way people are buying and marketing books, more than ever there is focus on “big books” that I worry leaves the mid list (and authors of color) behind.

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

Read voraciously in your genre and seek out critique partners that will push you to become your best writing self.

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

I would! I’m always interested in meeting new writers! It’s the best part of my job.

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CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR FOUR FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thanks for the news, Kathy.

    Like


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