She is looking for all types of kid lit: picture books, middle grade, and young adult. You can read more about her here, see her submission guidelines there, and see her recent deals here. And you can always follow her on Twitter @Lara_Perkins. Her answers are below in bold.
Lara on Agenting
- When writers query me, I really wish ... I hope they've taken a look at my interests and tastes, which can be found on our agency website (www.andreabrownlit.com)--and in blog interviews like this one. I always feel bad for the author when I receive a query that is clearly not going to be a good fit for me, and the author would have known this with a quick look at my bio on our website.
- My favorite part about being an agent is ... The moment when fall in love with a new manuscript, when I get that electric charge of "oh, wow, this is cool," and even though it's just me alone at my desk with the pages, I can picture an editor, a bookseller, a reader hopefully seeing what I see and falling in love, too. That charge is addictive.
- Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is ... Relatable, flawed, mistake-prone characters, who are funny, smart, and goodhearted but struggling with complicated situations and emotions. A voice that manages to be both funny and insightful--and even lyrical or poetic. I'm a sucker for romantic tension, especially when it is complicated, dark, and laced with tragedy--think WUTHERING HEIGHTS or REBECCA.
I also love work that strives to engage honestly (raising questions rather than answering them) with the most challenging, uncertain, thorny issues kids are facing, regardless of genre. I love a good mystery when it is solidly grounded in reality with believable, memorable characters. I always get a kick out of unreliable narrators done well, and I love projects of any genre that are page turning but have a literary edge.
- Whenever I make a book deal, I ... Celebrate by going to my local bookstore and buying a new book. Good karma!
- I really wish I saw more mysteries and thrillers with truly unexpected twists or revelations in the slush. I'm pretty tough to surprise, so when a twist does surprise me and is well set up, it wins me over completely. Projects like this are definitely not a dime a dozen, but I would love to see more work in this vein. I'm greedy, though--I'd love to see more of all the types of work I mentioned above!
- My ideal client would be ...Professional, passionate, thoughtful, and dedicated.
- What I love most about my current clientele is ... I'm lucky to work with authors and illustrators who fit the description above perfectly. As a group, they are talented, hardworking, and always looking for opportunities to grow or challenge themselves. They're pretty darn inspiring, actually.
- What I want most for any client is ... To be published well, with the right editor match, house support, and a solid plan for reaching and building their readership. Once the title is released, my fingers are crossed for great word-of-mouth to bring as many readers to the book as possible!
Lara On Life
- If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be ... An architect. I was working towards my masters in architecture when I took a leave of absence to dip my toe into publishing and academia. I was so happy to have literature play a central role in my life again, so I never went back, but I still enjoy architecture and design as a hobby and, on the agenting side, I love working with author/illustrators.
- My favorite (non-client) book is ... Currently, Nancy Farmer's HOUSE OF THE SCORPION (though this changes week to week!). I finally read it for the first time recently, then immediately read it again, and then forced my husband to listen to the audiobook with me on a road trip. A great read/listen each time!
- Secretly, I'm terrified of ... Small underground spaces. Spelunking is for crazy people in my opinion, and visiting a former California gold mine as a six year old was my nightmare come true. I lasted five minutes and then fainted, mostly to make sure my parents got the message and never took me anywhere like that again.
- My secret boyfriend is ... Declan from Emily Martin's THIS SIDE OF INFINITY, forthcoming with Simon Pulse in Spring 2016. I know. I'm the worst. It's a client book AND it hasn't been released yet, but I can't help myself. He's funny, kind, flawed, and always makes my heart skip a beat.
- I have a total girlcrush on ... Puck Connolly from Maggie Stiefvater's THE SCORPIO RACES. Smart, brave, funny--how could you NOT love her?
- Sometimes, when no one is around, I ... Read books out loud, dramatically, to myself. My secret dream is to be an audiobook narrator, but I would never inflict my readings on anyone else. My accents are terrible.
- My favorite drink is ... North Coast Brewing Company's Red Seal Ale. I'm not a big drinker, but I'm first generation Czech on my mom's side, so my family takes our beers and ales very seriously.
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