She exclusively handles books for children: picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA, fiction and non-fiction. You can read more about her here, see her submission guidelines there, and see her wishlist here. And you can always follow her on Twitter @SusanHawk. Her answers are below in bold.
Susan on Agenting
- When writers query me, I really wish … that their own reading in children’s books was more evident. You can really tell when someone has done their homework, and understands the category that they’ve chosen to write in.
- My favorite part about being an agent is ... calling a client to say that we have an offer is obviously a favorite, but the other day one of my clients got her first piece of kid fan mail. She was so happy, and there’s nothing like knowing that the book, which I love dearly, made an impact on a kid reader.
- Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is ... characters that feel real, complicated and compelling; a voice that is the unique expression of this writer; layered story and plot that grab attention; and heart. I want to be moved by your characters and story.
- Whenever I make a book deal, I ... call the author to mutually jump around and cheer! There is a deep satisfaction in matching my client and a book I love with just the right editor and house. After the call, I’ll wear a big happy grin all day.
- I really wish I saw more story ideas and writing that surprise me! in the slush.
- My ideal client would be ... an outstanding writer who appreciates that writing is an art, and publishing a business, and wants to balance both. Someone grateful, willing to work hard to build their career; a good communicator with a wicked sense of humor.
- What I love most about my current clientele is ... in addition to the above, how much heart they have, how much they love writing, and how widely varied their work is.
- What I want most for any client is ... for her work to find its readership, and for that readership to grow over time as their books and career do.
- If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be ... a librarian! In fact, I was a librarian previously. Bookseller also comes to mind. Is there such a thing as a professional list maker? Because I’d be very good at that.
- My favorite (non-client) book is ... TO CAPTURE THE CASTLE. Smokes, do I love that book.
- Secretly, I'm terrified of ... driving across bridges! I didn’t really learn to drive until I was 41 years old and always wonder if it would be different if I’d learned earlier.
- My secret boyfriend is ... Paul Rudd. Oh Paul, you make me laugh, you do!
- I have a total girlcrush on ... Emma Thompson. Because of all of these moments.
- Sometimes, when no one is around, I ... sing! I love singing, and pretty much can’t hold back, when someone’s around, not around, anytime.
- My favorite drink is ... vino verde! Slice a juicy peach to go into that glass of slightly fizzy wine, and sit in the backyard to sip it!
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