Monday, November 9, 2015

Agents Like Us - Jennifer Unter

After a year hiatus, I'm so excited to bring back my blog series, Agents Like Us! And here to help kick things off is Jennifer Unter from The Unter Agency.

She is looking for fiction and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness as well as all kid lit (picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects). You can find her submission guidelines here, and follow her on Twitter @JenniferUnter. Her answers are below in bold.

Jennifer on Agenting

  • When writers query me, I really wish they would do their homework. I’m not a “Sir”, I don’t do a lot of genre fiction and I’m more inclined to ask for something if I see that they know what I have agented in the past.
  • My favorite part about being an agent is the excitement of the day-to-day work. Every day I have something new to do, whether it’s meeting new clients, poring over a contract or talking to the publicity team at a publishing house with an author for their new book. I feel like I get to do many jobs at once!
  • Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is something that moves me. I love an emotional tale. Anything that makes me cry, if done well, is usually something I’ll take on.
  • Whenever I make a book deal, I get very excited for the author. Their work is going to go out into the world, and that’s the reason why I do what I do.
  • I really wish I saw more books for the “in between middle grade and YA” in the slush. There aren’t enough of those books being published.

Jennifer On Clients
  • My ideal client would be someone with whom I share a sensibility and connection. Also someone who is willing to do the work to get their book to the best possible place before going to a publisher. 
  • What I love most about my current clientele is their willingness to get out there and push for their book. Writers have to be their own best publicists and it’s sometimes difficult for them to do, but they all do it.
  • What I want most for any client is to feel that their work is being taken seriously and that they have a support system in their publisher and in me.

Jennifer On Life
  • If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be an environmentalist of some sort or farmer.
  • My favorite (non-client) book is anything by Michel Faber.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of being buried alive!
  • My secret boyfriend is Mark Wahlberg.
  • I have a total girlcrush on Cindy Sherman.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I do yoga or take a nap.
  • My favorite drink is rose.

Want to see more Agent Interviews? Check them all out here.

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