Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Agents Like Us - Carly Watters

Agents Like Us asks agents all their deep, dark agenting secrets. This week, Carly Watters of PS Literary Agency is here! She's actively looking for women's fiction, YA, commercial fiction, and more! You can find her submission guidelines here, her really great blog there, and her tweeting under @CarlyWatters.

Carly's answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes her like you in the comments!

Carly on Agenting
  • When writers query me, I really wish they'd be selective and do their research. Agents are looking to sign great writers, and want writers that will be a good fit. I recommend querying writers to read books by authors whom the agent represents, read their blog posts and interviews, and follow them on Twitter. 
  • My favorite part about being an agent is everything. From discovering new talent, to being the biggest literary advocate in your author's life, to selling debut fiction, to building author brands--agents have a special relationship with the clients and within the publishing world. 
  • Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is for it to make me FEEL something. Whether it makes me cry, laugh, or think about my own life.
  • Whenever I make a book deal, I do a big happy dance and call the author with a smile on my face. 
  • I really wish I saw more upmarket fiction in the slush. I love commercial fiction, but I'm looking for book club books and high concept projects, too.

Carly on Clients
  • My ideal client would be a bestseller. (Is that too cheeky?) Let's try that again… Someone who is talented, understands the art of revisions, is willing to promote and market their book, is resilient, has many books in them, and has excellent communication skills whether it's talking with me, their editor, on social media or their ability to communicate their ideas within their book. 
  • What I love most about my current clientele is how they surprise me with their original ideas and their passion for writing.
  • What I want most for any client is a perfect fit with their editor and publishing house, and a long, successful publishing career.

Carly on Life
  • If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be an urban planner. I love cities and learning about how they develop and grow over time.
  • My favorite (non-client) book is a tough question for someone that reads so much! 'One Day' by David Nicholls.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of running out of books to read. And large insects.
  • My secret boyfriend is Garrett Hedlund. Anyone who has seen Country Strong knows what I'm talking about…
  • I have a total girlcrush on Elizabeth Olsen. Great actress, stylish, and seems like a woman who knows who she is.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I attempt to cook. (It ends badly and I end up getting sushi take out.)
  • My favorite drink is a glass of Malbec.

NEXT WEEK: Agent Uwe Stender!

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