Monday, March 31, 2008

Which Authors Would YOU Represent?

Here's a little exercise for all you writers out there (which is probably everyone who reads this blog). Think about all the authors you've read for the first time in the past few years. They may be either established authors, or debut authors. If you were an agent, which ones would you offer to represent, if you had the chance?

As an agent, my list would consist of all subgenres of fantasy and paranormal romance except dark fantasy, plus all subgenres of science fiction, and all subgenres of mystery.

Some novels for which I would have offered representation immediately are:

The Book of Joby. This is a wonderful novel with probably the best opening I've ever read. Ever. Don't believe me? Go to the book store and read as much as you can of the opening without the manager frowning at you. Better yet, go here and listen to Mark read the prologue.

The first three novels I covered at Fantasy Debut: Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin, Thief with No Shadow by Emily Gee and Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep. For MLTF and Karma Girl, it was the voice. For Thief, it was the uniqueness of the plot.

The Queen of the Orcs, beginning with King's Property by Morgan Howell. I loved the portrayal of the orcs here.

Maisie Dobbs. Jacqueline Winspear does such a wonderful job recreating London in the 30s that I would have just had to have her.

Some novels that I ended up loving, but as an agent I might not have given enough of a chance:

You had Me at Halo. This was one of my favorite novels of the year. It made me cry. But I had a hard time with the opening and as an agent, I might not have spent the time necessary to get into this novel.

Auralia's Colors. Yes, I loved this too, but the protagonist was distant and the opening didn't engage me right away.

One For the Money. I would have slapped myself for passing on Janet Evanovich--who has become such a mega-star--but the opening was just not for me and I only got into this series at the urgings of a friend, who assured me that I'd love it. And I did.

Outlander. Another that I would have wanted to slit my wrists over for passing. Again, it was the opening that would have killed it for me. Of course, the novel's hook was so wonderful that I may have given it the chance it deserved. The time travel promise was the only reason I kept reading.

Hmm. The mega-sellers are all among those stories that I would have passed on. Many agents have an "I must love it" qualification before wanting to represent a novel. This shows me how few books I truly love.

What about you? Which authors would you represent? (If you do this on your own blog, please leave a link in the comments so I can go read it. Or, if you link directly to this post, I'll find it through Technorati. Probably. It doesn't find everything.)

5 comments:

  1. Good question Tia and one that certainly helps writers to think more deeply about their own work.
    I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, dramas and mysterys. Books with violence, strong sexual content, excessive cursing, and overly sappy romance wouldn't be of interest.
    A book that I really enjoyed, Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my most recent all time favorite. http://www.carlosruizzafon.co.uk/

    True, there aren't many books that I love. For that matter, MOST books are too wordy for me and I often will read over sections as I get bored. The ones I truelly love, are the ones, when I turn that last page, I fight back tears because it's over, like Shadow of the Wind. (This is drama/mystery I do believe -not a fantasy but the story weaves a charming spell!)

    I read one book, or I should say that I TRIED to read a book, where each chapter was one HUGE paragraph. NO kidding! No paragraphs in the long, 5-15 page, chapters. AND all the dialogue was paraphrased. I couldn't make it past page 10! This book was supposedly a bestseller! Glad I checked it out of the library!

    As for other titles I'd respresent, much more thought is required.

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  2. Wow, great question! I'll have to think on that one. All I know is that if I were on the other end, my reading habits would definitely change. I go into all books with the intention of reading to the end. It's rare that I'll put one aside. Well, I should say it used to never happen. Now, with the time crunch, it happens more often. Then again, I'm getting more picky as to what I start.

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  3. Lisa, that kind of book would challenge me as well. And I've successfully read Dostoyevsky!

    Anissa, my reading habits would probably change just like yours. I'm getting pickier as I get older, too.

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  4. I think I've gotten less picky as I've gotten older.
    I started out reading romance (teens) actually most of them were pretty trashy and would have been soft porn as a movie!
    Then I read only fantasy and sci/fi as a member of the Science Fiction Book Club (Dragon Riders of Pern are still one of my favorites), then after a many years of not reading, I'd only reading non-fiction books (self help, memoirs of interesting people but not celebrities, people who made something of themselves, "Member of the Club", or cultural literature (ever read "Incidents in the life of Slave Girl"?), now to where I am today. Although the realm of scifi/fantasy is still my favorite, I'm quite open.
    I DO prefer the happy endings! I'm very emotional and will sit around and boo hoo about it so I want my happy endings. I disliked the 'author' so much in Kite Runner I had to read the ending. (I tend to read ahead a lot, I LIKE to know the ending! Especially if its tragic so I can be better prepared and not boo hoo so much)
    I really enjoyed Thousand Splendid Suns, I'd recommend him!
    Never read Dostoyevsky!

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  5. Lisa, I never read ahead. Usually, the ending doesn't make sense to me out of context, anyway.

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