With Pitchfest on the horizon we’re honored to be joined this week by literary agents and editors Lynnette Novak, Jessica Faust, Chantelle Aimée Osman, Jill Marr, Gina Panettieri, Peter Rubie, Ann Leslie Tuttle and Paula Munier as they discuss the question: Can you define the one thing that makes you sign an author? Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along. You really won’t want to miss this!
Lynnette Novak, The Seymour Agency
Bio: Lynnette Novak is an associate agent at The Seymour Agency and is currently building her list. Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent. Lynnette has since closed her editing business and is excited to bring her passion for the written word to agenting.
Although Lynnette was born and raised Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends. She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice.
Follow Lynnette on Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak
Currently Looking For: In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy). In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary.
Not Looking For: Middle grade or younger, historical romance, inspirational romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, or women’s fiction.
Clients: Stephanie Sauvinet, Christine Clemetson, Natasha Neagle, Dr. Josh Michaels, Rachel Russell, and Kristi McMannus.
Jessica Faust, BookEnds, LLC
Bio: Jessica Faust cut her teeth on Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. She was riveted by Hannibal Lector and wanted to read The Alienist a thousand times over. These books, and many others, helped shape her love for mystery and desire to work in publishing. As president of BookEnds Literary Agency, Jessica has helped build the agency’s reputation as a cozy mystery powerhouse. Behind that cozy demeanor however, is a love for dark and mysterious, a passion to read more about serial killers and strong women. Jessica worked at Berkley Publishing, Macmillan and Wiley. A Minnesota girl at heart, she now lives in New Jersey with her family and their large-headed dog Buford.
Currently Looking For: Psychological & domestic suspense and thrillers, edgy female protagonists, literary and upmarket fiction, historical mysteries/suspense (especially WWII), women’s fiction, and more diverse books and own voices writers in all genres.
Not Looking For: Science Fiction or Military Thrillers.
Clients: Just a short list of some of Jessica’s amazing clients include 2016 ThrillerAward winner Michelle Painchaud, ThrillerAward nominee Shelley Coriell, New York Times bestselling authors Sheila Connolly and Ellery Adams, and Rosemary Simpson and Susan Furlong.
Chantelle Aimée Osman, Down & Out Books
Bio: Chantelle Aimée Osman is an editor at Down & Out Books, New Wave Crime Division. The former editor-in-chief of RT Book Reviews and a freelance editor for over 10 years, she is the co-host of the Crime Friction podcast as well an instructor at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Authors at Large and LitReactor. Find her on Twitter @SuspsenseSiren.
Currently Looking For: Mystery, thriller and suspense, particular new and unique voices representing all aspects, lifestyles and cultures of the modern world.
Not Looking For: Non-Fiction, Poetry, or anything outside of the above categories.
Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Bio: Jill is an acquiring agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces and promotional features for television. After writing ad copy and features for published books for years she knows how to find the “hook” and sell it.
Clients: In fiction, Robert Pobi, Robert Rotstein, David Burnsworth, Janie Chang, Nancy Allen, David Freed, Neal Griffin, Jon Miller, J Lincoln Fenn, Eyre Price, Stacy Allen, and Jaden Terrell, Jacob Appel, Alice Blanchard, Don Bruns, Alex Dolan, Jody Gehrman, and Maureen Lindley. In non-fiction, Travel Channel’s Nick Groff, actor Fred Stoller, Christina Pesoli, Scott Bonn, Kristina Rizga, Leanne Shirtliffe, singer-songwriter Laura Roppé, Christopher Finan, Mark Johnson, Hana Ali, Pramila Jayapal, and Garrett Madison.
Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary Services
Bio: Gina Panettieri is Founder of the Milford, Ct-based Talcott Notch Literary, a three-member literary agency seeking the freshest voices in adult and juvenile fiction and nonfiction. Some of her more prominent recent sales includes the WSJ-bestselling WAR SHADOWS by Andrews & Wilson (Thomas & Mercer), the Hillerman Prize-winning THE HOMEPLACE by Kevin Wolf (St. Martin’s Press), and her auction of Talcott Notch’s own Paula Munier’s A BORROWING OF BONES in a six-figure sale to Minotaur, debuting in September.
Currently Looking For: Fiction – mystery, thrillers, suspense, psychological suspense, upmarket women’s fiction, action-adventure and historical fiction; nonfiction – memoir, true crime, history, career, cookbooks, medicine and fitness, travel, parenting, self-help, coffee table books, juvenile fiction and nonfiction for middle-grade and young adult, particularly books that address timely and topical issues.
Not Looking For: Poetry, short story collections by new writers, novellas, and textbooks.
Clients: Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews, Scott Deitche, Dr. Seth Meyers, Drew Eric Whitman, Paula Munier, Kevin Wolf, A.E. Rought, Sara O’Shaughnessy, Peter Tupper, and Rick Morris.
Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary Management
Bio: Peter Rubie, is CEO of FinePrint Literary Management, where as a literary agent he represents a broad range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction. He’s a former BBC Radio and Fleet Street journalist, who was a member of the New York University publishing faculty for ten years, teaching the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent. For several years he was the director of the book publishing section of the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. Prior to becoming an agent, Peter was an in-house editor for Walker & Co., for nearly six years, whose authors won prizes and critical acclaim. He has also worked independently as a book doctor for what is now Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and other mainstream publishing companies. He was once a regular reviewer for the international trade magazine Publishers Weekly and is a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. A member of the Association of Authors Representative (AAR), he regularly lectures and writes on publishing and the craft of writing. (Blog: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article_center.php?in_type=263)
Clients: Luke McCallin (The Man from Berlin), Chris Goff (Birdwatching mysteries, Dark Waters), J. Madison Davis (Dub Greenaway mysteries, Murder of Frau Schutz, Edgar nominated for Best First Novel, And the Angels Sang), Macolm Shuman (Mysterious Press mysteries), Vicki Stieffel (Bone Man, Body Parts), and William P Wood (Rampage, Sudden Impact).
Ann Leslie Tuttle, Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret LLC
Bio: Ann Leslie Tuttle joined DG&B in 2017 after working for 20 years at Harlequin Books where she most recently was a Senior Editor. At Harlequin, she was fortunate to work on an extensive and varied list of bestselling and award-winning titles in romance and women’s fiction. She received her B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. Finding and nurturing talented new writers has always been Ann Leslie’s passion. Ann Leslie lives in New York City with her husband and young daughter, who is just discovering the magic of books and writing.
Currently Looking For: I am actively seeking romance, including romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. Within women’s fiction, I am seeking thrillers, psychological suspense, historical fiction and commercial and upmarket fiction that focus on friendship, and the bonds between mothers and daughters and sisters. I’m especially drawn to projects that have well developed emotional conflicts and fully realized characters; provide a fresh take on a familiar subject, and include a strong sense of place. The South and Southern Gothics especially captivate me as do foreign locales.
Not Looking For: Dystopian, New Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery or Horror.
Current Authors: USA Today bestselling author Tara Taylor Quinn; PW bestselling authors Debbie Herbert and Jenna Kernan; debut authors Sloane Calder, Lisa Kröger, Amanda Hopkins and Carolyne Topdjian.
Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Agency
Bio: Paula Munier brings twenty years’ experience as a writer, acquisitions editor, and content specialist for such media giants as Disney, WGBH, and F&W Media to her work as a literary agent. She’s the author of PLOT PERFECT: Building Unforgettable Stories Scene By Scene. Munier has been with Talcott Notch Literary for three years. In that time she’s sold projects to HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, Sourcebooks, Penguin Random House, Skyhorse Publishing, Kensington, Career Press, Koehler Books, Crooked Lane Books, Entangled, F&W Media, New Horizon Press, and Five Star, among others.
Currently Looking For: Crime fiction of all kinds, true crime, women’s fiction, literary fiction, high-concept SF/fantasy, YA, and nonfiction.
Not Looking For: Paranormal, picture books, memoir, and poetry.
Clients: Kim Van Alkemade (Orphan #8), Brian Thiem (Red Line), Cate Holahan (Dark Turns), Michele Dorsey (No Virgin Island), Vaughn Hardacker (Sniper), Cynthia Riggs (the Victoria Trumbull Martha’s Vineyard mysteries), Kate Flora (Death Dealer), Meera Lester (the Henny Penny Farmette mysteries), James T. Shannon (Dying for Attention), and Richard Thomas (Disintegration).