Monday, November 5, 2012

Operation Agent Ink Agent(EDITOR) Insider 1

How are you lovely guys and dolls today? I hope your WIP are getting lots of ink! And if you are participating in NaNo, save some ink for OAI!

If you have Twitter, which, sadly I don't (do you think I need one?) then you can get on the board the ink train at #agentink. I think that's just fabulous that someone *Ellie Heller Writes 2* started the hashtag #agentink. So cool!

Ready for an awesome piece of agent(editor) inside news? It came straight from Jessa Russo, one of our amazing editors you will have an opportunity to pitch your novel to in February!

Iasked her about Urban Fantasy. I read on #askanagent on a quiet Saturday evening that Urban Fantasy was a hard sell and it better be unique is you wanted to catch an agent or editor's eye. So I asked Jessa, since this is listed on her WISH LIST, what she considered unique. Her response was such an eye opener I can't wait for you to read it!

Here is what she said:

Well, in my opinion (though this will differ from each person asked), any of the books I mentioned could be considered Urban Fantasy because all UF really is, is taking supernatural characters/elements, and throwing them into a modern, urban setting. However, like I said, each person's definition - writer, lit agent or otherwise - will vary greatly when you ask them their definition of UF. 

So how about an example of what I love instead? One of my favorite UF examples would probably be THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS by Cassandra Clare. She did a fantastic job of building an entire fantasy world right smack dab in the middle of modern-day New York. I LOVED every word of it!

Now, regarding what you learned during #askanagent: what may be a hard sell for a literary agent may be exactly what I'm looking for. For instance, pretty much every literary agent says paranormal romance is a dead genre. Well, its my favorite genre, and one of the main things I'm looking to read in both submissions
and personal reading. With smaller pub houses, you get different wish lists. I don't have to "sell" your book to anyone the way an agent will have to turn around and query the big six, so what may be difficult for them could be perfect for me. You have to sell me on your manuscript, and if you can do that, my publishing house will support my choice to bring you on.

Now, remember you heard it first, here on OPERATION AGENT INK AGENT(EDITOR) INSIDE! 



  1. I googled urban fantasy several times and got several different definitions. I like the one you posted.
    As for twitter, I simply find it a great way to stalk agents and keep up on their latest news. Otherwise, I'm not the most avid tweeter ;)

  2. thanks for the post. I've been struggling to define my wip and I'm leaning toward UF.

  3. Because I usually work with mythology and urban settings (occasional rural setting) I'm pretty much always UF :) Shew.

    And Twitter is a great place to showcase yourself and easily stalked by queried agents. One rejection mentioned my Twitter - said I always made her laugh. Hey, if I can at least brighten some days with laughter, all the better.

  4. You definitely need to be on twitter!! I even blogged about it!

    Going to set up my feed for #agentink right now. :-)

  5. This is a new genre for me, so this post was educational. It's always good to hear from an agent and/or publisher and hear their take on how they make selections. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi. Thanks for the post. I have a WIP that's really a supernatural thriller set in Pakistan. So I don't even know what genre it belongs in. Is it Urban fantasy or plain old supernatural thriller since it leans slightly on the side of fear and mystery as a subtextual emotion? The Pakistan element, I suppose, is a drawback because then most people I talk to about this call fantasy. But it's set in 2007.

    Any thoughts?

    1. A Fantasy will have magic, beasts, world building, make-believe and other "fairy tale" elements.

      Thrillers involve life or death situations, suspense or mystery, and often real life situations and not fantasy make believe.

      Urban means the story takes place in the city.

      Hope this helps!

  7. How big of a city does it have to be to be considered Urban? Does it need to be a big city like New York or LA or does a smaller city, like Virginia Beach or Norfolk, Virginia count?

    1. Urban means it takes place in a city. It doesn't matter the size, as long as it is city. Urban is also a contemporary setting. So, to answer your question, I believe the cities you mention would count!

  8. I write urban fantasy and my WIP is UF. I've seen a lot of different definitions of it too and wondered how it differs from magical realism. I have read all of Cassandra Clare's books and I am so excited to see the movie (esp. since Aidan Turner will be playing Luke). LOL. It's refreshing to know an editor likes paranormal because my space opera is about the love between a werewolf and a Selchie (half-human/half-seal) but I haven't gotten much interest in it yet. :)Thanks.


I missed August's posting

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