Archive | July 2011

Agent Interview with Vickie Motter

Well known for her Navigating the Slush Pile blog, Vickie Motter is actively building her client list and you’ve got the opportunity next week (13th July) to pitch her on my group blog YAtopia. But before you do, find out a bit more about Vickie and what she’s after so you get your pitch just right.

1) Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an agent.
Out of college I interned with Andrea Hurst, and realized quickly that I wanted to be an agent. I went into training and soon after became an agent. Not a super glamorous tale, or one involving years of lucky breaks, but it’s what I love doing and can’t see myself doing anything else. I count myself lucky I was able to find such a great agency and mentor in my home state.
2) Who was the first client you signed and what drew you to their MS?

My first client, Julia Darcey, found me through my blog when I was still an agent in training. I don’t want to give away what happens (one of the main draws for me) but let’s just say it’s the right combination of unique, morbid, and death to catch my interest.

3) You have a strong interest in YA, what do you find so attractive about the it?

YA has as many genres as the entire Adult genres put together but, unlike Adult in which people tend to gravitate towards certain genres over and over again, YA sort of combines it all. From SciFi to contemporary to fantasy to humor, the thing all YA has in common are the characters, unique as they all are, all YA readers can connect with them. It’s so diverse that there is something there for everyone. And it’s constantly changing so you’ll never be bored.

4) You’re still taking paranormal submissions when other agents are starting to shy away from it. Where do you see the genre heading?

That’s the beauty of paranormal! I have no idea where it’s heading. I label genres loosely though. While some people think of “paranormal” as vampires and werewolves, I think of it as a genre in which something extraordinary happens. You can combine paranormal with dystopian, steampunk, scifi, even use it in very contemporary settings. I am looking for something unique though, that’s what sells time and time again.

5) What is the most common mistake you see in queries?

People try to put too much into queries. Keep it simple: main character (what makes him or her unique?–why should we care?), brief overview of the world if it’s one different than ours, one or two other key players (love interest, bad guy), main conflict. 

6) You’re hosting a three line pitch contest on YAtopia next week. What tips can you give people interested in entering?
Use quick descriptors for your characters to garner interest without taking up time away from the unique plot you’re pitching. Don’t use cliches. Don’t overcomplicate your sentences. Don’t be overly vague (with three sentences I need a sense of the main conflict–what the character is fighting for). But don’t be overly detailed either.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Summer or Winter? Summer
Cinema or DVD? DVD

Beach or mountains? Beach

Mermaids or gargoyles? Mermaids. No! Gargoyles! Okay, mermaids but only if they’re the evil kind.

Ice-cream or candy? Ice-cream.Vickie is interested in any genre of YA, and Adult Paranormal and Urban Fantasy (not MG). If you’ve for a completed and polished MS that is ready for querying that fits Vickie’s wish list then head on over to YAtopia next week and be one of the first 50 people to comment.