Hi WFW friends,
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Abby Saul (and I’m thrilled to introduce Abby to all of you)! Abby is spearheading a new literary agency and she’s looking for–eh hem–women’s fiction!
I’ve known Abby for more than four years, as she’s formerly with Browne and Miller Literary Associates. Abby has given me stellar editorial feedback on both The Good Neighbor and Left To Chance (due out next year). Recently we’ve even brainstormed on my idea for Book #4. Abby always has insight and a fresh point of view that resonated with me. I will miss having her “around” but also think she is going to kick-ass out on her own.
Abby’s here today to tell you about her new venture and about herself–and to offer some words of advice.
Please welcome Abby to WFW!
Hi Lovely Readers and Writers! With a big thanks to Amy for having me on her fantastic blog, I am delighted to have the chance to introduce myself and my new endeavor, The Lark Group, a literary agency seeking adult commercial and literary fiction.
I have always been a zealous reader of everything (my personal library runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers) and at The Lark Group I am seeking great and engrossing literary fiction, mysteries/thrillers, historical fiction, and—why I am here!—women’s fiction.
And that means I want YOU, women’s fiction writers, to query me!
To give you a sense of what I am looking for and how best to catch my eye, here are three facts:
- I love women’s fiction that includes women in extraordinary settings (a crumbling mansion, a sandy beach house, a circus, a small town with a great cast of characters), harder edges (threats, dark secrets, a mystery to be solved), and capturing a life experience that is completely different from my own. I adore such talented authors as Liane Moriarty, Nicole Baart, Diane Setterfield, Amy Sue Nathan, Kate Morton, Elizabeth Blackwell, Alexander McCall Smith, and J. Courtney Sullivan, to name only a very few. Bottom Line: Transport me somewhere new and threaten to leave me there, and you will have me hooked!
- I hate sappy sap for sap’s sake. A great women’s fiction project will pull on my heartstrings with real characters in real situations; a bad one will give me a dead dog and a sick child and other sad elements in an implausible setting. Bottom Line: Make me laugh and cry because of how much I love the story and the characters, not laugh at how much you are trying to make me cry.
- You owe it to yourself to write a fantastic query. The worst thing you can do is spend a ton of time perfecting your manuscript and then whip up a query without much thought. Take the time to ensure you are sending a well-crafted, clean (proofread!), and polished query. Tell me exactly what your book is, and make me excited to read it. When you are writing your synopsis, look at the back cover copy of one of your favorite books: how did the publisher succinctly summarize enough of the story to pull you in and make you want to read more? Bottom Line: Do that for your book—and eliminate the typos—and you will get manuscript requests.
I founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates, where I worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors and major brands. At each of those publishing groups, I have also helped to establish ebook standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.
Having a finger in both pies—the traditional editorial and the innovative digital—has given me a unique view of the industry (plus some major jam hands), and this perspective is one of the assets I’m bringing to my new agency. At The Lark Group, I am committed to providing individual and proactive representation to debut and established authors, as well as creating an agile space for publishing experimentation and innovation.
I am excited to hear from you! Find me online and get in touch:
@BookySaul and @LarkWords on Twitter