Saturday, April 9, 2011

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Adriann Ranta

Adriann Ranta is a literary agent at Wolf Literary Services, actively acquiring both fiction and nonfiction, specializing in children's and young adult novels. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, she served as managing editor of Between the Lines, The Editorial Department's e-zine focused on the business of publishing, before moving to New York and working as foreign liaison, permissions and rights manager, and scout for Anderson Literary Management. While an avid reader of most subjects and themes, she is most interested in gritty, realistic, true-to-life stories with conflicts based in the real world. She likes edgy, dark, challenging voices, unique settings, and everyman stories told with a new spin.

As always, for more information about Adriann Ranta and other literary agents, I reccomend the amazing blog, Literary Rambles, by my friends Casey McCormick and Natalie Agguire.

And now Adriann Ranta faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

This answer changes all the time, but I’d have to say SKELLIG by David Almond (or really anything by David Almond) for his effortless capturing of child-like wonder and possibility, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT by Norman Maclean who can make me care about something like fly fishing (though YOUNG MEN AND FIRE makes me want to die), and THE LIKENESS by Tana French, just for the sheer creepy fun of it. I’ve read all of these a million times.

Question Six: What are your top three favorite movies and television shows?

X-Files, Peep Show, Little Britain, anything with David Attenborough narrating, MST3K, Some Like It Hot, The Fall.

Question Five: What are the qualities of your ideal client?

It’s one thing to have produced one amazing book, but maintaining the quality and freshness of subsequent books is much harder. I love great revisers open to criticism; likeable, warm people I’m proud to show off to editors; and savvy, inquisitive types that know their market.

Question Four: What sort of project(s) would you most like to receive a query for?

I’d love a great ghost story, a fresh YA romance, a reimagining of a classic boy’s adventure story, some quality kid’s nonfiction… but am open to pleasant surprises too!

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about being an agent? What is your least favorite thing?

My favorite part is seeing the first iterations of a cover, my least favorite is shopping around a beautiful, powerful, funny, amazing manuscript and not finding a home for it.

Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)

Don’t rush through your revisions, this coming after the natural assumption that you ARE revising and wouldn’t DREAM of sending out the first draft of ANYTHING. Don’t name your vampire Lucien. Beware of the Nancy Drew Affect, in which your main character is so great at everything you just want to strangle her. Bam. That’s three.

Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Steve Martin. I adore SHOPGIRL and you know it would be a hilarious lunch. If he wanted to serenade me with his banjo, that’d be cool too.


  1. I'd like to be part of that lunch table too!

    Thanks for introducing me to Adriann Ranta, Mr. Ninja.

  2. Thanks for the great interview. I'll have to check out Casey's spotlight too. Adriann is so right not to rush the revisions and send things out too quickly.


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