Saturday, April 2, 2011

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Sara Crowe

Sara Crowe is an agent at Harvey Klinger, Inc. where she represents adult fiction and nonfiction and children's fiction. After attending the Radcliffe Publishing Course, she started her career at The Wylie Agency in New York, and after two years, moved to their London office as a foreign rights agent. At Trident Media Group in New York, she was a Foreign rights manager and represented rights for Louis Sachar, Michael Ondaatje and Russell Banks. She joined Harvey Klinger in 2005 to build her own list and to develop a children's list for the agency.

Her children's clients include NYT Bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of ROT and RUIN and the forthcoming DUST and DECAY; Marianna Baer, author of the forthcoming psychological thriller FROST (September, Balzer and Bray); Jeff Hirsch, whose YA debut, a post-apocalyptic thriller, THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE will be published in September (Scholastic), Nina LaCour, author of HOLD STILL, a Morris Award Finalist, and the forthcoming THE DISENCHANTMENTS (both Dutton), Michael Northrop, author of the YA thrillers GENTLEMEN and TRAPPED and a forthcoming middle grade novel, PLUNKED (Scholastic), Lisa Schroeder, whose 4th verse novel for YAs THE DAY BEFORE will be published in June (Pulse), and her second middle grade, SPRINKLES AND SECRETS in September (Aladdin), Kristen Tracy, whose most recent novel is the middle grade THE REINVENTION OF BESSICA LEFTER, and her 4th YA novel, SHARKS and BOYS, a story of love and survival, will be published in June (Hyperion), Dan Wells, author of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (Tor), and Robison Wells, whose YA thriller VARIANT debuts in September.

As always, for more information about Sara Crowe and other literary agents, check out the amazing blog Literary Rambles, by my friends Casey McComick and Natalie Aguirre.

And now Sara Crowe faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

Oh, this question is too difficult. I will cheat.

Favorite writers: William Maxwell, Alice Munro, Carson McCullers.



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

I have many more than three favorite TV shows, but here are a few: Veronica Mars (make it come back), The Good Wife, Arrested Development

Movies: WALL-E, Notorious, Indiscreet...

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

My clients write books that I love. They are dedicated to their craft, they are open to working to make their books as polished as they can be, And they continue to surprise me, book after book.

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

I would love to find more contemporary thrillers for YA, and a clever MG mystery. I loved WHEN YOU REACH ME. I am always looking for realistic stories for MG, both funny and serious, as long as the voice is unforgettable. I also am very interested in science fiction thrillers for YA.

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

I love making that call to tell a new author that they have their first offer and that their book will be published, of course, but also finding that right match between an author and an editor. As for least favorite-- the waiting. It can be just as frustrating on our side.

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)

Be patient, don't be easily discouraged. Find a support system, whatever that means to you. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking that the business is about us against you. We want to find writers to work with whose work we love and know how to sell, and we can't love everything or sell everything, and often that means having to say no.

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

This is also too hard, but I will say Homer. I studied ancient Greek in high school and college and did not learn any languages that are actually still spoken. I'd like to put those 8 years to use, and I love the Iliad.


  1. I loved When You Reach Me too. And Sara's advice to realize that it's not the agent against us and that everything can't sell is good is so true but sometimes hard to remember when you'll in the middle of querying.

    I love your Saturday interviews with agents. Thanks.

  2. Homer was an excellent choice, then. Eight years of ancient Greek makes my two years of Latin seem like a day at the beach. Thanks for the interview.


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