Saturday, August 27, 2011

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Lucienne Diver

Lucienne Diver joined The Knight Agency in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry. A lifelong book addict, she graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Potsdam with dual majors in English/writing and anthropology. She thus came well-equipped for her work as an agent.

Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, suspense and erotica. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, the Golden Heart, and the Romantic Times Reader’s Choice, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.

Lucienne Diver is a literary agent by day, a writer and journeyman jeweler by night. She started writing in her teens because talking back to the voices in her head wasn't socially acceptable—and she already had enough to deal with being a drama and AP English geek.

Her credits include short stories and a romantic comedy written under the pseudonym Kit Daniels. With her young adult novel Vamped, she's taking off the mask and stepping into the full glare of ... indirect sunlight. Because as her heroine would tell you, anything else is hazardous to your health, especially once you've been Vamped.

For more information about Lucienne Diver, as well as other literary agents, I cannot overstate the benefeits of reading my friends Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre's incredible blog, Literary Rambles.

And now, Lucienne Diver faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

Wow, only three? Eek! We’ll start with The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, because that’s probably the one I’ve reread most often. It was my favorite growing up, to the point where I wanted to name a son Nathaniel until my husband talked me out of it. Then there’s the incredible Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Utterly compelling. Once I sat down to read it, I realized I would have no life until I finished. I was right. After that, it’s impossible to say. Could never pick just one book by Mary Stewart, who is one of my all-time favorites. I also grew up reading all the gothic romance novelists: Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, etc. I loved Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, but found it a dense read, best enjoyed in increments rather than the single sitting it usually takes me to swallow books whole. I’m a big Janet Evanovich and Laurell K. Hamilton fan. I love Rick Riordan, Joshilyn Jackson and Agatha Christie and…. Well, you get the idea. I’m a voracious and eclectic reader.

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

#1 here is easy: it has to be Charade with Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn, who also happen to be my two favorite actors ever. As usual, two and three are tougher. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan. If I had to choose a single one of his films, it would probably be The Rope for its sheer psychological suspense. For television, I’m a So You Think You Can Dance addict and a mystery/forensic show junkie.

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

I love authors who are stunningly brilliant, pragmatic and professional. The first makes them a joy to read, the second and third a joy to work with.

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

I’ve got a very full list at this time, so I’m not actively looking for any particular type of work. That said, I’m always happy to be blown away by something new. There’s nothing more exciting than selling someone’s first novel. I represent all kinds of commercial fiction: fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, romance and young adult. I’m looking at middle-grade as well, since I’ve become a big fan of the genre via reading alongside my son.

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

My favorite thing is the people I work with – authors, editors, readers, reviewers. They all share my love of books. They’re my people. My least favorite thing is reading legalese, so all of the boilerplate changes the publishers have made and all the language we’ve had to quibble over, particularly in the past year, has been wearing.

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)

There is so much advice out there that I’d suggest always remembering that your path is your own. There is no one single route to publication. No one else’s journey mimics another, so don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others or worrying that you have to do something someone else’s way. Go your own way. Run all advice through your own internal filter of experience and common sense and come up with a game plan that works for you.

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

Wow, that’s a tough one. I think it would be Mary Stewart. Reading her work has given me so much pleasure over the years. Her relationships and the way that she expresses herself are so beautiful that I imagine she would be as well.


  1. Great interview. I love Lucienne's advice, especially to remember that each writer's path is their own. I'm really trying to focus on that now because my daughter's high school swim team activities will really be impacting my writing journey right now. I'm so excited that Lucienne likes middle grade.

    And Mary Stewart used to be one of my favorite authors when I read adult books. Now I only have time to read middle grade & YA.

  2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond is such a great book! One of my big time favorites too. Lucienne is such a talented agent and author-so glad you did an interview with her.

  3. Hey, Natalie and Amy, thanks for coming by!

    My blog has moved since I did this interview over to Unfortunately, all the LiveJournal glitches finally did me in.


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