Monday, November 24, 2014

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Brent Taylor

Prior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc. in 2014 as an assistant, Brent Taylor completed numerous internships in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. 

He is currently accepting queries for fiction writers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select adult fiction (crime and women’s). You can follow him on Twitter @NaughtyBrent.

And now Brent Taylor faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

If you’ve read at least two of those, then you can tell that I have an affinity for books with southern gothic flair, tragic romance, and bittersweet endings.

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

I saw the Spike Jonze film Her and it knocked the breath out of me. My favorite show at the moment is Revenge. When it’s in season, I watch The Following obsessively. No one seems to be querying me with an adult crime novel similar to The Following, so I have to settle for watching reruns.

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

I like career writers, so my ideal client is someone whose vision for their future novels matches my own. I like writers that are communicative, collaborative, and above all, writers who are risk-takers. I consider myself a big risk-taker, and so I work extremely well with people who aren’t gripped by fear when presented with big decisions.

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

I’m determined to find a humorous, intelligent middle grade fantasy. Besides that, I’m accepting queries for a variety of genres in young adult, new adult, and adult fiction.

Also on my checklist is a contemporary YA, an adult crime, and a women’s fiction project.

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

There are way too many incredible things about this job to just pick one. I’m sure it will change as the years go by, but at the moment it’s watching the evolution of a project I love: from inception, to first draft, to submission-ready novel.

My least favorite thing would have to be the doubt. What if an editor doesn’t love this project as much as I do? What if I can’t get this book up off the ground? But these types of thoughts rack anyone in a creative industry, and I never let them linger in my mind for too long. There’s simply too much work to do.  

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)

One of the big reasons I’ve been rejecting manuscripts lately is pacing. Be sure that every sentence, page, scene, and chapter is moving your story forward—if it doesn’t, scrap it without remorse.

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

I’m fortunate that I have had lunch with a good deal of writers I admire greatly, but off the top of my head it’s Sylvia Plath. She’s my favorite poet and there’s something about her utterly transcendent verse that makes you feel as if the universe has spilled its guts to her and she’s in on all the secrets. 

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