We welcomed Roseanne to Lucinda Literary at the start of the year, and couldn’t be happier to have her on board. Recently, Lucinda spoke with Roseanne about her particular approach to agenting as someone who’s represented authors for over 12 years, and is interested in a little bit of everything, with a special penchant for Children’s and YA.
1. What was your favorite book growing up? Did this influence your later career?
I was eager to learn how to read, but I first identified as a reader when I devoured The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I finished all four within a week. The Alanna books introduced me to the world of Tortall, where girls can be knights and mages, even when others tell them they can’t. This definitely was a gateway to my love of science fiction/fantasy (SFF) as a reader and an agent.
2. Tell us about the most interesting submission you’ve had!
I signed Kip Wilson for her project, THE MOST DAZZLING GIRL IN BERLIN, a YA novel about two girls who meet in a queer cabaret during the end of the Weimar Republic. We were about half way through round 1 of submission and getting some good feedback from editor passes when I read Kip’s manuscript for WHITE ROSE. It was a YA historical novel in verse, which, given the blend of genres, meant it would be a challenging sell on several fronts, but as I started crying while reading it, I knew it was special. We decided to pull the prose novel and work on WHITE ROSE to be Kip’s debut.
After the incredible Margaret Raymo bought WHITE ROSE to be on the inaugural list for Versify, Kip went back and stripped DAZZLING back to its bones. She wrote it over almost from scratch, and it worked brilliantly, even better as a verse novel. Margaret loved it as well, and it comes out on March 29th!
3. What is the market most looking for right now in children’s fiction and YA?
There’s been a strong push in children’s for diversity of all kinds and to give space for marginalized creators to tell their stories. I am hopeful that this will be a permanent turning point for kidlit, not just a trend.
Children’s has also been exciting for graphic novels and audiobooks, which have exploded in the last five years. We’ve recognized that investing in different formats reaches different kinds of readers, and that’s critical for their success and for us as story makers.
4. What are the requisite elements a query needs to grab your attention and interest?
In a manuscript, I want to know immediately who the main character is, what they want, and what’s standing in their way. For proposals, I need to know how your approach is different from what’s currently on the market and why you’re the best person to write this book. For both fiction and nonfiction, I like to see comps that are accurate to the plot, characters, themes, and/or feelings of the project, not just ones that are bestsellers in their category.
5. What drew you to working with Lucinda Literary?
I was very excited by LL’s boutique size and entrepreneurial mindset that had yielded so many successes. I thought we would be a good match as I could help expand the children’s program while keeping my selective SFF list and adding to LL’s great roster of nonfiction projects. After I met Lucinda and the team, it felt like LL would be a really good fit—we approach agenting with passion, strategy, and a holistic view of a client’s career. And a sense of humor is a plus!
6. Tell us what you are interested in right now.
In children’s: I’m eager to see diverse voices and marginalized stories, unique narrative structures that support the story, and unreliable narrators. I’m looking for young adult and middle grade works of all genres that connect me to a strong main character and a singular voice. I’m interested in non-fiction picture books, MG, and YA in STEM, arts, history and biography. I’m especially keen to see MG and YA graphic novels of queer stories or nonfiction subjects.
In adult Non-fiction: I’m looking for authors who have a unique story to tell with a strong platform and are dedicated to reaching their audience. I like narrative nonfiction, select memoir, science (popular or trade, not academic), history, travel, humor, food/cooking, pop culture, and similar subjects. I’m also interested in non-fiction that has an illustrated or graphic element, humorous take, or an unexplored angle on a familiar subject, all with a strong hook and takeaway for the reader.
In adult Fiction: I’m interested in science-fiction and fantasy; con/heist stories, especially featuring art, jewelry, or tech; and smart detective novels (more Sherlock Holmes than cozy mysteries).
Do you have a unique story to tell? If you have a proposal in line with what Roseanne is looking for, you can submit your query here. We can’t wait to see what you are working on!