STATUS: Soon to be off to do the conference lunch and pitch appointments for this afternoon. Wish me luck! So far I haven’t even needed my Advil because all the conference attendees have been great and well prepared. I love the Surrey International Conference.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? MONEY BURNS A HOLE IN MY POCKET by Dean Martin
Talk about a busy last two days! I’ve been getting back to my hotel room too late to blog, and I’m even breaking my weekend blogging embargo because I feel so guilty.
So I have about 20 minutes before the Surrey Genre lunch and I just have to laugh (I’ll share why in a moment).
First off I want to mention how much I enjoy this conference. It’s huge—something like 800 attendees this year. This means there are lots of writers, writing lots of genres, and the likelihood of hearing a good pitch is high.
After all, that’s the reason why I attend conferences. I’m totally looking to expand my list—especially in literary or commercial mainstream (and folks that doesn’t mean thrillers because that’s a genre onto itself and I don’t rep mysteries and thrillers). I also want more SF and Fantasy writers and hey, it doesn’t have to be female-reader oriented. I’m open to ANYTHING. And, since I’m having so much success with Ally Carter and Sarah Rees Brennan, bring on the young adult!
But here’s why I’m laughing about the genre lunch. They have me sitting at a table labeled Chick Lit.
You remember my rant about being considered just a Chick Lit agent? It always cracks me up because out of my 22 clients, only 4 (yep, you read that correctly) clients write in the world of Women’s fiction and only 2 of them might be aptly described as chick lit.
The four clients are:
Jennifer O’Connell (who in my mind doesn’t really write Chick lit but women’s fiction)
Ally Carter (and her adult novels such as Cheating At Solitaire leaned more toward romantic comedy then chick lit per se.)
Becky Motew (she’s so wonderfully quirky (and her heroines older) that she really is more women’s fiction than Chick Lit)
Shanna Swendson (whose Enchanted, Inc. series should probably be labeled fun contemporary urban fantasy than Chick Lit or Women’s fiction)
And yet, I’m sitting at the Chick Lit table and let me just highlight here that when I sit down to lunch, I’ll have to deliver the bad news. Chick Lit is, for all practically purposes, dead at the moment. As agents, we are really careful not to say that word when shopping current women’s fiction manuscripts. And a novel needs to have solid substance (such as LOVE WALKED IN), or it’s just not getting play.
Now I still love women’s fiction but here’s the other funny thing about this lunch, I haven’t taken on a new women’s fiction author lately (in fact it has probably been more than year—maybe close to two since I have).
But what the heck, that’s where I’ll be at the genre lunch and I’m sure we will all have a blast.