QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time Again for Us to Interview YOU!

From time to time we like to interview you, our readers, to find out what you want to read about on the QueryTracker Blog!

What: We want to interview you!
Where: We'll post our questions below, and you can answer in the comments section or via email.
When: We'll be watching today's post December16 through December 25th, so you can answer the questions anytime over the next week!  (You can also answer more than once, if you feel like it.)


Question 1:  Tell us a little bit about yourself!


What do you like to write?  Fiction? Nonfiction? Genre? Etc.?


What do you like to read? 



Question 2:  What do you want to see more of?  What do you want to see less of?


What have we covered that you'd like to see us talk more about?  Please be as specific as you can.


What areas haven't we covered that you want us to address? Again, specifics are great!

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be?  Why?  (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)

What would you ask?


Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? (e.g. the main site/QueryTracker.net, the Forum, the Blog, QT's Twitter feed) What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT?


Thanks in advance, everyone!  We're looking forward to reading your answers!

13 comments:

kimysworld said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm from NJ, born and raised, and love reading and writing. I am writing YA and enjoy reading YA, true crime, Dan Brown, Ann Rule, and How-To books on writing!


Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?
I love the site as it is - no need to change it!


Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)
Hmm, Ann Rule. She has had the most interesting life and writes amazing true crime stories. I would ask what it was like for her to work with Ted Bundy and then find out he was a serial killer.


Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful?
The Forum and the Agent Query list are my faves. You guys are the best and I don't think I could do this without you! Thanks QT!

She Wrote said...

Q.1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Born in New England, spent my adult life and career (law enforcement/corrections) in CA and then retired and moved back to ME. I have several hobbies but I'm focusing on writing "fiction" based on my career knowledge - a series with a female protagonist. Favorite writers are Robert B. Parker, Dick Francis, Alan Folsom, Margaret Truman, Janet Evanovich when I need a good out-loud laugh (and who doesn't these days) and several others.

Q.2. What do you want to see more of - less of?

I'd like to see more info re: agents representing my genre (police procedurals, arena novels, adult mystery/thriller, etc.), more opportunities to ask specific writing style questions that don't seem to be addressed in the "How To" books. Sure would like to see more agents looking for new writers. And more news re: writers conferences in the northeast other than CrimeBake (a great conference sponsored by MWA/SinC, btw).

As to the "less of" - for a new writer about to seek an agent, all this talk re: e-books and Amazon taking over the publishing biz is just not relevant to where we are.

Q.3.If you could interview anyone in publishing, whether it be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would it be? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)

I don't have any specific name or names - but I would like to see interviews with agents and publishing house editors to see what kinds of (1) changes they usually ask for or require from new authors (and how many times changes are requested and for what reasons), (2) how art work is decided for my genre and how much input the author has, and (3) the most current guidelines for submission of a first novel (wordcount and font) since they seem to vary depending on the source (conference speaker and writing manual).

Q. 4. What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful?

The daily Forum and the Agent Query list. I don't use Twitter at all - for anything and the same goes for Facebook. I need to spend my time writing, researching, and with my weekly writers group (not to mention basic life).

Stina Lindenblatt said...

1. I love to read YA. Last time you asked this question, I was adamant that I would only write YA paranormals and urban fantasies. Apparently I lied. Now I write YA contemporaries and love it.

2. I would love to see more interviews with agents and more contests. You've all done an incredible job with the blog in the past year, so I can't think of anything else I want to see.

3. Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen. Lisa McMann. Sarah Ockler. Oh, and did I mention Sarah Dessen?

4. The blog and the main site. I do have one thing I would love to see changed about the main site. Do we have to be greeted by the angry red rejection faces everytime we log in? Is there a way to permanently turn them off? Or maybe you could make them something softer, like a light peach. That would be definitely less depressing. :D

Great job with a such a wonderful blog! You should all be proud.

Ian said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm from Colorado, and am a speculative fiction writer specializing in superheroes, although I've dabbled in cyberpunk, cross-genre western/high fantasy, and urban fantasy hockey (no, really). I was using QueryTracker while trying to land an agent, when I was abruptly signed by one who I pitched to at a conference (she's not listed here, by the way: Anita Kushen of Anita Kushen & Associates). I like to read mostly genre stuff, although I do branch out from time to time.

Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?

Now that QT is also listing publishers, I'd like to see more here from a publisher's perspective. How is it different working with a publisher who accepts unrepresented work? How do agents cultivate their relationships with acquisitions editors? Let's see more of the seamy underbelly of publishing, as it were.

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)

Laura Resnick comes to mind as an author who's conspicuously working successfully without an agent. The fine ladies-Theresa and Alicia-at Edittorrent (http://edittorrent.blogspot.com) both deserve attention. You could interview me too if you want, although I doubt I have anything particularly useful to say. I'd probably just talk about monkeys or something.

Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? (e.g. the main site/QueryTracker.net, the Forum, the Blog, QT's Twitter feed) What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT?

The Agent Query list and management of said list are phenomenal (although I'm not using them now).

beth said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I write YA fantasy and sci fi, and just signed with my first agent (thanks, in large part, to QT). My blog is bethrevis.blogspot.com and my website is bethrevis.com

What do you like to write? Fiction? Nonfiction? Genre? Etc.?

YA fantasy and sci fi


What do you like to read?

Same


Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?

My favorite segment is Publishing Pulse. I *always* read those, and usually star them. I'm also selfish: I like YA or fantasy/SF related interviews, but don't bother if they are not in those genres. I also like the posts on medical aid for characters.


What have we covered that you'd like to see us talk more about? Please be as specific as you can.

see above

What areas haven't we covered that you want us to address? Again, specifics are great!

Hmmm...what about things like "most surprising thing I've learned since..." and you can vary the theme. One post on most surprising thing I've learned since beginning writing, one on since signing with an agent, one on since signing a book deal, one on since being published, etc. You could open it up to the entire audience to get varied responses and feature the top ten.

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)

Before signing, I'd say agents. Now that I've signed, I'd say new authors before or just after the first book deal. But this is all very specific to me.

What would you ask?

For agents, I like the specific wants/desires questions, as well as lists of favorite comparable titles.

For authors, I'd ask new ways to market books, developing an online platform, etc. Basically things I can learn from on how to make myself more marketable.

Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? (e.g. the main site/QueryTracker.net, the Forum, the Blog, QT's Twitter feed) What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT?

The main site and the blog are the only part of QT I use. I don't find anything helpful in the forum (sorry), and I've only rarely noticed Twitter postings.

On the main site, I like the organizational tools, the ease of selecting and learning about agents, and the reports. The comments are hit and miss--I find it irksome when people post specifics about their query process (i.e. when/how they queried and updates) but useful when people post about links to interviews or other tidbits that help in researching the agent. It might be nice to separate the comments--have a section about who queries what when, and another comment section about useful updates on the agent.

As for the blog: I love it. I don't always read when the article isn't applicable to me, but I do love and find everything very well done.

Kristi said...

1) I write urban fantasy YA (and the occasional picture book). I'm part of the Sisters in Scribe blog (sistersinscribe.blogspot.com) and we're all female YA writers.

I read a ton of literary fiction as well as urban fantasy YA.

2) What I'd like to see more of: anything related to YA and finding an agent. I always love the contests too so more of those would be great. Thinking down the road, I'd love to see more on marketing and promotion.

3) As I'll soon start the query process, my answer here is selfish: interviews with my top 10 agents and they're asked what they're looking for at that time. No, I'm not naming names :)

4) I love the blog and read it daily - the links in Friday's Publishing Pulse are always helpful. Aside from the blog, I use the main site to research agents and will use that even more once I start the query process - I'm planning on doing the Premium upgrade then as well. Those searches by word count, genre, etc. are so much fun!

The Agent Updates section is also awesome. I've visited the forum a few times and I don't use Twitter.

Hope that helps and thanks for all the great work you do!

Carolyn Kaufman said...

Thanks to everyone who's posted or emailed comments so far, and I'm looking forward to reading more from you! We always love reader feedback!

Paul West said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you like to write? Fiction? Nonfiction? Genre? Etc.? What do you like to read?

My name is Paul West. I work as an environmental biologist. I'm happily married with 4 kids, and 6 (so far) grand kids. My passions are family, writing, reading, gardening, and family history.

I love to read almost anything so long as it's well-written. I write young adult fiction. So far, it's been set in earlier eras.


Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?

More of: How to write query letters. They will be the death of me! But thanks to some kind people here at QT, I think I've been able to pound out a fairly decent one.

Less of: I can't think of anything.


What have we covered that you'd like to see us talk more about? Please be as specific as you can.

Again, the art of writing query letters, and I might add synopsis writing as well.
What areas haven't we covered that you want us to address? Again, specifics are great!

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)

Nicholas Sparks, Dean Koontz, Chris Stewart, Kristen Nelson, ....

What would you ask?

How did they break in to being published? How did they craft their queries and synopses?


Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? (e.g. the main site/QueryTracker.net, the Forum, the Blog, QT's Twitter feed) What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT?

I use the forum most, but I also follow the blog nearly every day.

DaniSue said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Danielle (or Dani, or DaniSue..doesn't matter..) I'm a poor recent college graduate in Florida. I work in a smoothie shop to pay the rent, but I would rather be home writing YA. I recently started a blog: www.smoothiegirlwrites.blogspot.com


What do you like to write? Fiction? Nonfiction? Genre? Etc.?
I write YA mostly, but also recently started a contemporary romance

What do you like to read?
I read everything. Seriously - everything. YA (of course), romance, historical, fantasy, suspense, mystery, even some sci-fi every now and then. My boyfriend got me a kindle for christmas and my purchases go to his credit card, poor guy. Literally, I'm bankrupting him.


Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?
Contests are great, that's actually how I found the QT blog. I love interviews with authors and agents.

What have we covered that you'd like to see us talk more about? Please be as specific as you can.


What areas haven't we covered that you want us to address? Again, specifics are great!
I haven't been reading that long so I don't know what you've already covered :(

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? (Yes, we're asking you to name names here.)
One of my favorite YA authors Kate Brian (that's a pen name though, she also writes under her real name Kieran Scott)

What would you ask?
How are you so prolific? How can I right faster? Do you plot your novels before you write them (especially the series?) or do you just plan as you go? I would really love to know how she writes her series, and ask her to stop torturing me with cliffhangers.


Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? (e.g. the main site/QueryTracker.net, the Forum, the Blog, QT's Twitter feed) What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT?
I use the forum a lot, everyone is so helpful! I always read the blog, of course! I haven't started querying yet so I haven't really used much else.

Blooming Eventually said...

My name is Kim Cooper Findling (www.kimcooperfindling.com) and I have been writing professionally for a decade--all non-fiction: essay, magazine, etc. My first book, a collection of essays, is expected out next year. I'd love to see more info geared towards non-fiction here, though really I have no complaints. I love reading what you post. I read a lot of fiction, as well as non-fiction. I would love to interview David Sedaris. Or drink cocktails in Paris with him, really.

Annarkie said...

1.) My name is Brooklyn Ann and I live in North Idaho. I write paranormal romance and love to read paranormal and historical romance, any historical, fantasy, and horror.

2.) I would like more information about small presses. They are a great starting point for writers and feel they don't get enough coverage. Everything else you have is perfect.

3.) If I could interview anyone in the industry it would be Historical Romance author Virginia Henley. She is a real historian and it shows in her writing. I want to know all about the research. I would also like to interview a literary agent's assistant.

4.)I find the QT forum to be most helpful, especially the critique sessions. There are great people there and it is so wonderful to have an online support system and people that won't let you go out with your fly unzipped, figuratively speaking. It is a great system because you help people with their work and get helped in return. I love this site!

cipherqueen said...

Question 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself! I’m a workaholic sophomore who is addicted to chocolate and solves ciphers.

What do you like to write? I write fiction, in the subgenre of swords and dragons, steampunk, sci-fi, and contemporary.

What do you like to read? I read just about everything, but fantasy has always been my favorite.

Question 2: What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of? I’m actually one of the few people from the younger generation that prefer paper books to electronic reading. I’d like to see more books in general, and less ebooks.

What have we covered that you'd like to see us talk more about? I’d like a little more information on writing contests you can enter online.

What areas haven't we covered that you want us to address? None that I know of.

Question 3: If you could interview anybody in publishing, whether that be an author, an agent, or someone else, who would that be? Why? That’s tough to answer.

What would you ask?

Question 4: What areas of QueryTracker do you use most/find the most helpful? I love having the query list: it’s very easy to organize and use. The main site is great, and the forums are a wonderful place to learn the steps to publishing.
What, if anything, would you add or change about that/those area/s of QT? I was just thinking that it would be really neat if there could be a featured literary agent every day or something similar, on the first page.
-Cipherqueen

Stephanie said...

Question 1: I live in Richmond, VA. I have two small children and I write during naptimes. I write contemporary romance and I like to read romance fiction, too. My first love is mysteries.

Question 2: I like what you do. Thank you.

Question 3: I would want to ask Sue Grafton - what is "Z" going to be for?

Question 4: the blog is my 'daily dose'; the main site is always a good reference