Q: Hi Connor! You’ve been very busy this past year. You sold some big deals for your speculative fiction clients (some of whom were nominated for big awards). You expanded into celebrity nonfiction. And you were promoted to Senior Agent. What happened to light the fuse (pun intended) in your agent life?
A: I had my first nonfiction sale last year, Zeba Blay’s CAREFREE BLACK GIRLS (to be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2021). I found that I really enjoy the nonfiction submission process, from finding the talent to brainstorming ideas to helping with the proposal. Once I had this whole new world opened up to me, and found I enjoyed it just as much as my fiction work, I was eager to dive right in.
Q: You’ve established yourself in speculative fiction agenting, so why did you decide to add nonfiction authors to your client list?
A: On the most basic level, it’s hard to make a living solely doing adult SF/F. I decided I needed to diversify my list. But the specific diversification was born out of my lifelong interests in media (I got an MA in Media Studies, and started my career at a film and television agency) and social politics. It’s been great fun to find rising voices and help elevate them to another level in their careers. Facilitating artists is my passion and is why I do this.
Q: You’ve been a lifelong New Yorker. What’s different about the LA scene and which one do you prefer?
A: LA is all about film and television, for the most part, whereas New York media tends to be more about publishing and journalism, so it’s a different creative atmosphere. That means there’re a lot of untapped talents in LA who haven’t considered writing a book — or, if they have considered it, aren’t sure how to get started. I’m really enjoying the learning experience, both for me and for them. But I’m definitely bicoastal for now — I love New York too much to really leave.
Q: I see that you’re closed to unsolicited queries right now. So how does a celebrity, internet influencer, or brilliant SF/F novelist interest you in their work?
A: I’m only looking at fiction right now on referral or by solicitation, but potential nonfiction clients can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with some information on their platform and their concept. I’m really looking for people with established platforms and something important to say.