Blogger: Rachel Kent
I am looking forward to the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference in April, and I was asked to participate in an interview as a personal introduction for the conferees. Kirk Kraft, the interviewer, told me that I was welcome to post the interview here, too. I have been to this conference before and really enjoyed it. I think there are still openings, if you want to attend.
Here is my interview. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about my answers.
Kirk: What is the most important attribute you look for in a prospective new client?
Rachel: I’m not sure I can pick just one! I guess being a great writer comes first, but I won’t represent a great writer who isn’t a kind, friendly person with perseverance and the ability to work well with others.
Kirk: Is there a particular story or genre you’ve been looking for recently & haven’t found?
Rachel: I have clients writing in all the categories I like to represent, but I would like to find more romantic suspense and also nonfiction books for those in their teens, twenties, and thirties.
The nonfiction I’m looking for would be books that help those in these age groups get through life at the stages they are in. For example: Surviving high school or college; dating; early years of marriage; raising children when the parents are like ships passing in the night to make ends meet; etc. The books do need to bring something fresh to these topics, though, and platform has to be strong.
I’m open to short romantic suspense (Love Inspired-length) and longer romantic suspense projects.
This doesn’t mean that I’m not looking at other types of projects too, though.
Kirk: Do you have any publishing heroes or role models? Who are they?
Rachel: The amazing agents at Books & Such are instructive and inspiring to me on a daily basis. Janet Kobobel Grant has really dedicated herself to helping each of us at Books & Such, and she is a hero in my book!
My clients also inspire me. They all work so hard and do what they do with joy and dedication. I can see Jesus in them.
Kirk: What advice can you give aspiring writers who believe they’re ready to submit work?
Rachel: Please have some critique partners read your work first! It makes a difference. And ask them to look at your query letter, too. The query letter can be the gateway to your publishing career, and you want it to be the best it can be so editors and agents request your project.
Kirk: What brings you the most joy in your life as an agent?
Rachel: I love helping all of my clients get contracted, but there’s a special joy that comes with placing a debut author. Placing that new writer with a publishing house makes me so excited and happy.
I also love reading a brand new idea from a client. There’s so much potential in new ideas.
Kirk: If you could go back in time, would you choose a different career? Why or why not?
Rachel: I don’t think so. I really love being a literary agent. I find joy in my job, and I don’t think I would if I did something else–or it would be harder to. I also feel like I’m able to reach people with the love of Jesus through what I do. And I have some flexibility with my job so I can spend a lot of time with my daughter.
Kirk: What are you currently reading?
Rachel: I am currently rereading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s amazing how different life is today. Laura had only a few toys growing up, and Ma only had one special glass figurine to put on her homemade shelf. And there wasn’t any technology! They were happy and thankful and unselfish. I think every adult should read these books again. It’s been eye-opening, and they are so good!