Would you represent a writer whose native language is not English, but his/her books are written well in English?
As long as the writing in the book is fluent, yes.
On the Writing of Epic Fantasy
Writers of fantasy, you should be following my client Brian Staveley’s blog. He has smart things to say, and his debut epic fantasy trilogy, beginning with The Emperor’s Blades will be out from Tor and Tor UK in January 2014.
Can authors living outside the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand send you their query?
Yes! We represent clients all over the world, although only for MSs in English.
Do you ever accept novellas?
Not right now. I don’t see the market for standalone novellas being strong enough at the moment.
Should a writer have their MS professionally edited before querying? ie spend their own money to do it?
I don’t think this is necessary. First find a good critique partner and see how far you can get on your own. Only pay for an editor if you really think it will teach you to improve your writing — it’s not a requirement!
If a book has supernatural elements, is it automatically considered paranormal?
Not necessarily, but in this market agents are being pretty cautious about things with paranormal elements.
What is your average response time for queries?
Depends on when! This fall, it’s running two weeks to a month. I’m hoping to get that down soon, though.
I've had one manuscript on query for about nine months now. In that time, I've written and polished another manuscript that I'm almost ready to query. However, a few agents still have either a partial or full of the first MS. Is it bad form to query two different projects at once? They're both in the same genre, as well. What would I do if, by some amazing luck, I receive an offer on the latter project while the other is still in the hands of another agent?
Opinions differ on this. I think it’s fine to query both. If you get an offer on the new one, also let the agents still considering the old one know, so they can read and maybe offer on the new project if they want.
I am having bad luck on my queries, so far, the only responses I am getting are "thanks, but no thanks." I am thinking into changing my first chapter to add more action or to give another perspective and then either do a flashback or change to the main character's point of view. I didn't planned my novel like this but I feel the changes would improve hook. Do you recommend it?
I’d look at your query letter first. Usually quick cosmetic changes to the opening of the book don’t work — either there’s some writing issue you need to address throughout the book or it’s the query letter that’s not working.
I have an upmarket novel with a male protagonist. So many agents specify "women's fiction" when looking for "upmarket" or "book club" fiction. Does a male MC mean this isn't what any agent is looking for?
I wouldn’t generalize about what “any agent is looking for.” It’s not women’s fiction, but might be upmarket commercial fiction, and people still sell that. (Probably not right for me, though!)