Here’s the great line-up of Editors and Agents for our conference in June, 2013. When you register for the conference, you will be able to indicate your preferences should you choose to meet with any of the Editors and Agents who will be holding one-on-one sessions with conference attendees.
Also, check out our PITCHING HINTS to help prepare for your session!
NATALIA APONTE opened the Aponte Literary Agency after a long career in publishing that included working as a book buyer for a regional distributor, clerking in a bookstore, working in the marketing department of a major publisher, and editing manuscripts at Tor Books for over 20 years. Natalia and her colleague Victoria Lea accept submissions of any genre of mainstream fiction and non-fiction, but they especially seek women’s novels, historical novels, supernatural and paranormal fiction, fantasy novels, political and science thrillers. In non-fiction they look at any genre with commercial potential. What they consider most important, and certainly more important than genre, is that the writing be strong and fresh. Please see www.aponteliterary.com for more information.
STEPHANIE CABOT – Half French, half American, Stephanie was educated in Europe and in the US where she majored in History at Harvard. Her agenting career began in London and she spent nine years at the William Morris – London office, the last five as Managing Director, where she built a list of international bestselling and prize-winning authors. She moved back to the States in 2005, joined The Gernert Company, and is now selectively adding writers from a variety of genres, including commercial and literary fiction, latte lit, and non-fiction. She has worked with several authors such as Stella Duffy (Theodora and The Purple Shroud, Viking), Patricia Bracewell (Shadow on the Crown, Viking), Olen Steinhauer (The Tourist, The Nearest Exit, An American Spy, St. Martin’s Press), Mark Mills (The Information Officer, The Savage Garden, House of the Hunted, Random House), Sarah Blake (The Postmistress, Amy Einhorn Books), Maryka Biaggio (Parlor Games, Doubleday), Catherine Delors (Mistress of the Revolution andFor the King, Dutton), Julianne Douglas, and Lucy Pick. Stephanie is especially interested in writers who tell original stories with strong narratives and create distinctive characters. She spends her weekends working on a family dairy farm with her husband and four children.
DENI DIETZ — Senior Editor, Five Star Mysteries – Five Star — Denise [Deni] Dietz has been in the publishing business for over 20 years, and has been reading fiction for longer than that. When she was in grade school she tried to hide her mom’s hardcover Gone With the Wind inside her Dick and Jane reader. She got caught, learned her lesson, and hid her mom’s paperbacks instead. Deni still feels the same sense of joy and discovery when she reads a non–clichéd, well–written, character–driven novel. She says she wants to BE THERE, in the scene. For example, she doesn’t want to know that General Santa Anna was captured in 1836. She prefers to know that he was naked except for his underpants. Deni is acquiring historical crime fiction of any time period, up to and including the 1960s. She will also be taking pitches for a new Five Star line: FRONTIER FICTION. Novels should be set prior to the 1940s. She’s looking for “off-trail” westerns, romance, women’s fiction, and Frontier Fiction with YA crossover (coming-of-age themes). Her authors include Edgar-nominated Kate Flora and Edgar winner Richard Helms, best-selling historical mystery authors Peg Herring (the Tudor era), Alice Duncan (1920s), Linda Richards (1930s), Sheila York (1940s), Alana White (15th century), and Kelli Stanley (winner of numerous awards). Under the pen name Mary Ellen Dennis, Deni is the author of Heaven’s Thunder – a Colorado Saga – 1893-1923 with an emphasis on Colorado’s silent film industry. Also, The Landlord’s Black-eyed Daughter (1790s), inspired by Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman, chosen as one of Booklist’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and nominated for an RT Award. Plus, Stars of Fire (1860-1861) and an 1875 circus historical, The Greatest Love on Earth. Mary Ellen Dennis novels are available at this conference. Deni is often asked what she likes best: writing or editing? The answer, of course, is both. But here in this brief bio, she confesses that she likes working with brand new authors best, and when she offers one a contract she does a Snoopy dance.
Regrettably, SHANA DREHS is unable to attend our conference this year. Attendees who were scheduled for a pitch session with her have been notified and placed with another of our fine editors or agents.
DIANA FOX is the owner of Fox Literary LLC, a full-service boutique literary agency specializing in commercial fiction along with select works of literary fiction and non-fiction with broad commercial appeal. Before founding Fox Literary in 2007, Diana spent several years learning the business of publishing at Writers House. Since then, Fox Literary has represented a steadily growing client list, including the agency’s first New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. In addition to her interest in historical fiction, Diana is currently seeking submissions in the following genres: young adult, science fiction/fantasy, romance, women’s fiction, thrillers, noir/crime fiction, and graphic novels. On the nonfiction side, memoirs, biography, and smart narrative nonfiction are all welcome. Fox Literary does NOT represent screenplays, poetry, category Westerns, non-literary horror, children’s picture books, or Christian/inspirational material. To learn more, please visit www.foxliterary.com.
IRENE GOODMAN has been a leading member of the publishing community for over 30 years. Her clients are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Bookscan bestseller lists. She began her career as the assistant to the agent who represented Stephen King, and established her own agency a year later. Her fiction list includes historical fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers, young adult, and mysteries. Her non-fiction list includes pop culture, memoir, music, social issues, animals, parenting, food, Judaica, Anglophilia, Francophilia, and lifestyle. Together with her dynamic staff, her agency represents over one hundred authors in these fields. Irene has written columns and articles for a number of writers’ publications, including the Novelists Ink newsletter, the Mystery Writers of America newsletter, Solander (the newsletter of the Historical Novelists Society), the Romance Writers of America newsletter, and many regional publications. She is also a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences, including keynoting at the Historical Novelists Society and Novelists Ink., and workshops at the Romance Writers of America, the Surrey International Writers Conference, the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, SEAK, the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and Malice Domestic. Originally from the Midwest, Irene has a B.A. and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She divides her time between New York and the Berkshires. Her personal passions include travel, Doonesbury, opera, Mark Twain, theatre, and children. She has been married for 32 years and has two grown children.
HELEN HELLER has run her own literary agency for 24 years. She specializes in front-list fiction which she defines as ‘the sweet spot where extraordinary prose meets engrossing plots’. She loves historical fiction and has handled many historical novels such as the recently-published The Virgin Cureby Ami McKay. She has also done historical crime fiction like The Mistress of the Art of Death series by Ariana Franklin. Helen’s preference is for books that transcend genre to deliver amazing characters as well as riveting stories. She is a stickler for historical accuracy and gets annoyed at dialogic solecisms in shows like Downtown Abbey and The Hour! That having been said, she also has an innate dislike for ‘talking forsoothly’ in her books. Helen was born and raised in the United Kingdom where she was educated at the University of London. She now makes her home in Toronto, Canada.
JEAN HUETS has over twenty years in the publishing industry as a copy writer, copy editor, acquisitions editor, production editor, and graphic artist, and five years in consumer electronics distribution. Bruce Frostick, her partner in life and in business, is a computer application architect who has worked in the financial sector for most of his career. Bringing together their skills and their love of books, in October, 2012, Jean and Bruce launched Circling Rivers (www.circlingrivers.com), an independent publisher of historical fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Circling Rivers is actively building its list, seeking gripping adventures, love stories, quests, and family sagas; alternative history, eldritch, and folkloric works; and young adult fiction and nonfiction if equally interesting to adults. We are not seeking highly academic treatments, category romance, erotica, or derivative/fan fiction. We are open to all periods and places, but our bias is American history, particularly 19th century. Eager to work with new writers as well as with established writers who have niche works difficult to place elsewhere, Circling Rivers wants to offer readers beautiful writing, complex men and women, and immersion in a time and place.
GREG JOHNSON worked for nine years as a literary agent before starting WordServe Literary Group in 2003. He has represented more than 2,200 books and negotiated more than 1,600 contracts valued at more than $40 million to over eighty different publishing houses. Before working with authors, Greg wrote 23 non-fiction books and more than 200 magazine articles. He worked for five years as founding editor for “Breakaway” magazine, and spent ten years working full time with youth in the Pacific Northwest. Greg is married to Becky who works closely with him in evaluating authors and their manuscripts. Together they have six adult children, along with five grandsons. They make their home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Greg is looking for fiction in these categories: Military, Christian/Religious, Historical, Women’s Romantic Suspense. He’s not looking for Children’s Picture books or YA fiction, Poetry, Romance, Horror/SciFi, or Literary.
KEVAN LYON is a Literary Agent and partner with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She has more than 20 years in the publishing business, including 8 years as a Literary Agent and 17+ years on the wholesale, retail and distribution side of the business, Kevan brings an informed and unique perspective to her work with clients. Her background on the buying and retail side of publishing affords her helpful insight into what types of books will sell and how to market them. Kevan holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Kevan handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction, young adult fiction and all genres of romance. Kevan works with her authors to help them realize their dreams of being published and to build a long term career as a writer. The Marsal Lyon Literary Agency strives to partner with their clients on all phases of the publishing path. Authors on Kevan’s list span a broad range of genres in women’s and young adult fiction from more literary, commercial projects to all genres of romance including historical, contemporary, suspense and paranormal. She loves to be surprised by a unique plot or characters and is always looking for a new, fresh voice or approach. For more information on the agency and their client list, visit their web site at www.MarsalLyonLiteraryAgency.com, visit their Facebook page, or follow Kevan on Twitter!
JILL MARR is an acquiring associate agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a strong Internet and media background as well as over 10 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces and promotional features for television. Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers and horror, women’s commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for non-fiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of history, sports, politics, current events, self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music. For more about Jill, visit http://www.dijkstraagency.com/
NEPHELE TEMPEST joined The Knight Agency in January, 2005, opening the Los Angeles office. She comes from a diverse publishing and finance background, having worked in the editorial department at Simon and Schuster, as a financial advisor, in the marketing and communications departments of several major New York investment firms, and as a freelance writer—all skills that come into play helping her clients develop their careers. She continues to actively build her client list, and is seeking works in the following genres: up-market commercial fiction; women’s fiction; urban fantasy; single-title romance including paranormal, suspense, historical, and contemporary; historical fiction, particularly Renaissance, Victorian era, turn of the 19th/20th centuries, and/or having European, Russian, Northern African or urban-U.S. settings; and young adult and middle grade fiction.