Article by Albert Tucher
Tia Mele, agent for Talcott Notch Literary Services, will be at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ on March 23, 2019, to take pitches from conferees for women’s fiction, romance, YA and MG on a first come, first serve basis.
To sign up for a pitch session, follow the instructions on the registration form. Your actual appointment time will be assigned after registration is closed, and will be attached to conference materials upon signing in.
GLVWG member, Albert Tucher, had a chance to ask Mele a few questions.
If I were to meet you at a conference, what is something you would tell me about yourself that would be intriguing?
I love math! I do algebra problems in my free time because I find it really relaxing, and I went up to calculus in high school and took pre-calculus in college. People think it’s strange because I was an English major who took a bunch of math classes throughout my college career, but I just love numbers and solving problems mathematically. It’s probably not surprising that on those “which side of your brain is dominant” tests, the result is always that I use both sides equally.
What drew you to becoming an agent?
I learned what an agent was when I started writing seriously right after high school, and I was looking into how to get published. I saw agents as being a little like fairy godmothers, and I wanted to be a part of making author dreams come true!
When you get a submission, how far into it do you get before you know this one is not for you?
Sometimes I only get as far as the query, because the submission will be in a genre I don’t represent. If it is in my wheelhouse, I read the whole query and first ten pages before making a decision.
What are the current trends in publishing that you think we should know about?
I don’t want to call diversity a trend because I think it’s here to stay, but diversity is huge in publishing right now. Diversity is one of those ‘trends’ that you can follow because it isn’t going to disappear by the time you finish your book. I’ve noticed a lot of YA fantasy over the last few years. With the successes of Simon Vs. The Homosapien Agenda (Love, Simon) and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in film, I’ve heard a lot of editors say they’re looking for swoony, sweet YA romances across genders and sexualities, which I have always loved, so I’m especially excited for this trend.
What do aspiring authors do in seeking an agent that drives you crazy? In other words, what should we avoid doing?
Please don’t send mass queries (putting a hundred different agents in the subject line, or cc/bcc’ing us on the email). Do follow the guidelines on our website for submitting your query. Also, your query should tell me about your book. I get a lot of queries that are mostly about the author or the writing process, and don’t tell me about the characters or plot. I try to emphasize relevant biographical information in queries. Your bio should tell an agent your writing background (if you have one, it’s not a requirement to be published!) and what makes you the best person to write the book. For example, if your book is about a ballerina, you should tell me that you did ballet for ten years, but not that you have twenty-seven dogs.
What is your favorite place in the world to visit? (Mine is the Big Island of Hawaii.)
Oh, man, this is a hard question. I’ve been so lucky to visit some amazing places. I think I have to go with two: Paris, France and Nashville, Tennessee.
And finally, tell us what you’re specifically looking for as an agent.
I’m looking to build my list with middle grade and young adult projects in any genre. I’m especially interested in dark middle grade and contemporary YA. Please send me your LGBT+ stories, as well as stories featuring visible and invisible illnesses, especially relating to mental health. I like everything from deep, terrifying thrillers to sweet, heartwarming romances. Sports plots are always interesting to me, especially if they involve baseball or softball. Dogs are a huge part of my life, so I’m all for dog-related stories as well.
I’m seeking limited adult projects in women’s fiction and romance.
In non-fiction, I’m looking for anything sports related, especially baseball, football, or basketball. I’m also open to cookbooks from chefs who have a following from a blog or channel.
Article by Albert Tucher
Albert Tucher came to writing late, after twenty years spent pursuing an operatic singing career. Always busy, Albert could never get to the point where he could give up his day job as a librarian. So, he started writing novels and sending them out to agents.
See what Albert is up to on his blog at WritersResidence.com.