Today we have a very special guest with us -- Literary agent Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates who will be coming to Australia as a special guest for the Romance Writers of Australia conference.
Jennifer – thank you for joining us on LoveCats Downunder. We are very excited to have you here. In a few short months, you will be winging your way downunder to join us for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Coogee. Have you been to Australia before?
Hello and thank you so much for the opportunity to be here with all of you! I am so excited to be headed down to Australia for the conference that I can barely contain myself. I have loads of talented and wonderful clients downunder and it will be great to meet all of them finally. I have been to Australia when I was a college student. I backpacked alone and it was a great experience. This time, I will be going for a job, and a husband in toe, which will be a chance to see the beauty of Australia through a different lens (the I am SO MUCH older then I was back then lens!)
Outside of the conference – is there anything you are particular wanting to do or see when you are visiting Australia?
I would love to see the Blue Mountains. My clients say that this is something I shouldn’t miss that is close to Sydney. I wonder if I could see a Koala there? I have also wanted to travel to Melbourne and do some diving in the Great Barrier Reef… the hubby is afraid of 1. Sharks. 2. Killer Jellyfish 3. Sea Crocs so we may not head up to the GBR. I’ll work on him… if anyone has suggestions in how to get him in the water let me know!
You represent a few downunder authors – is there something about the Aussie/kiwi voice you enjoy?
I never really thought of the continuity in voice between the Australian writers…but what I do like about their work is that they have a very keen and well developed sense of humour which seems so natural and easy.
If someone is pitching, what do you look for and what immediately turns you off?
I look for a really strong story with amazing characters and a fresh vibrant hook. When someone is pitching in person, I look for their ability to articulate the story they are pitching and I also look for an author that ‘knows’ her market, and how her work fits into the market. I love enthusiasm for the work too… through experience I have found that authors that are enthusiastic for their work tend to reach me more in their writing. What turns me off is not knowing what I am taking, what I represent and pitching work that is not complete. Always research the agent by way of their website to see the most up to date and credible info on what they are looking for.
You read a lot for a living, do you read for pleasure or what else do you like to do to let your hair down?
I like this question. I am more than just my job
Okay to finish off, a bit of a hypothetical question. If you were to write – what genre would you choose and who would be your dream agent (and you are totally allowed to say yourself :))