Thursday, November 1, 2012

Literary Agent Interview with Jordy Albert

Jordy Alberts from Corvisiero Literary Agency has joined me for an interview. There's even a critique giveaway at the bottom for those of you who want to tighten the opening of your manuscript.

Sharon: Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an agent.

Jordy: A career in publishing has always been something that’s interested me, but as I’ve discovered, it’s a very competitive field, so I decided that I would love to discover new authors and help them achieve their publishing goals. I really wasn’t sure where to start, but a friend pointed me in the direction of Marisa Corivisiero’s blog. I emailed her with some questions, and she emailed me back asking if I’d be interested in helping her go through queries and submissions, learning from her in the process. Of course, I said yes! She is a complete doll. In March she opened her own agency, and it’s been an amazing experience working with the Corvisiero team! 

Sharon: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to become an agent?

 Jordy: Read. A lot! Know what is selling and what there is too much of in the current market. Keep a look out for internships on different job boards, such as the one on Publishers Marketplace or Or visit different agency websites to find out if they have any opportunities currently available. Follow agents and agencies on Twitter and Facebook because they will often make announcements when they are looking for new blood.

Sharon: The question that every aspiring author is hanging out to know – what is on your submission wish list?

Jordy: I’m currently looking to acquire Adult, Young Adult/Middle Grade. I’m particularly interested in romance, especially historical (Regency) or paranormal. I would love to see more time travel and mythology in submissions. I’d also love to see more stories involving travel and competitions.

Sharon: You’ve talked about the importance of including character motivation in queries on your blog. What other key things should writers include in their queries?
Jordy: I would encourage writers to focus on hooking the agent. Your query is sort of like the blurb on the back of a book (other materials might be requested, so please make sure you always check guidelines before submitting). Grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Recently a number of agents participated in a pitch contest on Twitter: #PitMad. The authors did an absolutely amazing job at catching our attention in just the character limit. Because we receive so many submissions, we can usually tell within the first few sentences if it’s something we’d like to take a closer look at, so you have to make sure you stand out, and that we’ll remember your query.

Sharon: You also work as a freelance editor. How important is it for authors to take the plunge and get a professional to look over their manuscript before they submit?

Jordy: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary to get your manuscript looked at professionally. But I would recommend finding Beta readers you trust, joining a critique group, or partnering with a writer friend. Also, proofread because I’ll often come across simple grammatical errors that probably would have been caught by double checking.

Sharon: In both your agenting and editing experience, what are the key mistakes authors are making with their stories?

Jordy: Many stories start with a strong hook, but then fail to grab the reader and make her want to keep reading. I look for stories that make me feel I am with the characters, part of the story and along for the ride. I am looking for an emotional connection with the characters and story—appeal to the readers emotions.

Sharon: Tell us a bit about the clients and stories you have signed so far?

Jordy: I love my clients! They are talented and sweet. The stories range from a Middle Grade fantasy and YA sci-fi to a witty contemporary romance.

Sharon: You call yourself a ‘book carnivore.’ What type of books do you like to devour when you’re not reading submissions?

Jordy: Paranormal romance and historical romances ( I love Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, J. R. Ward, Sabrina Jeffries and Teresa Medeiros). Young Adult titles, such as DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, Hunger Games, and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  

Rapid Fire Questions:

Unicorns or Dragons - Dragons

Time Travel or Super Powers – Time Travel

Drama or Comedy - Comedy

DVD or Cinema – Cinema

Hard Cover, Paperback or eBook - Hardback

Jordy is offering 10 page critiques to three random pitchers and I will also be giving 10 page critiques to my three favourite pitches. Complete the Rafflecopter instructions for your chance for a critique.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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  1. Great interview! And good luck finding some great authors to add to your client list!

  2. Name: Laurie Litwin


    Title: GRIPPED

    Word Count: 60,000

    Genre: YA Contemporary (edgy)

    Three sentence pitch: Alcohol has defined Taylor’s high school life, landing her the hottie boyfriend and the head cheerleading spot, but when she's dumped, her crutch becomes an addiction she can’t break. The more she drinks, the more reckless she becomes, and when she drives drunk after a party, she crashes her car, forcing her to make the hardest decision of her life. The truth is, she can’t survive without alcohol, and she’d rather die than give it up.

  3. Great interview!

    Name: Samantha Farkas



    Word Count: 60,000 (complete but currently in a second revision stage)

    Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy

    Three Sentence Pitch: Finn Rackham is tired of hearing that his hot temper is bound to land him behind bars, but when he falls in with a band of pirates, even he starts to think it won't be long before he's in juvie -- or dead. After twelve years in the rough-and-tough slums of Brooklyn, Finn figures he knows how to deal with pirates, but the men and women who sail under Captain Kelsey Dash are not the sword-swinging, pistol-wielding, treasure hunting rapscallions he expects. They're time travelers, and they just commandeered a ferry in New York Harbor.

  4. Great interview!

    Name: Raven Paramour



    Word Count: 100,000 words (This is the word count of the completed rough draft. But currently working on the final rewrite)

    Genre: Adult Paranormal satire

    Three Sentence Pitch: Lucifer Morningstar wants nothing more than to wipe that smug smile off God's face and crown himself ruler of the universe. Both the Archangel Michael and his legions of angels along with gun-toting Jesus are determined to destroy him, Lucifer has to obliterate all those who dare to defy his will. Lucifer is all too eager to kick ass and take names-when the vampires don't sparkle and the fallen angels don't brood, it will be one hell of a party.

  5. Paranormal you say? *strokes chin*

    Name: Ashley Laster



    Word Count: 61,000 wip

    Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal

    Pitch: Beneath the gnarled trees of the most haunted town in Texas lies a dark secret. Sixteen-year-old Ari Jones must decide who to trust: Sam. the handsome Victorian ghost, or Reid, the sandy-haired boy with a knack for spilling demon's blood. But she has to choose wisely, because the choice she makes could either save everyone she loves, or end the world.

  6. Thanks for the great interview, I love reading them!

    Name- Stacey Trombley


    65,000 words

    YA fantasy

    In a desperate search for answers behind the rumors that follow her, Taylor discovers an unwanted legacy. As a descendent of this group, who believe they are chosen by fate to cause terrible accidents and disasters to the world, she is expected to join them. When she refuses, she finds herself on the run, hunted by her own family.

  7. Whoops. Forgot my email.

  8. Great interview! I liked hearing about how one gets started as an agent.

    Name: Connie B. Dowell
    Email: cgbdowell (at) gmail (dot) com
    WIP: Estimating final word count at 65,000
    YA Historical Mystery

    In October 1918, fifteen-year-old Emmie arrives home from boarding school, forced to leave due to the growing influenza pandemic, only to find her small Georgia town’s most prominent suffragist lying stabbed in a pool of blood. The crimes pile up even as illness ravages the town, taking down many of the youngest and strongest, including law enforcement. Emmie steps in and must navigate the town’s complex political and criminal elements, the growing disorder caused by the pandemic around her, and the still-present worry of the war overseas to find the killer before even more die.

  9. Oops. I realized later I'd forgotten to include the title: THE HANDKERCHIEF

  10. Name: HollyD
    Title: Death by High Heels
    Word Count: 75,000
    Genre: Mystery
    Pitch: Private Investigator Kimberly Murphy is caught standing over a dead body, again, only this time it wasn’t her fault. To clear her “good” name, Kim will have to find a clever killer while avoiding a certain hot homicide detective determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind. Too bad Kim’s efforts lead to dead ends and even more dead bodies. Kim will need all her skills and a bit of luck to outwit a killer who’d like to put an end to Kim’s meddling, permanently.

  11. Name: Kenya Wright
    Title: Willow Park
    Word Count: 60,000
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Author Website:
    Billionaire polygamist Chase Stone offers Alyssa a six-figure job that requires a full-time commitment in his office as well as his bed. If only she knew that before she agreed, then life would’ve been easier. It’s not that he’s unattractive. What’s repulsing is the three live-in girlfriends and his assertions that she’ll be his fourth.

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  13. I loved the questions that were asked, they were different then the usual interviews you see.

    Name: Mandi Lynn
    Title: Essence
    Word Count: 71,000 (WIP-editing)
    Genre: YA fantasy

    Three Sentence Pitch: When Emma goes into the forest she encounters a pull that is both a mental and physical battle, losing the will to fight and transforming from human to essence. Forced to announce her supposed death to her parents, Emma struggles with her new life. After all, when you’re no longer alive, what else is left for you?