A Quick Word on Areas of Interest
After spending some quality time in the query trenches I wanted to address a (seemingly common) misconception about how an agent’s stated areas of interest should be interpreted.
On the Waxman site, my bio says:
She is actively seeking upmarket and commercial fiction, including women’s fiction, mystery, urban fantasy, romance, and YA, and voice-driven nonfiction projects, with particular areas of interest in narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, psychology, self-help/relationships, science, and practical spirituality and religion.
If you’re writing a project that’s any of those, query away. It doesn’t need to be all of them! I’ve been seeing lots of “My novel doesn’t have a religious element but I am hoping you’ll take a look anyway” or (worse) “My project crosses over all your areas of interest, from science to religion to self-help and urban fantasy.” You really don’t need to be all things to all people, and very few books are. So just pitch me your project as best you can, and don’t fret about needing to tick off every interest or affinity. It’s a menu, not a mandate.
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