Hi Miss Snark, As a nonfiction writer, I've had a few agents over the years. Before agreeing to represent me, each of them wanted to either meet with me in person or, if we were geographically separated, have a long phone conversation with me. I assume their aim was to assess my personality and other relevanrt characteristics so they could transmit this information to publishers. If my assumption is correct and if you engage in this practice, what qualities do you look for in a potential client other than writing talent?
well, I want to avoid the raging nitwits. And the whack jobs. And the people who make me consider re-joining the Sisters Of Perpetual Partying over on Convent Ave.
I want to make sure you don't sound like Elmer Fudd. I want to make sure you can carry on a conversation. I want to make sure you're alive.
I want a chance for odd information to surface: you're a member of the Nazi party; you think Bill O'Reilly is too liberal to really know the depths of the left wing conspiracy; you think John Kerry is too conservative to truly understand the depths of the right wing conspiracy; you know you "have to" have an agent but really they're worthless and you hope you don't need one for long.
I listen for how intransigent you are about editing; how responsive you are to things I need. I listen for how you talk about your wife. I ask about your last agent.
And if you're smart, you're doing the exact same thing.