Thanks for your patience - Jenny and I had a little disconnect (most likely because I had to fly off to RT), so we're a little slow. Here are some of her answers - and if you don't see your questions here, they're still coming!!
Hi Jenny. Welcome to the Otherworld Diner. Guess I'll go first. *G*
What's your take on time travel romance? Is it a hard sell or a subgenre that's holding its own, especially now that Dorchester (who I considered was a leading publisher for TTs) has fallen on hard times?
I'm not sure, to be honest, because I haven't tried to sell any recently. I have an author (Sandra Hill) who writes New York Times bestselling time travel romance, but she's very established in the genre. I see almost no queries for it, I can tell you that much, so that may partially be an answer.
What trends are you seeing in your slush pile? What are you tired of seeing? What genres are you most excited about? What makes you most excited about a story?
I'm seeing lots of young adult fantasy and women's fiction. I'm kind of tired of the very snarky female first person narrator. There's always going to be an exception to that of course, but in my opinion that kind of voice got really over done. I am really excited about seeing female-driven suspense or literary horror (also female driven), as well as high-concept women's fiction like The Weird Sisters, or young adult fiction that plays off of fairy tales, like Ash. Anything vaguely magical, romantic, set on an island, having to do with gardens (Forgotten Garden, Garden Spells), riffing off of classic books like Persuasion, or Little Women, etc. What makes me most excited is a book with wonderful characters that has me turning pages.
Although I have friends who have agents, my idea of what an agent does is vague. How many queries do you receive on an average day or week? What do you look for in a query? What typically happens when a person signs with you? What are the steps you and the client go through before a sale? Is there an average time frame to the manuscript selling?
I get anywhere from 50 to 100 queries a day. I look for queries that communicate the voice of the writer, that are lively and interesting, not just by the numbers. I also like queries that show me that the author has done her homework, and knows the titles I represent or even something about my professional history. The process varies by client, but essentially, we work together to get the work ready for submission and then I submit the manuscript to editors. There's no average time frame. Sometimes it takes just a few days, sometimes it can take over a year, or even years, if the author revises and then I do a second round or even a third round of submissions.