Jill Marr is an acquiring agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency with a B.A. in English from San Diego State University. She is interested in commercial fiction, with emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, horror, and historical. Jill is also looking for nonfiction by authors getting their work published regularly in magazines, who have a realistic sense of the market, and their audience. Self-help, inspirational, cookbooks, memoir, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music welcome. She is not interested in: YA, children's, sci-fi, romance or unicorns. For more information: http://www.dijkstraagency.com/meet-the-agents.html#jill-marr
Here is a portion of that interview:
What are your query pet peeves? If I had to narrow it down to one pet peeve, this week it would be the “canned” query. Lately I’ve been receiving query letters from what appears to be a company that pops an author’s project into their cookie cutter template. It screams “I’m not creative,” which is not a good thing to scream when you are basically applying for a job that demands creativity.
If you had to pinpoint one key that differentiates good writing from the bad, what would it be? I am a sucker for a good voice in writing, something that stands out on the page.
What lesson or tips would you share with authors trying to get published in today’s market? Join a writer’s group and don’t work in a vacuum. You are doing something very wrong if an agent is the first person to read your book. And don’t take your family’s word for it—they love you and they have to live with you. Of course they’re going to tell you your book is awesome.