Andy Ross – Opened his own agency in 2008, and represents books in a wide range of subjects including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, current events, as well as literary and commercial fiction, and young adult fiction. For non-fiction he looks for writing with a strong voice, robust story arc, and tells a big story about culture and society by authors with the authority to write about their subject. No vampires or trolls. He is a member of the Association of Author Representatives (AAR). You can learn more on his website: www.andyrossagency.com and blog: www.andyrossagency.wordpress.com
Here is a portion of that interview:
What genres do you usually represent and what made you choose those? WHEN I STARTED OUT AS AN AGENT, I THOUGHT THE BOOKS I WOULD BE WORKING WITH WOULD BE LIKE THE BOOKS THAT I SOLD IN MY STORE. LOTS OF SCHOLARS AND POLITICAL TYPES. I HAVE SOME OF THAT. (DANIEL ELLSBERG IS PROBALY MY MOST FAMOUS CLIENT). BUT I'VE REALLY EXPANDED. THIS YEAR I SOLD AN UPMARKET WOMENS NOVEL, A YA NOVEL, A MEMOIR BY A WOMAN WHO WAS A PAPERAZZI, AND A SERIOUS BOOK ABOUT THE UNCERTAINLY OF MEDICAL STATISTICS. I NEVER GET BORED IN MY JOB!
How does your family affect or influence you as an agent? MY WIFE WAS MY COMPETITOR. SHE MANAGED THE BOOKSTORE DOWN THE STREET. SHE STILL WORKS AT A BOOKSTORE, BOOK PASSAGE IN MARIN COUNTY, ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT STORES.
What are your query pet peeves? WHEN YOU WRITE A QUERY, TRY TO BE BUSINESS-LIKE. DON'T OVERSELL YOURSELF. AGENTS DON'T WANT TO WORK WITH AUTHORS WHO HAVE DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR.
If you had to pinpoint one key that differentiates good writing from the bad, what would it be? I COULD TALK ABOUT THE ELEMENTS OF CRAFT, POINT OF VIEW, MANAGING BACKSTORY, DIALOGUE. ALL THAT IS IMPORTANT. BUT AFTER YOU HAVE MASTERED THOSE, YOU NEED TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL. THAT CAN'T BE TAUGHT. IT CAN'T EVEN BE DESCRIBED. BUT I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT.