"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, April 15, 2016


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 genres do you usually represent and what made you choose those? Agents are lucky because we typically represent genres that we love to read. I love mysteries and thrillers so I was immediately able to dive into that genre. I am a good reader of it and can advice, editorially on it well.  Here’s a bit more on what I take from my mini-bio: "Jill is interested in commercial and book club fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries and thrillers, women’s fiction and historical. She is also looking for non-fiction across the board by authors with a fresh, new message and a solid platform."

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.   

1 comment:

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Great interview. I love her tips for authors.