Interview with Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown
By Theresa Rizzo
Ginger Clark has been a literary agent with Curtis Brown LTD since the fall of 2005. She represents science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, literary horror, and young adult and middle grade fiction. In addition to representing her own clients, she also represents British rights for the agency's children's list. Previously, she worked at Writers House for six years as an assistant literary agent. Her first job in publishing was as an editorial assistant at Tor Books. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and a member of the Contracts Committee of the AAR. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband
Vampire stories that have already been done. If you are going to do vampires, make it fresh (like my client Jeri Smith-Ready and her WVMP novels). I also don’t think hard SF is selling well. I’d love more military SF (for both adult and kids), urban fantasy (again, for both adult and kids) and steampunk for adults.
I accept emailed and mailed queries. Keep the letter to a single page, and if you mail it, include an SASE or I will not respond.
Ah, the synopsis question! All writers hate synopses, including my clients. A page or two at the most. It can even be less. Just give me the basics of the plot and tell me the ending. Authors: stop freaking out about synopses.
I hate to admit it, but those authors who I wind up having nice, normal, relaxed conversations with—I usually feel more obligated to give them detailed feedback when I turn down a book, than other authors I might meet. By “nice, normal, relaxed,” I mean the authors I get seated next to at meals, or who pick me up from the airport, and behave like NORMAL people. The authors who track my movements and follow me into restrooms are not behaving NORMALLY and make a bad impression.
Professionalism is by far the most important, and by that I mean—takes revisions well, doesn’t get defensive, is willing to do the lion’s share of their promotion, always tries to be tactful, etc. etc.
Giving clients good news that involves money. I also love traveling to places like Bologna, Italy. It’s hard work going to the Bologna Book Fair, but it’s always invigorating to go to a place like that.
Oh, I have A LOT but here are two: not being patient with me when I have your partial, and calling the agency to see if I have gotten to your query yet.
Many things: pedicures, British Cadbury, red velvet cake, Twitter, “Mad Men,” “The Wire,” Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter, my winter coat (it’s red and has a high collar), and our Mini Cooper. Oh, and CAFFEINE.
I have always wanted to visit Australia. I have also always wanted to live in New York City, which I do, so that is a dream come true.
I have tons, but let’s go with one from my Facebook page: "What a fun, sexy time for you."--George Michael, "Arrested Development"