Wednesday, May 23, 2007
INTERVIEW: Byrd Leavell - Agent, Waxman Literary Agency NY
EI:Do you see the demand for first novels increasing? Any difference between literary and genre work? What is your opinion?
Byrd Leavell: I think the case could be made that the fact that a constant demand for first novels exists is one of the most redeeming aspects of this business. Whether it is increasing I wouldn't venture to speak to, but what I can tell you is that that book publishing is full of terrific editors that read the novels we send to them and do so quickly. And if they like and believe in them they do everything they can to push them through the nearly Sisyphean process that putting together an offer from a publishing house can be.
A first novel is rarely ever an easy submission, but at the same time there is a continual, almost desperate hunger for talent within book publishing. And it this hunger that gives every writer out there a reason to keep sitting down in front of their computer. If you are one of the blessed few that is able to rise above the rest, find your voice (whether it is literary fiction or a zombie novel) and write a manuscript that captures a reader the way only good fiction can, then believe me when I say that you will have no trouble finding an agent