Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachel Beck of Holloway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 3.21.51 PM.pngRachel Beck is a literary agent with Holloway Literary.

Rachel is interested in representing:

  • Women’s fiction, especially upmarket/book club fiction, such as Emily Giffin, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain
  • Contemporary romance with a humorous voice and subplots in addition to the romance, such as Kristan Higgins
  • Young adult, especially emotional/deep issue (even dark) stories (no historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi or middle-grade please), such as Jandy Nelson and Courtney Summers
  • Psychological, character-driven women’s suspense/thrillers, such as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Mary Kubica
  • Southern fiction, such as Elaine Hussey
  • Nonfiction — particularly memoir, true crime, and select health and self-help books (such as professional/career development).

Rachel Beck has been in the publishing industry since 2009. After completing an internship with two literary agencies, reading mostly young adult and thrillers, she then worked as an editor for Harlequin, acquiring category romance, contemporary romance, multicultural romance and women’s fiction.

Rachel’s career highlights include helping her authors achieve prestigious romance book nominations and two selective awards, including the National Readers Choice Award, and several top reviews in Romantic Times magazine for her books.

In her free time, Rachel likes reading first and foremost–mostly women’s fiction, psychological suspense and young adult–as well as traveling with her husband, spoiling her cat, Ginnie, and watching football (go Steelers!).

Rachel is drawn to voice-driven fiction, particularly in young adult; quirky, three-dimensional, flawed characters, including and especially secondary characters; beautiful writing; dark themes; books that explore good people in morally complicated situations; and complex, detailed plots.

Rachel is NOT interested in:

no children’s/picture books
no middle grade
no science fiction/fantasy
no romantic suspense
no action-driven suspense (prefer character/psychological-driven)
no heavily faith-based/inspirational material

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Sherry Robb of The Robb Company

Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 2.43.30 PM.pngSherry Robb is a literary agent and founder of The Robb Company.

In her own words: “Book development and selling books to publishers has been my main focus my whole professional life. Over the years I have launched the publishing careers of over 300 writers.”

“My main interests are: psychological thrillers/suspense, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, and how-to nonfiction books (any subject if the writer is an expert in the field of her/his choice). Another, more subtle desire is to find novels that have a unique and/or quirky voice even if the story line is unusual — or a story we have heard but told in a different way.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Paul S. Levine of Paul S. Levine Literary

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.36.26 PM.pngPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney.

His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction.

His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports.

Paul has sold more than 250 fiction and nonfiction books.

As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over thirty-seven (38) years of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Samantha Bagood of Samantha B. Literary

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 11.30.28 AMSamantha Bagood is a literary agent and founder of Samantha B. Literary.

She specializes in books for all kinds of books for children — picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. (No adult fiction pitches of any kind please.) She enjoys out-of-the-box formats and styles done well, and would love to see more stories from an Asian-American perspective.

Samantha believes in being an ardent business partner and creative advocate for visionary authors and artists. She is also personally passionate about growing the imagination of young readers everywhere and boosting the voices of marginalized creators. Her career began at Adams Literary in 2012. Before then, Samantha was a book reviewer and freelance writer and designer.

In 2017, after a cross country move to southern California, she left to start her own agency, Samantha B. Literary.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Susan Finesman of Fine Literary

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 12.15.03 AMSusan Finesman is a literary agent and founder of Fine Literary.

She seeks: Literary and mainstream fiction, mystery, romance, young adult, historical fiction, memoir/biography, business/investing/finance, history, mind/body/spirit, health, travel, lifestyle, cookbooks.

Susan began scouting books, plays and narrative nonfiction for Tri-Star Pictures in 1986. Five years later, she moved on to SAVOY Pictures followed by a long and award winning stint at HOME BOX OFFICE where highlights included an Emmy for Ernest Gaines’ A LESSON BEFORE DYING.

“Scouting books for film is like sitting in the most fabulous catbird seat, not prisoner to any genre and not prey to any shelf space at the bookstore. Learning how to find new stories and adapt them for the screen gave me a slightly different perspective on how to sell books to publishers. In 2010, I decided to build a seat of my own, introducing great writers first to publishers and then, not as an afterthought but as part of a coordinated plan, pursue film, television and internet opportunities. I continue to be interested in all kinds of books but tend to be compelled by work that features characters that I cannot shake. I challenge authors to make me laugh or cry and you will have certainly won me over by doing both. I love the twists and turns of a great page-turner, can be seduced by a truly honest memoir and am delighted when transported by historical fiction.”

Regarding nonfiction: “Cookbooks and lifestyle are a particular area of interest but I can be compelled to consider almost any subject that is honest and thoughtful.”

“We work with co-agents in every territory and join forces with Hollywood agencies to broker film and television rights. At this time, we are not representing children’s picture books or work composed for the stage or screen.”