Name: Laura Crockett
Agency: TriadaUS Literary Agency
What was your first job in the industry, which led directly or indirectly to your current agent role? I’ve held positions as a writing tutor, academic librarian assistant, and bookseller, which indirectly led to this role, I suppose. But this is truly my first job within the publishing industry. I was finishing up my graduate degree in publishing when I came across an internship with TriadaUS. At the end of my internship, Uwe offered employment!
There’s no specific agent qualifications, so what would you say best qualifies you to do your job & allows you to do it well? I’m knowledgeable in the genres I represent and I love discussing books and literature with others. I read critically, even when it’s for enjoyment. One of the most important things to navigate as an agent is building strong relationships with editors, as well. Good communication and social skills helps everyone in the whole process – client, agent, editor, publisher.
What routine, if any, do you look to start each working day with? I practice yoga and drink a cup of tea (or two) before diving into the inbox. Relaxed, awake, and ready for the day.
Lift the lid as best you can, and describe a typical working day? Once I open my inbox, I address any Triada-related material – my clients, colleague correspondence, etc. Then I’ll respond to queries and pitch manuscripts. I tend to save my afternoons for phone calls and reading submissions, but the only set-in-stone routine bit is addressing Triada first.
What do you feel a client and agent should expect of each other in the course of a fruitful working relationship day-to-day? Open communication and understanding. I feel the only way we can be comfortable with one another and the whole publishing process is honesty and communication. I could say that about any positive relationship in life!
Is there a typical process that sees a first enquiry turn into a working client relationship? If I liked the query, I ask for 50 pages. If I liked the 50 pages, I ask for the full manuscript. And if I read the full and loved it, I compile a submission list, gush about the manuscript to Uwe, call up the writer, and offer representation. If the writer becomes my client, we build a relationship through the edits and submission process. I always remind my clients they can reach out to me any time for anything – a sounding-board for a WIP, questions or concerns, random thoughts and musings regarding their submissions/WIP/ideas floating around. I want my clients to know from the start I’m here for the entire process if they want me to be!
What is the best way to approach you, or any agent, with a view to representation? Is there one part of an approach that makes you think this client is or isn’t for me? I know when a client is for me because they’ve followed the submission guidelines (step one: following instructions) and they mention something from my blog, twitter, or an interview (step two: doing research). If a writer can manage those two things, they have a higher chance of finding an agent who will represent them.
Is there any part of your day-to-day work that manifests itself in evenings & weekends? Reading submissions and clients’ next projects. Always.
What one piece of advice would you give to a writer just starting out? Write the book you want to read, have lots of readers give you critical feedback, and keep persevering when you’re querying. You’ll find the right match soon.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self? Never doubt your dreams and ambitions. Relax. Enjoy life.
Favourite film? “Belle” (2013).
Favourite TV program (currently or all-time)? Current: Outlander. All-time: Friends.
Favourite book? Jane Eyre. But if you want something a bit more current, I love Fangirl, Daughter of the Forest, The Lie Tree, and The Night Circus.
Favourite director? I don’t have a favorite director…but I do have a favorite soundtrack composer! Alexandre Desplat is the man.
Favourite writer? Juliet Marillier.
Favourite actor (male or female)? Goodness, the list is endless. I’ll leave it with Alan Rickman.