An Interview with Literary Agent Logan Garrison
Logan joined The Gernet Company in 2010 and will join us this June at our Agents and Editors Conference as a featured agent. To learn more about Logan and what she represents, visit our Featured Agents page and read the Q&A below!
How would you describe your personal approach to working with a writer/client?
Logan Garrison: I’m very hands-on editorially with my clients, and I’ve found that I like diving into a manuscript and being thoroughly thoughtful about it, going through a few drafts (or more!) together with an author before we start sending their work out into the world of editors. This establishes an open and accessible relationship with my clients that I strive to continue over the course of working together. I believe dialogue is what makes a relationship work, and my authors know that I’m always available to talk through whatever questions, concerns, ideas, etc they might have at any time.
If a potential client could do one thing to make the experience of working together even better, what would it be?
LG: Be prepared to work! Getting the words on the page in the right order takes a lot of time, and it’s just the first step in what often turns out to be a long process. My authors all have incredible work ethics and high expectations for themselves, and any potential clients should have similar standards.
What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to receiving submissions, reading work, etc.?
LG: I handle a significant number of queries each week, and I see so many mistakes (for example, an agent’s name spelled wrong or a missing word in a sentence) that could have easily been caught with a quick proofread. You get one letter to convince someone they want to read more of your work, so take a few extra beats to make certain you get that letter right. In other words, if you expect an agent to take time and pay attention to your work, then be sure you’ve taken the time and paid attention to it first. Sure, agents can occasionally look past a typo here or there to find the potential in a query, but if you can put your best foot forward, why wouldn’t you?
You often hear that it’s the first ten pages – or even the first page – that sells a story. Is there something particular that you look for in those first few pages?
LG: All I am looking for is something that makes me want to read more. It sounds so simple to say it like that, but I know it’s also the hardest thing to achieve. I wish there was a clear answer, one specific thing, but it’s about crafting a story and building a world that makes me want to keep turning the pages.
If you could give writers one piece of advice, what would it be?
LG: Write what you know and what you love, and don’t worry about what is popular or trendy. You can spend a whole career chasing the next big thing and never quite get there—instead, write the book you know you want to write, and trust that it will find the right reader’s hands eventually.
Tell us about a project you took on, even though it wasn’t like projects you usually take on, because there was something special or unique about it that you couldn’t say no to. Or, tell us about an exciting or proud moment in your career as an editor or agent.
LG: I’m still relatively new to being an agent, and so I feel like every moment is an exciting and proud moment—the first manuscript I sold, the first foreign sale, the first book I could hold in my hands and know that I had been there from start to finish, the first good review…and then it turned out the second time around was just as exciting, and so was the third, and, well, it hasn’t stopped being exciting yet.