An Interview with Literary Agent Sandy Lu
Sandy Lu joined the L. Perkins Agency in 2009. She holds BAs in psychology and sociology, with minors in music, business, and Japanese. Sandy is seeking submissions with a unique voice and twisty plot that will make her miss her subway stop and keep her up at night. She particularly loves all things historical and anything with a supernatural bent. Sandy specializes in dark literary and commercial fiction, mystery, thriller, psychological horror, historical fiction, fantasy, and YA. In nonfiction, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, history, biography, memoir, science, psychology, sociology, pop culture (music/theatre/film), and food writing.
Sandy will be one of our Featured Agents at the Writers’ League of Texas’ 2015 Agents and Editors Conference.
Sandy Lu: I work closely with all my clients to edit their manuscript and get it into the best possible shape before submission. Depending on how polished their work is, some clients need more help than others.
Scribe: If a potential client could do one thing to make the experience of working together even better, what would it be?
SL: It’s always a pleasure to work with a client who takes writing seriously, not only as an art form but also as a business. That includes participating in workshops, conferences, or critique groups to improve their craft, reading published books to know the market, and doing research to learn the basics of the industry.
Scribe: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to receiving submissions, reading work, etc.?
SL: My biggest pet peeve is the lack of consistency in the quality of writing. Often a writer focuses only on fine-tuning the first chapter to get the manuscript requested, but the rest of the book does not live up to the promise of that first chapter. Many writers don’t even bother to proofread their manuscript, and glaring mistakes can be really distracting.
Scribe: 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?
SL: It always comes down to the voice. A good book is like a good song. It should draw me in with the first line and get me hooked by the end of the first five pages. Or better yet, the first page.
Scribe: If you could give writers one piece of advice, what would it be?
SL: Always be upfront and honest with your agent. Do not hold back anything that may potentially become a problem. Trust your agent. I can best represent you when you keep me fully informed. Also, be patient, don’t let the rejections get to you, and never give up.
Scribe: 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.
SL: I learned to keep an open mind when it comes to submissions. When I first became an agent, my focus was narrower and I was not looking to take on any Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA, or romance. Then I received brilliant submissions that changed my mind. It always makes me proud when my clients follow my suggestions and push themselves when they go off to revise their manuscript, then come back and blow me away. I can’t wait to send their work out and share it with the world. It’s what makes me love what I do.