What are you currently reading? Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Bachman
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? Disrupted by Dan Lyons, Falling by Jane Green, This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell, Food Freedom Forever & The Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? For non-fiction, I am really interested in books that use narrative to teach and explore worlds and ideas, without being didactic, whether that’s through journalism, memoir or research. For fiction, strong voices and compelling stories. Character is important but plotting really matters to me.
What are you NOT looking for? I’m not looking for genre fiction, children’s books, illness specific memoirs (unless it’s really literary), books that serve a niche audience (in any category), travel essays.
What are you currently reading? Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman; A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin; The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney.
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? Oh, so many. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, or should I say Bruuuuuuuuuce Springsteen. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. Blue Blood by Ed Conlon. The Perfect Spy by John le Carré; The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler; I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb.
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough; WAKING LIONS by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen; THE FIRE BY NIGHT by Teresa Messineoare forthcoming. And recently For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton, Clementine by Sonia Purnell, Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor, The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay, The Crooked Heart of Mercy by Billie Livingston, The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? For fiction, books that “stimulate the mind and satisfy the heart” is a phrase I borrowed from an editor in London. It illuminates every read, regardless of categorization. This is especially true for me in the Crime/ Thriller/ Psychological Suspense space because I love writers who subvert my expectations in terms of plot and style. I’m crazy for literary fiction that engages me emotionally as much as I can fall in love with the voice. There’s nothing more exciting than getting that fire in your belly about a writer for the first time, knowing that you have a vision for what they are creating, one imagination reaching another. I am inevitably passionate about Irish Writing, naturally, and always eager to read more. I’d love to find more new American voices that can speak to an international audience. Spy stories, anything involving dysfunctional families and/or kick-ass female characters will always have a place in my heart.
Further in non-fiction, I am interested in food (having worked on a lot of cookbooks in a former life), Fashion, Narrative Biography and Literary Memoir.
What are you NOT looking for? Children’s books, traditional Sci-Fi, Travel Memoir or Romance.
What are you currently reading? The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? For fiction, all of Curtis Sittenfeld’s novels, The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. For non-fiction, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Quiet by Susan Cain, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick (Viking, June), Absalom’s Daughters by Suzanne Feldman (Henry Holt, July), Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future by Caitlin Shetterly (Putnam, September)
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? My list is split pretty evenly between fiction and non-fiction. I work with a wide range of authors, from debut novelists to Food Network stars to seasoned bestsellers. In fiction, I’m looking for literary, upmarket, historical, literary suspense, and YA. I grew up in Michigan and went to the University of Michigan, so I have a soft spot for Midwestern settings (and a strong sense of place, period). I love domestic sagas, unique voices, and anything with page-turning momentum. For non-fiction, I look for narrative, science, food, lifestyle/health, and more. I work closely with my authors before submission, thoroughly editing as necessary, to make sure we’re sending out the best possible book, and every step of the way after that. I love matchmaking my authors with the right editors: the goal is to establish a whole career, not just place one book. And I'm always hoping that the next query I read is one that blows me away.
What are you NOT looking for?
Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, picture books.
What are you currently reading? The Nix by Nathan Hill; Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson; The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? I’m drawn to voices with a new story to tell, especially voices from different parts of the world, Americans whose stories are underrepresented in traditional publishing, and works in translation. Writing that tackles big ideas from a distinctive, engaging, and compassionate perspective. Novels with a fascinating, unusual storyline that gets you deeply invested in the emotional stakes of the story, as well as quieter storytelling that explores everyday lives and relationships in a way that challenges expectations. On the nonfiction side, I’m interested in compelling critical takes on current and historical cultural, sociological, and pop cultural trends and issue-focused narrative nonfiction.
What are you NOT looking for? Genre fantasy, sci-fi, and romance; commercial women’s and historical fiction; memoir; self-help
What were you doing before you joined Fletcher & Company? I studied Spanish language and literature (as well as sociology and education) at Occidental College and then moved to Colombia to teach English and travel. After returning to the States I spent some time as a translator and worked at an academic publisher before making the move to the agency side of the business.
Find me on Twitter @ys_choi.
What are you currently reading? killing rage by bell hooks, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by YiShun Lai
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang
Which books of your clients are publishing soon or have recently published? Shaun King's memoir, Other: An Autobiography of an Ethnically Ambiguous American is forthcoming from Little A.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? Smart and emotional story-telling with layered characters, writing that instantly transports you, and disruptive stories (both fic and non-fic) told by writers of color.
What are you NOT looking for? Travel writing, religious books, romance novels, cookbooks, or children's books.
What are you currently reading? Thunder and Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss, The Fact of A Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, and Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? Nonfiction and fiction have almost equal claims to my mind; I like to be reading one of each at any given time. Social sciences and narrative/journalistic nonfiction stand next to capital-L Literature on my bookshelves, with some memoir and essays spread throughout to bridge the gaps. If the characters & story are suited for it, bring on a challenging structure (think Only Revolutions), epic length (Infinite Jest), and complex intergenerational webs (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), I'll take them. Striking imagery is my weakness, especially with an emotional punch to match. And in both fiction and fact, books that fully illuminate a world--especially a vivid, unfamiliar one--are the ones that stick to me.
What are you NOT looking for? Police dramas, capital H, capital F High Fantasy, romance, picture and middle grade books. I’ve also read enough dystopia to last me until the next election cycle.
What were you doing before you joined Fletcher & Company? Interning at an NYC art gallery, lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore, and living in Cork, Ireland the year before both.
What are you currently reading? Zero K by Don DeLillo, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump by Aaron James, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival by Michael Webber, Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by Douglas Smith, The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan Howard, Night of the Living Shadows by Dave Coverly, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? I have a wide range of interests when it comes to non-fiction: from popular philosophy, science and psychology, to serious history, soft business, self-help and quirky gift books. I’m continually growing more interested in health, fitness and wellness and would like to work with more authors in this area. I work with many academics and historians and am open to projects in which the author is branching out from an academic audience to reach a broader trade market.
For fiction, I’m drawn to stories with a dark, suspenseful, philosophical or mysterious bent. They tend to be literary thrillers, mysteries or crime fiction (but not always) and could be literary or commercial, adult or YA. I’m intrigued by supernatural or fantastical elements (not high fantasy) woven into great writing, like the sensibility of Kelly Link, Karen Russell or Jonathan Howard.
What are you NOT looking for? Cookbooks, children’s books, genre fiction (unless it aligns with the above). I don’t personally read a lot of memoirs, so a memoir would have to be incredibly special in some way for me to take it on.
What are you currently reading? Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein, The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented? Caesar by Adrian Goldsworthy, Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt, Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed, The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, The Sports Gene by David Epstein.
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? Recent & 2017 forthcoming: Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress, The West Point History of World War II, James Hamblin’s If Our Bodies Could Talk, Josh Katz’s Speaking American, Brandon Sneed’s Head in the Game, Keith Law’s Smart Baseball, Adam Piore’s The Body Builders, Chipper Jones’ Ballplayer, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s Everybody Lies, Brian Merchant’s The One Device, Brett Velicovich & Christopher Stewart’s Drone Warrior, David Macneal’s Bugged, Jan Swafford’s Language of the Spirit, William Hogeland’s Autumn of the Black Snake, Jody Foster & Michelle Joy’s The Schmuck in My Office, Saadia Zahidi’s 50 Million Rising, and (the late and much missed) John Saunders’ & John Bacon’s Playing Hurt.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? For history, I love working with authors to craft the arcs of narrative and to bring to life the characters who shaped them; for the sciences & culture, to bend big abstractions & ideas into engaging, smart, and fun books that illuminate the everyday; for memoir & intensive journalism, to help reveal the intricacies of life in extreme contexts; and to find within all of our work the arguments that are ultimately being made about the layers and truths of our collective little existence.
What are you NOT looking for? I focus exclusively on nonfiction (though am personally a fan of military, historical, and techno/Crichton-esque thrillers, and have always hoped to find the right project in those spaces). No children’s books – happy just to read them every night!
What are you currently reading? Women by Chloe Caldwell; Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.
Which book(s) do you wish you had represented?
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres
Which books of your clients are publishing this year or have recently published? Black Man in A White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom, The Last Treasure by Erika Marks, Life’s Work by Dr. Willie Parker, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity by Dr. Ronald Epstein, Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum, City of Women by David Gillham, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? When it comes to fiction, I truly run on emotion and instinct (when it hits, it hits hard). I always know that I need (because it feels like that) to work with a particular author when I get so lost in a manuscript that I start having imaginary editorial discussions with the author in my mind. Often, I read material that I admire a lot–but it’s only when I feel that passion and connection (for the writing, for the story, for the potential) that I feel I need to represent this person. With non-fiction projects, I’m looking for a similar level of passion and connection to the material but also to the subject matter–I like to work with people who are particularly insightful and who write really well about things that I care deeply about (or who write so well that they make me care deeply about things I didn’t think I cared about before). I particulary look for books that take me into unfamiliar worlds, or force me to look at the world differently—oh and I love to laugh–it’s hard to write funny–and I’m a sucker for funny.
I hold a BA from Barnard College and a JD from George Washington University Law Center. Before law school, I briefly (but memorably) worked as a production assistant on MTV’s THE STATE. I'm originally from Montreal, Canada and am the proud mother of two “spirited” little girls.
What are you NOT looking for? Children’s books, Genre science fiction, Romance, Cook books
What are you currently reading? Idaho by Emily Ruskovich and Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? I love books that make me miss my subway stop and keep me up too late at night. I’m interested in literary fiction with a strong narrative voice and a vivid setting, and I’m particularly drawn to stories that delve into the domestic and explore complicated family relationships. In non-fiction, my interests range from narrative journalism, memoir, cultural criticism, women’s studies, history, and science.
What are you NOT looking for? I’m not looking for genre fiction, children’s books, YA, poetry, spiritual or religious books.
What were you doing before you joined Fletcher & Company? I joined Fletcher & Company in 2016 after working with The Wylie Agency and The Emma Sweeney Agency. I graduated from Vassar College with a BA in English and a minor in Art History.
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for? I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and the San Francisco Bay Area and hold a B.A. from Stanford University. I joined Fletcher & Company in 2012 and have enjoyed living in New York since, though I travel back home to the Bay Area often to see family, friends, and my authors based there.
I’m looking for strong writing and powerful stories in literary fiction and a wide range of non-fiction topics, including business, science, memoir and history. I prefer queries to include a sample chapter pasted in-line (no attachments, please).
Which books of your clients are publishing soon or have recently published? Clients include B&N Discover Pick and Amazon Best of the Month pick, The Longest Night: A Novel by Andria Williams (Random House); New York Times bestseller Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz (Simon and Schuster) (corep with Christy Fletcher); Incantations by Krystal Sital (W.W. Norton, 2017); The Transparent Entrepreneur by Rand Fishkin (Portfolio/Penguin, 2017); We Can't Go Back: The Santos Twins and the Making of a New American Life by Lauren Markham (Crown/Random House, 2017).
What are you currently reading? The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson, Before The Fall by Noah Hawley, Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey
Donald Lamm has been an agent with Fletcher & Company for four years, after previously working as an agent at Carlisle & Company. Before that, he served for forty-five years at W.W. Norton & Company as an Editor, President from 1976 until 1984, and company Chairman until his retirement in 2000.
At Fletcher & Company, he works with clients who are leaders in their respective fields, covering a wide array of non-fiction subjects and genres. His specialties include history, biography, investigative journalism, politics, current affairs, and business books for the trade. Don has been chair of the board of governors of the Yale University Press and a trustee of the Columbia University Press. He is currently a trustee of the University of California Press and of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he resides. Don is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honor shared with only two other book publishers in the 230 years of the institution’s history, and vice president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Todd started working as an affiliated agent with Fletcher & Company in 2010, working on a limited number of projects each year. He previously served as president of business book retailer 800-CEO-READ and co-wrote The 100 Best Business Books of All Time (Portfolio, 2009). He brings the perspective of having worked for ten years in companies both large (GE) and small (his family’s sheet metal fabrication shop).
It’s no surprise that, as an agent, Todd specializes in the genre of business books. His focus is on projects that provide unexpected perspectives on known business problems and provide clear prescriptions for solving those problems. He works closely with his authors to shape their books in a way that deepens their credibility and extends their reach. Todd has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a M.B.A from Marquette University. Todd lives and works in Portland, Oregon and teaches the business of publishing at Portland State University.