Interview with Colleen Lindsay
By Theresa Rizzo
Answer: Iím sick of people chasing trends. Iíd say probably 80% of the YA fantasy submissions I get are re-writes of Twilight. Twilight worked because when the manuscript was first acquired, the idea was fairly original. Iíd like to see more YA that deals with real and timely issues that affect young people today: kids who are helping with the care of an elderly adult, kids whose families are forced into homelessness, kids dealing with transgender issues, etc.
Answer: I accept only email queries, actually. Letís wait to kill trees until we sell your book!
Answer: With queries, I like to see the first 5-10 pages of a manuscript with a one-page synopsis. I may ask for a longer synopsis at a later time, but one page is usually good to start.
Answer: Generally if I request a partial Ė whether in person or via email - I try to give a little bit of feedback if I end up rejecting.
Answer: Iím not interested in small and/or regional contests. The fact is that most agents and editors really wonít be interested unless itís a major national contest of some sort. Larger contests, like the Rita or Golden Heart Awards, or Hugo/Nebula Award wins for short stories are things Iíd like to hear about. Major fellowships are also worth noting if youíre an MFA. I also look for people who have attended Clarion, Clarion West or Odyssey Writing Workshops. These are great workshops for aspiring genre fiction writers.†
I enjoy working with authors who take their future careers serious, writers who take direction well and writers who understand that sometimes its necessary to separate the idea of ďyour artĒ from ďyour businessĒ.
Answer: Getting to discover an amazing new writer!
Answer: Writers who canít take no for an answer, who write back and want to argue, plead, cajole and beg me to look at their manuscript once Iíve already passed. The fact is that I donít get paid to read queries. No agent does. We get paid to sell manuscripts for our clients.
Answer: Good coffee (I order in Kaladi Brothers Coffee from Alaska! Yes, Iím a coffee snob!), super dark chocolate and Laphroaig single malt Scotch
Answer: Iíve always wanted to participate in an archaeological dig in either Egypt or Central America.