Interview with Marisa Iozzi Corvisiero
By Theresa Rizzo
Date:† March 7, 2011
Marisa Corvisiero is
an attorney as well as an agent. She is the founder of The Corvisiero
Law Practice, P.C., a boutique law firm in midtown New York City. She is
actively building her client list and focusing on science fiction, fantasy,
horror and romance, as well young adult and children's literature. In
non-fiction, she is interested in seeing proposals for memoirs, how-to (in any
industry), guides and tales about the legal practice, parenting, self-help, and
- Which categories do you currently acquire?† Which category has a special/constant
place in your heart?
Answer: I am currently acquiring Romance and Cross Genre Romance;
Thrillers, Adventures, and Mysteries; Science Fiction, Fantasy and
Paranormal; Young Adult and Middle Grade in any of those genres; and
Picture Books for Children. In non fiction I like environmental and
popular science books; How To, Self Improvement, Parenting and Baby Books,
- What length synopsis do you prefer to
see with a partial?† Single spaced
Answer: Two to Three double spaced
- In terms of submissions, what are you
sick to death of and what would you like to see more of?
Answer: Iím tired of the feisty
female protagonist, and glamorized oversexed vampires. Iíd like to see more far
out plots and character growth. If youíre going to give me vampires, please let
them be unique. Sexy is good, but do they all have to be hypnotically beautiful?
It gets oldÖ
are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good
†read?†† What particularly grabs your attention?
Answer: I like situations that are not ordinary. Mix that with a quirky or
flawed or unaware character and you have a good mix. The key is to make me what
to know what happens, but donít make it so weird that it looks like youíre
trying to just shock the reader.
- For you, which elements in a fiction
submission are terminal problems garnering automatic rejections and which
are tempting and fixable meriting a look at a revision if a talented
author is willing to accept your advice?†
- Voice Ė must have an interesting voice. I donít
like whining or shallow characters unless there is a reason for it.
- Weak Grammar- Fixable
- Common plot- If itís been done before, make sure you give me a
reason to read it.
- Poor character development- Can be enhanced, but make sure they are compelling
enough to make me/reader connect.
- Story is too controversial (ie rape, politics, religionówhat else?)Not a problem, just make it work. Controversy sells,
but donít just shock me without a reason.
- Mediocre / uninspired writing- It depends on many things. May suggest rewrite.
- Excessive use of violence or cursing-
It depends on plot and characters. There
should be a reason and it should fit the plot or scene.
- Lacking genre Ėspecific requirements like, suspense/sexual tension/
world-building- As long as author has a good idea of what is going on
this can be fixed.
- Pacing is offóplot is too slow- Fixable, but if you loose me too quickly I may not
get far enough to make helpful suggestions.
- Story starts in wrong spot- May be a turn off and Iíll stop reading.
- Ending is unsatisfactory- Not good. Iíll make you rewrite it. I like neat
packages even if its sad. Something about it
must give me satisfaction and make me feel like I didnít waste my time.
- Does meeting an author face-to-face at
a conference make a difference in your response time, the submission
process, or the rejection process (ie. Form letter vs a few
sentences of advice)?
Answer: Yes, it makes a lot of
difference. The majority of my clients are authors that I met at conferences.
My response time is often quicker too. I always try to give some constructive
feedback. If I donít, it means that the story just really didnít grab me or the
writing is not ready.
- Besides the writing, the story and the
talent, what are the most important elements you look for in an author, ie. contest wins,
cooperativeness, affiliations to writers organizations, knowledge of
publishing industry, promotability, etc?
Answer: I look at the whole
package. Often the writing speaks for itself, but it helps in many ways when an
author is marketable and easy to work with.
- Do you have any pet peeves?
Answer: I donít like to waste time
and I donít like to be rushed. I appreciate it very much when people understand
how hard I work and how busy I am.
- What are you addicted to?
Answer: New romances when the
characters or one of them dislikes or misunderstands the other; time travel;
- What have you always wanted to do?
Answer: Space and/or time travel;
Sing in publicÖbut Iím too shy ;)
- Do you have a favorite quote?
Answer: ďIf there is no other life
out there, then thereís an awful lot of wasted spaceĒ Carl Sagan- Contact.