I’m so excited to announce that the fantastic Heather Flaherty has joined our agency! Heather was formerly a YA and Children’s Literary Scout, and you can read all about her on our website here. Everyone at TBA has loved working with Heather in her previous role and we are thrilled to have her on board. And now, for a word from Heather… —Jenny
I am beyond psyched to join the incredible crew at the Bent Agency. I’ve worked with the agency during my time as a literary scout, and they remained among my absolute favorite people ever. Moving from scouting to agenting is a pretty expected jump, and I’m thrilled to bring that industry knowledge to the agent table. I’ll be focusing on MG and YA fiction and non-fiction… but I’ll also be looking at select New Adult, as well as humor and pop culture non-fiction. My current wish list looks something like this:
• Dying for some dripping, twisted, ghost stories and horror — I really want to see something like ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD done so sickly well they make a video game out of it – a la American McGee’s Alice Madness Returns.
• Issue-related MG/YA that’s stripped and real… not broody or self-indulgent. Can be straight or humorous. Along the lines of Nic Sheff’s SCHIZO, Corey Ann Haydu’s LIFE BY COMMITTEE, and Meg Wolitzer’s BELZHAR.
• I want to see more extreme contemporary stories with hard punch and a twist. Hot-Pink, Punk-Rock, Fangirl, Totally Unreliable Narrator, Space-time Continuum, you-name-it-you-own-it YA.
• Contemporary YA with sci-fi elements – not high sci-fi, but as part of a contemporary story, like Kimberly Derting’s THE TAKING.
• For MG/YA fantasy, and historical or period fiction, I’m looking for worlds that feel real, not obviously fabricated — a place you’re immediately part of, without any use of brainpower to get you there. Like Vicky Alvear Shecter’s CURSES AND SMOKE, or Saaba Tahir’s EMBER IN THE ASHES. I also enjoy cleverly respun classic tales like Gregory Maguire’s CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER or WICKED.
• I love teen memoir about overcoming traumatizing situations, especially when they involve bullying. One of my must-reads is POSITIVE by Paige Rawl.
• But above all, GIVE ME VOICE! I crave authentic teen voices, a unique personality, no faceless ingenue the reader can “fit themselves into.” Let’s hear about a specific boy or girl that the reader can actually relate to instead (even if it’s in the smallest way).
Thank you for reading, and again, I’m so very happy to be part of this stellar agency. I look forward to hearing from all you wonderful writers out there, and heartily thank you for sharing. Query me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
🙂 Heather Flaherty