1.) What are you tired of seeing in your slush pile, and what would you like to see more of?
Dystopian and YA sci-fi. There's just so much of it out there and nothing feels new and different. I'd really love something with an epic blow-me-away kind of love story and magical realism.
2.) What is your pet peeve in a query, besides getting a query for something you don't represent?
My biggest pet peeve is probably when writers start their query with a question (ie "What would you do if you were told you had one day left to live?" or something). It reminds me of when I taught my freshmen how to write their first literary analysis. They often tried to start their papers with a rhetorical question. I didn't like it then. It feels immature and gimmicky.
3.) What makes a manuscript/query stand out to you?
Voice and character. The truth is: I will follow a character that I love anywhere. If I love a character I'll be up to fix plot holes and worldbuilding issues and whatever else. It's the character who's going to make me lie awake at night and wonder what they're going to do next. When I was a kid, I used to imagine myself as a character in my favorite books. That's what I want: a manuscript that's going to make me tempted to write fan fiction so I can be a part of that world. My favorite queries are always the ones where the character already feels alive.
4.) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers who are trying to hook an agent?
Do your research and be polite and professional. Then let your manuscript speak for itself.
5.) One word that describes you the most:
6.) One word you hope your authors describe you as:
7.) One word that describes how you feel about Sasquatch:
8.) One word that describes how you feel about fan-girling:
Thanks again, Suzie, for taking the time to give us these great insights into the publishing industry!