#SEACritterspub Agent Interview: Rebecca Podos of the Rees Literary Agency
Welcome to the #SEACritterspub interviews, where we spotlight agents and editors looking for Asian literature and / or Asian authors! This week it’s Rebecca Podos from the Rees Literary Agency!
What is #SEACritterspub?
This is an initiative started by Hanna Alkaf, Gail Villanueva, and I (all currently living in Southeast Asia) to help Asian authors (both diaspora and living outside of the US) learn more about querying and finding agents in the US! Aside from showcasing agents actively seeking Asian rep, we also post tips, advice, and occasionally offer query / 1st page critiques!
Before proceeding: please familiarize yourself with what a query is and how it works, general etiquette that authors need to know before finding an agent, and other helpful guidelines. Check out the #SeaCritterspub category on this blog (also located on the right side of this interview!) for more details!
Now, onwards to the interview!
1. Is there any information about yourself that you think people might like to know (literary agent experience, hobbies, etc.)?
I’ve been with the Rees Literary Agency for seven years, representing and selling YA books from high fantasy to horror, contemporary to historical, romance to magic realism. The commonality across genres is a strong voice and memorable characters whose humanity shines through.
2. Are there any specific Asian MS preferences you’re looking for (e.g., contemporary K-drama, Chinese martial arts fantasy, etc.) ?
I’m focused on YA and MG fiction, and I’d love to see stories exploring multi-generational relationships and characters exploring their heritage or legacy, whether the setting is realistic or fantastical. And I’d also just love sweet, fluffy, or fast-paced adventure stories featuring Asian MC’s.
3. What other things do you look for in a manuscript?
I’m interested exclusively in Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction; particularly books about complex female relationships, beautifully written contemporary, romance with more at stake than “will they/won’t they,” genre fiction with a strong focus on character, and books featuring marginalized voices and cultures across genres (If you have a sci-fi about a genderqueer ship’s captain in space, send it my way!)
4. What are your submission guidelines?
Rebecca prefers email submissions consisting of a query letter and the first three chapters, and unfortunately is only able to respond to queries she is interested in pursuing. You can follow her on Twitter, and contact her at [email protected].
5. What are things people should remember when sending you queries? Any advice regarding what catches your attention / what turns you off?
A solid query letter that catches my attention introduces me to the character, tells me what they want and how they plan to get it, and establishes the stakes if they fail. If you can do all of that in a few brief paragraphs, plus showcase your unique voice, I’ll definitely want to read on.
Are you an agent or an editor who’d like to participate in these interviews? Drop me an email at rin.chupeco[at]gmail[dot]com!