Want #Querytips and more from Literary Agent Abby Saul ( @BookySaul ) ?

Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome the wonderful Abby Saul, literary agent at The Lark Group. She’ s given a lot of sensible advice on the dreaded query process, some of which I’ve highlighted in blue!

Thanks for letting me come on your blog, Damyanti!

As a writer, have you worked with a literary agent or would you like to work with one? As a reader, have you wondered about the role of a literary agent? Agents and the whole publishing process sometimes get a bad rap because writers feel like there are hoops to jump through and too many pitfalls to possibly avoid. I love opportunities like this to dispel those myths. Yes, there are ways things are done in this business and it behooves you as an author to know those ins and outs, but at the core agents are people who are looking for great reads. If you have that – and present it well – you’re going to find success!

  1. How and why did you become a literary agent?

I love books. I knew I wanted to work with books and when I interned at a literary agency in college, I was hooked by the business of agenting and how it required (daily!) a mixture of editorial work, reading skills, business acumen, and sales and negotiation. It is such an incredible side of the industry – and incredibly challenging – that I knew it was where I wanted my career in books to take me. I spent a few years on the publisher side of things working on big brand cookbooks and digital initiatives, and then came back to fiction and agenting with all that insider knowledge. (The toughest and most valuable lesson I learned when I started working in publishing was that this is a business. A love of books is what draws people like me to, and keeps us doing, this work, but our day-to-day is not all reading for fun. There are tough decisions, financial problems, and moments of heartbreak alongside the amazing thrill of discovery and the joy of falling into a new world that an author has created.)

Which Crime Novels would You Recommend ? #FridayReads

Which Crime Novels Would You Recommend?

Reading has been my salvation for as long as I can remember. This year, I’ve struggled with health and work issues, and somehow, I’ve lost the ability to focus on a book. I start books but sometimes leave them unfinished.

Of course, I’m also reading fabulous short stories for the Forge Literary Magazine. (If you write short stories or flash fiction, we want to see them!)

For now, I’m reading crime novels because they seem to hold my interest. Crime books mostly deal with the seamier side of human nature, and the guilty parties get punished, more often than not.

I’m looking for detective novels, mystery novels, literary crime novels, good thriller books involving crime– a bunch of crime novel recommendations, in short.

A few books I read this year:

The Killing Lessons by Valerie Hart–I liked this one, but found the protagonist too tortured, and the scenes a little staged/forced. Did not feel like picking up anything else by this author.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh: Did not like the twist in this one, but loved the protagonist.

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson: lovely writing, and the characters were fantastic. A bit slow, but it is not a chore to take the time on this journey.

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, which has a wonderful voice. This was a signed copy by the author, and I have fond memories of the reading. The book is quite a long one, but the ending is very well earned.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson: This had a very promising beginning, but was so implausible in parts that I was happy to put it down. This author can write, just that this book didn’t do it for me. At all.

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens: I liked the premise, but not so much the execution of this courtroom novel.

I’m reading The Girls by Emma Cline this week, and liking it so far.

What crime novels are you reading? Do you read or write crime? Would you recommend a crime novel you read this year? Drop me the title in the comments, What novels are you reading? Do you read or write crime?

Would you recommend a crime novel you read this year?

Drop me the title in the comments, and I’ll look it up!

For those of you who read books you loved but they weren’t crime novels–please add them, too. Who knows, they might just help me find my ‘reading-focus’ again!


I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of September 28!


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