Besides her smarts and her charming personality, there were several things to like about Pooja Menon, the agent at the conference this year. Pooja is from a west coast agency that actually represents some speculative fiction writers. She is familiar with fantasy, at least from the YA genre, having read Hunger Games and some early Cassandra Clare. Those are pluses.
I really enjoyed my consultation with her. Somehow, I never take the consultations at the conference seriously enough, and 2014 was no exception. I sent her the same 10 pages I submitted for the workshop and the contest. She thought it was a strong story with a good plot, an interesting world and enough character and conflict. Unfortunately, though, it’s a novella, which, as she pointed out, I can market on my own… and which I already knew.
She did give me her card and ask me to query her when I have something finished. I told her I have a completed adult SF novel completed. She’s willing to look at a query; if she thinks it’s viable she will pass it on to the agent who is dedicated to speculative fiction.
She had very few comments about the work I did submit; she wanted me to intimate a particular conflict earlier than page 10; she also disliked a couple of my expressions. One, in particular, intentionally made use of old vernacular, because I am trying to set a certain tone. I think she wasn’t familiar with the original expression I was toying with. She also said she didn’t like short sentences. I do. I use them. I won’t change that. That could be a conflict.
Generally, though, seriously, she was very complimentary about my writing.