Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview: Literary Agent Natalie Fischer

12/03/10 Update: Natalie Fischer has joined the Bradford Literary Agency. The quote below is from an email written by Natalie and posted on 

Effective February 22, 2011 I will be leaving the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency to join the Laura Bradford Literary Agency. 

During the transition period, I will not be accepting any new submissions. 

Today I have a rare treat. Natalie Fischer of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency is here to answer a few questions about her agenting style and literary preferences.  

Natalie Fischer (pic from her agency web site)

 From her blog:
Natalie M. Fischer is a Literary Agent and office assistant at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. An honors graduate of the University of San Diego, California, Natalie holds a B.A. in Literature/Writing. She started as an intern at the Agency in 2007.... Natalie is actively seeking new clients, and is especially interested in talented, hard-working new authors with a fresh, unique voice and hook. Her specialty is commercial fiction, with an emphasis in children’s literature (from picture book-YA/Teen), romance (contemporary and historical), historical fiction, multi-cultural fiction, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy in YA or romance only, fairy-tale/legend spin-offs, and “beautiful dark” novels. She will also consider select memoir (has to be really unique) and that amazing project she never even knew she was looking for! She is always drawn to an open and positive attitude in an author, good grammar, and fantastical, engaging and sexy plots.

Katrina Lantz:     What is it like working at such a respected agency as the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency?

Natalie Fischer:  Busy and rewarding! As a new agent, I have the invaluable advice and history here to turn to, as well as the opportunity to work with more established clients on sub-licenses and contracts I wouldn’t otherwise have had. Sandra is an incredible agent, and I feel so lucky to be learning from her!

Katrina:     Aside from your love of felines, what is the most important thing queriers/aspiring authors should know about you?

Natalie:  I’m tough, but I’m not unapproachable.

Katrina:   You've put out the rallying cry on twitter for Romance queries. Is there a specific type of romance you crave? Nicholas Sparks? Sarah Dessen? Twilight?

Natalie:  Adult romance, actually! Steamy, steamy, steamy! Good question though; for YA I would say the tension in Twilight is more my thing, though I’m also a fan of the slow-build! It’s really a matter of connecting with the characters, and caring enough about them to care about their relationship.

Katrina:    What is the strangest book you have ever read? What is the most beautiful?

Natalie:  I have been stuck on this question…forever…I have no idea…

Katrina:    Besides starting with a rhetorical question, what is the single worst mistake you see in queries?

Natalie:   Improper word count. If I see anything over 100,000 words, I usually don’t read.

Katrina:    Both you and your colleague Taylor Martindale represent the YA category. What is the primary difference between the books you seek to represent?

Natalie:   I’m a bit more fantastical than Taylor, I think; more unicorns and princesses and sci-fi for me. I’m less inclined to take on a contemporary than she is unless it has an absolutely amazing voice (snarky, usually), a really stand-out plot, or is really dark and literary.

Katrina:     What is your take on tense and POV (point-of-view)? Do you prefer past or present? Third person, first person, limited, omniscient?

Natalie:  I don’t care what tense or POV it’s in as long as it’s done well. That said, I find that present tense is almost impossible for most people to do well. Too many grammar issues – they lapse into past for a few sentences etc. I almost NEVER like omniscient; I really like to connect to the main character, and along with that, I don’t like multiple POVs usually (two is my limit).

Katrina:     As far as online presence goes, what is the biggest mistake new writers are making? What should they be doing to catch your eye in a positive way?

Natalie:   A lot of new writers don’t realize they have an audience, and whine whine whine. This bothers me to no end. No matter how much you think your query/agent search story is the WORST EVER, there’s another one out there that is WORSE. I admire the most those who stick it out and do their ranting and meltdowns in private.

Katrina:   Since there's some cross-over in literary and film preferences, I find it helpful to know an agent's favorites. What are some of your favorite T.V. shows and movies?

Natalie: TV: Supernatural, The Ghost Whisperer, Bones, House, Family Guy, Futurama, South park, CSI: Los Vegas, NCIS, Law and Order: SVU, Eureka…

Movies: Anything with Hugh Grant, The 10th Kingdom (technically a mini-series…), The Fifth Element, Taken, etc.

Katrina:     You're currently in the high 700s for twitter followers. Do you still plan to accept e-queries once you reach 1000? Or might that switch happen earlier? (The obsoleteness of this question just proves how popular Natalie is on twitter!)

Natalie:  Just did! J

(Submissions should be directed to:


  1. Great interview. I like that your questions were unique. Well done to both of you! :)


  2. Yay! Great interview Katrina.

    Natalie is awesome. :)

  3. I just added Natalie to my twitter and I'm sending her a query now

  4. So glad it's helpful. Thanks again to Natalie for doing it!! Good luck ideagirl!

  5. Thanks so much, both Katrina and Natalie, for taking the time to do this awesome interview.

    It's nice to "meet" such a positive, happy agent.

    Good job, Katrina, and your blog is beautiful, by the way. : )


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