ED- Donald, tell us about your agency and how it got started.
DM- After working in book publishing first in London, then in New York, I opened my agency in 1980. Today we are a company of five agents altogether, specializing in fiction. We sell over 150 novels every year to major publishers in New York and overseas. We sell audio, graphic novel and movie rights to our clients work, as well.
ED- Tell us about the Writers that you represent.
DM- We handle a broad range of fiction in all categories and genres. Some leading clients are historical mystery writer Anne Perry and urban fantasy author Jim Butcher, both of whom are New York Times best sellers. But there are plenty more. Fantasy author Brent Weeks has been a big success this year, with his first novel going into twelve printings and making the New York Times “extended” best seller list. I could go on for quite a while…
ED- What are the genres that you represent?
DM- Pretty much all genres. We have a high concentration of authors in the science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense and women’s fiction areas. But we also represents writers of romance, young adult, literary, mainstream, historical, horror and other kinds of fiction.
ED- Donald, as you know The Eerie Digest Magazine is promoting a program with eight Universities to encourage its students to achieve their dreams of becoming writers. What words of encouragement can you offer to them?
DM- Well, I’ve been helping to develop fiction careers for a long time, and I can tell you this: What makes novelists successful is not publishers but their stories. For younger writers, short stories are a good way to get going. Novels are longer and more complex, but don’t despair. There are plenty of how-to books on the subject (some of them by me) and lots of conferences and workshops at which to learn. Novels may not be as hot as video games or as hip as graphic novels, but they are a type of story that engage their audience more deeply than any other.
ED- How can they contact the Donald Maass Literary Agency and what are some of the guidelines that you need them to follow?
DM- Our submission guidelines and more information about our agency can be found at: www.maassagency.com
ED- Donald, The Eerie Digest Magazine thanks you for your generosity for this interview. Our readers will enjoy hearing about your agency’s conviction to promote great writers and great books to read.