Kathleen Rushall is a agent with the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She represents writers for all age groups of children’s literature, including picture books (fiction and non-fiction), middle grade, and young adult novels. Kathleen also represents new adult, women’s fiction, and romance projects.
What types of books especially interest you?
First of all—thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m excited about this interview and really appreciate the opportunity.
I represent children’s literature across all age groups: picture books, middle grade, and young adult.
I’m most interested in books that make me feel something. Whether it’s heart wrenching or something so funny that it makes me chuckle even when I think back on certain passages.
Books make me feel when I care about the characters. I’m especially interested in books with a strong voice, with characters you wish would crawl out of the pages and live in your world (although this doesn’t have to come across as creepy as I’m describing it here…).
In short, I could love a book if it takes place on the western prairie in 1850 or on a space shuttle in the future as long as I care about the characters.
I represent both commercial and literary novels, but character development and voice are always key.
Henry: Note to self: write a picture book about a space shuttle landing in a 1850 Kansas prairie.
How did you become a literary agent?
I found my first internship at the Sandra Dijkstra Agency while I was working on my master’s in children’s literature. That internship hooked me.
Previous to that I wasn’t familiar with what an agent did. Finding out what role an agent plays in the publishing process was thrilling. I admired the merge of the business side with the creative, and knew I wanted to become an advocate for new voices.
From there I went on to work as an assistant (and wear many hats) at another agency, Waterside Productions, and years later I was able to begin taking on my own projects. I joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2011.
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you work?
If a bucket of coffee and two big dogs under you desk count, then yes.
Henry: Sounds good to me. Just don’t let anyone challenge you to dump the bucket of coffee on your head. Even to raise funds for ALS.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Literary Osmosis. For ALL the reasons.
Henry: A nice twist on the more commonly phrased answer, the ability to stop time.
Read the rest of this interview at Henry’s blog on KidLit, Fantasy & Science Fiction.