Skip to main content

Agent Advice: Robin Rue of Writers House

Agent Advice (this installment featuring Robin Rue of Writers House) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.

This installment of Agent Advice features Robin Rue of Writers House. Robin Rue began her career as an editor at Dell, but has since spent more than 30 years as an agent.

She is seeking: mystery, commercial fiction, fantasy, romance, young adult, thrillers/suspense, with a specialization in paranormal and suspense romance authors. She does not seek nonfiction. She does not accept e-mail queries. See full submissions guidelines here.

*****

GLA: Why did you become an agent?

RR: I was in editorial for eight years and worked for four different publishing houses before becoming an agent in 1984. I wasn’t happy working for a corporation and realized I preferred working as a writers’ advocate. That said, my in-house publishing experience has served me well these many years.

GLA: What’s the most recent thing you’ve sold?

RR: I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and represent at least 12 New York Times bestselling authors. I’ve done many deals recently! Not all “notable,” mind you—sometimes, the best and sweetest deals are the smaller ones. And, in this market, all deals are notable!

GLA: What are you looking for right now and not getting? What do you pray for when tackling the slush pile?

RR: I’m always looking for a fresh voice, a good story, and compelling characters.

(20 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Writers and Their Writing.)

GLA: You specialize in paranormal and suspense romance authors. In your opinion, are vampires here to stay, or is there something new on the horizon?

RR: Paranormal seems to be a lively trend with readers staying loyal to the classic authors, but I do feel it might be harder to break into that market now, as it is quite filled up on publishers’ lists. My list includes many paranormal and suspense romance authors, but I also work with historical romance, mysteries, men’s thrillers, young adult fiction and even illustrated children’s books.

GLA: Do you still take science fiction? Have you noticed any trends in what you tend to represent?

RR: I do very little science fiction, and the authors that I work with who write in that field are essentially fun to read. I’m not involved enough in the genre to be able to anticipate new angles. I think, just like all genres, a good story, well told, with wonderful characters is the best way to compete with trends.

GLA: Speaking of vampires: Edward or Jacob?

RR: As Writers House (and my good friend, Jodi Reamer) represents the Twilight books, I will stay loyal to both Edward and Jacob.

*****

Advanced Novel Writing

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing workshop, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work. When you take this online workshop, you won't have weekly reading assignments or lectures. Instead, you'll get to focus solely on completing your novel.

Click to continue.

*****

GLA: There is some confusion among writers concerning urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Is there more of a distinction between the two than simply an urban setting? In your mind, what separates these subgenres?

RR: Urban fantasy versus paranormal romance is always a fine line. I think urban fantasy lingers a tad longer on the wider plot, and paranormal romance lingers a tad longer on the chemistry between the two main characters.

GLA: With regard to romance, do you accept both category and single titles?

RR: I like all forms of romance. My client list includes a very wide variety of authors who write very different types of romantic fiction. I do not tend to represent category anymore, although I certainly have authors who have written category!

GLA: Where do you notice writers are going wrong in chapter one?

RR: If I’m bored in chapter one, I rarely read further. I don’t like sloppy presentations (grammatical errors, typos). Writing is such an organic gift—I usually see something worthwhile pretty quickly that makes me want to read on, or not.

GLA: What is the one thing you wish you could tell writers pitching you in person?

RR: Relax. I’m not the only authority. If something is not for me, it may easily be just right for another agent/editor.

GLA: Best piece(s) of advice we haven’t talked about yet?

RR: Be focused, be patient, and find an agent you trust. Listen, and be pragmatic as well as ambitious. Have fun, and don’t forget what got you into this business in the first place—your love of books and your love of writing.

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Author Ashley Poston discusses how she combined her love of ghost stories, romance, and books into her new romance novel, The Dead Romantics.

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch discusses how much of a fight's details to actually put into a story, and how even with fight scenes sometimes less is more.

5 Research Tips for Writing Historical Fiction, by Piper Huguley

5 Research Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Author Piper Huguley shares her five research tips for writing historical fiction that readers love and writers love as well.

Announcing 40 More Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

Announcing 40 More Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

Learn more about 40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers, Volume 2: ALL NEW Writing Ideas for Taking Your Stories in New Directions, by Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer. Discover fun and interesting ways to move your stories from beginning to end.

Interviewing Tips | Tyler Moss

Interviewing 101: Tips for Writers

Interviewing sources for quotes or research will be part of any writer's job. Here are tips to make the process as smooth and productive as possible.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Eliminate Threat

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Eliminate Threat

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character work to eliminate a threat.

4 Tips for Writing Gothic Horror

4 Tips for Writing Gothic Horror

Gothic horror and its many subgenres continues to increase in popularity. Here, author Ava Reid shares 4 tips on writing gothic horror.

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Novelist Lucy Clarke discusses how a marathon of writing led to a first draft in just 17 days for her new psychological thriller, One of the Girls.

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford continues his series of interviews with mystery, thriller, and suspense authors. Here he has a conversation with novelist Jaden Terrell about writer expectations and success.