Agent Advice: Robin Rue of Writers House

This installment 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.
Publish date:

Agent Interview by

contributor Ricki Schultz.

“Agent Advice”(this installment featuring agent Robin Rue of Writers House) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else. This series has more than 170 interviews so far with reps from great literary agencies. This collection of interviews is a great place to start if you are just starting your research on literary agents.

This installment 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.

: 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.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.57.50 PM

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

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.

Image placeholder title

This agent interview by Ricki Schultz,
freelance writer and coordinator of
Shenandoah Writers in VA. Visit her blog
or follow her on Twitter.

Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:

Other writing/publishing articles and links for you:

Image placeholder title

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more. 
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.


The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.


Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.


Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.