Evan Marshall is not only a veteran literary agent of over 23 years but he is also the author of such books as the Hidden Manhattan and Jane Stuart and Winky mystery series. In our interview with Marshall, he explains what is hot in fiction nowadays, why he hates when writers review their own work and reveals something very few people know about him.
We’re constantly reading reports about how the economy is changing the publishing landscape. What advice do you give to your own writers about bracing for impact?
These difficult times have forced me to cut back on the number of new authors I take on, and to concentrate on the excellent authors I already represent. The best thing an author can do is to change with the times, keep reading what’s coming out so to come up with fresh new takes on what the publishers want. If you have a great idea and can write reasonably well, you’ll keep selling.
Speaking of changes, what do you think about all these technological changes happening?
I think they’re extremely exciting because they are simply more ways to get books into people’s hands. Years ago there were no mass market paperbacks. When they arrived, people were thrilled to have this new inexpensive way to get books. The new technologies are the mass market paperbacks of long ago.
What would you say is hot right now Evan, what are editors currently looking for?
Dark sexy paranormal with new twists. I’d love to find a fabulous new author of domestic thrillers about everyday people (rather than political, military, international conspiracy, etc.).
What’s the best way for writers to approach you? And how should they contact you?
I’m mostly taking on new clients by professional referral, but if a writer does want to query me either email or snail mail is fine. I hate it when a writer “reviews” his or her own work, telling me it’s wonderful and all the reasons why. Professionals let the work speak for itself.
And finally, what is something about you that very few people know?
I hope more than a few people know this, but I am also a mystery writer. My ninth novel, Dark Alley, is just hitting the stands and everyone should buy it! The best way is via Amazon or other online bookseller. But something VERY few people know about me is that I am an aspiring screenwriter and actor. I recently co-wrote a screenplay entitled Seeking Nirvana with Billy Tooma, a brilliant young director with several excellent low-budget films already under his belt. His company is called Icon Independent Films. I also have a part in the movie. I play Harvey Kramm, a desperate author… The film will be released in 2011.