Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I’m sharing another Coffee & Conversation with a presenter from our recent SCBWI MD/DE/WV 25th Annual 25 and Still We Revise conference that I had missed. (Oh, the shame!!) Yesterday, we chatted with Laura Shovan, today it’s Literary Agent, Quressa Robinson in the cyber chair!
Quressa joined the Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 after working at a previous agency and as an editor for five years. She is originally from San Francisco, but has been living in New York City for over a decade. As a New York based agent, she is eager to build her YA and Adult lists. When not curled on her couch reading, she plays video games, enjoys too much TV–mostly Sailor Moon and Harry Potter (Slytherin!), eats delicious things, drinks champagne, hangs out with her very clever husband, and adds another “dramatic” color to her lipstick collection.
So, give her stories that will make her geek out. If you can make her have an epic fangirl squee–have stories featuring fairies and warrior princesses with afros and rainbow dreads or envision winter elves inspired by an Asian or Latinx culture–then you are definitely a match. She’s also looking for stories with best friends like Molly and Issa on Insecure, enemies to lovers, coming-of-age stories, The Breakfast Club with a twist, family drama and witches (!), and alpha heroes paired with witty heroines. If you have bold, fresh, or quirky stories they will be right up her alley. She’s also looking for stories that feel timeless and timely despite the current climate or when they were originally written. Or give her something she didn’t know she desperately needed.
Above all, give her stories she can become deeply passionate about.
Q and A with an Agent on Saturday plus the Agents and Editors Panel as well as a Sunday intensives on Developmental Editing: Being Your Own Editor. And now for the interview!
Coffee and Conversation
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? And now, as an adult?
I read so much that it’s impossible to have favorites, but the books that are most memorable to me are THE GIVER, THE PEOPLE COULD FLY, THE SECRET GARDEN, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, and UPROOTED.
You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it? (Key word: Frivolous!)
I’d either buy books, lipstick from Sephora, or get a fancy mani at Paintbox.
You’ve been locked in a bank vault Twilight Zone style, so you finally have time to read! Your glasses are fine (whew!) so what’s the first book you crack open?
Aww man. I have so many to-be-read books staring at me. Right now I most want to jump into THE FIFTH SEASON, SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS, and THE CRUEL PRINCE.
If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
I started out majoring in biochemistry. If math hadn’t been my nemesis I’d be a head scientist with my own research lab.
For one day, time travel is a reality and you can visit any famous deceased author or artist you want. Who do you pick?
Van Gogh or Langston Hughes
Awesome, thanks so much for sharing, Quressa, and my apologies for the delayed posting!
Happy writing and drawing, everyone!
I wonder if Quressa would take a YA slice of life cosmic horror comic manuscript. 🤔😭