Thursday, December 2, 2010

Interview with an Agent: Kathleen Ortiz

As promised, I give you Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates. Check out the interview, then check out Ms. Ortiz’s awesome blog. (She’s kicking off a huge twelve-work-days-before-Christmas contest next week, so click that “Follow” button right away!) Happy reading!

KV: How often does a query intrigue you enough to look at the included pages? And how often do those pages intrigue you enough to request a partial?

KO: I keep an updated stats report on my blog ( It varies month to month. From September 1 to 30 I requested 23 partials out of 1,179 queries. This is really high compared to the average agent, but I’m looking to build my list of clients:)

KV: Jumping in to add Ms. Ortiz recently posted her agency's October stats, which are similar. Okay, back to the interview!

What are you looking for in a requested manuscript?

KO: I’m looking for a great voice, great plot--do I get sucked into the world you’ve created/the characters who interact with each other? Is it a realistic voice? Is the pacing good or am I falling asleep/thinking about laundry that needs to be done?

KV: What are some of the most common problems you see in the manuscripts you request?

KO: Too much backstory; super slow pacing; not knowing what the story is to begin with (tons of side plots but no actual, main plot); non-engaging characters; telling instead of showing; writing a story that’s already been written except with different character names; etc.

KV: When you come across a manuscript you really like/love, how do you decide whether to request revisions or offer representation?

KO: If it’s great writing and an intriguing read but there’s a major plot issue, then I’ll chat with the author about it, let them know my thoughts, and then if they want to revise/resubmit then I’ll take a look and go from there. If it’s great writing, an intriguing read and just needs minor adjustments then I jump on the phone:)

KV: When you do make that Call, you’re probably going to ask the writer if she has any questions. What sorts of questions should she ask?

KO: Great question! :) Hannah Moskowitz actually guest blogged about this on my blog:

But in a nutshell, be prepared to ask how the agency works, thoughts on your manuscript, communication policies, submission styles, etc.

KV: And now for a few quick questions from the normal interview. What client work do you have coming out soon?

KO: Jaime Reed’s YA trilogy SOUL IMPULSE sold to Kensington recently.

KV: What drew you to those writers and/or projects?

KO: I love it because it’s SO different from the paranormal out there--the MC is a kickass teen who isn’t a damsel in distress. And the paranormal element = Cambions, the offspring of humans and incubi? Um hello amazing.

KV: Is there something you haven’t been seeing lately in the slush pile that you wish you were?

KO: YA Thrillers!!

KV: What’s the best way to query you?

KO: By e-mail:

Please send us a one-page query letter, along with the first ten pages pasted in the body of the message (if fiction; for non-fiction, please send only a query letter), by e-mail to Please put the word QUERY and the title of your project in the subject field of your e-mail and address it to the agent of your choice. Please do not send an attachment as the message will be deleted without being read and no reply will be sent. We reply to all queries and generally send a response within two to four weeks.

By mail:

For Fiction: Mail a query letter, short synopsis, first chapter and a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope).

For Nonfiction: Mail a query letter, proposal, if available, or else a project overview and a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope).

Lowenstein Associates
121 West 27th Street
Suite 501
New York, NY 10001

Thanks, Ms. Ortiz, for these responses. And look how easy she made it on us queriers--we’ve got her submission guidelines right here!

Best of luck to all who query. I’m hanging out in Ms. Ortiz’s query inbox right now, too:)


Pam Harris said...

Great interview. I love reading her tweets. :)

Jenilyn Collings said...

Thanks for the great interview!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Thanks for another great interview, Krista. Good luck with that query! :)


smallsnail said...

Thanks Krista, just sent off my query too.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks Krista. I'm going to check her out.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Pam, her tweets are helpful, especially if you're waiting in her query queue:)

You're welcome, Jeni!

Thanks, Amy!

Good luck with your query, bigblackcat97! According to QueryTracker, you're probably in for a few-weeks wait.

Yvonne, go, go, go!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Awesome interview!! Great links, too! Thanks, Krista and Kathleen!

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Neat interview. Nice that she laid it all out there.

Hermana Maw said...

Loved the interview! Thanks a ton. :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're welcome, Katrina!

Esther, I thought this was a good interview, too.

Glad you liked it, Leisha!

Myrna Foster said...

Yes, I love the query stats on her blog. They are very informative. Thanks for another great interview!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're welcome, Myrna! I wish every blogging agent posted query stats as often.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great interview, Krista! FYI: Kathleen has a super blog, too...

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, Sharon. And you're right - Kathleen's blog is great.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks. This was helpful in getting to know Ms. Ortiz.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

I felt like I really got to know her, too, lotusgirl. My favorite line from this interview: "Um hellow amazing." :)

The Sisterhood said...

1,179 queries in one month?! Wow, no wonder agents are so busy!

Great interview, Krista! Thanks for introducing me to another great agent.


Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're welcome, Lorena! Now we know why we sometimes have to wait a few weeks to hear back from these 1,179-query-receiving agents:)