Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Felice Laverne of Art + Deco Agency

Felice Laverne is a literary agent with Art + Deco Agency.

Felice is looking for:

For fiction, Felice focuses on contemporary literary, upmarket, commercial fiction and select fantasy novels.

Fiction that explores the subtleties and complexities of language, while still being firmly rooted in modern or futuristic living – whether character or plot-driven. She is looking for select non-fiction with a unique viewpoint by authors with a well-developed media platform, particularly in the areas of foodie culture/cookbooks, incisive commentary on marginalized cultures and pop culture essay collections.

Bottom line: Felice is looking for art on a page and fresh perspectives, writing that says “NO!” to clichés and formulaic tropes, and you can wow her with writing that offers an energetic voice and a deep sense of place.

Felice has a soft spot for brainy novels set on college campuses à la The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker and Loner by Teddy Wayne; clever ‘whodunits’ set on estates like The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and the 2019 film Knives Out; highbrow fiction written around characters of color such as The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; contemporary Southern Gothic fiction such as Catherine Lacey’s Pew; novels featuring multicultural Millennials in high-powered workplace situations; and witty and satirical upmarket women’s fiction that reveals a nasty side to a major industry (i.e. fashion, film, etc.) as in The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

She is intrigued by novels that can introduce readers to a new world, make us think differently about one we already know, or tap into the cultural climate. Felice is interested in finding and uplifting writers from marginalized communities – particularly writers of color. A book that offers sharp social commentary interwoven brilliantly throughout the narrative will keep her up all night reading.

She does not want:

Romance, historical of any kind, erotica, YA unless it’s YA fantasy, middle grade, children’s books, science fiction, memoirs, screenplays, poetry collections.

About her:

Felice’s publishing career has always been rooted in championing bold voices and writers from marginalized communities. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in English, Creative Writing, from Georgia State University, she started her career at About Words Agency directly after college where she worked as an agent until leaving to complete her master’s degree in Publishing at Kingston University in London, England. There, Felice specialized in Diversity & Inclusion in Publishing, which drove her career-long passion for bold voices the world had never heard before.

After years of then partnering with major houses as a book editor and ghostwriter, including having edited phenomenal big-name books such as Zerlina Maxwell’s The End of White Politics (Hachette) and Paola Ramos’ Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity (Vintage), among so many others, she is now back to her roots as a literary agent with a growing list of bold titles.

About the agency:

As a literary agency, we are thrilled to work with ambitious voices and ideas — like yours — and invest in the ideas inside you that are bursting to come out. Together, we will elevate your concepts, your words and your author brand to its full potential. Art + Deco Agency is an agency built around voices that the world has tried to silence — marginalized, underrepresented and unconventional voices. And even if an author is not from these communities themselves, they respect them and are ready to share their stories in ways that do not denigrate or subjugate these communities. We strongly affirm the principles of Diversity & Inclusion and live by those principles here every day.

We’re NOT a stuffy, old-school, corporate buttoned-up-blazer kind of agency. We’re a hands-on boutique agency seeking to work with new ideas and progressive minds who share, reflect and continue to elevate our stated ideals. We help our authors build brands, not just books, and we push them to be better writers than they were when they came to us, continuing to push themselves for new ideas. Good writing never goes out of style, and we live for the moment when we find the books that we know can change the world. Here at Art + Deco, our team works together to find the best quality of writing in a collaborative environment that encourages everyone to come as they are and bring their unique perspectives to the table. There’s no need for “casual Fridays” here because we encourage every member of our team to come as they are: bold, brilliant, radically unique and ready to help our authors take the world by storm.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lynnette Novak of The Seymour Agency

Lynnette Novak is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent 17 years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as the New York Times and the USA Today bestselling authors.

Lynnette earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.

Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.

She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. Lynnette is always looking for own voices, diverse, and LGBTQ+ authors and wants to share more of these marginalized voices with the world.

Lynnette is seeking:

In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy).

In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary, mysteries, fantasy, and sci-fi.

In middle grade: contemporary, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, and humor.

In children’s fiction: picture books (non-rhyming preferred).