You can find Lucienne online at:
http://luciennediver.wordpress.com/ - her blog
http://www.luciennediver.com - author website
http://knightagency.net - agency website
1. As both an author and agent, what do you find most challenging about separating your careers?
Lucienne: I don’t actually have any trouble separating them. I write first thing in the morning, before my inner agent has downed the requisite two cups of coffee (super-sized) and come on-line. My inner critic is likewise still abed at that hour, which means I can get out of my own way and just listen to the voices in my head rather than insert myself into the process. Once business hours roll around and I know that authors and editors will be calling, my agent-brain kicks in, and it would be impossible for me to focus on anything else. At that point, it’s my “To Do” list rather than my novel scrolling through my head, and the only way to keep it manageable is to keep it moving.
2. Writers glean from all facets of life, including their own. How much of your own personality and life experience appears in the characters of your novels?
Lucienne: It’s interesting how well you come to know yourself as a writer. I’ve realized that much of my early work features characters that are a lot like me. They want to cut to the chase and not dwell on all that messy emotional stuff. However, as I’ve gone on, I’ve realized that I’m going to have to open up other parts of myself to keep from stagnating, and that will sometimes mean drawing on issues and events that aren’t comfortable. As I’ve been working on my new (currently hush, hush) project, I’ve begun internalizing the immortal words of Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
3. What is the best thing about being a 1) writer and 2) agent?
Lucienne: Best thing about being a writer: when you learn that you’ve really affected someone with your work. I love feedback from readers, particularly reluctant readers, who’ve become absorbed in my work and cared enough to let me know it.
Best thing about being an agent: working with authors. Truly, my clients are some of the most amazing, talented, brilliant, empathetic, intriguing people in the world, and I’m privileged to have a place among them.
4. What advice can you give aspiring writers who think they’re ready to submit their work?
Lucienne: Do NOT rush it out the door. After you’ve written your novel, workshop and revise it until you can’t look at it any more, then put it away for a time. I’d suggest a month, minimum, but if you can’t give it that, a few weeks at least so that you can go back to it with fresh eyes. I guarantee you’ll find a whole host of new things to tweak that you’ll wonder how you ever missed. You don’t often get a second chance to impress the pros with the same manuscript, so you want to make every opportunity count.
5. I know from reading your bio and blog that you’re one busy woman. How in the world do you maintain such high standards (and quality in your work) when it seems you barely have time to sleep?
Lucienne: You know that schedule running through my head that I mentioned back in the answer to question #1? Well, I’m a serious Type A personality, which means that I don’t know how to relax and any gap in my schedule just stresses me out with the idea that I should be doing something to fill it. I’m pretty much incapable of relaxing, though my husband’s working on introducing me to the concept.
6. Are you currently accepting new clients? What would you say is the most important writing attribute for you when considering a new client?
Lucienne: I’ll always be on the look-out for something that really blows me away. I’ve sold three wonderful debut novels within the past twelve months. That said, I already work with forty authors of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery and young adult fiction, so I’m not as actively looking as I might have been earlier on in my career. In a manuscript I seek out voice, marketability, pacing and originality. In a client, I look for someone who’s creative, motivated, responsive and a strong communicator.
7. Could you name one or two of your literary or publishing heroes or role models?
Lucienne: A few literary heroes: Sharyn McCrumb for pretty much everything she’s ever written. Ditto for Mary Stewart. In YA and middle grade fiction, I’m a big fan of Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling. I know, I’m hardly unique in this, but I love them all the same.