Though I consider myself an ever-evolving student of both the art and business of my craft, I humbly confess that I am somewhat ignorant of the responsibilities and burdens that agents and managers take on when choosing which clients to represent.
I do, however, view the situation as a two-way relationship. I'm not looking for a servant. And I would hope that my agent or manager is not looking for some voiceless pupil to shepherd. This is a partnership. I have a clear vision of what I want my career to be. Any agent or manager interested in me would have to be someone willing to become an active contributor to that vision.
To that end, I want an agent or manager who is able to do three things:
If you are here because one of my stories has garnered attention or critical acclaim, then I am very happy about that. However, it is imperative that anyone seeking to represent me demonstrates a clear effort to get to know me. Learn about my brand. Read some of my essays and interviews on this blog. Find me on Facebook. Listen to my podcast episodes on Soundcloud.
Take a look at my interests and passions. Learn more about my vision and career plans. See if what I have to offer is a good fit for what you have to offer. I don't mean to come off as a snob, but I care very much about my career. And while there are a lot of attributes that I look for in representation, the most important thing is that you are a professional who cares about me, not just my work.
UNDERSTAND MY WRITING INTERESTS
If I were to possess any one "literary" focus, then it would be the idea of competition, and what it can teach us.
In terms of projects, my primary interests are in animated movies and in fighting games. I also like short films. I'm not particularly interested in doing live-action films, hour-long television shows, or comedies. And when I say animated movies, I'm not referring to G or PG-rated theater flicks. To get a sense of the kind of animated films I like, Google Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery. My movies are more likely to appear on iTunes and VUDU than they are to show up in theaters.
This isn't to say that I'm averse to trying things outside of my interests, so long as those ventures can be used to facilitate my true career goals.
As far as fighting games are concerned, I'm a fan of Tekken, The King of Fighters, and most of the Capcom franchises. I study, analysis, and do speaking events on the storytelling aspects of the genre. One of my goals is to work with SNK Corporation in a partnership capacity to create a great fighting game series.
Preferably, I would like to have an agent who is also interested in fighting games. This is not, however, a make-or-break requirement.
UNDERSTAND ME BEYOND WRITING
Outside of other professional writing jobs that I've held, my most consistent day job has been as an English instructor. I started out teaching remedial writing classes at a community college in downtown Cleveland. As an underachieving high school graduate, I also took these kinds of courses as a community college student in Detroit. I struggled my first year in college until my English professor handed me back a C+ essay and told me that I was a good writer when I put forth the effort. The impact that he made on me that day is the reason why I chose to pursue a career in writing.
I want to have that kind of impact on other students who come from where I came from. But I want to take it to the next level. I want to walk into a classroom full of community college students with a star-caliber resume. I want them to see how someone with a similar background can become successful.
In addition to teaching the standard composition courses, my ultimate goal as an educator is to teach a Creative Professional Development course, designed to teach students how to outline and execute a story, how to collaborate, how to use creative skills to find a "real-world" job, and how to effectively create and publish their own work using free or inexpensive software.
Agents and mangers who wish to represent me need to understand that helping me realize my goals as a writer facilitates my goals as an educator.