Name: Karley Pardue
What you Write: Horror
Agent: Amanda Jain
Why BookEnds?: I found BookEnds through a particular call for horror they put on their blog back in February, and felt like Amanda’s description of what she was drawn to, looking for, and enjoyed meshed well with me. The more time I spent learning about and engaging with the agency the more I fell in love with it.
What book do you wish you had written, and why? Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn. I read it numerous times when I was a teenager because it wasn’t like the rest of the paranormal romances on the shelves and still satisfied my love of vampires. Now, as an adult, I can value how Hahn uses the speculative elements to write about difficult subjects like coercion and grooming. It’s the kind of book that, for me, aged well and horrified in different ways upon doing so.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing? When not catching up on work, I’m experimenting with recipes in my kitchen or watching horror movies.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media? I’m a bit all over the place. You can find me on Twitter (@karleypardue), on Facebook (@karleyparduewriting), and on Reading Malone, my blog (www.readingmalone.wordpress.com).
What’s the last book you read? Not quite the last thing I read, but Not All Monsters, edited by Sarah Tantlinger, is a strong example of the delightfully creepy work women in horror are writing today. I’m currently in the middle of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and savoring every chapter.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location? I like to think it would be a little bungalow in a small coastal town. One of those places where cozy mysteries are often set. A place where I can open the windows to salty air and a breeze, go for brooding walks on the beach, and encounter hints of the unusual in every low tide. And good seafood.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received? One of my writing professors is infamous for a handout on his “pet peeves.” The advice inside it is, however, largely sound and I did immediately notice that my writing was a lot tighter after I cut out so many of my sighs, shrugs, and adverbs. Or, at least, now they’re more intentional.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family? The rapport and relationships between the agents, their genuine excitement for their clients and for books in general, and their honest and knowledgeable attitudes. Plus, I’m enthused about the variety of other authors and BookEnds’ support for diverse and inclusive works.
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents? How did you know your book was ready to submit? I took the phrase “well-polished” seriously and edited and revised to the point where I knew I couldn’t look at it again without destroying what I had created in the first place. Honestly, it was a gut feeling built out of years of work and the support of people who had read various drafts in that time. The last piece before querying was cutting it down to marketable length and, then, it really felt I’d gone as far as I could without an agent.