Jenissa Graham Loves Books That Change Her Perspective
- By: Jenissa Graham | Date: Jul 12 2022
We’re thrilled to be continuing our summer-long “get to know the agent” series with our newest agent and Subsidiary Rights Manager, Jenissa Graham! Come join us in getting to know Jenissa a little better.
What is your agenting superpower?
E&E: Encourage and Extract. I want to uproot any doubt, fear, or angst from my clients and draw out the best version of their manuscript and ultimately themselves. When I offer representation, it’s two-sided. I didn’t just fall in love with the project; I also believed in the author and want to do everything in my power to help them build a long and fruitful career.
What do people often get wrong about you/what would they be surprised to know?
I’m not sure, really. I hope people see that I’m multi-layered. I take my job seriously, but I’m also goofy (and accident prone). I want to rep and sell amazing books, but I’m also excited to help build successful careers (specifically for BIPOC in Publishing). Although I’m creative, I’m a salesperson, so I love the business side and numbers.
Honorary Random Facts: When I’m stressed, I either bake, listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean composition, or read tarot.
What are 5 songs on your playlist (that represent you, that you always recommend, that you listen to on repeat, etc.)?
Handheld GPS by Rexx Life Raj
Do Not Disturb by Mahalia
Shea Butter Baby by Ari Lennox (whole album)
Tuscan Leather by Drake
Cycles by Jonathan McReynolds
What are 5 books on your reading list (that represent you, that you always recommend, that you would read over and over again, etc.) and why?
She Would be King by Wayétu Moore
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The TimeKeeper by Mitch Albom
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Ultimately, my “why” for all is the same: it changed my perspective by the end of the novel. I was a different person by the time I closed the book, and that’s what I love. A transformation.
What does your reading list say about you? What does it say about your MSWL?
I don’t put myself in a box. One book is a fast-paced action adventure, then a poignant contemporary YA, followed by a multi world fantasy, and topped off by a mind-bending thriller. I’m never going to put limits on myself or my clients. I like complex and different and that’s what I want to represent.
What would you like querying authors to know about you?
I’m excited every time I open my Query Manager. I’m hoping the next sample I read is the one I’m going to fall in love with. Although many authors dread the query trenches, that’s where the baton is passed to the agent. I’m excited to request more pages, and sometimes it’s one of the most difficult decisions to make to pass on a project.
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