Jessica Alvarez Loves to Network

  • By: Jessica Alvarez | Date: Aug 23 2022

We’re excited to be bringing you the interview with senior literary agent Jessica Alvarez this week, as well as a picture of her lovely helper Sydney!

One of Jessica’s helpers


What is your agenting superpower?

This is hard! I think it might be networking. I love to make new connections—with publishing pros and authors alike—and have a great memory for random details about people I’ve met. That can come in very handy when submitting projects to editors, or when making small talk at a conference bar (though, that skill has been severely underutilized since 2020). It’s also part of what I enjoy most about handling foreign rights for BookEnds—I really enjoy chatting with our subagents, getting to know them and their markets.


What do people often get wrong about you/what would they be surprised to know? 

People might be surprised to know that I am an absolute klutz. I drop things. I fall over. I walk into furniture. It’s ridiculous. I probably have at least a dozen bruises on me right now because of klutzy things I’ve done in the past few days. My husband calls me Wreck-It Ralph because I can be counted on to leave a wake of destruction behind me at all times. Don’t let me near sharp objects.


What are 5 songs on your playlist (that represent you, that you always recommend, that you listen to on repeat, etc.)?

So, maybe this should have been my answer to the last question, but I can never pick favorites. Favorite songs, favorite books, favorite movies? I just don’t have them. I am fickle and what I like today will be different than what I like tomorrow. So, I can’t answer this with five songs. What I will say is I tend to listen to a lot of Italian pop music—I am all over Apple Music’s Top 100: Italy chart. Once upon a time, I was near fluent in Italian, but those days are long gone. Listening to Italian music, though, keeps my language skills at least halfway decent.


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?

A-ha! Another attempt by the powers that be to trick me into listing favorites! I respectfully decline to answer this question, but I will say what I’m particularly enjoying right now are audiobooks with ensemble casts.


What would you like querying authors to know about you?

A shelfie featuring some of Jessica’s clients’ titles

I am fortunate enough to have a very full list. This allows me to be picky about the projects I request and the authors I take on, so please don’t read into it too much if you get a fast pass from me – it might just not be right for my list at this time. That said, I am always on the hunt for the next author and next project, and reading queries is one of my favorite parts of the job, so please do query me!





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