The Job Never Gets Old for Kim Lionetti

  • By: Kim Lionetti | Date: Jul 21 2022

Summer is kicking, and we’re excited to be continuing our meet-the-agent summer with an interview with senior agent Kim Lionetti!


What is your agenting superpower?

As a lifelong reader of commercial fiction, I think my superpower is that I’m able to cut to the heart of reader desires and expectations. That can translate to creative brainstorming with my clients or to scalpel-like edits on their manuscripts.


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

I think I sometimes present as rather stoic, but I’ve been told more than once I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  Honestly, it’s worked in my favor when representing my clients.  When I go to bat for them, I think I’m able to channel my frustration in a way that’s calm and logical, but also clearly and genuinely felt.


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

Beggin’ – Måneskin

Lightning Crashes – Live

Satisfied (from Hamilton) – Renée Elise Goldsberry

In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins (primarily to play air drums)

Jolene – Dolly Parton

And absolutely any Johnny Cash song


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?

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens –I’m a sucker for redemptive characters and Sydney Carton is the penultimate example

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – A rom-com that checks every box for me.  One of my absolute favorites.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas – I grew up reading gothics and this book brought back all of the feels of my old favorites, but in a way that felt fresh and brilliantly imagined.

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton – This was my favorite audiobook last year.  I loved the unique format, the story, the characters and the narration.  I can’t recommend it enough!

You by Caroline Kepnes – I’ve listened to all of the You books narrated by Santino Fontana and recommend them time and again.  The combination of Caroline’s words and brilliantly written POV with Santino’s gift for vocally characterizing Joe’s malice, narcissism, humor, disdain, and lack of self-awareness, is truly an experience like no other.  If you’re not a regular audiobook listener and are looking for someplace to start, this will have you hooked.


What does your reading list say about you? What does it say about your MSWL? 

I’m equally drawn by character and plotting.  I love characters that jump off the page, but I also want to feel the suspense of not knowing what they might do next.  I definitely gravitate toward faster reads, and books with unique storytelling devices.


What would you like querying authors to know about you?

This job never gets old for me.  I get just as excited about projects now, as when I started out in the business as an intern 28 years ago.  While my plate may be a bit fuller these days, I’m always eager to dive into my submissions and find the next client.  I’m incredibly fortunate to have a job I’m so passionate about, and to work with the amazingly talented authors I get to call clients.