Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Agent Spotlight On. . . Sha-Shana Crichton

Welcome to the first edition of Agent Spotlight! To start the ball rolling, I've intereviewed Sha-Shana Crichton of Crichton & Associates.

Can you give a little background on yourself and your agency?

Sha-Shana N.L. Crichton, president of Crichton & Associates, Inc. literary agency. Sha-Shana is a certified mediator and an attorney licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

For submission and queries, please send to:
Crichton & Associates, Inc.
6940 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

What are you currently acquiring? Are you looking for inspirational fiction and genre romance?can you elaborate on these? Sub-genres?

Mysteries, great women?s fiction, inspirational women?s fiction, Chick-lit, all types of romance - historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal,.

Realistically, what is your average response time, right now? We hear so much that the longer it takes, the better the odds of acceptance?any truth to that in regards to your agency?

We try to aim for 4 weeks for query letters, 6-8 weeks on partial manuscripts. In my case, I must say yes.

Pet peeves of submissions?

(1) SASEs sent with metered postage or in Priority envelopes. The post office often rejects the metered postage. With the priority envelopes, if the postage is not correct, one has to add postage or the manuscript is not returned. Use plain envelopes?. If you want it sent priority, include a priority sticker.
(2) Bounded manuscripts

What would be your dream submission?

A manuscript where the characters are properly developed, the character traits are consistent, the writing is consistent and the plot and grammar are excellent. Oh, I also love a strong, unique voice.

Do contest finals/placements/wins have any influence in whether you?ll read a certain ms?

Oh yes.

What makes your agency stand out? Personal attention? Career development?

May I defer to my clients?

Best/worst part of being an agent?

Best part: I love watching my clients grow as writers. Making the first sale and not only working on making the second or third sale, but working to improve the craft. That makes me really happy.

Worst part: It is amazing the way some people think they should talk to you.

Walk us through what happens from the time you decide to accept an author?s piece until the ms is sent out for submissions to publishers.

Manuscript is accepted
I work with the client on making changes if necessary
I find out from the client, what publishing house or houses he or she would love to see the manuscript published by or what house he or she does not want the manuscript to go to. I take this into consideration when sending the manuscript out.

A synopsis seems to be the bane of the writer?s existence?are they REALLY that important in landing an agent?

I cannot speak for all agents. I tend to look more at the first three chapters.

Thanks again to Sha-Shana for this interview!


:-)Ronie said...

KEWL! Thanks for posting this interview, Robin.

Kelly Parra said...

Great interview, Robin!! Thanks for sharing!!

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Thanks so much for doing this, Robin and Sha-Shana!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Sha Shana for taking the time and to Robin for putting in the effort to post the interview!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean the only inspirationals are women's fiction, not RS or something else?

Aleisha said...

This is neat. I checked out the website for the agency, but I'm with anonymous-are all subgenres of inspirational ok to query, or just women's fiction?

Cara Putman said...

Robin, thanks for the interview, and Sha-Shana, thanks for making the time to answer the questions. It's great to get some insight into the agent side of the business.

Shesawriter said...


Thanks for posting this. Sha-shana is a beautiful person, and a fabulous agent. This is a wonderful start for your agent spotlight series, Robin.


The Beautiful Schoolmarm said...

Thank you for this, and thank you for pointing it out to me on my blog.

Camy Tang said...

Great interview! Thanks, Sha-Shana and Robin!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Great stuff. Thanks for doing this Robin! And thanks to Sha-Shana Crichton for being so generous with her time.

Betsy said...

My question is the same as Aleisha's.

And thanks for posting this, Robin, and Sha-Shana for doing it.

Dana Pollard said...

Thanks for doing this for us, Robin! Who knows, by the end of the summer, I MIGHT... MIGHT start looking for an agent. We'll see. hehe

Ron Estrada said...

This is helpful stuff. I think these kind of interactions between writers, agents, and editors will benefit everyone involved. Thanks again.

MariaGeraci said...

Nice interview, Robin! Sha-Shana is on the top of my agent list. Now I just have to get my act together and query her!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea and wonderfully helpful. Thanks to you both. There are a few questions I'd like to suggest for the next go-round - who do you represent? which houses have you sold to? do you charge any fees? what's hot in the market now? do you see any trends shaping up?

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Looking forward to sending a manuscript. Vous acceptez-vous des soumissions dans des langues étrangères, telles que le Français?