Kurestin Armada


Literary Agent at @RootLiterary . Specializes in science fiction and fantasy. Lives in the wilds of New York City.


Root Literary

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Keala @kkealakai

With YA sci-fi, what type of projects would you like to see? (Space opera, Black Mirror, cyberpunk, etc.) It seems like only soft sci-fi, like Black Mirror, and space opera are really taking off while the rest of YA sci-fi remains a hard sell. #askPSLA

YA SF is incredibly hard right now, in almost all areas. So it's not something I'm actively looking for, versus adult SF where I definitely want to see all of it. But something that's close to our world but just a bit off would definitely be interesting! #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Noreen @naziaso

Can bio be non-writing? Specially if itโ€™s ownvoices? #askpsla

Replying to @naziaso

Sure! It's always nice to have a few details in there that make someone feel human and real. And sometimes non-writing stuff is still super relevant, like a lawyer writing legal thrillers or something similar. #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Ayana Gray @AyanaGray

What sorts of things in a YA fantasy make you immediately request (besides good writing) or immediately pass (a trope you donโ€™t like)? #askPSLA

Replying to @AyanaGray

I love to be surprised, so it's hard to pick a "definitely request" item, but I will almost always pass on anything involving angels/demons and magic systems that are too simple and just tied to the four elements. #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Chris Bedell @ChrisBedell

Is it bad for a YA Thriller to be 55k words to 59k words? Should it be at least 60k words? Or is 55k words to 59k words okay if it's Contemporary? #askPSLA

Replying to @ChrisBedell

That feels short to me, especially because I think of YA thrillers as a bit older in the age range. But if the query is good I think people will still request it! #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Rhiannon Lotze @RhiannonLotze

1. What common phrases about fictional works do you absolutely hate seeing in query letters?
2. When an agent turns down a query, is it protocol to send them a final thank you email or should you leave them be to avoid cluttering their inbox?


Replying to @RhiannonLotze

1. There aren't a lot, mainly just people talking about how funny the book is without actually telling a joke, or other similar things like "heart-breaking" etc when I should get that from the query.

2. You're fine either way, there's no real protocol!


Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Tesse Struve @StruveTesse

Is YA still a pretty hot genre? Iโ€™ve heard rumors itโ€™s starting to slow in popularity. Thanks! #askPSLA

Sales are starting to shrink and it's definitely starting to slow a bit, though it's by no means disappearing. I think middle grade is where people are really hungry for some truly excellent stuff, and there's a lot of breathing room for cool concepts! #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Jaynie Hylton @jayniehylton

Are publishers hesitant about hiring debut illustrators or does the strength of the portfolio outweigh inexperience? #askPSLA

Replying to @jayniehylton

Every editor I've talked to lately says they would love to find more illustrators to add to their pool! So I think the portfolio definitely outweighs inexperience, it's all about showing you can do the kind of work required--but exp does help get your name out there. #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Amy G Nash, LCPC @trotter47

Would you advise a writer to seek an editor who o look over the manuscript before seeking an agent? #askPSLA

Replying to @trotter47

No, that's hardly ever necessary. But if you're feeling like you need an extra boost or don't have critique partners for free help, it can certainly be useful to get feedback on your first 20 pages or so and learn how to apply that to the entire MS. #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

N. Nasim Homer @HomerNasim

When you meet an agent at a lit conference, what is the appropriate way to approach them about your manuscript? Do you pitch them immediately or just let them know you would like to query them? Also is it okay to follow up a few months after or does time run out? #askPSLA

You can pitch them if you want (assuming you mean in the hallway and not in a meeting), but querying is free so it may be better than memorizing a pitch. Instead consider asking them things to get insight into what they like/the industry and use that in your query later! #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Angelique Stefanelli ๐Ÿฆ‚ @ac_stefanelli

For adult fiction (fantasy in particular), what are the best ways to make certain readers arenโ€™t turned off by younger MCs (child/teen aged)? And are adult POVs required if itโ€™s adult fantasy? #askPSLA

Replying to @ac_stefanelli

Generally it's all about the way you write it--a common technique is to make it clear that the child POV is actually the adult "looking back" on events. I would do a lot of careful reading of ones that do this well, like the Farseer books! #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Adriรซlle @AdrielleBlaas

What is you opinion of softer heroines in YA Fantasy compared to the current trend of hardened/angry ones? Are they a tougher sell? #askPSLA

Replying to @AdrielleBlaas

I don't think they affect the salability of a project at all, I've never heard an editor express strong feelings either way. The concept, writing, and strength of the voice are all going to matter way more than the particular personality of the MC. #askPSLA

Kurestin Armada @kurestinarmada · 25 Feb 2019

Kevin M Moehring @kevinmmoehring

#askPSLA I'm new to the whole pitch and query thing. I honestly never thought I'd write more than a single book. I'm currently finishing the third in a series. Are books that are part of a pre-existing series looked down upon during the query process?

Replying to @kevinmmoehring

Do you mean trying to query book three or four in an already published series? Because then yes, it will be very difficult to get representation for a project like that. But if you just mean you have several books done and are querying Book 1, you're probably fine. #askPSLA