“I like to say I’m representing authors, not books, and so I want to make sure they are excited not just about the book they’re currently writing, but the idea of being a writer.” -Haley Heidemann
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings a faculty of close to thirty agents, editors, and other industry professionals to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 28th Annual A&E Conference, taking place September 17-19, 2021, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our faculty here.
An Interview with Haley Heidemann
Haley Heidemann is a literary agent at William Morris Endeavor, representing adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, and pop-culture. In the fiction space, she is looking for upmarket commercial and literary fiction with a strong voice. She is drawn to novels with complex female characters, dark female friendships and relationships, and a fun family saga. For non-fiction, she’s looking for voice-driven narratives, pop-culture, sex and dating, essay collections, thought leaders, and lifestyle. In both, she is looking for books that move her and say something subversive about our culture.
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Haley Heidemann: I like to be as hands on as the author would like me to be. I love being a collaborative creative partner and building a personal bond and trust with my authors.
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
HH: I look for someone who is committed to their craft and their career. I like to say I’m representing authors, not books, and so I want to make sure they are excited not just about the book they’re currently writing, but the idea of being a writer.
Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again?
HH: When in the editing stage, don’t be afraid to really dive in and make changes. Take your time on edits. It will help both you and me in the long run.
Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?
HH: There are so many innovative publishing opportunities that are popping up that are incredibly exciting. Additionally, while there is still a way to go, I am excited to be reading many more diverse and inclusive stories.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and want everyone to know about?
HH: I recently sold an author’s debut novel. She has written two successful nonfiction books, but this was her first foray into fiction. It was a real passion project for her and being able to make that a reality for her was incredibly rewarding.
Click here for more information on the 2021 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (September 17-19) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.