“I like to make it very clear that this is a partnership, and I always want to make sure that my client feels heard and well prepared for any professional endeavor I help them pursue.” -Paloma Hernando, Einstein Literary Management
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings 20-25 literary agents and book editors to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 29th Annual A&E Conference, taking place June 24 – 26, 2022, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our visiting agents and editors here.
An Interview with Paloma Hernando
Paloma Hernando (she/her/hers) joined Einstein Literary Management as an Associate Agent in 2020. Paloma has been working in independent publishing since 2015, involved in editing, publishing, and selling mini-comics, zines, graphic novels, webcomics, and large-scale anthologies. A 2017 graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art, Paloma currently lives in Brooklyn. Paloma’s favorite books often have a bit of magic in them, and she loves being able to dive into any world, real or invented, presented on the page. She is looking for both graphic novels and prose fiction for YA or adult, including more mature stories, particularly ones that deal with difficult emotions and nuanced characters. She loves romance, particularly queer romance, science fiction that feels fresh, high fantasy, and middle grade with a good sense of humor. She is interested in non-fiction for all ages, especially anything that digs into media analysis or an event in history. She loves a story with a strong voice and solid construction.
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Paloma Hernando: Extremely editorial-focused, I like to encourage someone to pursue their unique style and taste, but I also have a very high quality standard, especially in regards to story structure and characters. On an interpersonal level I like to make it very clear that this is a partnership, and I always want to make sure that my client feels heard and well prepared for any professional endeavor I help them pursue.
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
PH: Realism about the industry tempered with an enthusiasm to learn. I’ll insist upon an above average skill level and expertise before I partner with someone (This is mostly relevant to my graphic novel clients who need to be familiar with the comics medium before we seriously pursue a graphic novel).
Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again?
PH: Find an engine to your plot that will motivate us throughout the book. The tension needs to always be building to the eventual ending.
Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?
PH: The widening viewpoints to formerly “niche” genres and platforms.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and want everyone to know about?
PH: Not many of mine are announced yet! But I am very excited for “WE ARE BIG TIME,” a graphic novel from Knopf that my client Safiya Zerrougui is illustrating!
Click here for more information on the 2022 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (June 24-26) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.