Meet Agent Kat Kerr
Kat joined Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2019. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in English in 2009 and is drawn to literary and commercial voices within the adult and YA markets, as well as adult nonfiction. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say.
Find out more by following her on Twitter.
How long have you been an agent, and what did your career path look like?
I've been an agent and actively acquiring clients for almost two years. My journey started with internships, including serving as a literary assistant and an apprentice agent at two preceding literary agencies. By the time I joined DMLA in May 2019, I had a little over three years of industry experience. It's been a wonderful journey!
What's your favorite part of your job?
Finding manuscripts that make me fall in love with reading all over again and working with my clients. It's not just about taking a journey and being transported into a new place; it's also about helping make a story become a book that will make its way into readers' hands.
What do you look for in an author to potentially represent?
I look for a balance between business sense and a great personality. Signing an author means I'm going to work closely with them throughout their career. Someone who has a good idea of what they would like their writing career to look like, who has not just one but many story ideas sitting in a folder somewhere, and someone who vibes with my personality as an agent as well as my communication style. Every agent has a different way of having a relationship with their clients, and I think knowing what kind of agent a writer will want or need is important to finding someone who can best advocate for their work.
What do you look for in a project to potentially represent?
I tend to lean toward books that tap into the universal human experience but are told through a unique perspective. Something that really resonates with me regardless of whether or not I've lived that experience and will still hit all those emotional chords, whether it's making me laugh or cringe or cry. Something with a lot of heart and where I can feel that pulse, that heartbeat, reverberate through every page of the journey.