Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School—where he studied finance and accounting, and was awarded the Abe Shuchman Memorial Award in Marketing—Josh spent more than a decade in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent.
A media management specialist, he led teams of creative and business professionals in developing the editorial strategy and positioning of several national publications, and directed the marketing and brand strategy of many well-known international companies as a consultant.
Question: What would you love to see in a YA or MG submission?
Answer: Something completely original and mesmerizing, whatever it may be. I love high-concept hooks, well visualized worlds, memorable characters and unforgettable voices. Not too much to ask for, right?!
Q: What is your biggest turnoff in YA/MG submissions?
A. Reading something that's clearly written to the market, and feels derivative.
Q: What was your favorite book growing up?
A: The first book I really remember loving is Enid Blyton's THE BOY NEXT DOOR, which was read to me by my second-grade teacher. I was (and still am) a big fan of Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. As a teenager, I really became a fan of mysteries, epic adventure and sci-fi.
Q: What is one thing you feel is absolutely crucial to keep in mind when writing for a YA audience?
A: This is of course true for all categories, but I think it's critical for authors to really keep in mind their readership—and try to make their novels as accessible to a wide audience as possible while staying true to their creative vision.
Q: Tell us about some recent releases from your clients.
A: Clay Carmichael's unforgettable new novel, BROTHER, BROTHER (Roaring Brook), has just come out and is getting stellar reviews, and next month sees the launch of Kat Falls' INHUMAN (Scholastic Press), the first in a new YA trilogy, and after that comes Meagan Spooner's SHADOWLARK (Carolrhoda Lab), the second in a trilogy. I could go on and on—I'm always so excited about all our books!