We looked all over the country to find literary agents who shared a deep love of words and a passion for our mission to bring diversity to the publishing industry. When we first spoke to Kianna, we knew she had to join our team. Her knowledge and enthusiasm bubbled out of her like magic. She lives on the West coast and has experience in film as well as literature.
Let's get to know Kianna Shore.
What made you decide to join the Ladderbird team?
I love writing, writers, and working with writers. I decided to join the Ladderbird team after reading their mission to champion underrepresented voices. As a bi-romantic Jewish Korean-American woman (say that five times fast), I understand the importance of good representation. I want to help jumpstart the writing careers of underrepresented authors and get their stories out into the world.
Tell us a little about your background.
I was born in South Korea and adopted to a Jewish family in Texas, where I lived for the rest of my very active childhood. Wanting to move to a big city, I studied International Relations, Film & Television, and Japanese Language & Literature at Boston University. While at BU, I studied abroad in Tokyo for a year and London for a semester. After falling in love with the stories of the world and storytelling itself, I decided to attend UCLA to receive an MFA in TV Writing. I currently live in Los Angeles and am a writer for a webseries.
What makes you excited about taking on a new author? What kind of stories and writers really capture your attention?
I absolutely adore great characters and dynamic character relations. They don’t have to be good people or empathetic characters, but I do have to understand who they are. Really make me fall in love with the characters and have their internal struggles weigh heavily on them and the plot. I love stories of identity, coming of age tales, and found family narratives. I am looking for a great story that is a fast and fun read and from a unique perspective.
Talk about your editorial process.
As an editor, I’m going to make sure that this is the best MS possible before sending it out on submission. I won’t sugarcoat things and will call out anything that might be problematic. However, I’m not here to be a critic. I won’t just point out what’s wrong, but will offer suggestions and we can brainstorm solutions together.
All my notes and suggestions are all done with love. Working within the writer’s vision and tone is of the utmost importance to me and it’s understood that we both want the MS to be the best it can be. We’re a team and my goal is to work with you, not against you.
What are your top three all time favorite books? Or what are three books that have moved you?
As a young millennial / old Gen-z’er, it would be a crime to not mention Harry Potter. Harry Potter began a lifelong love of reading and I definitely have an annual pass to Universal because of it.
I love the Throne of Glass series. I love how badass and skilled the protagonist is and the worldbuilding involved. The balance of character driven and plot driven elements works really well.
A non-fantasy book that I found incredibly moving is In Order to Live, a memoir about a North Korean defector’s journey to freedom. Although it is non-fiction, it reads like dystopian fiction, which makes it all the more harrowing.
What do you like to do when you’re not agenting, reading and editing?
When I’m not agenting, I write! I can’t escape my love of words. I am a writer for a popular web series and am working on my own television pilots. I love running, learning languages, playing my Nintendo Switch, and watching TV.
Is there anything else writers should know before they query you?
Please send me your most polished MS possible! Have you had someone that is not a friend or family member read it? Do you have a critique partner (or two)? It takes a lot of courage to query agents and I want to make sure you have the best chance possible.
Thanks so much for letting us get to know you! Writers, remember, Kianna accepts queries through Query Manager at queryme.online/KiannaShore
Ladderbird Literary Agency
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