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Ask Daphne! Feasible or Not?

P.K. asks:

From your experience, do you think agents who represent humor and romantic comedies (but not gay fiction) will toss a query because the novel has a gay story line? Am I better off only submitting to agents who represent gay fiction?

Hi there, P.K.! I think it depends on each agent’s individual tastes. Are you finding people who specifically say “No gay fiction”? In which case, skip ’em! However, just because they haven’t represented gay fiction in the past, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.
It also depends on your specific manuscript. Is the book ABOUT a gay relationship? In which case, you might indeed be better of skipping agents who’re mostly interested in traditional romance in order to concentrate on specialized agents with the best contacts in the world of lesbian and gay publishing.
However, if you’ve written a psychological thriller where one of the characters happens to be gay, then I’d go all out with your submissions to traditional agents who work with thrillers.
I don’t want to suggest segregating your manuscript, so to speak. The benefit of focusing your queries on agents who specialize in lesbian or gay fiction is that they probably have a better handle on what editors of those lines are looking for. Take a look at what other gay fiction is out there, and consider the type of titles your book is most similar to. Are they all published on specialized lists? Or have you written a novel that fits on a mainstream publishing house’s general list?
Good luck!