I have a friend who writes YA fantasy and has recently signed with an agent. Unfortunately, I'm less than convinced that this agent is reputable and my friend (Who I will refer to as DC) is so much on Cloud 9 about being represented that he refuses to listen to those of us with warning bells going off in our heads. I was hoping someone here would have some information.
The agent is Vera De Vaney at CCE Literary Agency. She is not listed in any of my agent books and the only place I've found her online is on Predators and Editors where they have posted the question, "Does anyone know anything about this agency?" She is located in Oregon and yet not listed as a business in that state, nor in the Better Business Bureau. I have searched the archives of many publishing related magazines and found no mention of her in any article. I've even had a friend, who is more computer literate than I, search. She has found masses of things on my agent that I never knew, and yet can find absolutely nothing on Vera.
The reason for my initial concern is that, unfortunately, DC is very much in the newbie stage of writing. He has only been at it for six months and I'm sure we all remember what our work was like at the six month point (shiver). When he sent to Vera, he broke every rule in the publishing industry. The book was not finished, he sent it single-spaced, with 25 pages of info dumping, many misspelled words, and major plot problems. And yet Vera signed him on with nearly no questions asked. She has since put him through three months of extensive revisions, afterwhich his manuscript is better, but still not up to publishing standards. He has recently sent a chapter to a large critique group we both belonged to and recieved 75% negative comments. And this from a group I no longer submit to because I got tired of everyone simply saying "I love this story!" Yet he has convinced himself that they (the unagented masses) don't know what they're talking about. His arrogance will be his downfall.
Unfortunately, I can not stage an intervention without information. I have given him my concerns, and, as his only published friend, he has listened, but not acted on my advice. My theory is that when he sends her the revisions, she will promptly reply with "This still needs work, but I know a good book doctor who only charges 5000 dollars. After all the time you put in, isn't that a small price to pay?"
If anyone has any information on this agent, please let me know as quickly as possible. I'm afraid there won't be much more time as he is planning to mail the revisions tomorrow. Feel free to e-mail me directly at KivrinAngel@aol.com.
Thank you in advance for any help you are able to offer.