Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ian Shea of Maximus Literary

Ian Shea is a literary agent with Maximus Literary.

“In the fourth grade, my teacher sent a note home asking if my parents knew I was writing a book report on John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. While it might not have been age-appropriate, the story sucked me in and I wanted to tell everyone how much I loved it! That was when I realized my love of books was stronger than most other kids. As an adult, my passion for great storytelling has led me to Maximus Literary.

“My first venture in publishing was working as a contributor for a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. After seeing the power of the written word, I always knew my dream career would involve writing and pursued a degree in that field. Spending 10 years in corporate America, where I worked with Fortune 500 companies, I developed an eye for detail and thrived in the fast-paced, creative environment. I learned the value of nurturing client relationships, especially for their celebrity customers. Now, I’m able to utilize my skillset to foster lasting relationships with authors and publishers, alike.

“As an associate agent at Maximus Literary, I’ll be working with authors in a variety of genres. I am always on the hunt for talented writers with unique voices. Some of my favorite books include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. My preferred genres are science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, dystopian futures, and contemporary LGBTQ+ stories.”


“I tend to lean towards YA and adult novels. I’m not currently looking for middle-grade or picture books. I’m open to both debut authors and writers who’ve been previously published. I only care about whether or not you have a well-written and compelling story that I won’t want to put down. I’m open to standalone stories or books with series potential.

“I’m eagerly seeking the following genres:

  • Mysteries and thrillers: Murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, “whodunit”, I enjoy it all!
  • Fantasy: Far-off worlds, magic, superheroes, knights, evil sorceresses, chosen ones, magical girls, it’s all fun.
  • Horror: Whether it’s a haunted house, a serial killer, or a centuries-old curse, if it will make me too scared to turn the lights off, I want to read it. I lean more towards suspenseful and atmospheric stories and I’m less interested in excessive gore.
  • Science fiction: I like anything from artificial intelligence to epic space sagas and everything in-between!
  • Adventure: Whether your protagonist is running from the mob or globe-trotting looking for ancient treasure, I’m open to reading it.
  • Dystopian futures: I love stories about corrupt governments and the last of humanity trying to survive!
  • Coming of age: I love stories about characters of any age going through life-altering journeys that cause them to grow as people. I particularly love stories about characters who are LGBTQ+ that aren’t centered around coming out.
    Re-imagined fairy tales

I’m not interested in:

Romance or stories where romance is essential to the plot.
Historical fiction


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