Originally from northern California, Laurie Abkemeier graduated from Wells College with a degree in communications and experience in broadcast and print journalism. Her first job was as an editorial assistant in the Touchstone/Fireside division of Simon & Schuster, and she soon moved to Hyperion where she acquired and edited dozens of books, including five New York Times bestsellers and many national bestsellers.
In 2003, Laurie joined DeFiore and Company as a literary agent. As a former editor with extensive experience in what goes on behind publishers’ doors, she works closely with her authors to develop their ideas, polish their proposals, and guide them from deal to publication. She has represented multiple New York Times and national bestsellers, and she has overseen many book-to-screen deals, including those that led to the #1 blockbuster movie Marley & Me and The CW drama Hellcats. Laurie strives to maintain an eclectic list that spans history, science (physical, biological, and psychological), nature, sports, adventure, health and wellness, self-improvement, investigative journalism, big ideas, women’s studies, pop culture, and the offbeat. She is very interested in working with BIPOC who are writing on these topics.
Laurie also represents a select group of artists (see complete list below), including Katie Vaz who created the portrait on this page.
Laurie is always open to queries. More than half of her authors have come to her via an unsolicited email query. Please see her query instructions below.
Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir Highlights:
- William Alexander’s THE $64 TOMATO (Algonquin)
- Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s SEINFELDIA and SEX AND THE CITY AND US (Simon & Schuster)
- Saul Austerlitz’s JUST A SHOT AWAY (Thomas Dunne Books) and GENERATION FRIENDS (Dutton)
- John Grogan’s MARLEY & ME (William Morrow)
- Neil Hayward’s LOST AMONG THE BIRDS (Bloomsbury)
- Nathalia Holt’s RISE OF THE ROCKET GIRLS and THE QUEENS OF ANIMATION (Little, Brown)
- Rachel Lance’s IN THE WAVES (Dutton)
- Anne Gardiner Perkins’ YALE NEEDS WOMEN (Sourcebooks)
- Kimberly Potts’ THE WAY WE ALL BECAME THE BRADY BUNCH (Grand Central)
- Jean Kennedy Smith’s THE NINE OF US (Harper)
General Nonfiction Highlights:
- Peter Brannen’s THE ENDS OF THE WORLD (Ecco)
- Daniel Chamovitz, PhD’s WHAT A PLANT KNOWS (Scientific American Books)
- Lisa Cron’s WIRED FOR STORY and STORY GENIUS (Ten Speed Press)
- Shaun Gallagher’s EXPERIMENTING WITH BABIES and EXPERIMENTING WITH KIDS (TarcherPerigee)
- Keith Houston’s SHADY CHARACTERS and THE BOOK (W.W. Norton)
- Jessica Lahey’s THE GIFT OF FAILURE (Harper)
- Traci Mann PhD’s SECRETS FROM THE EATING LAB (HarperWave)
- Deirdre Mask’s THE ADDRESS BOOK (St. Martin’s Press)
- Cal Newport’s DIGITAL MINIMALISM (Portfolio) and DEEP WORK (Grand Central)
- Ty Tashiro’s AWKWARD (William Morrow)
- Scott Young’s ULTRALEARNING (HarperBusiness)
- Lee Crutchley: THE NOCTURNAL JOURNAL and GET LOST! (TarcherPerigee)
- Rachel Dougherty: SECRET ENGINEER (Roaring Brook) and A RACCOON AT THE WHITE HOUSE (Simon Spotlight)
- Jorey Hurley: NEST, FETCH, HOP, BEEHIVE et al (Paula Wiseman/S&S Books for Young Readers)
- Andrew Kolb: EDMUND UNRAVELS (Nancy Paulsen Books), PEACE: A CARD GAME (Chronicle), and ALL ABOARD! (Abrams Appleseed)
- Meera Lee Patel: START WHERE YOU ARE, MY FRIEND FEAR and MADE OUT OF STARS (TarcherPerigee)
- Philippa Rice: SOPPY, SISTER BFFs and BABY: A SOPPY STORY (Andrews McMeel)
- Yumi Sakugawa: THE LITTLE BOOK OF LIFE HACKS (St. Martin’s Press)
- Becky Simpson: I’D RATHER BE SHORT (Plume) and THE ROOMMATE BOOK (Andrews McMeel)
- Debbie Tung: QUIET GIRL IN A NOISY WORLD and BOOK LOVE (Andrews McMeel)
- Katie Vaz: MY LIFE IN PLANTS, MAKE YOURSELF COZY and THE ESCAPE MANUAL FOR INTROVERTS (Andrews McMeel)
How To Query Laurie Abkemeier:
Laurie accepts only email queries. Send a brief email describing you and your project to Laurie@defliterary.com Please include the word “query” and your book title in the subject line. Attachments will not be opened unless requested. Submissions do not need to be exclusive, and response time is generally no more than two weeks. If you have not received a response within four weeks, please check that the defliterary.com domain name is on your email server whitelist; the response might have been rejected by your server. Please note that Laurie does not consider fiction queries of any kind.