Agent Profile

Dean Krystek / Wordlink

DEAN KRYSTEK is the managing director of WordLink, a literary agency founded in 1998 as a cooperative of writers, editors, and agents in the United States and New Zealand. He will be joining Killer Nashville as a 2022 attending agent and will be actively seeking new clients. Authors seeking an agent (or a new agent) owe it to themselves to check out Dean. Meeting him in person is much better than a query over the transom. Dean is excited to meet Killer Nashville attendees face-to-face and agreed to answer a few questions about what attendees can expect.

KN: How long have you been an agent?

DK:I joined WordLink in May of 2010 after working at a number of jobs after retiring from the Army.  I became the head of WordLink in 2018 when the founder, Dan Myers, retired. I moved the company from New Mexico to my home state of Pennsylvania.

KN: What made you want to be an agent and how did you get into the field?

DK: I am a writer, and I wanted to help other writers in their efforts to push through the often puzzling world of publishing by becoming an agent. I’ve secured contracts for writers who may not have had an opportunity otherwise.

KN: What can a potential client do to get you interested in their work

DK: Pitch it to me without hyperbole. Think of your pitch as the inside of a dust jacket, or the back cover of a paperback that I would read at a book store. Make me want to “buy it.” I do appreciate comps with a pitch.

KN: What sorts of works are most likely to catch your attention?

DK: I have an eclectic taste. I am looking for a mysteries (whodunit/noir/detective/cozy/YA); historical fiction (20th/21st century-centered); thrillers; military fiction (Vietnam/WWII & not necessarily combat-driven). For Sci-fi I’m looking at space opera/new worlds/time travel/alternate history/dystopian. My YA taste is for small town America, however, I’m looking for YA that crosses over to older readers (look at Last Summer Boys by Bill Rivers coming out in June from Lake Union). My nonfiction tastes are memoirs (including military memoirs), current events, and biographies.

KN: Is there anything you’d like to share with our audience that we haven’t covered here?

DK: My favorite book: Catcher in the Rye. Among my fiction favorites are Andre Norton, Joseph Heller, Herman Wouk, H.P. Lovecraft, and Franklin W. Dixon (yeah, the Hardy Boys). My nonfiction likes include biographies, WWII & Vietnam titles, US history, and current affairs. My English degree is from the University of South Carolina. I’m an Army retiree & Vietnam veteran.


After retiring from a long military career, Dean put away his uniform and decided to follow his passion for books. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland and the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in English. He’s a published novelist and short story writer. He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife Lynda. Twitter: @dean_wordlink