CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop through September 14th
NOT EVEN BONES through September 23rd
Larissa Helena query critique through September 22nd
THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC through September 29th
Clean Your Shelves Giveaway Hop through September 30th
Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Wendi Gu Agent Spotlight Interview on 10/29/18
Weronika Janczuk Agent Spotlight Interview on 11/26

AGENT LAUREN SPIELLER AND LAURA WEYMOUTH GUEST POST W/ QUERY CRITIQUE AND THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author Laura Weymouth here with her agent Lauren Spieller to share about Laura's debut YA THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS. It's set in post-war England and the characters sound fantastic.

And I just want to mention that Lauren is also an author and her YA contemporary YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE RIGHT released earlier this year.

Here's a blurb of THE LIGHT BETWEEN THE WORLDS from Goodreads:

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. 

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. 

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. 

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was. 

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

Now here's Lauren and Laura!


On Building a Strong Author/Agent Relationship

 Laura: Hi Natalie! I’m so excited to be joining you on Literary Rambles today. I had a good think
about what I’d want to share with writers at all stages of their journey, whether they’re just starting out, looking for an agent, already agented, or heading towards publication. I know for many writers the first big hurdle to get through is querying and finding representation for their work. There’s already a lot out there about the querying process and how to get that elusive agent offer, so I wanted to talk about what comes after: building a strong relationship with your agent. My own agent, Lauren Spieller, is actually joining us to chime in with her perspective on this too!

Here are the 3 factors I think play the biggest role in establishing a strong, mutually beneficial agent/author relationship.

COMMUNICATION

Laura: From what I’ve seen thus far in the writing community, the area in which agents and authors are most likely to struggle (at least from an author’s perspective) is communication. It’s not uncommon for authors to feel as if their agents are unapproachable, or don’t respond quickly enough. Sometimes it’s true that an author is being neglected, and sometimes it’s just a matter of unclear expectations.

To start your author/agent relationship out on the right foot, open the lines of communication right away and ask how long your agent generally takes to reply to brief emails, sample chapters, full manuscripts, etc. If you know their time frames, you’ll be less likely to sit and worry that you’ve been lost in the shuffle.

Keep in mind, too, that if your agent goes beyond an anticipated time frame or you have a question, you should always feel comfortable reaching out. Your agent is meant to be on your side. If a question comes up, just ask! An agent should never make you feel silly or like an annoyance for inquiring about the status of your work or asking a question you don’t know the answer to.

Lauren: This is great advice. In fact, I urge writers to ask about communication during The Call—that way, you have all of this information up front, and can use it as you make a decision about whether to accept an agent’s offer of representation. I also suggest that writers talk to an agent’s current clients before accepting an offer, and ask them about an agent’s communication style (among other things!)

RESPECT

Laura: While your agent is meant to be working on your behalf, you also need to be respectful of their time and boundaries. If something comes up and they aren’t able to respond in an anticipated time frame, understand that life happens. If it happens all the time, then maybe you have a problem.
Remember too, that you signed with your agent for a reason—they know the publishing industry, and if they’re a good agent, won’t be asking you to do things or make changes to your work without good reason. Don’t be difficult to work with—it’s okay and important to stand your ground on things you feel strongly about, but don’t forget this is a business relationship, and be sure to choose your battles wisely.
Your agent is your coworker. They should be treated accordingly!

Lauren: I really appreciate this advice, and agree with it. Respect goes both ways. If you don’t feel an agent is respectful of your time and needs—assuming those needs are reasonable—then don’t be afraid to talk to them about that. But it’s also important to remember that agents have lives too, and sometimes you need to cut them a little slack ;) 

CONFIDENCE

Laura: While you absolutely need to be respectful of your agent’s time, insights, and boundaries, maintaining a strong author/agent relationship is also going to require some confidence on your part. Confidence to stand up for the aspects of your work that can’t be changed without fundamentally altering it. Confidence to reach out and let your agent know if you have a problem with something. Confidence to express yourself clearly and go through the process of learning how to problem solve together. And if your agent’s doing their job well, you should have confidence in them as your advocate, too!

You wrote a book. You queried it. You beat the odds and ended up with an offer of representation. As much as you need to respect your agent’s professional capacities and have confidence in their abilities, they need to be doing the same for you. If you don’t feel respected and confident as a result of your author/agent relationship, there’s something wrong. And sometimes, though no one really likes to talk about it, you’ll have to have the confidence to leave a partnership that isn’t working and go in search of one that does.

Lauren: You’ve probably heard the saying that a bad agent is worse than no agent at all—which is fit—even if the agent is great!—can be just as problematic. Remember that this is a business partnership, not a personal relationship, so if you feel your career will be better served by parting ways, that is okay. Do what’s best for you and your career.
true. But sometimes a bad

Laura: At the end of the day, if you do your homework, vetting the agents you query and getting client referrals from any who offer, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a long, productive working relationship with the agent you end up with. And yes, sometimes things don’t work out, as can be the case in any partnership, but if you keep the above tips in mind, you’ll always know that you did your part as an author and a professional.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lauren and Laura! You can find Laura at:
www.lauraeweymouth.com
Laura is generously offering an ARC of THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and Lauren is offering a query critique for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through October 6th. If you do not want to be included in the critique giveaway, please let me know in the comments. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.


If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The ARC giveaway is U.S. and Canada and the critique giveaway is international.

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday, October 3rd I have an interview with debut author Miranda Asebedo and giveaway of her YA magical realism THE DEEPEST ROOTS and my IWSG post

Monday, October 8th I have a guest post with debut author Miranda Cruz and her agent Paula Munier with a query critique giveaway by Paula and a giveaway of MG contemporary EVERLASTING NORA by Miranda

Sunday, October 14th I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 15th I have an interview with debut author Katya de Becerra and a giveaway of her  YA mystery/fantasy WHAT THE WOODS KEEP

Monday, October 22nd I have an interview with author Sherry Ellis and a giveaway of her MG BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA

Hope to see you on  Wednesday October 3rd!

AMANDA RAWSON HILL INTERVIEW AND THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope you're having a good fall. Mine is TOO BUSY! But I did get to the Kerrytown Bookfest in Ann Arbor and got to see one of my favorite authors, Cinda Williams Chima on a YA panel and have coffee with her husband and her afterwards. She is a fantastic fantasy writer. Her latest book is STORMCASTER in her Shattered Realms series. She's created a fantastic world in this and her prior series and I really recommend it to any fantasy lovers. Here's a picture of Cinda and me.


Today I’m excited to have debut author Amanda Rawson Hill here to share about her contemporary MG THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC. It sounds like a great read that tackles issues of friendship, depression, and dementia.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

Kate doesn’t believe in magic, not really. But she could use some these days.

Kate and her best friend Sofia have been inseparable for nearly as long as Kate can remember. Now, though, Sofia is drifting away, drawn to a new friend. Kate’s grandmother is drifting away too, but in a different way. She keeps getting confused and can’t remember things. 

One thing Grammy remembers, however, is the three rules of Everyday Magic: Believe. Give. Trust.

Kate is willing to try anything, including Everyday Magic, to draw the people she loves back to her—Sofia, Grammy, and even her father, who left months ago and hasn’t been seen since. 

Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Hi! Thanks for having me here. I’ve always loved books and reading, but growing up I never wanted to be a writer. I dreamed about being a librarian, a neurologist, a geneticist, a teacher…but never a writer. I actually got my degree in Chemistry, got married, and had a couple kids before the thought ever occurred to me. I was in bed one night and couldn’t fall asleep because the entire text of a picture book kept running through my head. Finally, after about 2 hours, I got up and wrote it down. The next morning I looked at it and thought, “That’s pretty good!” So then I googled “how to get a picture book published” and proceeded to send it to some agents (who quickly rejected it. Ha!) So my first foray into writing was a big, huge blunder. But after that, I had the bug and I haven’t looked back.

2. Funny! Sounds a bit like my start. Where did you get the idea for your story?

When my two oldest children were younger, they had imaginary friends, like many children. But they shared imaginary friends. Saw them together, played with them together. They called them their “old ladies.” My kids imaginary friends were two old ladies! Kind of creepy right? Well, I was talking to my mom about it one day after my son wouldn’t let anyone play foosball with him because his “old lady” was playing against him, and she said, “Maybe it’s their great grandma Bev and Pat.” Those were my husband’s two grandma’s who had both recently passed. After that, the idea of this book where a girl’s two grandmothers come back as her guardian angels started taking shape in my head.
Now, obviously, THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC has undergone A LOT of rewrites because there are no more guardian angels. But that’s where it started.

3. Such an interesting way that you got your idea. You tackle some difficult issues in your story, like Kate’s father’s absence and her Granny’s dementia. Share how you weaved these themes into your story without being preachy.

Gosh, this is hard. Kate’s father’s absence was just an integral part of Kate. When I started writing,
her voice came really strongly to me. And she kept speaking in the second person. She kept addressing everything to this mysterious “you.” But at first, I didn’t know who “you” was. Until I hit the third chapter, when Kate said, “I dialed your number.” And then she says, “Hi dad.” That was when I realized her dad was out of the picture and it was such an important part of who Kate was at that moment that she was addressing the story to him. Those moments are now only presence in her letters to her dad sprinkled throughout the book. But I think because it was such an organic thing to Kate, it wasn’t preachy.

Now, some of the things that Kate realizes about her dad and his depression started getting preachy towards the end of the book, and that’s where my wonderful editor came in. Line edits are really important for pointing out every time you are getting a bit didactic. So I toned down the “preachy” parts through a lot of revising with my editor.

As far as weaving in the dementia, my grandpa died of Alzheimer’s. and while I was young and wasn’t up close for most of it, I remember a lot about it. And so much of Grammy comes straight from memories of my grandpa. And because of that, I think a lot of it is very real. Dementia and Alzheimer’s sometimes makes people say really funny things, sometimes very sad and heartwrenching things. I know that weird, inbetween feeling in the beginning stages when they’re sometimes there and sometimes not and you get glimpses of both sides and it’s painful and yet…they’re still there sometimes so you hold on to that. All of those feelings are part of losing someone to Dementia. And it’s very hard to be preachy about anything when you’re able to show it in a multi-faceted way like that.

4. I know what you mean going through my mom's decline from who she used to be. It sounds like you did a great job creating memorable characters, which is not all easy to do. Did they develop as the story progressed or did you have a clear vision of them before you started?

Characters are actually really hard for me. Like I mentioned earlier, Kate’s voice showed up with a lot of her character already a part of it. But I definitely had to “discover” her over the course of several revisions. Grammy and Jane (Kate’s new friend) were both very easy to write and know from the moment they showed up on the page. Kate’s other friend, Sofia, was a complete mystery to me. I kept fumbling around her, not ever able to get her character and motivation just right…until I brought in two sensitivity readers. (Imagine that, right?) They were able to give me the missing puzzle pieces of what I didn’t understand about Sofia as a white writer. Much of that doesn’t show up outright in the text, but it allowed me to better write her reactions and motivations for things.

5. I have a hard time with characters too. Share about a challenge you faced in writing THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC and how you overcame it.

So, as you can tell, THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC has gone through a lot of changes from its original form. One of those changes is that it used to be written completely in letters. A true epistolary novel. It was mentored in Pitch Wars by three different mentors and two of them actually ended up disagreeing on whether I should keep it in full epistolary or make it partial-epistolary. Both mentors had very good reasons and loved the book and are both really amazing authors. So, I was flummoxed. What should I do? One person says it’s not working. Another says it makes it really special. And I’d been receiving similar reactions from other readers. Some LOVED it in the epistolary format. Others found it unrealistic.

So I decided to just experiment. I rewrote the first three chapters in partial epistolary (prose with a letter at the beginning or end of each chapter.) And then I got a very large pool of readers. Like 10 or something. And I sent them both versions and asked which worked better. And the partial epistolary came back as the definite winner. So I made the very hard decision at the time, to make it a mix of prose and letters instead of all letters. Even though I loved it as an epistolary novel. Because it appeared that wasn’t working as well as it could and, frankly, I really felt like this book had a good chance with agents. So I was trying to make it as marketable as possible.

Not everyone would have made the same choice. And I maybe could have kept it that way and been able to make it work and still get it published. But I decided to go with the preference of the majority. And in the end, it solved a lot of tension problems I was having too. So it was a good move.

6. Your agent is Elizabeth Harding. How did she become your agent and what was your road for publication like?

Yes! Elizabeth is wonderful. My path to publication actually started with Pitch Wars. After revising with my mentors, I did the agent round, got 12 requests and then started querying. Elizabeth was the first agent who requested off a query and I was floored. I’d always considered her such a long shot. About six weeks later, I got my first offer from a fabulous agent who I would have been 100% happy with. Then another and then Elizabeth sent her offer email and I started crying as she listed off the authors she represents. Gordan Korman, Nikki Grimes, Gennifer Choldenko, Suzanne LaFleur and several others. She was a dream come true and I accepted her offer the next day.

But then the hard part started. Trying to get the book published. Sub was long and grueling. Full of rejections and revisions. I gave up on the book and wrote a new one. Then, the night before Thanksgiving, Elizabeth forwarded me an email from an editor. When I saw it pop up on my phone, I was like, “Elizabeth, I love you, but don’t send me rejections on holidays!” haha But it wasn’t a rejection! The editor went on and on about how much she loved the book! That turned into an R&R after it went to second reads. I did the R&R. They bought it. The rest is history.

7. What an awesome holiday present. Once you signed your book contract, when did you start planning for its release and what were some of the essential steps you’ve taken since then to start promoting yourself as an author and your book?

I signed the contract in April of 2017. In June, I talked to my dear friend and CP, Cindy Baldwin,
about doing a joint newsletter together, but making it a book club and resource for teachers and librarians. We brought on a few other authors to lighten the workload of it, and that was the birth of MG@Heart. MG@Heart has really grown over the last year and put us in contact with so many wonderful authors, teachers, and librarians. And those connections morphed into connections with book sharing groups and chats with teachers and librarians. Those are the really important connections in MG. It’s less about reaching out to your audience and more about reaching gatekeepers, which changes the strategy and effectiveness of many marketing things common in YA.

Now, I’m about to embark on my “Kindness Campaign.” Rather than a pre-order giveaway that doesn’t really move the needle, especially in MG, I wanted to do something that would provide an opportunity for students and teachers to connect to the book and its themes. To see why it might be a good addition to their classroom. I don’t know if it will catch on or anything. But might as well try.

8. What are your favorite ways of connecting on social media with other writers and readers? Why?

I’m a Twitter girl. It’s short and sweet and you can use gifs when words aren’t enough. It just feels very open and organic. Like there are less walls there. And I love being tagged in things on Instagram. Like, Bookstagrams of your book are probably the best thing ever. But I’m not very good at posting on there myself. I’ve found both venues are good for connecting with teachers and librarians. And there is some chance of connecting with actual kid readers on IG, unlike Twitter for the most part.

9. What are you working on now?

I’ve got a few things cooking. I’m revising a MG about wishes and community. And I’m currently drafting an upper-MG retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac in free verse which I am LOVING so far. I’ve got a few PB’s up my sleeve too. So, hopefully something else sticks with an editor soon!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Amanda. You can find Amanda at:


Amanda has generously offered a signed book giveaway of THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through September 29th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, September 24th I have a guest post by debut author Laura Weymouth with her agent Lauren Spieller and a query critique giveaway by Lauren and a giveaway of Laura's YA fantasy THE VANISHING KINGDOM

Wednesday, October 3rd I have an interview with debut author Miranda Asebedo and giveaway of her YA magical realism THE DEEPEST ROOTS and my IWSG post

Monday, October 8th I have a guest post with debut author Miranda Cruz and her agent Paula Munier with a query critique giveaway by Paula and a giveaway of MG contemporary EVERLASTING NORA by Miranda

Sunday, October 14th I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 15th I have an interview with debut author Katya de Becerra and a giveaway of her  YA mystery/fantasy WHAT THE WOODS KEEP

Monday, October 22nd I have an interview with author Sherry Ellis and a giveaway of her MG BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA

Hope to see you on Monday!

CLEAN YOUR SHELVES GIVEAWAY HOP



Happy Friday Everyone! I'm excited to participate in the  Clean Your Shelves Book Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds. I used it as an opportunity to clean out my book covers in my downloads so I could add new ones.

I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. I've got a combination of MG and YA books that I hope you're looking forward to reading. Remember, if you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads.

 


 


 
 


 


 


 













If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


To enter, all you need to do is be a follower anyway you want and leave a comment through September 30th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is international as long as Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, September 17th I have an interview with debut author Amanda Rawson Hill and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC

Monday, September 24th I have a guest post by debut author Laura Weymouth with her agent Lauren Spieller and a query critique giveaway by Lauren and a giveaway of Laura's YA fantasy THE VANISHING KINGDOM

Wednesday, October 3rd I have an interview with debut author Miranda Asebedo and giveaway of her YA magical realism THE DEEPEST ROOTS and my IWSG post

Monday, October 8th I have a guest post with debut author Miranda Cruz and her agent Paula Munier with a query critique giveaway by Paula and a giveaway of MG contemporary EVERLASTING NORA by Miranda

Sunday, October 14th I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 15th I have an interview with debut author Katya de Becerra and a giveaway of her  YA mystery/fantasy WHAT THE WOODS KEEP

Monday, October 22nd I have an interview with author Sherry Ellis and a giveaway of her MG BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA

Hope to see you on Monday!

And here's the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

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AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH LARISSA HELENA AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Larissa Helena here. She is an associate literary agent at Pippin Properties.

Status: Open to submissions.

Hi Larissa! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Larissa:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

You know that kid – the one who will definitely inherit all of your old books? The one you know would be happy to get a bookstore gift card for their birthday because they are always reading anyway? That was me. As I grew up, I was astonished to realize that someone must make those things called books. So I immediately set out to become one of those people. My entire career, from majoring in Literature, to working as an editor, translator and rights manager has always been focused on children’s and YA books. For the last two years, at Pippin, I have been handling subsidiary rights and signing my own awesome clients, who write and illustrate books for young readers. It has been a joyful ride!

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

Pippin is the most successful 20-year old I know! Founded by Holly McGhee in 1998, the agency has no parallel amongst those dedicated exclusively to books for young readers. I am always happy to brag about all of our incredibly talented, award-winning and NYT best-selling clients. We are also in the heart of New York City (right by the main branch of the NYPL – I wish my 15-year old self could see me now!), which makes it easier to meet with many of the main players in the US publishing industry.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

All of the above, and I’m mostly drawn to fiction. I also have always loved comics, so it’s wonderful to see how everyone seems hungry for graphic novels these days!

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

I am particularly excited about stories written from perspectives that US American children usually aren’t exposed to: neuro-diverse narratives, stories that take place in different countries, and that do not presume a “traditional” US American experience. Please send my way anything that helps kids broaden their horizons.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

I am generally not easily drawn to rhyming picture books, biographies or historical fiction. For the reasons I mentioned above and also because I did not grow up in this country, if a story hinges on a quintessential US American experience, it might be a bit hard for me to relate.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

I just want to believe firmly in my clients’ art. So firmly that I do not mind reading and re-reading, discussing and editing and commenting. Agenting is hard work. But if I am certain a story deserves to be told, fighting for its success will come naturally to me.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

People interpret that term in different ways. I was an editor for many years, so I give a lot of feedback. Authors who are too certain they have something ready for publication or are sentimental about letting certain parts of their stories go would probably be in the wrong hands with me. A manuscript will not leave my desk for submission unless the author and I are entirely satisfied with the material we are sending.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

Over e-mail, with the first chapter of your novel along with a short (please, make it short!) synopsis for fiction, the entire manuscript for picture books, and a link for the dummy of a full picture book for author-illustrators.

I like unique query letters, and to know why someone thinks I, of all agents in the whole universe, would be a good fit for them. If you are reading this, please know that this is true for almost any agent. We want you to want to work with us, and letters that start with “Hi, all” are very unappealing.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

I have some pet peeves. “I have just finished a manuscript” makes me think the person just typed the last word then rushed it my way. I am skeptical about books that begin with someone waking up. I’m also not a fan of “you’re going to love this” – I really prefer to know why you are in love with it. But pet peeves are just that, and a book or query letter with those characteristics is not necessarily a bad one – that just means I will start reading it with less enthusiasm.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

It is our company policy: if you don’t hear back within three weeks, that means we are not interested.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

Yes. I’d just recommend letting agents know if you have good numbers and results in your self-publishing experience, and explain why you are looking for an agent now to make sure your reasons are compatible with how the agent prefers to work.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

Maybe in a good way. The good ol’ myth that agents are “the gatekeepers” can be finally put to rest. Agents continue to be necessary for those who want to take their careers to the next level and make sure their best interests are taken into account when signing a traditional publishing contract. These changes make me happy for us, for the authors, and for the readers.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Sally J. Pla, a wonderful human and unbelievably talented writer; Joe Bluhm, a true artist who can craft illustrations in so many different styles, and always full of heart; Gidalti Moura Jr., an award-winning Graphic Novel writer and illustrator from my home country, Brazil; and Colby Cedar Smith, a poet whose book in verse I can’t wait to show the world.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.






Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

Our website is currently under construction, but it will be back online only a few days after this interview is posted, so I’m sharing the link: http://www.pippinproperties.com/

In the meantime, you can find us on twitter @LovethePippins and submit directly to me at lhelena@pippinproperties.com

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?
We all understand it is hard to submit a query, in which you have put so much of your work and time, to the busy eyes of an agent. And even more difficult to never hear back or get a negative response. But remember that not all manuscripts are a good fit for all agents, and that you are looking for the perfect fit, the true champion for your work. And that a no here can mean a yes there.

If you can, take a deep breath and consider there is another human at the other end of the line, who loves books as much as you do and is trying to do their share for the sake of literature. Maybe not your human just yet, but that doesn’t mean your time won’t come. Keep on working, and remember to choose kind.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Larissa.

Larissa is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through September 22nd.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments. FYI Larissa will be in Frankfurt in early October so it will probably be about a month after I announce the winner that she gets back to this person.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.