Welcome to Literary Rambles! While you’re rambling around and exploring the site enter for a chance to win:

THE YOUNG ELITES through November 29th

Gratitude Giveaway Hop through November 30th

THE DISAPPEARING through December 8th.

Agent Spotlight: Michelle Grajkowski

This week's Agent Spotlight features Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary Agency.

Status: Open to submissions.

clip_image001About: “From the moment Michelle Grajkowski first opened the doors to the 3 Seas Literary Agency in August of 2000, she has been living her dream. (What could be better than surrounding yourself with amazing authors and their exciting and imaginative books?)  Since then, her agency has sold almost 700 books to all the major publishing houses, and has grown from one agent to three! 

“Michelle’s client list includes New York Times Bestselling Authors Katie MacAlister, Cathy McDavid, Kerrelyn Sparks and C.L. Wilson. She primarily represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction along with select non-fiction projects with a terrific message.  She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.

“When not curled up with a great manuscript, Michelle loves to spend time with her husband, children and her two crazy puppies, who refuse to grow up.” (Link)

About the Agency:

“3 Seas is a full-service literary agency, and we’re all about building our authors’ careers! We represent more than 60 authors who write romance, women’s fiction, science fiction/fantasy, thrillers, young adult and middle grade fiction as well as select nonfiction titles. In the fourteen years since the agency doors were opened, our agents have successfully sold into all the major publishing houses.

“Our clients consistently appear on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly Best Sellers lists. They have been nominated, and won, many prestigious industry awards, including, the RITA, the Golden Heart, the Holt Medallion, the RT Reviewer’s Choice, the ALA Best Book for Young Adults, the School Library Journal Best Book, and the Bookseller’s Best.

“3 Seas is an RWA recognized agency, and we belong to the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) where we strongly believe in, and adhere to, their Canon of Ethics.

“Our agents are extremely active in the publishing industry. We take appointments and speak at numerous regional and national conferences each year, and frequently guest blog about their publishing experiences.

“We are so proud of the amazing, talented authors we currently represent. And, our lists are always open for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.” (Link)

Web Presence:

3 Seas Literary Agency website.

Twitter @threeseaslit.

3 Seas Literary Facebook page.

AAR Profile.

AgentQuery.

QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres / Specialties:

Romance, women’s fiction, young adult, middle grade; select nonfiction. (Link)

Via E-mail (11/20):

“Currently, I am on the hunt for romantic suspense, women’s fiction and historical fiction. Of course, I’m also always looking for romance, young adult and middle grade fiction. Also, I would love to work on more non-fiction projects as well. Especially books geared towards entrepreneurs. I’m a huge fan of how-to/advice books as well as motivational texts as well.”

Via Twitter (11/14):

“I would love a gritty rom suspense, American-set Historical romances, and lots of women's fiction! #mswl.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Screenplays, short stories. (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“I am a very hands on agent, and structure my relationships based on what my authors need from me.  Some of my authors call me when they are stuck in their current WIP and we brainstorm.  Others just ask me to read their drafts for suggestions.  And others turn their materials in straight to the editors, and just want me to work on the business aspect of their careers.” (Link)

Clients:

There is a page of clients on the agency website.

Ms. Grajkowski’s clients include:

Laurie Marie Altom, Lindsey Brookes, P.A. DePaul, Veronica Forand, Jason Kotecki, Katie MacAlister, Tracy Madison, Cathy McDavid, Keri Mikulski, Alexis Morgan, Abbie Roads, Susan Scott Shelley, Kerrelyn Sparks, Liz Talley, C.L. Wilson, among many others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Send your query in the body of an e-mail. Put QUERY and the title of the manuscript (or short message) in the subject line. No attachments.

“Fiction: Please email the first chapter and synopsis along with a cover letter. Also, be sure to include the genre and the number of words in your manuscript, as well as pertinent writing experience in your query letter.

“Non-Fiction: Please email your full non-fiction proposal including a query letter and your first chapter. If you are uncertain how to prepare a non-fiction proposal, there are many books available on this subject.

“YA and Middle Grade: Please email the first chapter and synopsis along with a cover letter. Also, be sure to include the genre and the number of words in your manuscript, as well as pertinent writing experience in your query letter.

“Picture Books: Please email the complete picture book text. One sample illustration may be included. Please do not email all the illustrations you plan to use. We will request illustrations if needed.”

Please see the 3 Seas Literary Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Response Times:

The agency tries to respond to all queries but does not guarantee a response (Link). Stats on the web show a response range of 1-6 months with an average around 3-4 months.

What's the Buzz?

3 Seas Literary Agency is a well-established agency with a fantastic roster of clients and sales. While Ms. Grajkowski largely represents romance and women’s fiction, she’s open to middle grade and young adult fiction and is always looking for an amazing voice.

I recommend following her on Twitter @threeseaslit for the latest.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

So You Want To Be A Bestselling Author? Part 11: Agent or No Agent? at The Revolving Book (09/2014).

The Novel Girls Welcome Agent MICHELLE GRAJKOWSKI! at The Novel Girls (02/2009).

Spotlight Interview with Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary (2007).

Interview with Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency at Dyanne Davis’ site (2007).

Around the Web:

Michelle Grajkowski at P&E ($, AAR).

You can find upcoming conference dates on the 3 Seas Literary homepage.

Check out the agency’s “Tips” page for helpful advice before querying.

3 Seas Literary Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite.

3 Seas Literary Agency in the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents via Google Books.

All Time Favorite Heroes/Heroines featuring a quote by Ms. Grajkowski at The Waterworld Mermaids (02/2014).

Publishing Isn’t for Sissies, guest post by Ms. Grajkowski at Anna DeStafano’s site (04/2011).

Contact:

Please see the 3 Seas Literary Agency website for additional contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last Updated: 11/20/14.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 11/20/14.

***

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying. The information found herein is subject to change.

JENNIFER TORRES GUEST POST AND THE DISAPPEARING GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! I'm guessing most of you are experiencing the cold like me. Hope those of you doing NaNo are being productive.

FOLLOWER NEWS


Medeia Shariff's new book THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS just released. Here's a blurb:
Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself. And a few links:

And here's a few opportunities you might be interested in:
Odessey will be offering  winter online classes. For information, go to their website.

The Christine Eldin Memorial Fellowship will award $1000 to an unpublished middle-grade fiction author whose work-in-progress reveals potential for a successful writing career.  The award will increase annually as resources allow. Find the details on their website.

And I have a few winners to  announce

The winner of PENNYROYAL ACADEMY is Ophelia L!

And the winner of FORBIDDEN is Sheila Ryals!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I'm excited to have a guest post by debut author Jennifer Torres and a giveaway of her MG Sci-fi
mystery, THE DISAPPEARING. Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post.

Here's Jennifer on her favorite childhood books that influenced her writing.
 
My desire to become a writer was formed from a love of reading.

My favorite stories always involved mystery, secret passageways, time travel, hidden worlds, secret doorways, and magical events.

The very first book that blew my socks off and the one I consider my very favorite to this day - was rejected no less than 26 times with editors referring to it as “the worst book I ever read” and “distinctly odd.” The author herself eventually labeled it as “too different.”

But despite a rough start, A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962 and became an immediate hit, winning the Newbery Medal in 1963 and as of its 50th anniversary in 2012 - there were 10 million copies released in the U.S. alone.

Meg – the main character was described as plain and ordinary – something about this made me like her more and the first line – It was a dark and stormy night – hooked me from the get go. Follow that up with time travel, fifth dimensions, supernatural beings, and a dark planet – and well – I couldn’t put it down.

Another of my absolute favorites was written by an architect who admitted he “never had much desire to be a writer…” His book came about after winning a grant to write a children’s book about cities. It’s been said that after being published in 1961, there was not a lot of hope it would succeed. Some critics said the words were too difficult and the ideas- too abstract. But the author claims the book was “rescued” when a well-known critic wrote a glowing review in The New Yorker magazine – and The Phantom Tollbooth became an instant favorite of many youngsters. Many could relate to the idea of being “bored” like the main character of this book was. Milo was another ordinary boy – nothing notable to speak of in his life. But when a large package arrives addressed to him he finds a tollbooth inside – and soon learns that driving through the tollbooth in the electric car he just happens to have transports him to a magical land. I loved every minute of my travels with Milo – and the notion that something extraordinary could happen on an ordinary day.

That’s something Harriet M. Welsch knows all too well. As the main character from my third favorite childhood book – she learned that secrets rarely stay secret. In Harriet the Spy, she revels in keeping tabs on several people in her town – writing down her observations in a diary.. She also begins to jot down some opinions about her friends and classmates – sparing no details – after all it’s a private journal for her eyes only, right? Of course not – the journal is left behind, found by a classmate, shared, and what follows is a story of friendship, loss, loneliness, - and just about every other emotion any preteen can experience. After devouring the book, my best friend and I opened our own “detective agency” in a small structure her father built us in the backyard, keeping tabs on all our neighbors – but taking no notes.
When I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write my own I tried to keep in mind all the things that made me fall in love with a book.

I started with an idyllic seaside town called Briny Deep, where nothing bad ever happens until five close friends suddenly come face-to-face with a mystery beyond explanation. The friends must scramble to uncover the truth as they begin to wonder if those closest to them have been hiding something unimaginable.

If my books touch just one child by inspiring them to read more – and perhaps one day write their own story – I will have succeeded in my goal.

The Briny Deep Mysteries consists of three books; The Disappearing, The Return, and The Battle.
Thank you for letting me visit with you today and I leave you with my favorite quote from The Phantom Tollbooth
“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”

You can find Jennifer at:



Here's a blurb of THE DISAPPEARING from Goodreads

Other than a strange, recurring dream that involves running for his life, Tim is a happy guy. In this paranormal mystery, Jennifer Torres introduces us to the seaside town of Briny Deep; an ideal spot to grow up for Tim and his close friends: Max, Emily, Luke, and Nina. Nothing bad ever happens hereuntil a stranger appears in town and a young girl vanishes - then others. The friends must scramble to uncover the truth as they begin to wonder if those closest to them have been hiding something unimaginable.

Jennifer  have generously offered a copy of THE DISAPPEARING 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 December 6th. I’ll announce the winner on December 8th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.


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 for US and Canada.

Here’s what’s coming up:

I'll be off next Monday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a great holiday!

The following Monday Jaye Robin Brown will be here with a guest post and a giveaway of NO PLACE TO FALL, her YA contemporary.

The Monday after that I'll have an interview with Medeia Shariff and a giveaway of VITAMINS AND DEATH, her YA contemporary.

Hope to see you in two weeks!


GRATITUDE GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP



Today I’m thrilled to be part of the Gratitude Giveaway Hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. I'm grateful for you all as followers and this is one of my ways of saying thanks.

I just finished two big giveaways last month so I'm going to keep this one simple.

I'm offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


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 with your e-mail address through November 30th. I’ll announce the winner on December 1st. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday I’ll have a guest post by debut author Jennifer Torres and giveaway of THE DISAPPEARING, her MG sci-fi mystery.

I’ll be off the Monday after that. I know it’ll be quiet with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up.

The following Monday (Dec 1st) I have a guest post by debut author Jaye Robin Brown and a giveaway of NO PLACE TO FALL, her YA Contemporary.

Hope to see you on Monday!

And here's all the other blogs participating in this Blog Hop:





THE YOUNG ELITES GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope you're having a great start to the week. I am so very sorry that I did not visit all your blogs last week. But with work, applying for jobs, and a busy swim captain mom week, I ran out of time. This weekend was the swim championships and it was so much fun watching all the girls drop time. Some of them who still had slower times dropped 10 seconds. And Anna Li has a fantastic weekend. She dropped time in her individuals both days and both relays she was on came in 2nd! She's on the state team and in two more weeks she'll finish her swimming career. We're enjoying everything now, but both of us are ready for her to move on.

FOLLOWER NEWS

Sharon Mayhew has started a manuscript editing service. Stop by her blog to learn more and to enter for a chance to win a critique.

I have a few winners to announce.


The winner of The Heir Chronicles is Abby!

And the winner of COMPULSION is C. Lee McKenzie!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send your books to you. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I'm thrilled to share THE YOUNG ELITES, the first book in Marie Lu's new series. Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


Wow! I already loved Marie Lu as an author and now I'm even more of a fan. Marie has branched out into fantasy in this story and does not disappoint.

I loved the world building where the Young Elites have special magical powers caused by an illness and are persecuted for it. I'm always pulled into stories where the characters are fighting discrimination. And the Young Elites all have different, very interesting powers, which I enjoyed.

Adelina is a dark, but sympathetic character. I read that Marie Lu was trying to create a Darth Vader type character in Adelina. She's suffered a terrible life so we can understand where her darkness comes from. And it's tempered by her devotion to her sister who she is trying to save.

This is a fast paced story. I don't seem to be reading as fast these days so it's saying even more when I find a book that hooks me. I read this in a few days. And there were plot twists and revelations I didn't see coming.

Marie Lu's publisher, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers generously donated an ARC of THE YOUNG ELITES 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 November 29th. I’ll announce the winner on December 1st. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

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 for US and Canada.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Friday I’m participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop.

And the following Monday I’ll have a guest post by debut author Jennifer Torres and giveaway of THE DISAPPEARING, her MG sci-fi mystery.

I’ll be off the Monday after that. I know it’ll be quiet with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up.

The following Monday (Dec 1st) I have a guest post by debut author Jaye Robin Brown and a giveaway of NO PLACE TO FALL, her YA Contemporary.

Hope to see you on Friday!

KIMBERLEY GRIFFITHS LITTLE INTERVIEW AND FORBIDDEN GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Good luck to those of you doing NaNo.

I have a few winners to announce.

The winner of my Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is Rita who chose the Amazon Gift Card!

And the winners of our 4000 Follower Giveaway are:

Christina Rains who won the $40 Amazon Gift Card!

And Valentina B. who chose CRESS!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I’m thrilled to have Kimberley Griffiths Little here to share about her new YA multi-cultural historical YA FORBIDDEN that releases tomorrow. I loved the unique desert setting and the tribal world that Jayden lives in. It was fascinating. And I’m a total sucker for forbidden romances.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Hi Kimberley! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us where you got the idea for FORBIDDEN.

I’ve had a life-long fascination with belly dance and started taking some classes—and even performed—talk about scary! It was supposed to be a tribal dance with three of us and the other two gals dropped out and it suddenly became just me performing a solo—gulp! As a mother with 3 teenage boys it was . . . a little intimidating. But the dance was a blast to learn and I love the camaraderie of the belly dance world–all the dancers known each other and support one another. It’s a true sisterhood of friendship and cheering each other on. When I started researching the history of belly dance, its roots, traditions, music and purpose—it became more complicated and fascinating as its roots flung me thousands of years back into the recesses of time.

2. So awesome how your dancing inspired your story. I know you did a lot of research for this book, including traveling to the Middle East. Share about the research you did and how helpful you found it in getting a feel of life in the desert. 

A little over a year ago I was traveling the King’s Highway—the infamous road that was barely a trail
thousands of years ago as frankincense caravans followed the ancient water wells from Oman to Yemen and then north to Petra, the lost kingdom of the Nabataean’s from the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE—but the Edomite kingdom in 1700 BCE.

It’s a land of vast desert sands, punctuated with towering, rugged mountains. To actually be there was surreal. Magnificent carvings cut directly into the sandstone soar hundreds of feet into the air with jaw-dropping sophistication and artistry.

When I finally got to take a trip over there, I’d been researching and reading about the ancient Middle East for more than 10 years. It was a dream come true—and incredibly gratifying to return home and discover that I ended up have to revise only a handful of sentences in the Forbidden manuscript. That was a testament to all my years of research about the locale, the people, their customs, climate, culture—and camels!

3. That’s true dedication to travel to the Middle East to experience your setting. I loved the contrasting worlds of the wandering tribes in the desert that was Jayden’s world and the temple life that her sister was drawn too. How much of this is based on history and how much was your creation?

This is very much based on history. Jayden’s tribe is actually one of the lesser known tribes of the 12 sons of Ishmael, Abraham’s son through Hagar the Egyptian. The cities mentioned as well as the other tribes are also based on facts. The tribal people today still live as their ancestors; traveling by camel, drinking camel’s milk, living in goat-hair tents. But they’re a shrinking population as more and more tribes move into the cities for education and the comforts of the modern world.

Our Jordanian guide is a descendant of the desert—his own grandfather lived as a nomad. I really picked his brain and it was fabulous talking to him.

Regarding ancient Goddess Temples, I was frankly shocked at what I learned about how they used the tribal women’s dance for prostitution worship purposes—and that gave me an instant, contrasting story to weave into my character’s lives and the plot.

4. That’s fascinating how your story is so based on history. And so sad about the women’s dance being used for prostitution. I really enjoyed the romance between Jayden and Kadesh. What challenges did you face in writing this part of the story and what advice do you have for the rest of us wanting to include YA romance in our stories?

I purposely tried to go back and remember those feelings when I was a teenager and had massive crushes on the elusive, handsome boy from school or church; the uncertainty, the longing, the nervousness being around them. The scenes between Jayden and Kadesh got more revisions, too. I tweaked them to death! I wanted those scenes to be filled with romantic tension and to infuse Jayden with that excited, butterfly feeling in her stomach.

5. You did a great job with that. You’ve written a number of middle grade stories, but this is your first YA novel. How was it different writing a YA vs. a MG story? 

I’ve been writing YA just as long as I’ve been writing MG – it just took longer to get it published! The voice between YA and MG is very different though, and after publishing so many MG titles I sometimes slip into it and have to watch myself.

6. Yes, the voices are very different. Your middle grade novels were published by Scholastic and FORBIDDEN is being published by HarperCollins. What was it like working with a new publisher? Were there any surprises?

Editors are unique people, of course, and can have very different styles so that was a little bit of an adjustment. Publishing houses also work on slightly different deadline schedules so the first year was a little confusing and I had a lot of questions, but my agent and editor are both very patient and generous people so it was never a big issue. I also attended Book Expo America in New York City this past May and was able to meet both my Harpercollins and Scholastic editors in person for the first time. A grand experience and I love them even more now. Children’s book people are truly the best.

7. So cool you got to go to BEA and meet your editors. I’d love to go to BEA some day. How are you finding marketing different for FORBIDDEN given that it is YA versus your MG novels? Share some of your marketing plans.

I think YA is tougher and filled with much more pressure. There are just so many BIG books out there. Publishing a Young adult trilogy is incredibly exciting, but much more time-consuming. I’m doing more guest blogs, tours, giveaways, contests—and Harper and Epic Reads has got a lot more marketing plans, advertisement, social media graphics, tasks for me, etc. I also helped found YASI: Young Adult Series Insider, a cross-promotional group that promotes ALL YA series books, which has been an enormous endeavor.

Marketing Plans: I’m thrilled to currently be out on a book tour along the East Coast for FORBIDDEN. 4 cities/events in the Arlington VA area, 4 cities in North Carolina and 3 cities in South Carolina—ending at the YALLFest Book Festival where we have a booth in the signing tent/area. See our schedule here:



8. I never thought about the additional pressure with YA books and more competition. I just focused on that it’s easier to find blogs to promote a YA book. I’ll have to keep this in mind. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Being in the trenches of writing book after book and trying to get published with those accompanying years of rejection can be very disheartening—and I’ve been there in spades. I tried all sorts of different kinds of books, but kept going back to the stories I was most fascinated by. The stories I loved the most. Write that book. It may take longer, and you may wonder if you’ll ever publish it in whatever the current market is, but in the end it’s worth it.

DO realize, too, that book topics/genres are cyclical. I was writing FORBIDDEN during the years of Twilight and Harry Potter, vampires, werewolves, fairies and mermaids—I could never have sold this book back then, and didn’t sell it, even though I tried. But I still feel that you must write the book of your heart. But get feedback, make it the best you can—and grow *Patience* on the tree in your backyard. Success will happen with the right story at the right time if you put the work into it and don’t give up.
I learned this the hard way: Keep writing new material. Don’t revise the same book over and over again over a period of years. Write a new manuscript every single year, even if you keep returning to your old manuscripts/ideas to rework them. You do get better with every single practice manuscript. I promise.

9. Great advice. I’ve finally realized I can’t keep editing my first manuscript and need to move on. What are you working on now?

I’m doing revisions with my editor on Book 2 of the FORBIDDEN trilogy: We have a title now: BANISHED. But I’m always working on something new, too: slowly revising a Victorian Gothic and forming ideas for proposals for some more MG with Scholastic. We’ll see what happens, there’s never any guarantees!

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


Pinterest (I have Boards with my fabulous Jordan/Petra trip pictures, and Middle East, Belly Dance, and FORBIDDEN boards w/gorgeous graphic teasers, too!)

My book trailer for FORBIDDEN is a *must-see*: Gorgeous *live* footage of a Middle Eastern actress in the desert with voice over—and camels—and pictures I took in the deserts of Jordan from my trip. :-)




Kimberley and her publisher Harper Collins have generously offered an ARC of FORBIDDEN 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 November 15th. I’ll announce the winner on November 17th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

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 for US and Canada.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I'm giving away an ARC of THE ELITES by Marie Lu. I've got one word for this book: Wow!

Next Friday I’m participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop.

And the following Monday I’ll have a guest post by debut author Jennifer Torres and giveaway of THE DISAPPEARING, her MG sci-fi mystery.

I’ll be off the Monday after that. I know it’ll be quiet with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up.

Hope to see you on Monday!