Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Lawrence Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/11/2024
  • Stuti Telidevara Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/20/2024
  • Agent Rachel Orr and Author Cathy Carr Guest Post and Lost Kites and Other Treasures Giveaway on 3/25/2024
  • Paula Weiman Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/8/2024
  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "H" as of 5/11/2023 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Debut Author Interview: Megan Brennan and Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have Megan Brennan here to share about her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess. It sounds like a fun story that also tackles many issues middle graders go through. I don’t read many graphic novels, but this one looks like one I’d enjoy.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

Fashionable fights, flashy attacks, and friends that are out of this world! This wacky and funny graphic novel series is a love letter to manga fans. With a tongue in cheek humor and delightfully fun action scenes, this series is perfect for fans of Sailor Moon , Cardcaptor Sakura , and Katie the Catsitter.

There's nothing cooler than Magical Girls - pretty superheroes fighting villains with the power of friendship and glitter? What could be better than that! This year in middle school, Kira is going to be cool and popular and have SO many friends because she’s going to be a MAGICAL GIRL! ...Or not.

Frustrated beyond belief, Kira makes a wish on a shooting star that her life will change – and when Catacorn, a cat-unicorn-space-princess, crashes into Kira's backyard, it seems her wish has come true…kinda…maybe… Oh no. Is Kira's dream of being a Magical Girl really possible...or is Catacorn not really what she promises to be?

Follower News

Before I get to my interview with Megan, I have Follower News to share. Follower Elizabeth James has

a new chapter book release, Pippa Speaks Up. Here's a blurb: All Pippa wants to do is blend in at her new school—which isn’t easy when your mom’s new job is President of the United States!  But when her teacher assigns class speeches, Pippa's best-laid plans at blending in begin to crumble and she literally becomes sick to her stomach. She must learn to calm her anxieties and embrace the power of speaking up—before she not only flops the assignment but also buries her true feelings from everyone closest to her, including the President herself.

And here are a few links: 

https://youtu.be/VxEelHTfimM?si=A3r2YD7aG0H65xZm and www.elizabethjameswrites.com/pippa-speaks-up/

Interview With Megan Brennan

Hi Megan! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Te ll us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I always loved writing and drawing, and spent a while as a teen trying make some kind of epic fantasy story, but never really got past the daydreaming stage! I ended up going to school at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and majoring in cartooning, because I knew I wanted to make comics (and luckily had parents who supported me in that). Getting to be in an environment that nurtured young creatives while also pushing them to improve was really helpful for me, because I lacked a lot of confidence in sharing the things I wanted to make.

 After graduation I made my own comics while trying to freelance – doing art assistant work and collaborating with people occasionally. Eventually, after posting my own comics online and doing some smaller jobs, I got a gig writing scripts for Boom! Studio’s Amazing World of Gumball graphic novels. Having to come up with ideas and write whole graphic novel scripts for a property I didn’t create was weirdly great for my growth as a writer! There was an existing framework of characters and world, so I had to focus only on making the plot make sense and feel engaging within that. I learned a lot about the process itself.

2. That’s great that your job helped you with your own writing. Where did you get the idea for Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess?

It’s funny, I originally drew Kira and Catacorn in a 3 page tiny submission to a comic anthology focused on nostalgic shoujo comics (shoujo comics = Japanese comics aimed at young girls, the genre which magical girl stories like Sailor Moon, a huge inspiration for me and for the Kira books) called Hana Doki Kira. I had so much fun coming up with scenarios related to magical girl tropes! After I finished that little comic, I kept coming up with what might happen next. I ended up expanding to three short Magic Girls comics that I self-published over a few years.

Back in 2019 I was trying to pitch a completely different graphic novel that didn’t work out, with a pitch for Magic Girls as a graphic novel as kind of a backup plan. Of course, I ended up struggling with my other pitch, but Magic Girls was more fun and ended up being what Random House Graphic wanted anyway! I feel lucky that the comic I have fun making is the one that seems to also connect with people.

Your Writing Process

3. What is your plotting process like? Do you think this is different than for writers who are only writing the text and not illustrating the story too?

In some ways it’s different for sure, but I think the need to find some kind of structure under the creativity on is the same. Especially since I have to keep in mind that I need to make the drawing and planning process understandable to my editor, so she can see what’s going on.

I usually have to use my sketchbook to think about what should happen, and what kinds of visuals I want to include, but to make it all cohesive I have to make an outline. I think because my previous work in making a graphic novel was focused on the script, I am a little more intense about that stage of the book than some other comic artists. I have to write myself a really detailed outline to get my ideas in order. Some of this is because as I go into the thumbnail stage (rough sketched plans of all the pages) I end up tweaking things. Once you’re working visually, things sometimes come together differently than you planned! So I have to really know what I was intending to happen in each part of the book. But that kind of thing is what’s so magical about writing and drawing the comic myself.

I also have to step back and think a lot about how the reader will view each page objectively, if it makes sense from panel to panel, and if the way the page is set up will lead to reading things in the correct order. I guess a novelist wouldn’t have to think about that on each page!

4. It’s so interesting to learn about your plotting process and what you have to think about creating the graphics too. Writing a graphic novel that is a satisfying middle grade story sounds challenging because you’re telling it through a combination of illustrations and words. What are some of your tips for getting the balance right and telling a complete story?

I think you have to take advantage of each half of the medium - the potential for really funny or cool images, and the power of dialogue (or narration, though I don’t use this as often), and really embrace them. You don’t want to crowd up a page with a ton of text when an image could communicate the mood or action in a more effective way. The art is also part of telling the story, so while it’s more work, it also means I have another tool in my arsenal.

5. Share about how Kira developed as a character and three things you really like about her.

Honestly, the first version of Kira was really just a parody character! She was kind of a generic teenager, who just loved snacks and wanted to look cute. Which is definitely relatable, but I hadn’t given much thought to her as a whole character. The old version of the comic was all jokes. As I tried to expand it into a graphic novel, I ended up having to think of her as a person, what kind of kid she would be.

I like that she is really determined, and even though she is SO easily embarrassed, she still is pretty sure of who she is and what she wants. I like that she is also is really open to trying things, even if she might complain a little about it.

Your Road to Publication

6. Linda Camacho is your agent. How did she become your agent and what was your road to getting a publishing contract like?

Graphic novels usually require a kind of proof of concept packet/etc to communicate what the book will be, instead of an entire manuscript. Obviously it’ll vary with each publisher, but that seems pretty standard, in my experience. was really lucky, in that I had a version of my pitch in talks with Random House Graphic before talking to Linda! I already knew Whitney Leopard from comics shows and from working with her at Boom!, so we were in an ongoing conversation about pitching things. She wound up being interested in the Kira books! But I had to go on a panicked search for an agent to negotiate for me.

I had previously been trying to find an agent and didn’t hear back from anyone at the time. One of the agents I queried actually was Linda, but it was with a totally different comic pitch, that worked less well. Thankfully Linda was able to take me on when I emailed her that I had an offer and needed help with negotiating specifically, which I am so grateful for! I was interested in working with her because I knew a few of the other graphic novelists she works with, and I thought my work would fit on the same shelf, if that makes sense.

7. It’s cool that you had a connection with your publisher through your job. How long did Linda and you work on revising your manuscript before you went on submission? What are your tips on working with an agent on revisions?

Honestly I’m an anomaly and mostly skipped this stage of the process with this project! I’m interested myself in how it will work in the future. Linda has been great at helping me navigate all other complicated parts of the process and being a cheerleader.

My revision conversations are with my editor. I’m pretty open to making changes to my work, so I think trying to weigh what are necessary changes vs things that might cloud the vision I have for the story is the thing I keep trying to keep in mind. I want all the changes I make to make the overall story more clear and cohesive.

Promoting Your Book

8. How are you planning to promote your book after it is released? What advice do you have for other authors who have an upcoming release on marketing their book?

I’m planning on attending some comic festivals with my book, which will be an exciting way to meet readers and potentially get new readers who are seeing it for the first time! I’m on social media, and will be using that to talk about the book, but getting to see people in person and feel the enthusiasm for comics hits different.

9. What are you working on now?

I’m currently midway into the follow up to Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess. I’m finally at the stage where I’m working on the final version of the line art (we call it inking), so the book is starting to feel real to me!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Megan. You can find Megan at www.Megan-Brennan.com or on Bluesky under the username @MeganBrennan

Giveaway Details

Megan’s publisher is generously offering an ARC of Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by March 9th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter or Megan on her social media sites, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This ARC giveaway is U.S.

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

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Friday!

 


Wish Big Giveaway Hop


Happy Friday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope that winter is winding down wherever you live. I'm grateful that it's a milder end of January and February here in Michigan. It can get brutally cold here. It's been in the 40's, which feels really warm after 10 and below temperatures. And I'm really grateful I have a writing job that I can do from home now. I don't really mind the winter too much. I use it as a time to work on my novel and read more. What about you?

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card

I am offering a book of your choice that is $20 or less on Amazon. I’m looking forward to seeing what books everyone is looking forward to reading. 

If you don’t have a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Giveaway Details

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 29th telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday, February 26th!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

How to Choose a Blog Tour Company by Author Sherry Ellis and Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones & $50 Amazon Gift Card Blog Tour Giveaway

 


Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in Sherry Ellis’ blog tour hosted by The Children’s Book Review to celebrate the release of her MG Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones. I’m a fan of this series and a blogger friend of Sherry’s and am excited to participate in this blog tour. I have a fantastic sponsored guest post by Sherry to share with you.

Here’s a blurb of Squirt’s City of Bones:


Bubba and Squirt are back for another rousing quest as they travel through the mysterious vortex to Paris, France. It’s another wild adventure as they track down art thieves, encounter terrifying monsters, and discover the whereabouts of their missing father.

 

Will they make it out alive or join the rest of the skeletons in the City of Bones?

 

Coming Soon: The fourth book in the series, Bubba and Squirt’s Shield of Athena, will be released on May 7, 2024, and the final book, Bubba and Squirt’s Legend of the Lost Pearl, will be released in September 2024.

 

 Deciding on a Blog Tour Company by Sherry Ellis

I’ve been writing books for nearly twenty years. One of the things I’ve learned along the way is that blog tours coinciding with the release of a book are beneficial in getting the word out and generating sales.

What is a Blog Tour?

It’s when you take your book on a virtual tour hosted on various book blogs across the internet. Book


blogs are ones dedicated to posting articles about books and anything to do with the writing process.

These tours allow a book to gain more exposure to potential readers. Basically, they create an awareness of your book to hundreds of people without you ever having to leave home.

How to Choose  

·       See if the company has done tours for other books in your genre. If so, it may be a good match.

·       Look at the number of followers the host has. It’s a numbers game. More followers=more people who will learn about your book.

·       See if the host has a presence on other social media platforms. These will translate into additional opportunities to share the news about your books.

·       Look at previous tours and see the types of bloggers who participate. See if they’re a good mix of reviewers, interviewers, and article-posters.

·       Consider your budget. Tours can be expensive.  See if the company offers options that fit your budget.

·       Find out if the company has the length of tour you desire. Some are month-long. Others, only a week.

·       When you finally reach out to the company to schedule a tour, see how organized and responsive the contact person is. That’s usually a good indicator of how easy it will be to work with the person and have the tour go smoothly.

I am currently using The Children’s Book Review Virtual Awareness Tour. It’s dedicated exclusively to promoting children’s books.  I have also used MC Book Tours.

Book tours are a fun part of the marketing experience. I highly recommend trying one if you have a book release.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Bookshop.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis has previously published Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China; Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure; Don’t Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN; and That Mama is a Grouch. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her website at www.sherryellis.org.

Giveaway Details

Enter the giveaway for the chance to win an autographed copy of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones: Book Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Children’s Book Review

Book Tour Kick-Off

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

icefairy’s Treasure Chest

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Momma Spot

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Friday, January 19, 2024

Life Is What It’s Called

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Monday, January 22, 2024

Crafty Moms Share

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

An article by Sherry Ellis

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Barbara Ann Mojica

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, January 24, 2024

A Blue Box Full of Books

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones and Little Free Library Drop

Friday, January 25, 2024

One More Exclamation

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Fairview Review

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Country Mamas with Kids

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Twirling Book Princess

Book Spotlight of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, February 8, 2024

My Reading Getaway

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Friday, February 9, 2024

Cover Lover Book Review

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Friday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Wednesday!

 


Debut Author Interview: Marc J Gregson and Sky’s End Giveaway and IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have instant New York Times bestseller Marc J Gregson here to share about his debut YA fantasy/dystopian Sky’s End. Dystopian and fantasy stories are favorites of mine, and this one sounds like a page-turner. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Plummet into a kill-or-be-killed competition where a scrappy underdog hell-bent on revenge must claw his way to the top in this thrilling YA fantasy debut


Exiled to live as a Low, sixteen-year-old Conrad refuses to become heir to his murderous uncle. But Meritocracy is a harsh and unforgiving rule on the floating island of Holmstead, and when his ailing mother is killed by monstrous gorgantauns, Conrad cuts a deal to save the only family he has left. To rescue his sister from his uncle's clutches, Conrad must enter the Selection of the Twelve Trades.

Hunter, the deadliest of all the Trades, gains a fresh recruit with Conrad. Now he must endure vigorous training, manipulative peers, and the Gauntlet—a brutal final test that yields riches and status to whichever skyship crew kills the most gorgantauns. Forced to serve in the lowest of stations and unseen by all, Conrad overhears whispers of rebellion in the dark. Conrad had never known anything existed below the toxic black clouds of the Skylands . . . until now.

Grab your copy of Book One of the Above the Black trilogy today! This fast-paced series is reminiscent of Attack on Titan and will appeal to fans of Pierce Brown. It's a great pick for those who love action-adventure.

 


Before I get to Marc’s interview post, I have my IWSG post.

Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts this month are: Janet Alcorn, SE White, Victoria Marie Lees, and Cathrina Constantine!

Optional Question: What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

I look at a lot of author websites when trying to decide which authors to feature at Literary Rambles. The thing that annoys me the most is when the author doesn’t have any way to contact them on the website other than contacting their agent or publisher or contacting them on social media. I don’t contact those authors. I think they should include an email address or a contact form so that bloggers, podcast hosts, and readers can contact them. You’d be surprised at how many authors don’t include this essential information on their website.

Another annoying thing is how hard Google Blogger has made it to comment on blogs, including mine, that use this platform to blog. I've had to switch to the pop-up windows option to make it easier for followers to comment. At least I don't get any emails from followers unable to leave comments on my blog. 

But it's annoying when other bloggers on Blogger don't use the pop-up window option because I can't leave a comment using Chrome, which is the browser I use. I have to copy the link to the post into Mozilla to leave a comment. It makes the whole process take more time, but at least I can comment. I'm grateful to Alex for suggesting this solution.

Interview With Marc Gregson

Hi Marc! Thanks so much for joining us. And a huge congrats on becoming an instant New York Times bestselling author.

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

When I was a teenager, I was given a Halloween writing assignment. It was only supposed to be 2-3 pages long. I wrote a dozen pages about a killer squirrel. As I was writing, I felt a strange twist of excitement in my gut every time I sat down, and I realized just how much I enjoyed it.

2. That sounds like a scary story. Where did you get the idea for Sky’s End?

I’ve always wanted to write a story about a world set in the sky, and I love deadly competitions. After I read books like Hunger Games and Red Rising, I really wanted to do my own unique spin on it.

Your Writing Process

3. You’re a teacher and also have a family. What is your writing schedule, and how long did it take you to complete Sky’s End before you began querying agents? Will the process change with book 2 and 3 where you have publishing deadlines to meet?

So, I must be very regimented with my schedule, or I’ll never get it all done! I wake up early to write for an hour before work. Then, I go to work early so that when I return home in the evening, I don’t have to bring class work with me. This allows me to generally get 2-3 hours of writing in per day.

The original draft I sent to literary agents took me about seven to eight months to write. But I ended up doing massive revisions with my agent after I signed with her. My writing process for books 2 and 3 are the same as before I was published, just more condensed. This means I must be even more careful with my time and I’m often writing on the weekends.

4. It’s great that you’re so disciplined. Your book sounds like a real page-turner. How did you keep the tension and stakes rising throughout the story?

I constantly asked myself, “and then what happens?” Something had to always be happening in the story. In Sky’s End, all the characters have their own goals and motivations, and in many instances, their goals run in opposition to those of their peers. This creates a lot of friction and tension on the ship. While characters are trying to achieve their own goals and rise on the ship to become Captain, the entire crew simultaneously must deal with the threat of the giant sky serpents that they were sent to hunt. 

5. I really like that you’ve combined elements of a dystopian and fantasy world into your story. Describe your world-building process, and share tips on how to create a unique world like you did.

I sort of reverse engineer the process. I start with a goal in mind, but how it gets there is quite hazy and unclear. My only choice is to just explore it the best that I can. As I was creating the Skylands, I had this idea of a true Meritocracy where the strong would rise and the weak would fall. Furthermore, I liked the idea of developing this Meritocracy around a dueling system. If you were a great dueler, you had a chance to rise to a High status. But as I explored this idea, I ran into a problem. What about those who can’t duel? And can a society adequately run if the only people in power are also just physically impressive? What about the highly intelligent?

That’s where the Selection of the Twelve Trades came in. It fills in the gaps—and provides opportunities to some whose primary asset is their brain. That being said, there are plenty of people who are Selected by Trades who are also capable duelers.

My suggestion about worldbuilding is to constantly ask questions of your world. Why does each aspect of the world exist? Sometimes, it can simply be because, “Well, it’s cool.” But I’ve found that for deep worldbuilding, there must also be some logic behind it as well.

Your Journey to Publication

6. That’s great world building advice. Your agent is Heather Cashman. How did she become your agent, and what was your road to publication like?

Getting an agent was the biggest challenge. I queried Sky’s End on and off for several years. At one point, I had about a dozen agents that seemed really interested in Sky’s End. I thought it was going to happen. Then, one-by-one, the passes rolled in. Around this time, I became a teacher, so I wasn’t quite as active in the querying trenches—and I started on another book project.

Finally, three years after I started querying Sky’s End, Heather sent me an email at midnight asking to setup a time to chat. She was interested in Sky’s End and my other project. But she told me that Sky’s End would need some work. She told me that I needed to bring Sky’s End up to my current writing ability. So, after I signed with her, I revised Sky’s End and rewrote the beginning and ending. I changed the whole thing from past tense to present tense. We sent it out, and Sky’s End sold to Peachtree Teen in the first round of submission.

7. Share something you learned that made you a better writer from working with your agent or editor on revising your manuscript.

One thing that helped me was diversifying my sentence starters. Sky’s End is in first person, so naturally you’re going to have a lot of sentences that start with the pronoun “I.” Practicing beginning my sentences with other words constantly keeps me on my toes and forces me to be creative in how I approach my sentences.

Another thing my editor has said is to constantly lay challenge upon my characters. Never make it easy for them.

Promoting Your Book

8. Your book was released on January 2, 2024. What did you do to celebrate its release, and what are your future plans to promote your book?

I’d like to say that it was a week-long celebration! January 2nd was an amazing day, but a little bittersweet, because my winter break from teaching ended the same day my book released! Ha ha! No, I had a lot of fun. My students and I celebrated “Sky’s End’s birthday” at school. When I got home from work, my wife and I visited the Barnes & Noble stores in my area, and I was able to sign their stock. Now that was incredibly surreal.

Later that week, I had my launch event with the King’s English Bookshop. My parents flew in for the event, and my agent even showed up as a surprise. We had a great turnout despite the sudden snowstorm that began a couple hours before the event. Afterward, a bunch of my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant and celebrated.

Then I napped all weekend!

Some future plans for promotion include going to the Tucson Book Festival in March! I’m really excited for that. At some point, I’m also going to do a Instagram Live session to discuss spoilers with readers and start amping them up for book two, Among Serpents. That will likely happen in late Spring or early Summer.

9. What social media site have you connected the most with readers, teachers, and librarians? How have you connected with them?

In the beginning, TikTok was totally my social media headquarters. But after my wife posted Sky’s End’s cover reveal on Instagram and it went viral (5.9 million views), Instagram became my new place. I’ve had so much engagement on Instagram and met so many amazing people there.

As far as connection, I’m always trying to be genuine. I am incredibly proud of Sky’s End, so I hope my enthusiasm for the book is rather apparent in my posts. I also love hearing from readers.

10. I think I need to get on Instagram What are you working on now?

I recently sent back my edits for Among Serpents, the sequel to Sky’s End. Currently, I’m hard at work on the trilogy finale, Downfall. I’m so excited about this trilogy and cannot wait for readers to experience the full thing!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Marc. You can find Marc at www.marcjgregson or @mjg_write on Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and TikTok.

Giveaway Details

Marc’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of Sky’s End for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 17th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter or Marc on his social media sites, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, February 12th I have a guest post by author Sherry Ellis as part of her blog tour and a blog-tour giveaway

Friday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday!