Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Crystal Orazu Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 9/22/21
  • Kristin Ostby Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/11/21
  • Agent Melissa Nasson/Author Alex Perry Guest Post + Query Critique & Book Giveaway on 10/18/21
  • Ginger Clark Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/25/21
  • Danielle Chiotti Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/15/21

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

Being in the Query Trenches by Agent/Author by Chloe Seager and Brianna Bourne + You & Me at the End of World & Query Critique Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Brianna Bourne and her agent Chole Seager here to share a guest post to celebrate the release of Brianna’s YA romance with a speculative twist You & Me at the End of the World. It sounds like it’s got a fantastic premise and compelling characters, which makes me excited to read it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

This is no ordinary apocalypse...

Hannah Ashton wakes up to silence. The entire city around her is empty, except for one other person: Leo Sterling. Leo might be hottest boy ever (and not just because he's the only one left), but he's also too charming, too selfish, and too devastating for his own good, let alone Hannah's.

Stuck with only each other, they explore a world with no parents, no friends, and no school and realize that they can be themselves instead of playing the parts everyone expects of them. Hannah doesn't have to be just an overachieving, music-box-perfect ballerina, and Leo can be more than a slacker, 80s-glam-metal-obsessed guitarist. Leo is a burst of honesty and fun that draws Hannah out, and Hannah's got Leo thinking about someone other than himself for the first time.

Together, they search for answers amid crushing isolation, but while their empty world may appear harmless . . . it's not. Because nothing is quite as it seems, and if Hannah and Leo don't figure out what's going on, they might just be torn apart forever.

And here’s another blurb: “An altogether lovely book about human connection and taking second chances—even when they might come on the heels of an apocalypse. A stellar debut. I’m already eagerly waiting to see what Bourne does next.” - Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of  Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation

Here's a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1yoKBOAAEk 

Brianna Bourne and Chloe Seager Guest Post

BRI: Thank you so much for having us on Literary Rambles, Natalie! When I was in the query trenches, this website was such a cornerstone resource for me, and I hope Chloe and I can share a few fresh insights with those of you querying.

For context, I’m from Houston, and YOU & ME AT THE END OF THE WORLD was published first in the US by Scholastic (The Hunger Games publisher!) Chloe Seager is my incredible agent, and is part of the team at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency in London. https://madeleinemilburn.co.uk

Chloe being in London is convenient for me because I’m currently living in England, but don’t let location put you off querying the agency! Chloe and her colleagues rep many American authors, and they have the same connections and relationships with US editors that US agents have (and they also have valuable connections with European publishers, which comes in very handy for foreign rights!) Now that you have an idea of our agent-author relationship, let’s get into our conversation.

BRI: Chloe, I remember when I was in the trenches, there was a lot of advice going into my head, but I didn’t fully believe all of it, or really “get” it. When you’re querying, it’s so easy to think that an agent’s job is primarily about reading submissions, but there’s SO much that you do for the clients you represent, and that’s the priority of your work week. This is probably the question you get most frequently - how many submissions do you receive in a typical week? And what percentage of your work week would you say goes towards reading submissions, versus supporting the clients on your list?

CHLOE: Yes, indeed, this is a common misconception! I suppose it's the only part of the process that unagented writers hear about, but this is actually a relatively small part of our job and something we usually have to do in our own time. We are guiding and managing every aspect of our existing authors' careers and our loyalty/ commitment is with them. Of course finding new authors is something that every agent is excited about, but unfortunately it can't be the priority in our day-to-day working lives. On average I would say the children's department at MM receives about 200 submissions a week - but this can reach double that at peak times (for instance, post lockdown!) I would say that I dedicate a few hours a week to the submissions inbox and if there's something I love in there, I will carve out an evening to sit down with a full, called in manuscript, but the rest of my time has to be spent on my existing clients. 

BRI: Can you tell people a little more about the agency itself? It’s quite a large one, with 10 agents plus many incredibly knowledgeable people supporting the agents and authors. It’s one of the things I love about the agency.

CHLOE: It's funny that you say we're large as, although we've grown a lot recently, I would always have said we were small to medium size, but we often give the impression of being large!! I think that's one of the nice things about working at MM - it has a big impact and a global reach, yet retains a family feel. Our motto is to take on less authors but do more for them, which is why we do everything in-house - film & TV, foreign rights, with agents who are experts in different areas.  Rather than film & TV rights or foreign rights being sold to publishers or by external agencies, we aim to keep rights in one place with each deal and it allows for high levels of communication and coordination when it comes to building authors' careers in every aspect.

BRI: I was recently on the other side of the table, reading through a towering stack of queries, and I couldn’t believe how intense it was reading 70 entries in one week. (I mentor for WriteMentor, and I’m mentoring for PitchWars this year as well - you should absolutely consider submitting to me! https://pitchwars.org/mentor-profile/brianna-bourne/)

Reading my own one-week slush pile drove home all the advice I’d heard surrounding the query letter—it really does need to be so tight, and the book’s concept does have to be fresh and immediately gripping. What are your thoughts on what makes a query package stand out?

 CHLOE: It's as you say, making yourself stand out in the shortest amount of words possible. What makes your book different to the many others that agents will be looking at each week? Is there a gap in the market that you've spotted? This also shows me that a writer knows the market and reads current YA/children's books, which is so important in being a successful author. I'll be instantly interested if a one line pitch makes me sit up… Like yours, Bri! I love talking about your book because anyone who hears the premise, without fail, wants to know more. Two teenagers (with bags of sexual tension between them, obv) wake up to a world where they appear to be the only two people left?! I immediately want to know what happens, straightaway I see it's a clever way to talk about big, relatable themes like teen isolation/pressure to conform/working out your identity, and I know I'm in for some seriously swoony moments as well as high stakes adventure  

BRI: Thank you so much! <3 Romantic tension is one of my favorite things to write, and the book is very much a love story with a side dish of surreal suspense, instead of the other way around!

CHLOE: What about you, Bri - what would your advice be, now that you've been on the other side of the querying process?

BRI: After taking YOU & ME out on two major querying rounds one year apart, my “hindsight is 20/20” advice is that I wish I’d kept going. Both times, I stopped at around 30 agents, and I think these days it can take up to 100 agents before you can really shelve a project and know for sure it wouldn’t have been picked up. But that’s just based on my personal experience, and I always caution that you should probably be getting around a 20% full request rate for that advice to apply. If you’re not getting any requests, that probably means something needs more work, or that the concept might not be as unique as it needs to be to stand out from the crowd.

CHLOE: And how do you come up with your brilliant pitches? (Bri's second book also has a stunning premise, although I can't say more!)

BRI: Ideas for novels usually come to me as high-concept “what ifs” right out of the gate - so the specific characters, plot, and setting come after that. For YOU & ME, there’s actually an even juicier pitch underneath the “last girl and boy in the world” premise. I always wish I could shout about it, but it’s a massive spoiler! There are lots of hidden clues as to what’s really going on, but so far only one person has 100% correctly guessed the twist.

I also always check to make sure no one’s written that exact premise before. Then, while I’m building the characters and the plot, I make sure to touch base with the concept (or my “elevator pitch”) often, because sometimes adding layers to a story can dilute its original premise. Nowadays, I start every project by crafting a polished elevator pitch first, then I write a longer pitch that’s very much like a query letter, then I start plotting/outlining. It’s so easy to shift big picture things when all that exists is a pitch; you can make all the puzzle pieces fit in the most dramatic, juicy way.

BRI: Chloe, This is something I worry about a lot - do you think publishing has slowed down during the pandemic? Do you get the sense that editors are even more scrupulous about which projects they pick up?

CHLOE:  I can't speak for everybody but the pandemic certainly slowed me down at first - it was hard to concentrate on submissions, which is such a creative part of the job, when it felt like the entire world was on fire! But after a while I found the escapist joy of books meant that I rediscovered my inspiration and I would say that publishing hasn't necessarily slowed down, but there have been changes in the market regarding what's working and what people are looking for. And of course, it was a tough year for debuts across the board, although I hope that's changed again now. What was your experience of debuting into a pandemic like, Bri?

BRI: There have certainly been some surprises, and some experiences 2020/2021 debut authors have had to miss out on. Obviously in-person launch events and book conventions were off the table, but on the plus side, I got to do virtual launch events with a few of my absolute writer heroes (Stephanie Perkins! Jennifer Lynn Barnes!), and I wouldn’t have been able to do those if the entire world hadn’t shifted to virtual.

Right - last question! For Literary Rambles readers who are querying or are preparing to query, what are some things you’re hoping to see in your inbox?

CHLOE: Relating to the above, I would say more than ever I am in need of some uplifting joy! But I am still open to dark books - especially if they are 'fun' dark, like a thriller. I would say at the moment, anything that feels like a big, interesting concept, with well-drawn characters and pacy writing that can hold my attention and completely distract me from what's going on in the world.

BRI: I love writing stories that provide those much-needed slices of escapism! Thanks again, Natalie, for having us on Literary Rambles, and thank you all for reading!

You can find Bri at:

www.briannabournebooks.com 

https://www.instagram.com/brianna_bourne_writes/

https://twitter.com/BriannaBourneYA 

And you can find Chloe at:

https://twitter.com/ChloeSeager

For submission guidelines and more information about the agency, visit https://madeleinemilburn.co.uk

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Brianna and Chole!

Giveaway Details

Brianna has generously offered a hardback of You & Me at the End of the World and Chole has offered a query critique 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 October 2nd. 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 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, 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 giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, September 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Crystal Orazu and a query critique giveaway

Monday, September 27th I have an interview with debut author Jessica Vitalis and a giveaway of her MG fantasy The Wolf’s Curse

Tuesday, October 5th I’m participating in the Howloween Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, October 6th I have an interview with debut author Sacha Wunsch and a giveaway of her YA psychological mystery Lies My Memory Told Me and my IWSG Post

Monday, October 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Kristin Ostby and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

 

Falling Into Leaves Giveaway Hop


Happy Thursday Everyone! I hope you're having a good start to your fall. 
Today I'm excited to participate in the Falling Into Leaves Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I’m doing this giveaway a little differently this time. 

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card

I am offering a book of your choice that is $20 or less on Amazon or The Book Depository. 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

 One lucky entrant selected by the entry form will receive a book of their choice for $20 or less at Amazon or The Book Depository or a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Open to entrants internationally as long The Book Depository ships to you for free, 13 years and older. Open for entry from 9/16 – 9/30/2021 at 11:59 pm EST. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email to claim this prize or a new winner will be selected.

Please note that you must be a blog follower and leave a blog comment to enter the contest. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Monday, September 20th I have an agent/author guest post with Chloe Seager and  Brianna Bourne and giveaway of Brianna’s YA dystopian You and Me and the End of the World and a query critique by Brianna

Wednesday, September 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Crystal Orazu and a query critique giveaway

Monday, September 27th I have an interview with debut author Jessica Vitalis and a giveaway of her MG fantasy The Wolf’s Curse

Tuesday, October 5th I’m participating in the Howloween Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, October 6th I have an interview with debut author Sacha Wunsch and a giveaway of her YA psychological mystery Lies My Memory Told Me and my IWSG Post

Monday, October 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Kristin Ostby and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Monday!

 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.

 

Agent Spotlight: Nicole Eisenbraun Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Nicole Eisenbraun here. She is a literary agent and Translations Right Manager at Ginger Clark Literary.

Hi­ Nicole! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Nicole:

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

I knew I wanted to go into publishing starting my junior of high school. Like so many in this field, I was the bookworm of my class and it just seemed like the right fit. I went to University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where I was able to do several internships. One of those internships was with Noah Ballard at Curtis Brown, Ltd. my senior year.

When I was able to make the move to NYC, I was lucky in that an assistant position had opened up at Curtis Brown. I assisted Ginger Clark and Maureen Walters for the first year. After Maureen’s retirement I transitioned into assisting Sarah Perillo – the foreign rights director. I spent my second year in agenting learning all about foreign rights.

I am now in my third year in this field. I have joined Ginger Clark Literary where I am creating my own list and handle foreign rights.

About the Agency:

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

Ginger Clark Literary is dedicated to guiding and supporting new and established authors in their literary endeavors both in North America and internationally. Based in the New York City area, the agency launched in 2021 and provides more than 20 years of agenting experience.

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?

I am currently looking for MG and YA in all genres, fiction and nonfiction.

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

Fresh, colorful fairytale retellings – especially ones that haven’t been done before! I am so excited for Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel GILDED.

Contemporary stories set in the Midwest

Family stories center around the family business (think FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang)

Stories that tackle difficult issues in an unexpected way with a strong voice – something like RIVERLAND by Fran Wilde

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

I do not handle picture books.

I currently am not into animal stories for MG.

Please don’t send me any stories about a world-wide pandemic.

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?

My “why” is getting great books out there to kids. I believe in the power of a good book changing your life and think it’s important for kids to have stories that reflect the world they live in – something that can comfort them or change the way the think about something.  I want to work with authors and represent books that share that belief.

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?

Every book I represent will go through at least one round of edits.

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?

Please email queries to nme (at) gingerclarkliterary (dot) com with ‘nmequery’ in the subject line, including just your query letter and contact information.

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

Query letters that include paragraphs and paragraphs describing the plot.

Response Time:

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

For queries 2-3 weeks; 6-8 weeks on requested pages.

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. For advice, I would say query agents with something that has not already been published, unless your self-published book has been a huge break out success.

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?

I think an agent’s role centers around having their clients’ best interests mind. That means learning and changing your role as the industry changes. Good agents are always adapting to fit the needs of their clients.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I am building my list. Ginger Clark Literary represents authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Karina Yan Glaser, Gretchen McNeil, Elizabeth Wein, Liz Braswell, Monica Hesse, and dozens more.

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.

N/A

Links and Contact Info:

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

Please email me at nme@gingerclarkliterary.com.

https://gingerclarkliterary.com/About

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-eisenbraun-95499511a/

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Nicole.

­Nicole is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment through October 2nd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debut Author Interview: Alda Dobbs and Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Alda Dobbs here to share about her MG historical Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. I was lucky to receive an ARC from Alda’s publisher. It was such a gripping story that I read it in two sittings. I know that those of you who love historical fiction are going to love this book.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna's mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. Before her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra vows to him that she will care for the family she has left―her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito―until they can be reunited. They flee north through the unforgiving desert as their town burns, searching for safe harbor in a world that offers none.

Each night when Petra closes her eyes, she holds her dreams close, especially her long-held desire to learn to read. Abuelita calls these barefoot dreams: "They're like us barefoot peasants and indios―they're not meant to go far." But Petra refuses to listen. Through battlefields and deserts, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border―a life where her barefoot dreams could finally become reality.


 Follower News

I have Follower News to share. Jemi Fraser recently released Reaching for Family: A Bloo Moose Romance. Here’s a blurb: One whose family didn't want him. One who wishes she'd been so lucky. When family isn't safe, you need to make your own. And here’s a few links: Website Amazon Apple B&N 

Denise Covey also has a new paranormal romance, Betrayed, that recently released. Here’s a blurb: Vampires have killed Vipunin’s family, now they’re coming for him!

And so the saga of Duke Vipunin de Castellina begins!Betrayed, first in my series of Renaissance Paranormal Romance, follows the adventures of Duke Vipunin de Castellina. Come with me on a glittering trip through Renaissance Florence, to Castellina in Tuscany where the action begins and never lets up. And here’s a few links: Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU WriterBlog 

Interview With Alda Dobbs

Hi Alda! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Thank you, Natalie! I’ve gained so much knowledge from reading Literary Rambles – from book reviews and author interviews – and now it’s truly an honor to be interviewed by you. As a child, I grew up listening to family stories and enjoyed every minute of it. The idea of becoming a writer had crossed my mind but learning English as a second language proved to be difficult. My frustration with it turned me into a reluctant reader but I still had a passion for storytelling. I started college and was crushed when I was placed in remedial English. I signed up for courses like Latin and German, which vastly helped improve my English. My confidence in the language, though, took longer to acquire. However, despite pursuing a career in physics and engineering, my urge for storytelling lived strong in me. In 2010, I moved to Italy and being surrounded by so much inspiration, I found the courage to finally pursue my dream of writing.

2. I’m glad you found your courage. From everything else you’ve accomplished too, it sounds like you can be successful at anything you tackle. Where did you get the idea for Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna?

Growing up I loved listening to stories about my great-grandmother’s experiences during the Mexican Revolution. My family told of extraordinary events and unbelievable trials she endured as a child. One story, in particular, intrigued me. It was of my great-grandmother and her family anxiously waiting for the US border to open along with hundreds of other people so that they could cross into safety. I had a hard time believing there were “hundreds of people” trying to cross as the Federales chased them and I thought maybe it was an exaggeration. I started doing research and when I found a newspaper article that described the scene much as my family had described it, I knew I had to tell this story.

3. That’s awesome that your idea came from your family’s experiences coming to this country. What research did you do into the Mexican Revolution and the journey Petra and her family took as they struggled to reach the United States? 

I embarked on a long research journey, reading nearly every book, both in English and Spanish, on the Mexican Revolution but found nothing that depicted my great-grandmother’s story. After months of reading and almost giving up, a wonderful librarian (Mr. Tim Blevins at Pikes Peak Library System) introduced me to a portal that included all the newspapers printed in Texas during that era. Not having an exact date of the event, I searched through old newspapers and after six or seven months, I found an article that depicted the event exactly as my great-grandmother had recounted it. I also used Sanborn maps and non-fiction books written by journalist during the Mexican Revolution or that interviewed people from that had survived the conflict.

4. Your book was one that I didn’t want to put down, and I read reviews that said the same thing. What was your plotting process like to make it a page turner? What tips do you have for other writers?

I’m truly flattered by your words! I read a ton of books that taught the plotting process. I also read many wonderful children’s novels that had executed plot beautifully and I tried to learn from their techniques. In terms of tips, these are five essential things that helped me as a writer: 

1. Find a trusted reader who enjoys books and stories as much as you do. 

2. Submit your work for professional critiques at conferences (these were a beacon of light at the start of my writing journey). 

3. Seek a mentor. There are many wonderful mentorship programs out there. Some are free, some are not, but they all do wonders when you pair up with a professional.

4. Write and submit to magazines. This helps your writing skills, lets you gain industry knowledge, and the confidence boost is tremendous. 

5. Read other books (lots and lots of books) and learn how they did it.  

5. Those are all great tips. Petra is such a strong 12-year old and was the leader in her family’s quest. Did you draw on any family member’s character and experiences in developing her as a character? What are some of your favorite things about her?

I wanted to create a strong female character and to do so, I drew a lot from the strength and experiences both my grandmother and great-grandmother endured in their youth. Both lived in harsh poverty and had to work since the age of three to help feed the family. They lived in huts with dirt floors and in a country where only 1% of the population owned land and 80% was illiterate. Shoes and school – things we take for granted – were a luxury and out of reach for them. My grandmother became the first in her family to learn to read, and she figured it out on her own around age twelve. Petra Luna’s strength resembles the strength these two women needed to survive and confront a world full of adversities and prejudices. They both took action to improve their lives and those of future generations. What I admire the most in Petra and in the women in my family are their resilience and wits. 

6. It’s amazing how strong your grandmother and great-grandmother were. My mother-in-law went through a lot of hard challenges too. Ammi-Joan Paquette is your agent. She sounds like a fantastic agent but is not very open to queries. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like? 

Joan is a wonderful agent! I’m fortunate to be represented by her. About six years ago, I began researching agents by reading interviews on blogs or articles about their wishlist or on craft. The ones I liked, or thought could be a match, I made it a point to track them down online (not stalking, just tracking, ha!) to find out their next conferences, workshops, or appearances. Once I met them, I got a better feel about the possibility of a match. I met Joan (Erin Murphy Literary Agency) during a small writer’s conference in Maine back in 2016. She read my book’s first chapter and asked me to submit whenever I felt ready. We kept in touch and I’m glad we did because it took another three years before I submitted to her. She signed me up within a month and after a quick round of revisions, my manuscript went on submission right as COVID19 surged in New York City. It was a scary, difficult time but Joan did a great job, and we sold the book in our first round! 

7. I noticed on your website that you’ve scheduled a number of appearances at webinars, book fests, and camps. Share how you arranged to be a speaker or on a panel at these events. 

I’ve been very lucky to have been invited to a number of events, especially while being a debut author. Again, research, research, research. As soon as I signed the book contract, I looked up events I could appear on and added them to a spreadsheet. I also invited a small group of fellow authors to join me in forming a potential panel and when events requested a panel proposal – boom! – I had one ready. I’ve also been very fortunate to have the incredible teams at Sourcebooks pitch my book to many of the events I’ve attended. It’s a combination of research, luck, and a lot of teamwork. 

8. That’s great to have a panel of authors and a proposal ready for conference opportunities. You have a quarterly newsletter that you started this year, which I really enjoy reading. What have you been doing to get writers and readers to sign up for it? Do you believe it is an important tool for an author to stay connected with their follower?

Thank you, Natalie! You’ve made my day. I’m still experimenting on getting readers to sign up. I have a “Subscribe” button on my website and recently added a pop-up window that asks visitors if they’d like to sign up for the newsletter. Also, while hosting an in-person book fair this past spring, I taped a newsletter sign-up sheet to my table that offered a chance to win a free advanced reader copy. I also mention my newsletter when I talk at events. I’m sure by next year, I’ll have a better idea as to what method works best. I believe newsletters are important because you create a personal following that’s your own. Social media platforms change quickly – remember Tumblr? – and the followers you have there are not permanent. However, email addresses/subscribers are your own and will never change. I like to provide specific content which includes writing/publishing tips, behind the scenes peeks, latest news, and shoutouts to fellow authors. I also ask subscribers for feedback to make my newsletter more helpful to them. 

9. What social media platforms are you on to connect with writers, authors, librarians, teachers, and readers? Why did you pick them and how well do you think you’ve connected with others? 

I’ve never been much of a social media person and before I only used Facebook as a research tool for the craft and for historical research. Upon signing my book contract, though, I set up an author Facebook page where I connected with several people in the industry. I recently opened an Instagram account and have really come to like it. I’m a very visual person and I really enjoy seeing other people’s stories through pictures. I’ve never done twitter and don’t plan to. I’ve heard it’s very fast paced and I can’t see my mind adapting to it. 

10. That’s good that you’re focusing on the social media you like. Most authors and agents advise writers to take your approach. How else are you planning to market your book? 

I plan to connect with teachers, librarians, and indie booksellers through events, magazine articles, and through amazing blogs like yours. I plan to reach out to local media as we approach the launch date. I’ve also printed out bookmarks, postcards, and stickers and had pencils and mugs made with the book cover which I plan to gift to teachers and librarians. I joined Las Musas last year and the collective is incredible at creating buzz and exposure for our books via announcements, podcasts, and a newsletter. I will also work with my publisher to reinforce the connections with indie bookstores and with our pre-launch campaign, which I’m excited to share will consist of a writing journal that contains illustrations and quotes from Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. I still have lots to learn but I look forward to sharing all that during our next interview J 

11. What are you working on now? 

I’m currently working on Book 2, the follow-up book to Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna! Book 2, still untitled, will follow Petra and her family to a refugee camp in Eagles Pass, Texas and then to San Antonio where 30,000 refugees settled during that time. I’m also working on the Spanish translation of Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna and will soon help record the Author’s Note for the audio book. I’m also kicking the idea of a picture book and a historical YA. Stay tuned! 

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

Website: www.aldapdobbs.com

Facebook: Alda P. Dobbs

Instagram: @aldapdobbs 

Giveaway Details 

Alda has generously offered a hardback of Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna 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 September 25th. If your e-mail 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, 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 giveaway is U.S. 

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

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways 

Wednesday, September 15th I have an agent spotlight interview with Nicole Eisenbraun and a query critique giveaway 

Thursday, September 16th I'm participating in the Falling Into Leaves Giveaway Hop

Monday, September 20th I have an agent/author guest post with Chloe Seager and  Brianna Bourne and giveaway of Brianna’s YA dystopian You and Me and the End of the World and a query critique by Brianna 

Wednesday, September 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Crystal Orazu and a query critique giveaway 

Monday, September 27th I have an interview with debut author Jessica Vitalis and a giveaway of her MG fantasy The Wolf’s Curse 

Tuesday, October 5th I’m participating in the Howloween Giveaway Hop 

Wednesday, October 6th I have an interview with debut author Sacha Wunsch and a giveaway of her YA psychological mystery Lies My Memory Told Me and my IWSG Post 

Monday, October 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Kristin Ostby and a query critique giveaway 

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

September to Remember Giveaway Hop

 


Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today I'm thrilled to be participating in the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It. Can you believe it's September already? Even though I didn't do that much, the summer felt like it went fast. It has been good to have life return a little more back to normal, though I'm still seeing a lot of friends outside only. And I'm worried about a COVID surge, even if I am vaccinated. 

The good thing is that there are always good books to escape into. I highly recommend it if you haven't been reading much. I’ve got a lot of exciting newly releases MG and YA book choices this month to help you get through this month.


Here are the newly released MG and YA books I'm offering in this giveaway hop. You can also choose another book in the series by these authors. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads. Here are your choices:
















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


Giveaway Details

 One lucky entrant selected by the entry form will receive a book of their choice listed above or a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Open to entrants internationally as long as Book Depository ships to you for free, 13 years and older. Open for entry from 9/07 – 9/21/2021 at 11:59 pm EST. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email to claim this prize or a new winner will be selected.

Please note that you must be a blog follower and leave a blog comment to enter the contest. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Monday, September 13th I have an interview with debut author Alda Dobbs and a giveaway of her MG historical Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna

Wednesday, September 15th I have an agent spotlight interview with Nicole Eisenbraun and a query critique giveaway

Thursday, September 16th I'm participating in the Falling Into Leaves Giveaway Hop

Monday, September 20th I have an agent/author guest post with Chloe Seager and  Brianna Bourne and giveaway of Brianna’s YA dystopian You and Me and the End of the World and a query critique by Brianna

Wednesday, September 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Crystal Orazu and a query critique giveaway

Monday, September 27th I have an interview with debut author Jessica Vitalis and a giveaway of her MG fantasy The Wolf’s Curse

Hope to see you on Monday!

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