Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024
  • Miriam Cortinovis Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/6/2024
  • Jenniea Carter Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2024
  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/24/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Another Request!

I'm still looking for guest bloggers and interviewees, but I have another less time-consuming request that's open to everyone.

Research Tip Tuesday!

Are there any research tips or words of wisdom you'd like to share here on Lit Rambles?

It can be anything from that first moment a writer has to figure out who reps what up to the last when they've received an offer of rep and are quadruple-checking the agent is actually a real, legit human being, errr agent, that will be good for their career (we get pretty skeptical after all those rejections, right?). Detail oriented or large picture, whatever you want to share!

I'd love to tap into the collective knowledge of my readers and share some gems. I know we have some great researchers and query veterans among us.

Please e-mail your tips, wisdom, and advice to agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com. I'll be putting up one per week, so if you send more than one expect them to be spread out. I'll be sure to plug your blog, web site, book(s), favorite author, favorite charity, whatever you want.

Also, please spread the word! I'd love to make this an ongoing feature.

Thanks all, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday's Word Count

And here we sit. At the last Wednesday of another month.

Prior Goal: 2k

Accomplished: 2138

Goal for new week: 3k

Excuses / comments: I managed my 2k, and did quite a bit of thinking about my rewrite and new idea. I've finally let go of my fervent desire to have something polished by the end of the year. It's not doing anything for me, this rushed feeling, so I'm going to go with the flow for the rest of the year, and then regroup with some great goals for 2010. As Angela was kind enough to point out to me, I've done great things with my blog this year, even if I haven't accomplished all that I wanted to with my writing.

Things are going to be busy in the next few weeks. I have my daughter's birthday coming up in about a week, and all the planning involved in trying to throw this little wedding together in a short amount of time. But, even if it has to take a backseat, I don't want my writing goals to slip off the schedule completely, so I'm going to try for 3k this week. Really, that's only about three hours of writing time, at the most, if I can hit a stride and turn off Ms. Internal Editor. I just need to make the time to sit down and write an hour here and there.

Did you make your goals from last week (there were some great ones!)? What are your goals this week? Anyone planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? It's going to come up on us pretty fast.

'Til Death Do Us Part

I found a dress I like!  And it isn't black (though I found an awesome black one too).  I'm going to try to find a picture of it later today.  Let me tell you though, my dad's going to be thrilled.  Here's a recent conversation we had while my brother was visiting. 


Dad:  You can't wear a black dress to your wedding.

Me:  Why not?

Dad:  Black is a funeral color.

Me:  But it's okay if the groom wears black?

Dad: ....

*Several minutes go by*

Dad:  You can't wear a black dress.  It's just wrong. 

Me:  That's very traditional of you.

Dad: ....

Me (sly look):  At least we nixed the plan to get married in the cemetery.

Dad: There was a plan to get married in a cemetery?

Me:  Yeah.  We were going to pre-order our plots and get married on them.  Go with the whole 'Til death do us part' theme. 

Dad: *stares*

Me:  What?  It's beautiful, symbolic. 

Brother (looks over from TV):  You're twisted, Sis.

Me:  A black dress doesn't seem so bad now, does it?

Guest Bloggers, Sea Urchins, and Dresses, Oh My!

First off, I'm trying to line up some guest posts and interviews for the blog. So...

If you'd like to do a guest post on some facet of agent research and/or preparedness, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you'd like to do a guest post on something else (that still hits upon one of themes of this blog), feel free to e-mail me and let me know what you're thinking.

If you're an agented or published kitlit author or a publishing profressional that wouldn't mind being interviewed, I'd love to hear from you as well. Also, I'm totally open to hosting book tours and contests, should anyone need such an outlet.


In an attempt to better utilize Twitter, I'll now be posting whatever useful or funny links, posts, articles, etc. I come across there, rather than doing random linkspam posts on Lit Rambles. Of course, if it's something particularly interesting or related to agent research, I'll still post it here. So, if you haven't already, please friend me on Twitter.


BetaMy daughter got a Beta fish as an early birthday present yesterday. Can you guess what she named it? I'll give you a hint. There's probably thousands upon thousands of kids' fishes named this right now. I really hope it doesn't die anytime soon.

Then again... there is that whole attachment thing we'll have to deal with. *sigh*


research-uniI watched three different people (family) eat a piece of sea urchin on Friday, and each one pretty much looked like they were going to throw up on the table. The consensus seemed to be that it tasted like the bathroom at the Monterey Bay Aquarium would taste, and melted in your mouth like some kind of liquid-based slime. Mmmm... want some?

Have YOU ever tried sea urchin?


bridesshortI'm going wedding dress shopping today. I'm not completely opposed to a traditional wedding dress (some of them are absolutely gorgeous!), but I'd prefer to find either a black dress (yes, black) or a 50s-inspired tea-length gown. I may be odd but, I assure you, there are plenty of other offbeat brides out there.  Though, if I had all the time and money I needed to do so, I'd get the dress pictured on the right.  LOVE. 

Anyway, we're heading out of town for the day, and I think it's a testament of my bookishness that I've scheduled in a stop at a book store that has a much better YA section than my local one. I mean... I'll be right there. How an I pass up the opportunity?!


Okay. I think that's enough random for today. As I mentioned, I'll be out of town most of the day, so if you leave a comment or e-mail me, I'll be getting back to  you tonight or tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone!  Looking forward to your comments when I get home.

Let's Discuss! Do Connections and Readiness Go Hand In Hand?

When I was researching Erin Murphy for her Spotlight, the following quote from one of her interviews stood out to me:

In general, I don't think a writer should contact an agent without a referral or connection. If a writer hasn't gotten out there enough to have met agents at conferences or met other writers who know agents, she's not ready for an agent. Being part of the world of writing for children is what takes a writer to a new level and gets her ready to be published. Children's writers form a unique community. They look at each other's work and help each other improve and learn, so a referral from another writer means a lot to me.

I agree to some extent. I do think, if you're networking, making friends, participating in one or more critique groups, going to conferences and workshops, etc. you're bound to make some connections (even doing just one or two of these). Also, if you're writing has reached the level that it needs to be at, I'd like think you'd connect with some writers (friends or otherwise) who are excited enough about your writing to want to refer you to their agents. Note the very large, subjective IF.

Now, I did say to some extent; not only because taste in writing/story is so subjective, but also because I don't expect that most writers would make a lot of these connections. So if you have, let's say, five connections and none of them pan out, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to twiddle your thumbs until you've had a chance to make more (though you might want to get another critique or three to reassure yourself it was ready in the first place.). It's possible that the best agent for you isn't even connected to anyone you know, and plenty of amazing writers have been pulled from slush.

What are your thoughts on this?

Agent News: Mary Kole - Associate Agent @ Andrea Brown

mary-kole Head on over to the Andrea Brown web site and read up on their newest associate agent, Mary Kole (scroll down to the bottom).

Here's a snippet of what she's looking for:

"At this time, Mary is only considering young adult and middle grade novels and truly exceptional picturebooks. She's seeking fresh, unique voices and idiosyncratic characters who, by book's end, she knows like a friend. Her favorite stories are character-driven but well-plotted... a mix of fast pacing, emotional resonance and beautiful writing. Boy books, girl books, first person, third person, it doesn't matter... she's looking for a literary spark with commercial appeal. While she's not interested in high fantasy, science fiction, thrillers or horror, she would love to consider realistic/contemporary, urban fantasy and fantasy/adventure, historical, paranormal and mystery manuscripts. One of her favorite genres is magical realism: a story set firmly in our world, only with a twist—magic, danger or something that turns "reality" on its ear—to make things more interesting."

Click over for more!

Wednesday's Word Count

Wow! I loved all of the commiseration and fabulous responses in yesterday's post. It was fascinating to see who has annual trouble months and/or what affects your creativity. And of course, reading that so many of you go through writing funks is heartening all on its own.

Prior Goal: 5k (hey, I was optimistic).

Accomplished: Namuch.

Goal for new week: 2k.

Excuses / comments: Collectively, the popular suggestion yesterday was to start something new. I can dig it. Maybe that's what I need to get the creative juices flowing again, and then I can plink away at the rewrite as well. I know several of you have suggested having two projects going on at the same time, so I suppose it's time I see if that will work for me as well.

I'm going to write that 2k (at least) by next Wednesday. That's my promise to you and me. Who else wants to set a goal and be accountable for it? Leave em' in the comments!

That Time of Year Again...Maybe?

As some of you know, I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of writing. The issues I've been having with my MS have really knocked me down, and the getting back up has been surprisingly difficult. Even now, after sorting it all out in a way I'm happy with, I'm struggling to get motivated.

Thinking on this, I recalled a few weeks last year where I had a really hard time with my writing. I was so unmotivated and frustrated that I was pretty much ready to give up. Turns out, that happened in late July, early August.


It has me wondering if there's just something about this time of year for me. Luckily, it only lasted a few weeks last time and I was pounding out words again. Let's hope that's the case this time as well. I'm miserable!

How often do you get into a writing funk? Is there a time of year that seems to affect your writing? How do you deal? Do you push through or wait until motivation and inspiration strike again?


The lovely Deb Markanton of Driving Into A Writer's Life awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award, and the equally lovely Sherrie Peterson of Write About Now (whom I will hopefully soon meet!) awarded me the Superior Scribbler Award.  Thanks so much girls!  It's time I pay them forward. 

So, for the Kreativ Blogger award, I'm to list seven favorite things and nominate seven Kreativ Bloggers. My seven things:

Kreativ Blogger award1. Fresh, hot coffee first thing in the morning.  There's nothing like it!

2.  My kids, especially when they're giggling at the same time.  They sound so similar and it's so infectious.

3. Walking through a grove trees and not being able to see civilization for a short, peaceful while. 

4.  Checking in with my online friends and finding good news, hilarity, and inspiration.

5.  Chocolate.  'Nuff said. 

6.  Losing myself for awhile (never long enough!) in a great book.

7. Seeing dreams become reality.

Now, here are the seven bloggers I'd like to nominate. 

1.  Ann Finkelstein for sharing her lovely photography, lessons on teen driving, and thoughts on writing.

2.  Chatty Anna who certainly merits an award for creativity.  Just check out the jewelry and crafts she makes alongside her writing.

3.  Day By Day Writer, Samantha Clark, for thoughtful posts on writing and being brave enough to post her progress daily.

4.  Stephanie Julius of Musings and Scribbles.  She may not post as often as some but she always posts great, interesting stuff when she does.  Love it.

5. Tabitha Olson at Writer Musings for her great content.  Interviews, posts on writing, cakes she makes, and so many other fab things. 

6. Rebecca at Epoch for a lovely mix of posts on life, family, writing, and books.  So much I can relate to. 

7. Hilary Wagner for her fabulous teaser Tuesdays and keeping me inspired with her great attitude and recent success. 


Woo!  That took awhile.  Now, let's see...  this here Superior Scribbler Award has a more specific set of rule.  Let's get those out of the way.

  • superior_scribbler_awardEach Superior Scribbler must, in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy buds.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (!?) at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Five most deserving?!  That's so many of you!  Ack.  But, I'll play by the rules.  Here are five blogs I'm always eager to read.  There are many others, but I'm trying to choose some that may not (but may have) been awarded this before.

1) Heather Hansen who make me laugh and laugh and laugh.  And, of course, she happens to be a super critique partner.  Thanks Heather!

2) Deb Markanton for having unique views on life and sharing them in great posts (who also happen to be a fab critique partner).  Get writing, Deb! 

3) Beth Revis of writing it out for a large variety of posts that keep me entertained, in the know, and learning. 

4) Christy Raedeke of Juvenescence for having one of the coolest book titles ever (Prophecy of Days Book One: The Daykeeper's Grimoire) and posts like R.I.P. Pickled Baby.

5) Ben Watson of I, uh, think I killed my muse who's relatively new to blogging but making a splash.  Also, he's Tom Thumb.  So. Awesome.

Thanks again Deb and Sherrie.  And friends, sorry I couldn't nominate all of you!  There might be more chances in the future. ; )  Stay tuned.

Wednesday's Word Count

For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. - Mary Kay Ash

I read on a blog recently, and I wish I could remember which (an agent's?), the sentiment that people don't succeed by whining and fretting, but by finding a solution and doing. That's the obvious course of action, naturally. You have to do to succeed. But I think I needed that reminder, because even though I can't remember what was said exactly or which blog I read it on, it's been stuck in my mind.

I've been going in circles with my story, spinning my wheels, and it's been really eating at me. I thought I had things figured out last week (and many times before), but only a couple hours after I posted my Wed update, it all crumbled again. So I took a step back, enjoyed following the conference, and let my thoughts swirl around in my head as they wanted to, rather than trying to focus them or force them on problem solving.

I also read a post on Tabitha's blog called Inspiring to Motivate, that really hit home. Not only did it give me hope, but it helped me feel less negative about certain thoughts I've had. I've considered, frequently, that I simply might not have the skill and experience to do my story justice at this time. I don't want to beleive that, of course, but seeing that others have had the same issue is heartening. If it comes to it, I'll feel better about setting the story aside for awhile.

Prior Goal: 5k

Accomplished: 1k

Goal for new week: 5k

Excuses / comments: So what now? Well, I think the answer finally came to me a couple days ago, but I haven't been very excited and I haven't jumped back in. Probably because I've been here before. Maybe because I'm jaded. But I'm still determined, still motivated to see this story in print, so I'm giving it one more go. If it falls apart yet again, I think it'll be in my best interest to move on until I'm really ready for it. If things do click into place, I'll be setting a goal of having the new draft done by Sept 30th.

Question on a Wed: Have you had any similar struggles? Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share? And, as always, please tell me about your goals!

Open Thread

Well now...

There are a few things I could blog about, some awards I need to address, and other such stuff and things, but I'm feeling lazy and unmotivated today (though, I really should be getting ready for my mom's visit this Thurs). Despite my mood, I feel an extreme need to post something. It's been a few days.

So, OPEN THREAD today. Start up a topic, ask a question, tell me something random, good news? Whatever! Talk to me.

If you're a new follower or subscriber, why don't you introduce yourself and say hi? (BTW, thanks for following everyone—you're all awesome.)

I'm Not At SCBWI But...

Originally, I planned on having a pity party on the blog today complete with pity party poppers and chocolate--lots of chocolate. One for those of us who are not attending the SCBWI-LA conference but really (really, really) wish we were.

But, when I sat down to get the party goin', all I could think was, "I'm not at SCBWI BUT..."

I would have missed finding a "tree star" with my daughter.
I would have missed the huge smile my boy gave me when I got him out of his crib.
I don't have to miss my family or wonder if my kids are getting along okay without me.
I can follow along via Twitter (#scbwi09) and on blogs.
I saved a lot of money by not going.
I'm not a wreck of nerves and panic (first timer).
I won't be tired as a mule by the end of the day.

So, maybe we can have some pity at the party (and yes, chocolate and poppers) but mostly, I want to see your BUTs (not the bodily kind, please), the positive "I'm not at SCBWI buts..."

Feel free to leave em' in the comments for the entirety of the conference.

I probably will!

(Note: I'm not saying it's better I didn't go, but I'm trying to be positive!)

Agent Spotlight: Marianne Merola

This week's Agent Spotlight features Marianne Merola of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: "Marianne Merola co-ordinates a global network of foreign co-agents charged with licensing the work of the agency’s authors to a worldwide audience. She values strong and unique narrative voices and domestically represents bestselling and award-winning writers of compelling fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Query by email only." (Link)
About the Agency:
“Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. is a full-service literary agency whose work representing authors’ interests has spanned most of the 20th century and continues in this digital age. We aim to give our select list of clients every benefit of our experience and expertise in shaping their writing projects, negotiating their contracts, and increasing their visibility throughout the world.
“Founded by Carl Brandt as an adjunct to the Mary Kirkpatrick Dramatic Agency around 1913, the agency’s original roster of literary clients included the bestselling authors of the time. A succession of family members culminating in Carl Brandt’s son, Carl D. Brandt, expanded the firm to Brandt & Brandt Literary Agents, Inc. In 2001, Gail Hochman became president of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. Currently, our staff of senior agents and developing younger agents handles a wide-ranging roster of writers in numerous genres, from literary fiction and memoir to mystery and thriller to history/biography and narrative non-fiction, as well as children’s books. We represent classic titles which have been in print for decades as well as a list featuring 40 to 50 new titles each year.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Genres/Specialties: Children's middle grade and young adult, adult literary fiction, and narrative and engaging non-fiction. (Link)
Editorial Agent?
Web Presence:
Brandt and Hochman website.AAR member.
AgentQuery, QueryTracker.
Ron Carlson, Judy Gelman, Heather Gudenkauf, Tim Johnston, Vicki Levy Krupp, Kerry Madden, Joyce Maynard, Heather Millar, Shannon Moffett, Sunshine O'Donnell, Patricia Williams, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No..
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
E-mail:  Query only.
Response Times:
What's the Buzz?
In line with the agency as a whole, Ms. Merola’s web presence is minimal. However, Brandt & Hochman is a well-respected agency and Ms. Merola, a member of the AAR, is an established agent in the business with many sales under her belt.  Her clients seem happy with her representation. 
Worth Your Time:
None that I could find online.
Please see the agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 3/16/11
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes
Last Reviewed by Agent:  N/A
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com

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

Wednesday's Word Count

Another Wednesday, August the 5th. Can you beleive my baby boy is seven months old today, and my other "baby" is two and eleven months? That's right. The big three is less than a month away now. *Wail*

As for my brain child, a.k.a my novel:

Prior Goal: Brainstorming.

Accomplished: Brainstorming, outline, and 3520 new words.

Goal for new week: 5k

Excuses / comments: I think I'm back on track! I listened to all my gut instincts, came up with a new game plan, and got it loosely outlined. I'm still trying to work out some of the middle, but I felt confident enough to jump back in. To be honest, I'm hoping things have finally clicked into place and I'll be able to blow through about 10k this week, but I'm not counting on it (hence the 5k goal).

Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement you've given while I've flopped about. I really (really, really) hope this will be "the draft."

How are your goals coming along? Swimmingly? Sinkingly? Do share!

Agent News: Adriana Dominguez Joins Full Circle Literary

Adriana Dominguez, former HarperCollins Children's Books executive editor, has joined Full Circle Literary as a literary agent, effective immediately.

Most recently, Ms. Dominguez managed the children's division of the Latino imprint, Rayo, at HarperCollins, and served as a Children's Reviews Editor at Criticas magazine before that. Previously, she also served as a professional translator for children's books.

Here's the announcement from Publisher's Lunch:

"Adriana Dominguez has joined Full Circle Literary as an agent, based in New York and serving as the agency's East coast representative. Most recently she was executive editor at Harper Children's, where she managed the children's division of Rayo. Dominguez will continue working on children's picture books, middle grade novels, and literary YA novels, as well as representing literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, women's interest, multicultural, pop culture, and how-to books."

You can read the full press release on Adriana Dominguez's blog, Voces.

Agent Spotlight Requests

I'm building up my list of upcoming Agent Spotlights for the next few months, so if there is an agent (or multiple agents) you'd like to see featured soon, now's the time to speak up (though I'm always open for requests)!

Don't forget the focus of the Spotlights is on agents who represent children's fiction, so make sure they represent at least one area therein.

That's all!

Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com with your requests.

Agent News: Colleen Lindsay Reopening to Subs

Colleen Lindsay of FinePrint Literary announced today on her blog, The Swivet, that she is temporarily reopening to submissions. However, she's only looking for adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy/paranormal, and realistic YA between now and the end of August.

For more details, stipulations, and submission guidelines, see the original post.

(With thanks to Corey Schwartz for prompting me to put this up!)

Agent News: Emily Keyes - L. Perkins Agency

Junior agent Emily Keyes of the L. Perkins Agency is now "avidly seeking middle grade and YA" and "aggressively" seeking new clients.

As per their Agent in the Middle blog, here is what she is looking for:

"I’m tired of getting queries from authors who don’t currently read YA, never read YA, say books published today are terrible, but they heard that Harry Potter lady made more than the Queen, and hey, they can do that! Writing for kids is easy, right?

"I love YA books. I loved them when I was a kid and I still love them now. I want to see manuscripts from people who love it as much as I do. I want to find the books that kids are going to remember with fondness. I inhaled Lois Duncan, LJ Smith, Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley, etc, etc. These days I’m excited by the writing done by Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, Claudia Gray. I’m also into the teen novels by people like Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Barry Lyga and others. I’m looking for smart middle grade and teen novels. (No picture books, please.) I like fantasy and paranormal, and other odd things. Zombies are pretty big at the moment, and I’d also like to see witches, psychics, time travel and superheroes. As far as non-genre, I like strong, female heroines and books with fresh voices and a quirky sense of humor. I’m really sick of knock-off 'Harry Potters’ and Twilights.'"

A list of Ms. Keyes favorite TV shows and her e-mail is available on the original post.

Great opportunity. Best to those who query!