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Agent Spotlight: Pat White

This week's Agent Spotlight features Pat White of Rogers, Coleridge, and White Literary Agency.

RCW LA

About: “Pat White was born in the USA and has lived in England since 1968 when she joined Deborah Rogers Ltd., having worked as an editor and rights director of Simon & Schuster US for the previous ten years. She now specializes in illustrated and childrens books, working with Beryl Cook, Mary Hoffman, Michelle Magorian, Richard Platt and a host of new young talent, as well as adult authors eclectically ranging from Bruce Fogle to Emma Blair and Antonio Carluccio. Pat is herself a published author of four cookery books and co-author of an international bestseller on dog training.” (Link)

Status: Accepting submissions.

What She's Looking For:

From her Bio:

“She now specializes in illustrated and childrens books, working with Beryl Cook, Mary Hoffman, Michelle Magorian, Richard Platt and a host of new young talent, as well as adult authors eclectically ranging from Bruce Fogle to Emma Blair and Antonio Carluccio.” (Link)

From an online listing:

“Children's fiction and non-fiction. Handles novelty books, picture books, fiction for 5-8 and 9-12 year-olds, teenage fiction, series fiction, non-fiction and reference.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Scripts for theatre, film or television. (Link)

About the Agency:

“Deborah Rogers set up Deborah Rogers Ltd. in 1967, and shortly afterwards was joined by Pat White.  Rogers, Coleridge and White was founded twenty years later, when Gill Coleridge left Anthony Sheil Associates to join them in 1987. In 2002 the agency was joined by Peter Straus, previously editor-in-chief at Macmillan and Publisher of Picador.” (Link)

Pet-Peeves:

Unknown.

Editorial Agent?

Unknown.

Web Presence:

Rogers, Coleridge, and White website.

LinkedIn.

Her books.

Clients:

There are lists of agency authors and titles on the website as well as a list of Ms. White’s clients

Sales:

As of this posting, Ms. White does not appear to be a member of Publisher’s Marketplace.  However, she has made a great many sales in her 40+ years as an agent. 

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (children’s only).

Snail-Mail: Yes.  

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Note: “We regret that this department cannot undertake to read submissions from the US due to the large volume received.”

YA and Children's fiction should be submitted via e-mail to Ms. White’s assistant, Claire Wilson.  All other submissions should be sent via snail mail.

Fiction: Send a cover letter with a bio and the background of the book.  Include the first three chapters or approximately the first fifty pages (to a natural break) and a brief synopsis. 

Non-fiction: Send a proposal of up to twenty pages in length about the work and your qualifications.

Materials should be in 12 point font, double spaced, on one side of A4 paper.  Snail-mail submissions must have a SASE for response.

Please see the Rogers, Coleridge, and White website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Response Times:

“We will try to respond within six to eight weeks of receipt of your material, but please appreciate that this isn't always possible as we must give priority to the authors we already represent.” (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Ms. White is the first agent I’ve profiled in the UK, and she seems to be highly respected and accomplished.  She’s been an agent in England for over 40 years after ten years as an editor and rights director at Simon and Shuster in NY.  Many of her clients have been with her for years and years and seem to adore her. 

RCW Literary Agency is a member of the AAA and recommended by P&E.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

None that I could find online.

Other:

Keep an eye on the agency News page for frequent updates.

Rogers, Coleridge, and White Literary Agency on P&E (AAA, recommended).

You can see a picture of Ms. White on client Mary Lassiter Hoffman’s blog.

Client Inbali Iserles’s agent / publishing story at The Myslexia Blog.

Masterclasses; Dog Training, an article on Ms. White regarding her dog training and related book.

Contact:

Please see the Rogers, Coleridge, and White Literary Agency website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 10/28/2010

Agent Contacted For Review? Yes – 11/02/2010.

Reviewed By Agent?  No response.

Comments: N/A

***

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

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's 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.

Tip Tuesday #60

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature where readers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to share a tip, please do so. Today's tip was sent in by Thermocline, and it's another great one. Very helpful. Enjoy!

TheFreeDictionary.com is a great dictionary/thesaurus site because they provide references in classic literature of whatever word you're looking up. I really like being able to see the words in context. There are times, however, when I've wanted to check a whole phrase to be sure I am using it correctly.

Typing quotes around the phrase and entering it into a Google Books search allows you to look for that exact phrase in millions of other books. It’s great for helping to guard against clichés. It’s also useful when you’re in doubt of the proper word order of your phrase or if you’ve got a tricky punctuation question. For example, “one- or two-word sentences” was giving me trouble last week. I wasn’t sure whether it was, “one or two word,” “one or two-word,” or, the big winner according to the editors of a slew of books, “one- or two-word.”

Thermocline

Maria Rainier on Freelancing for Children's Markets


Today I have a fabulous guest post by Maria Rainier on freelancing for children's markets. As always, please leave your thoughts, opinions, and advice regarding the topic in the comments! We would love to hear them. Here's Maria!

Freelancing for Children’s Markets

Arguably, it is within the genre of children’s literature that dreams fly highest. Doesn’t every writer at least think about writing a picture book or children’s novel, just once? Book publishing can be daunting but it can be done; short stories can be published in a collection; and, despite the Information Age, there is no serious shortage of respected children’s magazines in which to publish individual short stories or nonfiction.

Here, a word of advice: nonfiction is where the money is, if that’s what you’re in it for. Nonfiction articles can garner upwards of $1,000 apiece, and the market is bigger than for fiction, since short stories in most juvenile magazines only take up the last few pages of any given issue.

Editors, however, prefer nonfiction that reads like well-versed fiction—engaging, vivid, and entertaining. Children and juveniles are like many adults that prowl the Internet or magazine stands in that they don’t want dry literature. They want to be entertained and to learn something as a bonus. To appeal to such an audience—and one with a decreasing attention span due to computer and video games, television, and the like—a successful freelancer in this genre (as with any other) must be willing to research, show respect for the audience, and write clearly and engagingly.

Research

Your childhood—whether you were born twenty or sixty years ago—is different from the childhood of your readers today. Think of the technology advancements. Many children carry around iPhones nowadays and more than a few are playing the online multi-player mode of violent, realistic war games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. You must also consider the specific magazine you hope to write for—who is the audience? Skateboarders? Animal lovers?

Attempting to write a nonfiction (or even fiction) piece without considering the audience works no better for children and juveniles than for adult magazines. You cannot expect to send a piece on the newest gadgets and software to a magazine purely about celebrities, as you cannot expect to get published by a yoga magazine while spouting evangelical New Testament verses. Moreover, you must write what you know, or at least know what you’re writing before you submit it. Like an adult, a child or young adult will be able to tell if you’re trying to fake your way blind through a skateboarding article.

Research doesn’t have to be constrained to online reading or the library. Try hanging out with your neighbor’s kids (or your own if you’ve got any). Visit a public elementary school or the local McDonald’s play pin and eavesdrop. Find ways to connect with your audience.

Respect

Researching for your audience shows respect for your readers, lets them know that you want their respect in turn. The quickest way to lose the respect of a child or young adult is to talk down to them with clichés, overly happy or childish behavior, and baby talk. Adults don’t like to be treated like they’re stupid, and neither do children, and children—contrary to popular belief—are decidedly not stupid. They can tell when they’re being patronized.

Similarly, they can sniff self-interest or a wholesome moral from miles away. If you’ve got a message, show it, don’t tell it, and don’t overstress your point. Kids don’t like proselytism any more than you do.

Write Well

Lastly, part of showing respect for the intended audience is taking for granted that their time is valuable and better spent getting to the point than dancing around it. Especially given their shortened attention spans, a good writer for children must quickly capture and deftly keep the audience’s attention.

This can be achieved through the same principles a writer uses for a mature audience: “solid plot, interesting characters, humor, sharp detail, good research,” according to Christine Walske of Cricket Magazine group.

Nonfiction, too, must have a plot, characters, and humor. Remember, good nonfiction can read like fiction. You must simply step away from the intended subject matter—let’s say, a certain breed of dog—and rather than tell facts and figures, show the audience why it should care about the dog. Describe its shaggy fur, make the reader feel its goopy drool, its hot breath, the cool breeze made by its happily wagging tail.

In attempting to make a piece interesting to a young audience, many writers make the mistake of trying to be that young audience. Jargon and slang are better left to blogs and playgrounds, not nonfiction. This is part of respecting the audience—they’ll know you’re not their age, and they’ll know you’re being insincere.

A Word on Sincerity

“This above all: to thine own self be true.” Polonius didn’t live a very long life (and, to think of it, neither did his daughter, to whom he gave this advice), but his words have become immortal. It’s good advice to keep close to a writer’s heart. Do you want to write children’s novels? Write them. Do you prefer nonfiction? Write it. Do you care about the money, or do you write from the heart? There’s nothing insincere about a well-earned and well-paying job; just don’t chain yourself to numbers when it’s the written word you love. Your readers will know if you’re being sincere to yourself as well as to them.


Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education and performs research surrounding online schools. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Agent Spotlight: Louise Fury

This week's Agent Spotlight features Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.

Status: CLOSED to submissions as of 1/2014.

LouiseFury About: "A native South African, I now live in New York City and travel to Cape Town every year, where I spend time educating South African writers, meeting with international publishers and distributing books. Before agenting, I worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, I worked as a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency. I represent numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors. I encourage my authors to have one foot in traditional print publishing and the other in the digital-first arena and am a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—I have sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for my clients. I believe in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it." (Link)

About the Agency:

“At The Bent Agency, we work with authors to map the publishing career of their dreams and work with them to make it a reality. We pay careful attention to every detail, from the terms of a first contract, editorial work and cover design, to the publisher's marketing and publicity plan, royalties and sales figures. We offer the kind of representation that can only be born of years of agent experience in the atmosphere of a smaller boutique firm where every client gets our combined and total focus.

“We pride ourselves on nurturing and discovering authors whom we can help propel to the top of their category. We have represented over 30 New York Times bestselling titles, with many more on USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and other regional lists.” (Link with more)

Web Presence:

The Bent Agency website.

Bent On Books (agency blog).

Louis Fury (blog).

Twitter.

Facebook.

AgentQuery

QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres / Specialties:

Young adult, middle grade, new adult, commercial fiction including romance, and select nonfiction. (Link)

For the most current info on what Ms. Fury is looking for always check this page on her website and the sidebar of her bio page on the agency site.

From Her Bio (as of 1/2014):

“I'm looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. I'm particularly drawn to stories with a strong protagonist. In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. I'd love to find a young adult novel that has a bone-deep sense of danger that haunts me from page 1 and doesn't let go of me for days. I want delicious adult romances with creative plots, sexy liaisons and unique characters who sweep me up in their love story. I want to feel something unforgettable when I read your pages. I want manuscripts that I can't stop thinking about.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Memoir, Poetry, Textbook/Academic books, Self-Help/How-to, Reference, Westerns, Serious nonfiction, Screenplays, Short story collections (Link).

Quotables:

"Don’t give up. Read, write, edit and submit. If given the opportunity, revise and resubmit. Be open to learning how to develop and refine your craft, but most importantly don’t forget that even the bestselling authors were once unpublished writers looking for their big break. I am in awe of anyone who completes a manuscript. It is a difficult job to do and if you have managed to string up to 100,000 words on a page and they make some semblance of sense, I am already impressed." (Link)

Dislikes (Don'ts):

"Sending queries to agents who don’t represent your genre. Queries that are way too long and/or include links to other sites where I am supposed to search for information. Queries that include a list of multiple books, many of which are incomplete. " (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“I used to be very hands on with editing, but I found that it handicapped some of my clients into depending on me to be their beta readers, their critique partners and their editor. So I still edit, but not as much as I did in the beginning. I focus on big picture edits, common editorial mistakes and plot and character development.” (Link)

Clients:

There is a list of agency clients on the website.

Ms. Fury’s client include: Lindsay Cummings, Hunter Shea, Christine & Ethan Rose, Cindy Nord, Fabio, Hope Tarr, Katrina Snow, Kwana Jackson, Lynn Dickinson, Megan Frampton, O.M. Grey, Tracey Engelbrecht, W.D. Gagliani & David Benton.

Sales:

Check out the “Recent Deals” page at Ms. Fury’s blog.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

NOTE: Ms. Fury is currently CLOSED to submissions.

Query only if your manuscript falls under Ms. Fury's interests, is complete, well-written and ready to be seen by an editor.

Send a query letter including a brief synopsis, your bio, and the first five pages in the body of the e-mail. No attachments.

Subject line: Genre: Title by Author e.g.. Romance: LOVE BITES by Authors Name

Please see the The Bent Agency website and Ms. Fury’s blog for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Response Times:

Ms. Fury keeps her response times listed on the sidebar of her blog.

The agency has a stated response time (or goal, rather) of responding to queries within a month. If you do not receive a response within the time posted on Ms. Fury’s blog, resend your query and indicate you are resending. 

"I'm a fan of the author nudge. Keep me on my toes, people. Please email me if I don't get back to you within the time specified on my blog." (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Louise Fury is a popular conference goer and is respected for her response times and the feedback she includes with many rejections. Her clients seem happy with her representation. I recommend following her on twitter and subscribing to her blog for up-to-date information on what she's looking for.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

Agent Louise Fury – L. Perkins Agency at Writing and Illustrating (04/2013).

Welcome Wednesday: Agent Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency at Honestly YA (04/2012).

Interview with Literary Agent Louise Fury at Stacey O’Neal’s site (02/2012).

On Agents – A Discussion with Louise Fury at Nerine Dorman’s site (11/2011).

Interview with Louise Fury at Bitten by Books (04/2011).

Agent Advice: Louise Fury of L. Perkins Associates at the Guide to Literary Agents blog (08/2010).

Q&A with Agent Louise Fury at RWANYC Blogging in the Big Apple (07/2010).

Around the Web:

Ms. Fury's conference schedule.

The Bent Agency at P&E

The Bent Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite.

Read through the archives of her blog where she posts query advice, client news, and updates on what she’s looking for.

Books on a Plane, guest post by Louise Fury at Borders True Romance (02/2010).

Client Lindsay Cummings success story at DFW Writer’s Conference (4/2012).

Contact:

Please see the Bent Agency website and Ms. Fury's blog for additional contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 1/21/14.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/22/10.

***

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

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's and/or teen 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.

Public Critique: POSSESSED Query II

Hello everyone! Sara has rewritten her query based on your fabulous comments. Please give the rewrite a look and offer any further advice or constructive criticism you may have. If you're interested in having a query, synopsis, or excerpt posted on Lit Rambles for critique, check out my contribute page.

POSSESSED
(query)
Supernatural Thriller
By Sara Kjeldsen

Dear Agent,

Nineteen year-old Gabriel awakens in a bright room. Only moments ago he was trapped in a haunted forest. Or so he thinks. Two people in long, white coats unstrap him from a reclined chair. They tell him that he volunteered at the White Horizon Research Facility for a classified psychological study two weeks ago. The reality that he had known before was only a product of radiation, electrodes, and drugs.

He is not supposed to remember who he is or what he has done. The experiment is a failure. His memory of the real world returns along with the angry voices that have plagued him for five years. He knows what they want with him. He is a murderer.

One of the other volunteers - Gabriel`s cousin, Adeline - suddenly goes crazy and escapes the facility in a violent rage. Gabriel and two of the other particpants overhear the doctors debating on whether or not to euthanize the rest of them. Gabriel, Julia, and Caleb barely escape. To make matters worse, Adeline will not rest until she kills all three of them. Wherever they go, she finds them.

Gabriel will have to find a way to keep himself - and his new friends - alive without reverting back to murderous ways.

Possessed is a young adult supernatural thriller with a final word count of 56,000 words.

Thank you for taking the time to review my work.

Sincerely,

Sara Flower Kjeldsen

Tip Tuesday #59

Today's tip was sent in by Sybilla A. Cook, and it's a very practical, helpful tip, too. Sybilla has a website and a blog for you to peruse and follow. Please do! Here's the tip:

When you design business cards, remember many will be placed in a rolodex. The rolodex punches go through the center bottom of the card, meaning part of the contact information is often lost. Make sure your important information is above the base of the card where it can be seen easily.

Love this tip, Sybilla! Thank you. I would never have thought of this on my own.

Agent Spotlight: Elena Giovinazzo

This week's Agent Spotlight features Elena Giovinazzo (formerly Mechlin) of Pippin Properties, Inc.

Status: Accepting submissions.

Elena hsAbout: "Elena Giovinazzo joined the team in June of 2009. Having begun her publishing career in subsidiary rights, moving on to children’s book marketing with a stint in audio, she realized that a position in agenting would enable her to continue to be involved in the many aspects of publishing about which she is so passionate from one place. She is thrilled to be pursuing her love of children’s literature and the industry from her seat at Pippin and especially enjoys the treasure hunt that is sorting through the daily query emails." (Link)

About the Agency:

“Since 1998, Pippin Properties, Inc. has been an integrated publishing and entertainment representation agency. Located in New York City, it is a diverse agency dedicated to maximizing the creative and commercial potential of all its properties. Pippin represents the works of these writers and artists to a wide range of publishing, animation, motion picture, television, and licensing companies. Because Pippin both develops and represents its projects, it is a unique, full-service company that prides itself on attention to detail. Small and discerning in choosing its clientele, Pippin is devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in content unmatched in the industry.” (Link)

Web Presence:

Pippin Properties website.

Pippin Properties blog.

Pippin Properties on Facebook.

Pippin Properties on YouTube.

Twitter.

Facebook.

QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties:

Children’s picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

From Her LinkedIn Profile:

“Elena loves funny picture books, is typically averse to rhyming texts, likes goofy middle grade, and is on the hunt for beautifully written YA.” (Link)

From an Interview (02/2013):

“I’d love to see something that surprises me. So many of the queries that we see are for books that are a variation on a popular theme or riding the coattails of other books that have done enormously well. I’m always attracted to the stories that have come about because they’re worth telling, not because the author thinks they could write something that’s a lot like ______ (fill in the blank).” (Link)

From an Interview (11/2012):

“…in terms of fiction, certainly my tastes run more literary, contemporary, or historical rather than sci fi or fantasy. I find myself most attracted to stories with a timeless quality to them. In regard to picture books, I most like things that make me laugh or are clever in some new way.” (Link)

From an Interview (10/2012):

“A great middle grade series. It can be fantastical, but it has to feature real kids with real emotions dealing with some real world issues (in addition to fighting the odd dragon, ogre or petulant god).” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

The agency specializes in children's and teen books and is not actively seeking adult projects. 

Editorial Agent?

“Super editorial. I most often will not sign someone on until going through at least one or two rounds of intense edits with them. Not only are we ultimately going to get a better deal on a manuscript that’s in better condition, but I also want to make sure that you’re willing to work just as hard as I am to make your good manuscript great. HOWEVER—this does not mean you should try submitting something that isn’t your absolute best work, hoping that we’ll help you make it good enough for submission. Only begin querying agents when you’ve brought you story as far as you absolutely can on your own.” (Link)

Clients:

There is a page of authors and illustrators on the website as well as a page for current and upcoming titles

Ms. Giovinazzo’s clients include: Katherine Applegate, Harry Bliss, Rob Dunlavey, Beth Ferry, Jason Reynolds, Christina Soontornvat, Beckie Weinheimer, Christi J. Whitney, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only)

Snail-Mail: No.  

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Writers: E-mail a query letter that includes a synopsis of the work, your background and/or publishing history, and anything else relevant.

Illustrators:  Send a query letter detailing your background in publishing or illustration and any other pertinent information. Include a link to a website with examples of your work, if possible.  The agency will request digital files or hard copies if they're interested in seeing more.

See the Pippin Properties website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

“The number one thing a writer can do to catch an agent’s attention is show that you’ve done your research and that you’re querying Pippin because you know who we are and what we do. Then, tell us, in the best way you know how, what sets your story apart from the pack.” (Link)

There are a few submission tips on the submission page of the website.

Response Times:

The agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within three weeks, assume rejection. Stated response time on requested material is four weeks. See below:

"Unfortunately, we are not a large enough agency to respond to each query individually. If you don't hear from us within three weeks, please understand that we have read and considered your query, and have concluded that we are not the right agency to represent your work at this time. If we do request additional material, we would appreciate the exclusive opportunity to review it for one month." (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Elena Giovinazzo joined Pippin Properties in 2009 and was promoted to full agent February 2013. Prior to joining Pippin, Elena worked at Simon & Shuster and Random House in subsidiary rights and marketing. Pippin is highly respected and specializes in children’s and teen literature.

I recommend following Ms. Giovinazzo on Twitter @ElenaMechlin for further insight and client news.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Middle Grade Ninja (02/2013).

Literary Agent Interview: Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties, Inc. at Guide to Literary Agents (11/2012).

Interview: Holly McGhee and Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties Literary Agency at Writer Unboxed (10/2012).

Hunger Mountain Interview: New Faces at Pippin Properties (06/2011).

Q and A with Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Scribe (03/2011).

Live Chat with Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo, Joan Slattery, and Holly McGhee from Pippin! at WriteOnCon (01/2011).

Around the Web:

Pippin Properties on P&E.  

Pippin Properties thread on AbsoluteWrite.

How to Write a Winning Query, Ms. Giovinazzo's query tips from the Rocky Mountain SCBWI fall conference at Write Up My Life (10/2010).

Some brief conference notes from the Lines and Letters Conference on Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Lightbulb Books (09/2010).

Keep an eye on the Pippin Properties NEWS page for updates and happenings.

Follow the Pippin Properties blog for inspiring and heartwarming client stories.

The Pippin Properties Facebook page has great "behind the scenes" pictures and coverage.

Contact:

Please see the Pippin Properties website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 8/12/13.

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 agentspotlight(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.

Interview with Author Hilary Wagner!

I know you're all familiar with NIGHTSHADE CITY author Hilary Wagner. How can you not be? She's such a joyful person, has a great blog, and word about her fabulous debut is spreading fast. I've known Hilary for over a year and I've been waiting the entire time to interview her as a published author. Finally, I have!

Hi Hilary! I’m so excited to interview you. Thank you so much for taking the time! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your middle grade debut Nightshade City?

I write middle-grade and young adult novels. I love vividly written, lively stories, which leave me still thinking about them the next day--a hint of creepy works for me too! I live in Chicago with my husband Eric, our seven year old Vincent and our two year old Nomi. We also have a neurotic Italian Greyhound, Louie, who is cute, but an enormous baby! ;)

Here is the summary from my publisher and there is a lot more on the official site. From Holiday House, "This enthralling animal fantasy, in the classic tradition of Redwall and Watership Down, encompasses timeless themes of honor and loyalty, family ties and lost love, alliances and betrayals. Readers will respond enthusiastically to this surefire page-turner, by a talented new novelist, set in a brilliantly imagined world filled with easy-to-root-for heroes and villains they'll love to hate."

I have to tell you (again), I absolutely adored Nightshade City and I’m pretty picky about middle grade. What was the evolution of the novel? How did you end up writing about rats?

The rats were an easy choice! I've always loved animals and Halloween, so rats made perfect sense. I love that their so clever and make such good pets, there is much more too them than meets the eye. The novel actually started as a picture book, but after writing the first page which involved a dark, falling down city and two skinny, hungry rats, it didn't scream picture book to me. So here I am. ;)

You’re represented by the lovely Marietta Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary. What’s the skinny on how you got your agent? I seem to recall you had quite a few rejections before that one Yes.

Errr...yes! 175 to be accurate. I received a lot of partial and full requests, but all resulted in the same answers, "The market's not right now," or "Too much competition", etc. In the end, it all worked out. My original agent, Craig Virden, Nancy Gallt's husband, called me back a month after rejecting me. He said he couldn't stop thinking about the book and wanted to rep me despite the market woes or the competition. It was crazy, because he was the agent I'd wanted all along--THE ONE! He passed suddenly in May of 2009. It was a blow to everyone in the industry. He was a very special man. At that time, Marietta had recently joined the agency and stepped in as my agent. Lightning does strike twice--she's amazing!

Is there anything you've learned or experienced during the publishing process that's surprised you?

I was very nervous about working with an editor. I didn't know what to except! Was Julie Amper going to tear my rats to shreds? Was I going to be able to do the edits to her liking? Was she going to be nice? Well, Julie couldn't have been nicer or cooler to work with. She was supportive throughout the entire process and told me I didn't have to change every single thing. She said her comments were suggestions not demands, which I thought was pretty cool, though I DID change everything she asked for! She's the editing expert after all!

What was your reaction when you first saw (or heard) your blurb by author Rick Riordan? Had you read his books?

My agent was in NYC, walking down a crowded sidewalk when she called me. She said I have something to read to you and just started reading me the full quote over the phone. I nearly fell off my chair! I was actually in my office and my boss could hear me screaming through the walls! Luckily, he was happy for me! ;) I'd read The Lightning Thief and have since read others. I just finished Red Pyramid, which was awesome! If we are ever in the same place at the same time I may rush him like a rock star groupie and give him a huge hug, though he might think I was pretty weird after that!

I love your blog and the websites you create for your books. The book trailer you made for Nightshade City is fantastic, too! How has the marketing and promotion side of publication been for you so far?

It's been great! For a debut author, my goal was to get myself out there and meet people, both on-line and at SCBWI meetings, etc. Who is going to care about my book if they don't know who I am? Marketing is tough, as far as balancing your time. You want to get the word out, but you want to sleep sometimes too and of course you don't want to be promoting your book too much. You want to talk about your book, but you also should get to know the people around you. I've met so many great writers and readers, people I call friends, just from reaching out on my own.

You’re a full-time author (and mother!). What’s an average work day like for you? How do you stay on task and motivated?

Don't forget the full-time job too! Staying on task is tricky sometimes, but luckily my husband is very supportive and a great dad, who has no problem being "Mr. Mom" when he knows I'm on a writing role. I write a lot at night and/or super early in the morning, sometimes getting up as early as 4:30am. Sounds crazy, but I'd rather be dog-tired than unable to write!

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Gosh, that's always a tough question. I think, as writers, we must trust our own instincts. If you're in a writing group and don't agree with the changes others suggest, than by all means stick with what works for you. We all have our own singular voice--don't lose yours--ever.

One of your main villains, Billycan, is a fabulous example of an antagonist with well-developed motivations. There’s something almost (almost!) likable about him. Do you have any advice for others in creating compelling villains?

Don't get me started on villains! They are my favorite! Whenever I become attached to a villain, it's usually because I know the reasons why they're a villain. They just weren't born bad. There's much more to it than that. I think the best villains are almost more complex than the good guys.

You must be working on something new. Can you divulge anything about your current work(s)-in-progress?

No, I can't! It's under lock and key per my publisher. It is another animal fantasy, not quite sure yet if it will be stand alone or a series. It's a story that's been bouncing around in my head for a year now. When I had lunch with Mary Cash, the Editor in Chief of Holiday House, back in April and told her about it, she told me to keep quiet and get writing, so that's what I'm doing!

Where can readers stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest on you and your books?

The official Nightshade City website, www.nightshadecity.com and of course my blog, www.hilarywagner.blogspot.com.

Finally, what’s one interview question you haven’t been asked and wish you would be? And please, answer it!

Hmmm...If you could change one thing about your publication path what would it be?

Answer: Absolutely nothing. Photobucket

Such great answers! Thank you so much for the interview, Hilary. I wish you the very best success with your writing career!

Tip Tuesday #58

Today's tip was sent in by Anne M. Leone who blogs at Critically Yours. Please read her fabulous tip for finding plot holes and then check out her blog!

I've found most plot holes in my manuscript involve minor characters. Because I'm so focused on my main character, I often forget things such as if a minor character has access to a car, is on a diet, or is angry with someone. One easy way to check for holes: in Word I can go to Edit--> Find, type in a character's name, and click in the box "Highlight all items found". Unfortunately, if I then click elsewhere in the document, this highlighting will disappear. To make it permanent I can highlight the text in a specific color using my toolbar. This makes it easy to skim through my text and focus only on a specific character and make sure her voice and actions are consistent. You could do this for all your characters and make each name a different color. When you are finished with your character revisions you can go to Edit--> Select All and change the highlighting to "None".

The highlight feature in Word is turning out to be a rather handy feature for writers! I think we've seen two or three other tips on how to use it in different ways. Thanks so much for this one, Anne! Very helpful.

This and That

Hey all! I have a few things to share...

SA Larsen at Writer's Ally is holding a Halloween-themed short story contest. It runs until October 29th and she has some GREAT prizes such as:
  • A SIGNED copy of WE HEAR THE DEAD by author Dianne Salerni.
  • A 'PIMP MY SCENE' critique by Stephen M. Giles, author of THE ADVENTURES.
  • SWAG from New York Times Bestselling Author Kiersten White, author of Paranormalcy.
  • FIRST FIVE PAGE critique by Terry Lynn Johnson, author of DOGSLED DREAMS.
  • FIRST CHAPTER critique by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT.
  • A QUERY critique by the author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, Beth Revis.
  • A FIRST FIVE PAGE critique by Helen Ellis, author of THE TURNING: What Curiosity Kills.
Next, the lovely Caroline Starr Rose e-mailed to let me know that the Class of 2k11 will be launching a monthly e-newsletter for booksellers, librarians, and teachers, etc. in November. They'll be featuring their books and offering opportunities for subscribers to win free copies. If you're interested, head over to the Class of 2K11 site to learn more and sign up!

I've also been meaning to plug Martina and Marisa over at Adventures in Children's Publishing. Their blog has grown into a fabulous resource for children's writers. I'm particularly fond of their Friday "Best Articles This Week for Writers" posts. They're extremely comprehensive and, well, amazing. If you find it hard to follow a ton of blogs, scan through this list each Friday for the best of each week.

What have you all been up to? Any blog posts or contests you want to plug? Make sure you stop back by on Wednesday. I'll be posting an interview with NIGHTSHADE CITY author Hilary Wagner.

Have a great Monday and thank you so much for all the Birthday wishes on Facebook, here, and Twitter!

Guest Blogger Jessica Lei: Turn Rejections Into Acceptances


Happy Friday! Please welcome guest blogger Jessica Lei who's here to offer some tips on turning rejections into acceptances. She has a great writing advice blog with fellow writer Devin Bond at Show, not Tell. Please offer your thoughts in the comments and then check out her blog on the way out. Enjoy!

Turn Rejections into Acceptances

I’ve read a lot of agents’ opinions on what can help writers get representation and turn their rejections into offers of representation. Usually, the problem lays in the genre, writing, the concept of the book, or the query itself.

1. Genre

How could the genre be the problem? That’s a really good question! There are two explanations.

· Your book really isn’t the genre you thought it was and so you’ve ended up querying the wrong agents. Get a second opinion on the genre or try broadening the range. Instead of YA paranormal romance, try just YA paranormal or YA romance. Query agents who represent one or the other.

· Maybe, for some reason, you aren’t querying the agents in your genre. Always do your research and make sure the agents you’re querying represent your genre. A lot of agents will pass on a MS because they don’t know the right avenues to sell it.

2. Writing

This can be a hard thing to fix, but I don’t believe it’s impossible. I don’t even think ‘fix’ is the right term!

· Read everything you can about revising. A lot of agents and authors have tips on what to look out for. Sometimes it has to do with extraneous words or overwriting, and other times it just has to do with grammar and style. Writing is a craft and just like everything else, you do have to learn it.

· Revise your work–even if you’re on your twentieth draft. Sometimes you’re missing a piece that you overlooked beforehand because you were just too close to the work to see it. Especially take a critical look at your manuscript after learning new things about writing. It’s surprising how much you can find to change after taking a few weeks away from it.

· Find someone, or a lot of someones, to critique your manuscript. This can be pretty scary, but it’s also really helpful. It’s very hard to see your own flaws! It’s not so hard for other people, though. Find people who can look at various aspects of your story–grammar, spelling, characterization, pacing, plot–to make sure everything is well-rounded.

3. Concept

Yes, sometimes people’s ideas aren’t quite as hot as they thought they were. A lot of people spend their first few books writing out all of their ideas, all of the things they’ve always wanted to write…and a lot of times all of it turns out to be a great pile of cliché done-befores. There is a cure.

· Write it all out and when you can organize your thoughts, you might produce something that is determinedly you and yours. Write this!

· If you’ve always wanted to write a cliché or retell a fairy-tale, that’s fine. Yes, the market is saturated with paranormal right now, but that doesn’t matter. There a lot of agents that like vampires, but if you’re writing about the same old vampires as what’s already out there, they won’t be interested. The trick is to add a twist–kind of like spiking the punch. Give your story and your vampires something that the rest don’t have and set it apart.

· A lot of times I think the problem is the story’s concept only because the writer didn’t know where to start. What do I mean? I mean that the writer probably started from the beginning. What’s wrong with the beginning? It’s boring. Where do things start to change for the protagonist? Try starting exactly from that point and notice how things change.

· Finally, find someone to look over your entire plot. Someone who enjoy sit and likes to pick things like this apart. There might be plot holes, missing links, or things that just don’t make sense that you hadn’t noticed. These things could’ve left your manuscript weak and a lot of times these things show through in the query.

4. Query

Your query is the (typically) the first thing an agent sees. It represents you and your work. If it’s not top-notch then an agent is going to think less of your manuscript. They may pass by reading your manuscript altogether just from your query. If you’re getting a lot of rejections, you may need to simply revise your query to better represent your story.

· Research, as always. There’s a lot of content out there that addresses the ways to write a good query. A lot of agents will post successful queries, offer query critique, and even post guidelines and advice on how to sculpt the perfect query. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Just like writing, querying is a craft you’ve got to learn.

· Always, always start with the conflict. Start where things change for the main character. This will ultimately, hopefully, be what draws the agent to read further. A query is an agent-attention game: it’s all about how long you can keep their interest.

· Make sure you read up on as many agents as you can. Make a list of the agents that you want to query and research them. Personalize your query and follow each agent’s individual submission guidelines.

· Critique! Always, always find someone or someplace where you can get critique from someone on the outside.

Agent Spotlight: Holly McGhee

This week's Agent Spotlight features Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties, Inc.

Status: Accepting submissions.

Holly head shotAbout: "Holly M. McGhee still carried MADELINE around in 3rd grade -- until Mrs. Carrier, her school librarian, tricked her into reading longer books by giving her one with her name on it, HOLLY IN THE SNOW. After college, Holly headed straight into the book world of New York City, where she has enjoyed being a secretary, an advertising manager, a sales rep (for one month), and in the six years prior to opening the doors at Pippin, an executive editor at HarperCollins. Now, as the President and Creative Director of Pippin she is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world. Someone once told her, ‘If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,’ and that has proven true for her. " (Link)

About the Agency:

“Since 1998, Pippin Properties, Inc. has been an integrated publishing and entertainment representation agency. Located in New York City, it is a diverse agency dedicated to maximizing the creative and commercial potential of all its properties. Pippin represents the works of these writers and artists to a wide range of publishing, animation, motion picture, television, and licensing companies. Because Pippin both develops and represents its projects, it is a unique, full-service company that prides itself on attention to detail. Small and discerning in choosing its clientele, Pippin is devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in content unmatched in the industry.” (Link)

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties:

Children’s picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction.

From an Interview (01/2013):

“A story that breaks my heart and then glues it back together again, even if the glue job isn’t perfect, or a story that gives me those great big belly laughs that make me snort and make my eyes run.” (Link)

From an Interview (11/2012):

“I’d like to see a story that is as funny as Conan O’Brien, or as riveting as The Secret Life of Bees, or as honest as Mary Karr’s LIT. My son, who’s seven, can’t get through a day without reading Tin Tin, Bone, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Something like that would be just fine too--I love graphics. Most important, I’d like to see a book that matters.” (Link)

From an Interview (10/2012):

“I don’t read to be entertained—I read authors who require me to think, who make me laugh or cry, who help me understand the world and my emotions better. I don’t think about whether people in general will buy or read the book—I focus on how I feel—can I put it down, or not? I always figure that if I feel really strongly about a book, somebody else will too. Capture me with your voice—then take me on a journey.” (Link)

From an Interview (04/2011):

“I tend to gravitate to classic literature—but it’s always personal. When I read The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, I cried for myself as a teenager, wishing I had had that incredible book to read as a 17-year-old who was going through some very difficult times, wishing a book had shown me that the other side of despair is joy.

“With William Steig’s work, there is always honesty and unconditional love, and his characters inevitably learn an essential truth about the world. So I look for books that give something back, books that make me think or speak to my spirit. Commercial fiction can do this too, and good writing is simply that: good writing.

“Whether commercial or literary, I look for books that help us grapple with the complicated emotions of this world, books that don’t diminish the challenges of being human, books that help us make sense of things. Kate DiCamillo, whom I represent, is a fitting example—in her beautiful stories, I always find something for myself, some connection to my own sadness and ultimately to my own hope for the world as well. I think everybody who reads her does—I guess that’s what they call universal appeal. Timeless for its truthfulness.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

The agency specializes in children's and teen books and is not actively seeking adult projects. 

Editorial Agent? 

"Get ready to roll up your sleeves and start working—Holly loves editing and brainstorming.  She will ask for draft after draft until the project is ready to be submitted.  Patience and perseverance are very important qualities at Pippin.  As David Small wrote in his acknowledgments at the end of STITCHES: 'to my agent, Holly McGhee, who was the first to see the possibilities in Stitches and who worked tirelessly with me on its first dozen drafts...'" (via e-mail 2010)

Web Presence:

Pippin Properties website.

Pippin Properties blog.

Pippin Properties on Facebook.

Pippin Properties on YouTube.

Publisher's Marketplace page.

AgentQuery.

QueryTracker.

Clients:

There is a page of authors and illustrators on the website as well as a page for current and upcoming titles

Clients include: Kathi Appelt, Doreen Cronin, Kate Dicamillo, Tony Fucile, Jenny Han, Pascal Lemaitre, Alison McGhee, James McMullan, Kate McMullan, Jandy Nelson, Peter H. Reynolds, David Small, William Steig, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.  

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Writers: E-mail a query letter that includes a synopsis of the work, your background and/or publishing history, and anything else relevant.

Illustrators:  Send a query letter detailing your background in publishing or illustration and any other pertinent information. Include a link to a website with examples of your work, if possible.  The agency will request digital files or hard copies if they're interested in seeing more.

See the Pippin Properties website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

There are a few submission tips on the submission page of the website.

See Ms. McGhee’s interview at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) for pet-peeves to avoid.

Response Times:

The agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within three weeks, assume rejection. Requested material is four weeks. See below:

"Unfortunately, we are not a large enough agency to respond to each query individually. If you don't hear from us within three weeks, please understand that we have read and considered your query, and have concluded that we are not the right agency to represent your work at this time. If we do request additional material, we would appreciate the exclusive opportunity to review it for one month." (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Holly McGhee is a lovely, well-respected agent.  She is known for choosing timeless, classic works and representing a fabulous list of talented artists.  The agency specializes in children's and teen literature but also represents the occasional adult title. They have a great philosophy and are devoted to building author careers. Ms. McGhee's clients really seem to love and appreciate her. 

Worth Your Time:

Agent Interviews:

Interview with an Agent: Holly McGhee at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) (11/2012).

Interview: Holly McGhee and Elena Mechlin of Pippin Properties Literary Agency at Writer Unboxed (10/2012).

Literary Agent Interview: Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties, Inc. at Guide to Literary Agents (04/2011).

7 Questions For: Literary Agent Holly McGhee at Middle Grade Ninja (01/2011).

Live Chat with Elena Mechlin, Joan Slattery, and Holly McGhee from Pippin! at WriteOnCon (01/2011).

Interview with Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties by Brenda Sturgis at Suite 101 (09/2010).

Pippin: a conversation with Holly M. McGhee and Emily Van Beek at Hunger Mountain (02/2010).

Around the Web:

Holly McGhee at P&EPippin Properties at P&E.  

Pippin Properties thread at AbsoluteWrite.

Keep an eye on the Pippin Properties NEWS page for updates and happenings.

Follow the Pippin Properties blog for inspiring and heartwarming client stories.

The Pippin Properties Facebook page has great "behind the scenes" pictures and coverage.

In addition to literary agent, Ms. McGhee is the author of JUST DESSERTS, DESSERT FIRST, and other upcoming titles under the pen name Hallie Durand.

Contact:

Please see the Pippin Properties website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 5/24/13.

Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/08/10.

***

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

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's 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.

Public Critique: Excerpt of DAWNSHIFT

Here's the second and last critique for this week, a 250-word excerpt from Ellen Wardle's YA paranormal DAWNSHIFT.  If you have the time, please give it a read and offer any advice or constructive criticism you may have.  I'll be adding my critique comment later today.  If you're interested in having a query, synopsis, or excerpt posted on Lit Rambles for critique, check out my contribute page.

DAWNSHIFT
(excerpt)
YA Paranormal
By Ellen Wardle

1. BURNT BLOOD

It was dark, the night sky was black and smooth like star-spangled velvet overlain with strips of mist and far-off snippets of the milky-way. I stepped backwards, my foot crushed a twig, it snapped with the sound of a gunshot. I felt my heart catching in my throat. I wasn’t scared of the darkness, no; I’d never been scared of the dark. I was scared of what was hidden in the darkness, the blackest night. But I was ready for it too. I was ready for him.

I could feel him close by; could feel the fear and anticipation that happened every time I had gotten this close; Every time I missed him.

Not tonight, I thought to myself, not tonight. Tonight was my night and I was ready. It had taken me months, over a year, to get to this stage. I was not losing tonight.

I knew he was watching from somewhere out there in that velvety blackness, he could be a hundred meters in any direction; I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise and prickle I knew those blue eyes were on me, he was out there somewhere.

“Come on,” I whispered into the darkness. “Show yourself.”

I knew he could hear my voice just as easily as he could hear my pounding heartbeat. But I was ready.

“Hello Dawn.”

I whipped round, he had spoken pleasantly, like I was his friend not his hunter, like I wasn’t ambushing him here in the dark.

Tip Tuesday #57

Today's tip was contributed by the lovely Beth Pollock who I interviewed earlier this year.  In addition to her website, Beth now has a blog!  Check it out and consider following.

Here's a tip that will help anyone writing about characters between the ages of four and fourteen.

A couple of years ago, I was struggling with how one of my characters should behave.  I googled "eight year old development" and found a website that sells a set of pamphlets about children's behavior by age.  Although it's intended for teachers, I ordered a sample set and found it really useful.  For each age level, they give a quick overview, then elaborate by social, physical and cognitive characteristics.  For example, my eight-year old probably loves group activities and cooperative work (social), may experience a growth spurt (physical) and is industrious, impatient and full of ideas (cognitive).  This really helped me write about Clara in The Next Step (growth spurt and all!).

Of course, not every eight-year-old behaves in the same way, but knowing what the average child is doing can also help you understand when a child is an exception to the norm, and how that might affect him or her.

You can order these Child Development pamphlets, or the book that they're taken from (Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom), at www.responsiveclassroom.org/bookstore.  A sample set of 9 pamphlets, from kindergarten to grade eight, is only $12.  Hope your other readers find them as useful as I did!
What a great tip!  It sounds like these pamphlets are a great resource, Beth, particularly if you write across several age categories.  Thanks so much for letting us know about them!

Public Critique and Wanted Ad: EVER

Thank you for all the fabulous feedback you gave Jamie on her query.  You guys are fabulous critiquers!  As mentioned, here's a brief excerpt of EVER for critique.  Jamie is also looking for a critique partner.  In her words, "I write YA Paranormal (vampires, witches, wolves, etc) and would love to pair with someone who writes the same so we can really fuel each others' works!"  If you're interested in pairing up with Jamie, e-mail me at caseymccormickya (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll put you in touch!

EVER
(excerpt)
YA Paranormal
By Jamie Manning

1. REBORN

I woke to the coppery smell of blood and a hunger unlike anything I had ever felt. My head burned hard and fast, sending shards of pain and heat over my entire body. I could hear and feel my own breath, short and raspy, choke its way out of my lungs and up my throat. My nose burned with the smell of dirt and sweat and I was surrounded by total darkness. A helluva way to wake up.

As the pain in my head eased, the hunger in my stomach grew stronger. It seemed to spread out over my entire body, making my skin crawl and my mind spin. All I could think about was eating and eating soon. But I wasn’t craving food.

I was craving blood.

The thought of it filled my mind like molten lava, sweeping in and burying all other thoughts and ideas and leaving me with an aching emptiness that only it could fill. I had to have it, and I had no idea why.

What’s wrong with me? Am I seriously lying here thinking about blood? Have I totally lost my mind?

All good questions that I had zero answers for. I couldn’t even stomach watching someone being killed in a horror movie. Just the idea of having my blood drawn at the doctor’s office caused me to break out in hives. So how in the world could I now be actually considering drinking blood? I tried to push the overwhelming and totally disgusting thought of blood – and what I wanted to do with it – out of my mind and focus on figuring out where the hell I was.

Public Critique: EVER Query

Hello!  It's time for another query critique.  Give this one a good look!  Next week, Jamie will be back with a brief excerpt for critique and is looking for a critique partner.  If you have the time, please give the query a read and offer any advice or constructive criticism you may have.  If you're interested in having a query, synopsis, or excerpt posted on Lit Rambles for critique, check out my contribute page.

EVER
(query)
YA Paranormal
By Jamie Manning

Dear Dream Agent,

Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Everly Blue. Her desire to drink plasma, though, pales next to her desire for Chance Caldon, the hottie who dug her up. He’s gorgeous, super-nice, and has delicious-smelling blood that Everly wants very much to taste. But when Chance tells her that she’s half vampire, Everly’s world turns upside down.

Half vamp? No way. Everly can’t believe it. Not until Devon, a thousand-year-old vampire, shows up and tells her it’s true. And that he’s the one who turned her. Now Everly’s mind has to deal with that sudden bloodlust and the desire to see Devon dead. She’s a monster now, she can feel it; and her life is over.

But redemption isn’t lost. Devon turned Everly to save her life after he found her nearly dead, and now he’s giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill 100 vampires or remain a bloodsucker forever.

So with Chance by her side and no other choice, Everly sets out to get her life back. All the while having to deal with her feelings for Chance, her hatred for Devon (who she knows has a hidden agenda), some new-found vampire hunting friends and that pesky taste for blood that just won’t go away.

Once Everly starts killing vampires, though, the local covens come after her, starting a battle that could destroy everything Everly has been working toward. In the end, Everly is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

My young adult novel, EVER, is complete at 70,000 words. I think fans of the supernatural will enjoy this story of a girl thrown into a life of danger and romance. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Jamie Manning
jmanni32.blogspot.com