Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

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.


First I want to give a BIG thanks to everyone who entered the Book Lovers Holiday Giveaway. I had 280 entries and 200 new followers in 4 days. We just went over 2000 followers! Casey and I are so excited and are planning an awesome 2000 followers giveaway for after the holidays. Stay tuned for details.

The winner of the Book Lovers Holiday Giveaway is:


And the winner of WITCH EYES is:


Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your book.

Today I’m excited to interview Louise Caiola. Her debut book WISHLESS was released on August 13, 2011. I loved reading about the developing relationship between Chessie and her newly discovered sister Logan. And I found this to be a quick read.

Here’s a description from Goodreads:

Can strangers become sisters, a long-lost father become a dad, and can love really conquer all? The challenge is extreme-the stakes have never been higher. The fortune cookies tease her: You will lead a long and happy life. Those dumb things are never right.

Chessie Madrid wants to fall in love, she wants to fly airplanes, and most of all she wants to live longer than 6752 days. With a fatal disease camped inside of her wreaking havoc since she turned sixteen, the doctor's predictions are far more sinister. Preparing for death is a total drag.

Instead, Chessie makes a list of her deepest desires, keeping her impending demise a secret, and being pretend-well. When the list suddenly starts to come true, sending Chessie's life and everything in it reeling, it's a case of being careless what you wish for.
With a new sister she's always dreamed of, a father who's a nightmare, and a lesson in love arriving all at once, Chessie makes her last wish the one that will matter most of all-to live or die trying

Hi Louise. Thanks so much for joining us.

Hi, Natalie! Thanks so much for having me here. I’ve been a Rambles follower for quite some time now. It’s a great site!

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

When I’m not tapping away at the keyboard, knocking out “just one more page,” I’m taking care of two almost-grown kids & Miley, our three-year-old Morkie pup, otherwise known as the “spoiled brat.” From 9 to 5, I’m an Administrative Assistant at a local business where I’ve been known to daydream quite a bit. I call that my mental writing time.
I began to take my love of reading and writing more seriously about five years ago when I enrolled in some college courses and learned to organize my thoughts into cohesive story lines. My first teacher was the one to suggest I consider writing a novel. So I did!

2. It’s inspiring to find another author who can juggle a full-time job, family, and writing. I loved the ideas of the fortune cookies and Chessie’s wishes. Tell us how you developed those themes into the plot.

I firmly believe that in life there are cosmic coincidences – those little occurrences you just can’t seem to explain away to reason. I really enjoy exploiting these things. In WISHLESS I infused the wishes and fortune cookie cosmic coincidences to imply there may be a larger force controlling the outcome of Chessie’s story. I feel it adds an air of mystique to an otherwise earthly contemporary tale.

3. You picked a small Missouri town as your setting. What made you decide to set your story there and what research did you do to make the setting accurate?

Being a country girl at heart, I’m drawn to small town life. In this case I chose a fictional tight-knit community in Missouri. I think Missouri came to me because it’s the Show Me State and Chessie is on a quest for validation in her life. She has a hard time trusting what she’s told. She’s all about seeing is believing. Even though I created the town of Eden’s Pond, I did some reading up on Missouri to authenticate terminology, driving distances, area info, etc. Gotta love Google for that!

4. That’s so interesting how your setting mirrors Chessis’s inner struggle. Chessie has some intense issues to deal with—a serious illness, a newly found sister, and a father who suddenly reappears in her life. Tell us how you developed her as a character and decided on these relationships that drive the story.

Chessie’s life is really as routinely chaotic as anyone else’s these days. Dysfunction knows no bounds – illness included. I’m attracted to exploring the messy minutia of The Family Unit as it exists in the world today. Rarely are the lines neatly drawn. Fathers and daughters, siblings, even our love interests are often our most challenging terrain.

5. I so agree that families are more complicated these days and kids want to read books about family lives that more closely mirror their own. I know you found your publisher before you found your agent Terrie Wolf at AKA Literary Agency. Tell us about your road to publication and finding your agent.

I began shopping WISHLESS to both agents and publishers simultaneously. It just happened that a few interested agents were holding the manuscript for quite a while as I awaited word. In the interim, L & L Dreamspell Publications responded quickly with an offer. At that point I saw fit to accept and sign contract. Terrie and I met a few months after I signed, while I was trying to find a home for Girls like HER, which she made offer on earlier this year. I can only say positive things about L & L and AKA Literary. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to see the publishing business from two very different perspectives.

6. That’s so awesome how that worked out. Chessie is 18 years old. So your story could be marketed as a YA or even adult book. How is it being marketed and why did you and your publisher choose that route.

WISHLESS is being marketed as a Young Adult primarily due to Chessie’s age and her narrative voice. Yet, I’m told that this story is being well-received by an older audience as well, which really puts the crunch in my peanut butter!

7. That’s great that you’ve got both the YA market and adults interested in your book. How have you been marketing your book? What worked and what would you do differently?

Marketing – tirelessly! Sometimes I’m so busy with it I forget to eat.
I’m spreading the word through contests, interviews, blog hops, reviews, book signings, pretty much any way I possibly can. The contests are helping to bring a great deal of interest. People love the chance to win something. It’s fun! I realize now I should have started the whole marketing process much sooner than I did. But, we live and learn, right?

8. I really agree that the book giveaways bring more excitement for a book. What are you working on now?

While the wonderful Terrie Wolf is busy handling Girls like HER, I’m about halfway through the first draft of my third novel, an older YA with an element of mystery that I’m super excited about. Hope someday you’ll get to read them both!

Thanks Louise for all your advice. Good luck with your book. You can find Louise on her website and her blog and on Twitter. You can also like her on Facebook.

Louise generously offered a signed copy of WISHLESS for a giveaway. All you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on January 7th. I’ll announce the winner on January 9th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

If you mention this contest on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, please let me know in the comments and I’ll give you an extra entry.

Here’s what’s coming up. Monday I’ll be interviewing a high school guy for my ASK THE EXPERT series and doing another giveaway. Then I’ll be taking a two week break after that for the holidays. Casey might be posting an Agent Spotlight but otherwise we'll be taking a break until January 9th.

On January 9th, I’ll be back with an interview with debut author Marie Lu and I’ll be giving away a copy of LEGEND. You won’t want to miss that! I LOVED her book.

On January 16th, I'll be interviewing Caroline Starr Rose and giving away an ARC of MAY B.

2000 Followers Giveaway coming in January. Details to follow. It will be awesome!

I want to mention that Cheryl Klein has an awesome giveaway on her blog. Win a copy of STARCROSSED and LIAR'S MOON by Elizabeth Bunce or Cheryl's book SECOND SIGHT until December 14th here.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Zoraida Cordova said...

I'd never head of this title. Sounds like a wonderful story!

All my best,

Louise said...

Thanks, Zoraida! Hope you'll check it out :)

Lydia Kang said...

The book sound wonderful. I like the premise and the ticking clock scenario of her impending doom. Thanks Louise and Natalie!

Christina Lee said...

Wow, I am really interested in that premise! Lovely interview! Good luck and would love to win!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This book has been on my wish list for a while now. Louise and I are agent mates, so I REALLY want to read it! It was awesome learning more about both the book and Louise. You do such wonderful interviews, Natalie! :-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks Louise for for sharing about your book and offering your book for a giveaway.

Theresa Milstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne R. Fritz said...

Wow, I can't believe you guys have more than 2000 followers! Huge congrats.

Loved the interview, even though I'd never heard of the book. Great premise.

Theresa Milstein said...

I really like the voice in the blurb, along with the premise. Thanks for introducing me to Louise and her book.

And thanks for telling me about Cheryl's giveaway.

Louise said...

Natalie, it's so great of you to have me here. (Waving to all) Thanks to those who left such sweet comments. We'll have to spread the WISHLESS word some more, now won't we ;)??

Myrna Foster said...

Congrats on the followers!

I've heard that writing POVs with her character's age can be tricky, marketing wise. I'm glad it worked out for her. :o)

Thanks for another great interview!

Angela Brown said...

This sounds like a heart warming contemparary novel. I will have to add this to my TBR list.

Great interview ladies :-)

Lisa Nowak said...

Sounds like a great book.

akaterrie said...

Thanks for the lovely interview, Casey! We're proud to have Louise as a client and appreciate your support.

Stina said...

What . . . what do you mean fortune cookies are never right? Mine (which it glue to my office wall) says, "Your talents will be recognized and rewarded." Too bad it didn't give me an exact date for this to happen. :D

The book sounds great.

Can't wait for Ask The Expert.

It's my son's birthday and he has a copy of Legend. Now I'm dying for him to open the package so I can, I mean, so he can read the book. :D

Llehn said...

I'd love to play please.

GFC follower.


Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great interview...it sounds like a really interesting book. :)

Carrie Filetti said...

I can't wait to read your book, Louise!! Best of luck with your other two!! :)

Alison Miller said...

That book sounds AWESOME! And love the cover!

Excellent interview!

Coleen Patrick said...

Love the sound of the book--great interview!

Martina Boone said...

It's great that WISHLESS is poised to be a crossover! Congrats. It sounds like a wonderful book, and I enjoyed the interview very much.


Unknown said...

I thought that was very interesting that you went with a publisher when you could have gone with an agent who might have gotten you multiple offers. I think that says a lot for your confidence in you publisher. Good luck . . . the book sounds great.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I love the premise of this book and its wonderful how Louise has both an independent publisher and an agent.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I love the premise of this book and its wonderful how Louise has both an independent publisher and an agent.

Casey McCormick said...

Great interview, Natalie and Louise. WISHLESS sounds fantastic, and I loved reading about its journey!

Reading Mind / The Loyal Book said...

I really enjoy your interviews and this one was great as always!

Also, thanks for allowing international followers to take part in the giveaway!!!

ali cross said...

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that screams READ ME NOW! Thank you SO much for posting this interview Natalie ~ I hadn't heard of this book or Louise before but now I'm so glad to have discovered them!

Thank you!

Louise said...

Casey and Natalie - You guys have the most awesome followers! Thanks again for having me here :)

IdentitySeeker said...

Chessie's story sounds like a very interesting one. While I'm not a lover of small-town life, I love reading about them in books. The characters always seem to have quite a few interesting quirks and there's always the town gossip. I look forward to reading this one:)

GFC follower: IdentitySeeker

+1 Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/SweetNSensible/status/146961318870646787

Thanks for this giveaway:)


Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

Love the interview, and WISHLESS has been on my TBR list for a while now!

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/SummersKris/status/146986245736763395


Heather Zundel said...

Great interview for a book I'd never heard of before. Thanks, Casey.

Louise said...

Thanks, Heather, Kris and Sarah. Hope you'll check it out :)

Taffy said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway! Interesting how she choose the state to reflect the characters struggles.

I'm a follower here.


Beth said...

Sounds like a great story!

ArtemisG said...

Great interview and the story of book is very beautiful! Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

Natasha Areena said...

Oh yes, I'd never head of this title too. but I;d love to try !