CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Erin Casey Query Critique through October 3rd

Summer of L.U.C.K. through October 3rd

Lauren Bieker Query Critique through October 10th

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Adria Goetz and G.Z. Schmidt Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/19/20

Melanie Castillo Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/21/20

Tori Sharp Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/18/20

Maria Vincente Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/7/20

Amy Brewer and Dana Swift Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 1/18/21

Agent Spotlight Updates

All agent spotlights and interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated again in 2023.

MARIE LU INTERVIEW AND PRODIGY GIVEAWAY



Happy Monday Everone! I'm so excited for today because I'm interviewing the very amazing Marie Lu!

Before I get to her interview, I need to announce the winners of a few giveaways.

The winner of SHADES OF EARTH is JESS!

And the winner of the DREAMING OF BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP is JAMIE!

Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your books. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I’m beyond thrilled to have Marie Lu back to talk about her new book PRODIGY, which releases tomorrow. Marie has a hugely successful career as an author and is such a sweet, nice person. She was so generous to agree to come back here today and to help me get an ARC to share with you. If you want to find out about Marie’s debut as an author, see my interview with her on January 9th last year here.

Marie does everything right to make PRODIGY a fantastic second book. She takes us into a new part of the Republic—the rebels world. And we’re introduced to new characters that may have only been briefly mentioned in LEGEND, like Anden, the new Elector. June and Day are forced to make impossibly hard choices as June infiltrates the Republic’s highest powers and Day stays with the rebels. The plot is fast moving and filled with twists. I couldn’t stop turning the pages wanting to know what June and Day would do next. And to find out if they’d be together again so we could see more of that deep, real chemistry between them. 

Here’s a blurb of PRODIGY from Goodreads

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action

Hi Marie. Thanks so very much for joining us.


1.  You’ve had a fantastic year and I’ve seen on different blogs news that you’ve been touring with other authors like Beth Revis and went to the Bologna Book Fair last spring. Share about what’s been going on this year, including your book tours and attending the Bologna Book Fair.

It was a fun, if exhausting year! I spent a great deal of time traveling and touring, meeting lots of awesome readers and writers, and participating in a great writers' blog called PubCrawl (http://publishingcrawl.com). I also collaborated with CBS Films, who own Legend's movie rights, and game studio Wicked Sweet Games on a Facebook game called Cities of Legend (https://apps.facebook.com/citiesoflegend). It felt great to dip my toe back into gaming.
  
2. It sounds fantastic, but exhausting. I love Publishing Crawl. It's a great blog filled with advice. I recommend everyone follow it. 

And I’ve heard that Legend’s movie is moving along. What stage of production is it? How involved in it are you and how often do you get news of it?

As far as I know, we are finished with the screenplay. I'm excited to see where we go from here!

3.  I can't wait until Legend comes out as a movie. In your acknowledgement page, you talk about how much harder PRODIGY was to write and that the process included anxiety and tears. Share some of the difficulties in writing this book and how you overcame them.

 Sequels are hard for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is that you now have a deadline and expectations to meet. You're also done setting up a story and must now continue from a place that's not the beginning. It's a very different challenge!

4.  Yeah, I'll confess that's the scariest things for me in thinking of getting a book contract. The deadlines and your story being locked in to a point. I’m assuming you’ve written or are writing book 3 in this series. What have you learned about writing trilogies from this one? What advice do you have for the rest of us?

One thing I've learned is that the third book in a trilogy is, for me, by far the most difficult to write, considering all the loose ends and final climax that you have to tie up. Advice: each book is different, and takes a different approach to write successfully.
 
5.  Great advice, Marie, to tackle each with a different approach. Whose story was harder to write in PRODIGY—June or Day—and why?

June is always the more challenging one for me to write. She requires so much random research!

6.  Tell us about your writing schedule and how you stay productive while juggling writing on deadlines with your traveling schedule.

 One thing I've had to learn to do is to adapt to different writing environments. I had to learn how to be able to write on planes, trains, in hotels, etc. I never used to be able to do that.

7.  I haven't mastered that one. I can see why you'd need to do it with your busy schedule. For an aspiring author who gets their book deal, it can feel very overwhelming to handle the business aspect of writing. What steps should they take to prepare for that all important debut as an author and book release?

Well, social media is something that I think most writers must learn to embrace. Be yourself, do as much as you're comfortable with, but most importantly, don't let self-marketing take precedence over your writing.

8.  Great advice to keep the writing as the biggest focus. What are you working on now?

I'm currently working on a new high fantasy series. I'm excited to get back into the first genre I grew up writing in!
 
I LOVE high fantasy. I can't wait to read your new series. Thanks so much Marie for stopping by again. You can find Marie at:


Marie's publisher generously provided an ARC for a giveaway. To enter, 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 February 16thI’ll announce the winner on February 18th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. International entries are welcome.

Here's what's coming up. I hope you're as excited as me about it all

Next Monday I'm interviewing Miriam Forster and giving away a copy of and ARC of her debut book, A CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS. It's a fantasy and mystery. When I got it, I picked it up to look at and literary couldn't put it down. It was fantastic and I'm excited to share it with you.

Next Wednesday I'll post about my trip to China. 

The following Monday I'm interviewing debut author Elsie Chapman about her dystopian novel, DUALED and giving away an ARC of her book. It's about a world where everyone has a genetic alternate that you must battle at some point in your teenage years to the death. It is really unique concept and I enjoyed the book.

And Wednesday that week I have a fascinating interview with Chuck Sambuchino of Guide to Literary Agents about his new book, CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM: THE KEYS TO BUILDING AN AUDIENCE, SELLING MORE BOOKS, AND FINDING SUCCESS AS AN AUTHOR, with a giveaway of his book. His book really got me thinking about how I can improve my platform and social networking. I'm really excited to share Chuck's advice and his book with you. Chuck's interview is filled with awesome advice whether you're an author or book review blogger. I can't encourage you enough to read his interview.

The following Monday, I have an interview with a high school teen for my ASK THE EXPERT series and will be sharing and giving away THE CADET OF TILDOR, a fantastic debut fantasy.

And Wednesday that week, Casey and I have a super awesome 3000 follower mega giveaway. You won't want to miss it. 

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Agent Spotlight: Laurie McLean

This week's Agent Spotlight features Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary.
Status: Ms. McLean is closed to submissions except for referrals and conference requests or online events like #PitMad and #MSWL.
Laurie9-231x300About: “Founding Partner Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco.
"Following her stint as the CEO of a successful Silicon Valley public relations agency bearing her name, Laurie was able to switch gears in 2002 to immerse herself in writing. She penned three manuscripts before deciding that the life of a literary agent was her destiny. Laurie has been writing professionally since high school–first as a journalist, then as a public relations agent, finally as a novelist. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the State University of New York and a Master’s Degree at Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Journalism.
"At Fuse Literary, Laurie specializes in middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.). She does not handle non-fiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels.
"Laurie’s clients include the New York Times and international bestselling YA author Julie Kagawa, epic fantasy bestseller Brian D. Anderson, award-winning steampunk and fantasy author Pip Ballantine, and the award-winning Linda Wisdom, who has had more than 100 romance novels published in her career.
"Laurie is also the Director of the San Francisco Writers Conference, held every President’s Day weekend. And she co-founded two ePublishing companies with two of her client partners: Joyride Books for vintage out-of-print romance books with Linda Wisdom; and Ambush Books for out-of-print classic tween and teen books with Douglas Rees (which was sold to Fuse Literary’s Short Fuse Publishing).
"For more on Laurie, check out her blog at agentsavant.com, follow her on Twitter @agentsavant, and visit her Facebook page at Facebook.com/laurie.mclean.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"Fuse manages a wide variety of clients, from bestsellers to debut authors, working with fiction and non-fiction for children and adults worldwide. We combine technical efficiency with outside-the-covers creative thinking so that each individual client’s career is specifically fine-tuned for them.
"We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship.
"We realize that our ongoing success directly results from that of our clients, so we remain at their side to cultivate and strategize throughout the many lives of each book, both before and after the initial sale." (Link)Web Presence:
Fuse Literary Website.Publisher’s Marketplace page.
Agent Savant (Her old blog).
Fuse Literary Blog.
Twitter.
Tumblr.
Facebook.   
QueryTracker.
AgentQuery.
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.)
See her Manuscript Wish List to learn more about what she's looking for.
What She Isn't Looking For:
Non-fiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, children’s picture books, graphic novels, poetry, or screenplays
Editorial Agent?
“I have been an editor most of my professional career, so I believe I can always help an author make a book even better.” (Link)
Clients:
A list of current clients is available the Fuse Literary Website.
Ms McLean's clients include Julie Kagawa, Brian Anderson, Melissa Savage, Douglas Rees, Heather Petty, Pip Ballantine, David M. Flanagan, J.M. Frey, Heather Hiestand/Heather Redmond, Lisa Kessler, T.J. Nicholas, Kimberly Unger, O.G. Rev, Carol Wolf, among others.
Query Methods: N/A Ms. McLean is closed to submissions except as noted above.E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Please see the submissions page at the agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Policy:
N/A
What's the Buzz?
Anyone who reads even a fraction of the interviews and posts listed below can see that Ms. McLean is an extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and proactive literary agent. Her clients seem happy with her representation and she is actively making deals with a variety of large, midsize, and e-publishers.  She has proven mindful of conflicts of interest in the structuring of her two epub companies and is keeping a careful eye on the evolving publishing landscape.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews:
Q&A with Agent Laurie McLean at Scribe (06/2017).
Q&A with Agent Laurie McLean at Jane Friedman (02/2016).
7 Questions for Literary Agent Laurie McLean at Middle Grade Ninja (06/2013).
First Five Frenzy with Laurie McLean of Larsen Pomada Literary Agents at Chasing the Crazies (02/2013).
Laurie McLean: Literary Agents in the New Publishing Era at The Fictorian Era (06/2012).
The AUTHORNOMICS Interview Series with Laurie McLean at the Andrea Hurst & Associates blog (06/2011).
Q&A with Agent Laurie McLean at Scribe (03/2011).
The Indie Publishing Option, an interview with Laurie McLean at Ask the Agent (03/2011).
Interview with Laurie McLean, Literary Agent at Wanna Be Lit Agent (03/2011).
Laurie McLean on Genre Fiction at Ask the Agent (02/2010).
Blog Stuff:
Read the archives and subscribe to Ms. McLean’s blog, Agent Savant.
Laurie McClean's Crystal Ball, guest post at Anne R. Allen's blog (01/2020)
Why You Don't Need a Literary Agent (but You Might Want One) guest post at Anne R. Allen's blog (01/2015)
Agent Secrets–Do Writers Need an Agent in the New Publishing Paradigm? at Kristen Lamb’s blog (01/2013).
Laurie McLean’s Crystal Ball, guest post at Anne R. Allen’s blog (11/2012).
Podcast / Video:
Friday Interview with Laurie McLean via YARebels (04/2012).
Laurie McLean - Young Adult Fiction: Breaking Down the Market via Author Learning Center (11/2011).
Laurie McLean - Agent Communication via Author Learning Center (09/2011).
Literary Agent Laurie McLean Tells All! (08/2010).
Poscast Interview with Agent Laurie McLean at Tale Chasing (12/2009).
Contact:
Please see the Fuse Literary website  for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/18/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/18/2020.
***
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiguirre7(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.




























































































PROVEX CITY BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY



Today I’m excited to have Michael Pierce with us today to share about his debut book, PROVEX CITY, which was released March 5, 2012. I’m excited to share this with you because it’s an urban fantasy told from the POV of a male character. That is so refreshing in the YA market that has so many female main characters.

Here’s what the book's about:

Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?

Mr. Gordon tells Oliver: "When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls." And one of those doors leads Oliver to Provex City, which puts him in far greater danger than he can possibly fathom.

Hi Michael. Thanks so much for joining us.

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

I wrote a lot of short stories and poetry up through high school, but looked at it as a hobby. I wanted to be the next Stephen King, but I didn’t believe it was something I could really do. It wasn’t until a few years out of college, after reading the Harry Potter series straight through, that I had a moment of clarity—if I really wanted to do, I could! Then I wrote Provex City.

2.  I think the Harry Potter series motivated a lot of us to try writing. What are three unique things about your book that will make readers want to read it? 

Provex City has action for the guys, romance for the girls, and magic for the believers in all of us. I enjoy reading books that move fast and are filled with cliffhangers to keep you turning the pages, so that’s what I wrote. I also wanted to provide a positive message and revolved the book, and series, around advice Mr. Gordon gives to Oliver: “When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls.” Oliver is on a journey to gain belief in himself. 

3.  I enjoy fast paced stories too. I love stories that combine genres. Yours combines urban fantasy with some contemporary issues. What made you decide to do this and what were some of the challenges you faced in plotting your story? 

I felt it was important to talk about some real teenage issues like suicide, peer pressure, and bullying. I wanted my characters to appear real, and real teens have to deal with a lot of stuff. I wanted my main character, Oliver, to make mistakes and learn from them. But the main plot of the story and series revolves around fantasy elements, so I tried to find a balance to present them both in an interesting and entertaining way. 

4. The combination of fantasy and contemporary issues sounds unique. You’ve self-published your book. It’s critical for a good self-published book that it be revised enough and edited in some fashion. How did you approach this and what did you learn about writing from this process? 

I am lucky enough to have my best friend be a professional editor. Unfortunately, his company publishes text books, so I couldn’t get a publishing deal, but I got his editing expertise. After he went through Provex City, he introduced me to a freelance proofreader, who also did a round of editing. So the book’s been through quite a few rounds of editing. And I’m still keeping a list of small adjustments I want to give to Createspace for an updated edition in the coming months. 

5.  You are lucky! You chose to write your book from fifteen-year old Oliver’s point of view. Share why you decided to make him the protagonist and some cool things you learned about him through your story. 

For my first novel, it seemed easier or more natural to have my protagonist be someone I could easily relate to. It was fun having him presented with situations I went through in high school, but deal with most of them differently. Oliver is unsure of himself in a lot of situations, but he usually comes through when he stops over analyzing and acts.

6.  What made you decide to self-publish your book rather than go with traditional publishing? 
I queried agents for about a year and decided I wanted to take control of Provex City, from the edits I wanted to make to the cover art. I wanted it to be mine no matter what the future held. It’s definitely not the easy road, but I’ve learned a lot over that past year about formatting, e-books, and blogging. 

7.  It's great how self-published authors are so willing to share advice. Were there any resources you found helpful in the actual publishing part of this journey, like designing the cover, formatting, deciding where to sell it, etc.? 

Blogging has been invaluable with finding new resources like artists, designers, reviewers, and for promotion recommendations. Right now Provex City is only on Amazon because I started with Kindle Select to let Provex City be borrowed for free by Amazon Prime members. The catch is you have to be exclusive with Amazon to do that. I’ve now canceled Kindle Select so I can put Provex City on other sites like Barnes & Noble and iBookstore, which I plan to do soon.

8.  I think it’s brilliant to go on a blog tour like you’re doing now, well after your book was released. What made you decide to do this and how did you connect with Candace’s Book Blog & CBB Book Promotions to organize your blog tour? 

When I started blogging a little under a year ago I had no idea what a blog tour was. After connecting with some bloggers, I was encouraged to do one for Provex City. It had been on my long list of things to do for awhile. I was overwhelmed with the idea of setting a tour up for myself—and then I found that there were freelance blog tour organizers out there! I found Candace through Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I made a great choice; Candace has done a phenomenal job with putting this tour together!

9.  I really like these blogs too. What are you working on now? 

I am making my final adjustments to the second book in the series, SUSY Asylum, before submitting it to Createspace. So it should be available by April. And I’ve just started the first draft for book three, which I’m very excited about! I have four books planned for the Lorne Family Vault series.
Thanks Michael for sharing all your advice. You can find Michael at:


Book Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVoKoIGY2E

And you can find the entire blog tour here

Here's details on the blog tour giveaway:

  •   Three winners will receive a paperback of Provex City and a $15 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
  •   Five additional winners will win paperback copies of Provex City. (INT) 




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here's what's coming up next.

Next Monday, I'm interviewing Marie Lu and giving away an ARC of PRODIGY, her fantastic second book in her series. I'm SO excited to share Marie's book with you because it's so good. Marie is so kind to stop by for another interview, with her busy schedule. She's already had an amazing career as an author and I can't wait to find out what's been going on with her since she became a debut author a year ago.

The following Monday I'm interviewing Miriam Forster and giving away a copy of and ARC of her debut book, A CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS. It's a fantasy and mystery. When I got it, I picked it up to look at and literary couldn't put it down. It was fantastic and I'm excited to share it with you.

Wednesday that week hopefully I'll post about my trip to China. 

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Tip Tuesday #152 AND GIVEAWAY OF LULA BELL ON GEEKDOM, FREAKDOM & THE CHALLENGES OF BAD HAIR

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Hi Everyone! Natalie here today. I have a great tip by C.C. Payne, the author of LULA BELL ON GEEKDOM, FREAKDOM, AND THE CHALLENGES OF BAD HAIR, a contemporary story about friendship and family. More about the giveaway after C.C.'s awesome tip.



Think of yourself as a stagehand who’s responsible for handing the right props to each actor (character) before they take the stage (in your writing). Should she be draped in diamonds? Or a pilled, moth-eaten sweater, two sizes too large? Should he use a walker? Smoke a pipe? Should she step out of a rusted jalopy carrying a designer bag that cost more than her car? Should he wear cowboy boots? With his sweatpants?

Props can say more about your characters in a few words than an entire paragraph of explanation. They help bring characters to life in the reader’s mind and serve as great markers for memory—maybe the reader doesn’t remember a character’s name ten pages later, but they remember the creaky walker he’s always hunched over.

In my first novel, Something to Sing About, I gave the protagonist a lime green flyswatter to carry around. In my second novel, Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair, instead of explaining Mama’s mindset to the reader, I showed them what was in her purse—I firmly believe that everything you need to know about a woman is in her purse.

My purse? Well, it holds only the most basic necessities: Germ-X, a small first-aid kit, whatever book I’m currently reading, a second book in case I finish the first one, a hundred-year-old embroidered handkerchief that belonged to my great-grandmother, my phone, my wallet, SpearOmint Lifesavers, and cherry Chapstick. What does this say about me? Hmmm. Perhaps it says that I’m a sappy, sentimental germaphobe who loves spearmint, hates chapped lips, and doesn’t know what to do with herself without a book. That sounds about right.

What’s in your purse? More importantly, what’s in your bag of props?

To learn more about C. C. Payne, visit www.ccpayne.net .

Thanks C.C. for the fantastic tip. 

Here's a description of LULA BELL from Goodreads:

While Lula Bell Bonner tries desperately to fit in by not standing out, her wise and irrepressible Grandma Bernice says: Let your light shine! It's Grandma Bernice who provides the joy that balances Lula Bell's difficult school life, but when this balance is upended, when Kali Keele turns up the heat on her cruel teasing, and when the talent show ? that she should NEVER have signed up for - is about to happen, how in the world can Lula Bell cope? This funny, heartfelt novel exploring friendship, family, and forgiveness, introduces an unforgettable hero, lost in the 
wilderness of 5th grade, searching for her own shining light.

C.C. generously is offering a signed copy of LULA BELL to one winner.  To enter, 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 February 2nd. I’ll announce the winner on February 4th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. International entries are welcome.

Here's what's coming up:

Tomorrow I'm participating in Michael Pierce's blog tour and giving away a copy of PROVEX CITY, an urban fantasy told from a male POV,which also has some contemporary issues.


And next Monday, I'm interviewing Marie Lu and giving away an ARC of PRODIGY, her fantastic second book in her series. I'm SO excited to share Marie's book with you because it's so good. Marie is so kind to stop by for another interview, with her busy schedule. She's already had an amazing career as an author and I can't wait to find out what's been going on with her since she became a debut author a year ago.

See you tomorrow!