Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

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.


Hi Everyone! Before we get to my awesome interview, I have some news to share. First, are you going to WriteOnCon August 13-14th? If you're an aspiring author, it's a fantastic FREE online workshop. I'll be there when I can as I'll sadly be at work. But I always love what I can go to. The forums are open and you can find on about what's planned HERE.

Second one of our wonderful followers and my friend Stina Lindenblatt lost her domain name and had to start a new blog last week. And she has AWESOME agent and book deal news. I'm so excited for her! And she kept me in the loop while it was all going on, which was so sweet of her. So go congratulate her and sign up for her fantastic blog HERE.

Finally the winner of THE 5TH WAVE is Kristianna!

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

Today I’m excited to have debut author Cristin Terrell here to share about her new book, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, which releases on September 3, 2013. I took this to read on vacation and OMG, it was so good. I loved the combination time travel/dystopian aspects of the story. I haven’t read many time travel books but this one sold me on them. And I loved learning about Em’s life in the future and her journey into the past.

Here’s a description from Goodreads:

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Hi Cristin. Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer. Did your experiences in the theater help you at all in becoming a writer?

I started writing novels in a very roundabout way. I used to write short stories as a hobby, and my mom was convinced I should become a novelist, which I thought was ridiculous. But one year, I decided to write and print-on-demand a novel for her for Christmas, because I knew it would make her cry and she would love me better than my little sister. Through doing that, I actually discovered I really enjoyed it.

I don’t know that working in the theatre has made me a better writer, but I think being obsessed with stories and storytelling my whole life, which was what led me into the theatre, certainly did. And I do think my time as a stage manager has given me a different perspective on things like character motivation, blocking, and structure than I might have had otherwise.

2. So cool that your mom encouraged you to write. Where did you come up with the idea for your story and the mixing of the dystopian future with the time travel? I found it really unique.

The idea for the plot largely came from watching The Terminator on cable at 3:00am when I couldn’t sleep once and wondering how the story would play out if the killer robot from the future was actually the good guy. I didn’t think of it as mixing sci-fi and dystopian at the time, although those have always been favorite genres of mine (no dystopian fatigue for me!).

3. I don’t have dystopian fatigue either. Wish the publishers felt the same. And you’re giving the rest of us an excuse to watch more TV. Yay!

This is one of my first time travel novels and I loved it. Do you have any tips on writing a time travel story and keeping the logistics straight, especially when you take the reader into both the future and the past?

Sadly, I have no tips. If I did, maybe writing book 2 wouldn’t be so hard! I got so confused so often while working on All Our Yesterdays that sometimes I just had to put my head down on the desk and think. I tried diagrams and note-cards and a thousand other methods for keeping everything straight, but in the end the only thing that worked for me was just thinking through each step. My brain was often oatmeal by the end of the day.

4. Don’t feel bad. Everyone says book 2 is hard to write. I really enjoyed reading from Em’s and Marina’s point of views. They seemed different in many ways. Share about how you developed them as characters and any challenges you faced.

Em came to me very naturally from the beginning, but Marina was more of a struggle. Initially I wrote
her as much sweeter and softer, but it felt like I was constantly trying to shove her into this box where she didn’t want to go. Then one day my agent asked me why she wasn’t more a “rich bitch,” and I had a light-bulb moment about who Marina really was. She still had that softness on the inside, but all of a sudden she had a much harder shell. The key for Marina to me is that her parents have never really loved her properly, which has led to her not loving herself. Everything – her insecurity, her brattiness, her total devotion to James – stems from that. For Em, the most important element to her character is how much she loves Marina. Those are the foundations I built the two characters on: Marina doesn’t love Marina, Em does.

5. That’s great how you connected both of them to the issue of love and had them come at it from such different directions. One of the things I really admired about your story was the pacing. All the scenes directly related to the plot and there was never a quiet moment. Did your story start out like that or did you tighten the plot through the editing process? What advice do you have for the rest of us on creating a fast paced story?

I actually added about 17K (!!!) in revisions with my agent and another 5K in revisions with my editor, so there was much more expanding that had to happen than tightening. My drafts tend to grow as I revise because I almost always realize after the first draft that the story is missing a major subplot.

My best advice for creating a fast-paced story is unfortunately not revolutionary or easy. Every scene should ideally fulfill multiple functions. If you have a scene that’s just there to advance a relationship between two characters, for example, it’s not working hard enough. It should also move the plot forward, introduce a new question that will be answered somewhere down the line, reveal a previously unknown aspect of a character’s personality or back-story, etc. The more functions you can serve in a single scene, the better the scene will be and the tighter your story will be. Sometimes that takes a lot of planning ahead of time or combining of single-function scenes later on, but it’s worth it.

6. That’s a great tip of what your scene needs to do. Diana Fox is your agent. Tell us about your querying process and how she became your agent. Also what was your submission process like?

I’m actually one of the rare people who wasn’t found in the slush. I used to have a blog that Diana, who I didn’t even know was an agent at the time, read. When I started blogging about this project to write a novel for my mom, Diana emailed me and invited me to send it to her when I was finished. Needless to say, I kind of freaked out. I sent her the book when it was done, and when I realized about a month later that the book was terrible, I emailed her again and begged her not to read any more because I was so embarrassed. She kindly told me that, yes, the book was pretty bad but that she’d be interested in seeing whatever I wrote in the future because apparently she’s kind of a masochist. My next book was significantly less bad, and I queried several agents, including my first-choice Diana, who offered representation shortly after.

That less-bad book didn’t sell, and I was actually really relieved when each rejection came in because I was so much more in love with the book I had just begun drafting (which would become All Our Yesterdays). The stars basically aligned for this book. It went on submission in February 2012 and within a week we were at auction, which was easily the craziest few days of my life, and in the end I decided to go with Emily Meehan at Disney-Hyperion, which has been fantastic.

7. What a fascinating and different road to getting an agent. I love it! I read that your book is already optioned to be a moving with Brian Miller set to write the screenplay. And you’ve also sold your book overseas. How awesome! Share a bit about how this all came about and where you’re at in terms of the movie deal.

The movie option and most of the foreign sales also happened in February of 2012. (It was a really crazy month.) When my amazing film rights manager Pouya Shabazian called to tell me that Gold Circle Films wanted to buy the movie rights, my brain just kind of shut down and all I said was, “okay.” I don’t even remember the rest of the conversation other than sensing that Pouya was a bit baffled by my total non-response. When I regained consciousness, I called my mom to tell her, and she and I just laughed hysterically for about a half an hour. It was (and is) very surreal. And then on top of everything, I couldn’t tell anyone else about the deal for over a year!

8. That’s so cool you share the news with your mom, especially she encouraged you so much to write. She must be telling you “I told you so.” You recently went to Book Expo America in New York City and the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. What made you decide to go to these conferences and how did your appearances get set up? What advice do you have for the rest of us trying to decide what big conferences to go to?

I think knowing what you want out of a conference is the key to picking which one will be best for you. After awhile, I outgrew most writing conferences like SCBWI. They’re fantastic for people just getting their feet wet with publishing, but I personally wasn’t getting much new information out of them. Instead, I’ve been doing ALA every year. It’s fun, I get to meet up with friends I don’t see often, I always meet new people, and I get a chance to discover new books. There are no hit-or-miss panels to sit through, and it’s cheap!

This year, the Class of 2K13, of which I’m a part, was approved to do a panel ALA, so it was a no-brainer for me to go again. When I told Disney-Hyperion I was going, they kindly set up a reading and signing for me. BEA, on the other hand, was all Disney. They arranged for me to go and set up tons of events for me (I think I ended up with seven in 48 hours). Both conferences were exhausting (even more than usual!) but I also had a ton of fun and managed not to fall down, throw up, or otherwise humiliate myself in public, so I think they went pretty well!

9. How cool you go to ALA every year. I’d love to go there someday. What are you working on now?

All Our Yesterdays #2! It’s slowly killing me.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Cristin. You can find Cristin at her website, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Cristin and her publisher, Disney, have generously offered an ARC of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS 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 August 17th. I’ll announce the winner on August 19th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.

Here’s what’s coming up next:

On Monday I’m interviewing Ellen Boorman and giving away a copy of TEXTING THE UNIVERSE, a middle grade paranormal story told from a boy’s POV. This is Ellen’s third book so I know she’ll have a lot of great advice to share with us.

The following Monday I’m interviewing author Dianne Salerni’s (author of THE CAGED GRAVES) 16-year old daughter about how she finds out about books and the writer’s club she started at her high school for my Ask The Expert series. And I’ll be giving away a copy of ICONS. It’s another sci-fi/dystopian story I really enjoyed. I was struck by how different it is from THE 5th WAVE that I spotlighted last month.

Wednesday that week, I’m interviewing Darcy Pattision and giving away a copy of her new book, START YOUR NOVEL-SIX WINNING STEPS TOWARD A COMPELLING OPENING LINE, SCENE, AND CHAPTER. Darcy’s the author of picture books, non fiction books, and a YA novel. And she’s also the author of NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: UNCOMMON WAYS TO REVISE NOVELS, a fantastic book that I found really helpful when revising my novel. I know she’ll have lots of great advice to share with us.

The Monday after that I’m thrilled to have C.J. Redwine back to talk about her new book, DECEPTION, the sequel to DEFIANCE. I really loved how C.J. took the story in a totally different direction I didn’t anticipate. And of course, I’ll be giving away an ARC of this.

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

Hope to see you next Monday!


CG @ Paper Fury said...

LOVE the sound of this book. And epic interview. ;)
notebooksisters AT gmail DOT com

mareb said...

I've added All Our Yesterdays to my Goodreads list some time ago!

mareb said...

And here's my share :) https://twitter.com/satchmoi/status/364349701077729281

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, what a cover. I like its hint to time travel. Sounds like an intriguing premise.

Great interview! So exciting about the movie.

Cricket said...

Great interview and I loved reading about how Cristin's writing journey began. It's awesome that her mother is so supportive. I love the cover of this book and the concept sounds interesting.
lilcrickit at gmail dot com

Crystal Collier said...

Holy frickin' cool! TBR list, bumped to the top. Cristin, I am SO looking forward to it!

Thanks for the shout out on Stina's behalf, and I'm right with you on WriteOnCon. That shindig is worth its weight in cheese.

Vivien said...

I've been wanting to read this book for months now. Every review has been stellar!! I cannot wait to read it.
GFC: Vivien

kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

I LOVE the cover and the premise! Time travel has been kind of a hit and miss with me even though I'm really fascinated with the idea and theory of it. Would love to read it, thanks!

Yet Peng
cypsays_hi at hotmail dot com

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

Tweeted this page!

Barbara Watson said...

Sounds great! I love your honesty: Nope, I don't have any tips. :-) Sometimes you just don't. Writing is hard, plain and simple.

Patchi said...

I put this book on my wishlist last week. The premise is fascinating and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for another chance win it!

Rachna Chhabria said...

First and foremost, I love the sound of this book. The premise is awesome. Second thing, I love how Cristin and her agent hooked up.

Carina Olsen said...

Amazing interview :D Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 Oh, I just loved this book so so so much. Would LOVE to get an ARC of it :D *Fingers crossed* <3 Thank you :)
Love, Carina

Gwen Gardner said...

The book sounds wonderful! I'm not over dystopian yet, either. I love it. Congrats, Kristianna!

Gwen Gardner said...

I meant Cristin!!! Sorry --

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on the book! My mom is my biggest support and I know she'll be my first call too.

Angela Brown said...

Congratulations Cristin! Your agent story is a very good one. You never know who's checking out your blog :-)

I'm glad you wrote a dystopian with time travel mixed in. But of course, it all comes down to just enjoying a great story.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I loved this interview! I loved the agent answer--- especially the part where Cristin emailed her to beg her to stop reading. Such a great How I Got My Agent story! Great job, ladies! I'm so excited for this book.

Kel said...

The story concept sounds amazing. I would love to give it a read! My email is kmpeterson89@gmail.com (and following via bloglovin').

Thanks for the interesting interview and giveaway opportunity!

cleemckenzie said...

I love how you came up with the idea for your story! Terminator. Wow! And at 3AM.

Congratulations and good luck.

Appreciate the giveaway. cleemckenziebooks@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled for Cristin--and what an interesting way to get an agent--and Stina. Congrats to the winner.

I love the cover and description. Thanks for the giveaway. sharif(at)sharifwrites(dot)com.

Unknown said...

I'm still a huge fan of dystopian books and have had this on my list for awhile! Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!
saltsnmore at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder about WriteOnCon. I've always wanted to participate but forget! =)

Lydia Kang said...

I'm really looking forward to reading Cristin's book!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's impressive she got to go to those events. And inspired by The Terminator? That just rocks.

Leigh Covington said...

Excellent interview and congrats on the book! Sounds like something I'd love to read!

Emily R. King said...

This sounds gripping! Great interview! I love hearing from authors who have been there, done that.

Janhvi said...

All Our Yesterdays looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

This sounds awesome! Can't wait until it comes out and the news about the movie is exciting. Would love to read it.

jes dot nuanez at gmail dot com


Also, here is my tweet about it: https://twitter.com/yellowinkling/status/364633343570092032

Jocelyn Rish said...

I'm excited for WriteOnCon, although I can't believe it's already time for it again.

I laughed at Cristin's story about writing her first novel so that her mom would love her more than her little sis because that's totally something I would do. Sibling rivalry is a great motivator. :-)

I love Doctor Who, so I'm a huge fan of time travel stories - definitely adding this one to my TBR pile.

Mary Preston said...

I'd love to read ALL OUR YESTERDAYS thank you. It sounds amazing.

Christina Fiorelli said...

Cristin Terrill is AMAZING!! I first found out about her awesome All Our Yesterdays from YA Confidential, where she blogs with other YA authors and not only did the book sound amazing, Cristin is such a wonderful person.

That's such helpful advice about scenes doing many things, including plot and character;))

Thank you so very much:)

I follow the blog as an email subscriber

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Tweet: https://twitter.com/christinafiorio/status/364672127540019200

Anonymous said...

This book sounds absolutely incredible. I really enjoyed reading your interview, and will certainly be adding this book to my Goodreads wish list!

david.wiley0 AT gmail DOT com

Danielle H. said...

I loved the plot advice for planning and making scenes tighter. Excellent! I hope to win a copy of your book! I will post on Facebook.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't know if I'll ever get tired of dystopian stories - the what ifs are fascinating! Love the premise of the book!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Cristin! All Our Yesterdays sounds awesome! And I would love to go to an ALA Conference one of these days. *crosses fingers*

Rosi said...

What a great interview and the book sounds fantastic. I tweeted your link at https://twitter.com/rosihollinbeck/status/364796384269963265.Thanks for this inspiring post.

Jenny said...

I enjoyed reading this interview, and look forward to reading "All Our Yesterdays" when it comes out (or earlier if I'm one of the lucky ones...)

Caryn Caldwell said...

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS sounds fantastic, and I loved the interview! I especially enjoyed the part about querying and submitting. Wow! What an unusual approach! Sounds like it was all meant to be.

Teresa Robeson said...

Congratulations to Cristin on her debut book! I like the title...reminds me of a Star Trek episode. As someone who has also written time travel (though only a short story), I'm definitely interested in this book and will put it on my list. :)

Ari said...

I want to read this book so bad! Thank you for the giveaway! I followed via Bloglovin: Ariel Tam
Tweeted: https://twitter.com/ArielSmith24/status/364840806542094336

Amanda said...

I love reading about how authors first got started. It's always such an inspirational one. It sounds like so many factors really just ended up working out for Cristin, from her mother's encouragement, to her use of a blog basically becoming a platform, to finding an agent, etc. I can't wait to read her debut - it sounds phenomenal.

Unknown said...

Sounds interesting :D
GFC : Najwa Shufia
email : shufia_najwa@yahoo.com
tweet : https://twitter.com/najwasc/status/365049610923814913

Stina said...

I'm away on vacation during WOC, but I'm going to try to visit. It helps that it's shorter this year. And yay, they've added NA to the line up.

Apparently I need to watch more TV. I tend not to, other than the news and DVD (like Criminal Minds, Lost, Downton Abby). Wow, can you imagine the story I'd come up with if I mixed them!!!!!

This has to be the best querying story I've seen yet. Congrats on your book, Cristin. The cover looks amazing.

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Cristin!
That's great advice about every scene needing to fulfill multiple functions. I keep reminding myself of that as I write!
Would love to win the book. It has such an interesting premise, and THAT COVER! Love it!
Tweeted: https://twitter.com/RachelMorgan13/status/365090513222778880

Anonymous said...

Loved everything about this! And what a journey you took to get here. So glad that book three became the one...cannot wait to read it cause like you two I do not have dystopian fatigue lol! Also kind of glad to read about your oatmeal for brains. That is how I write too...sometimes I swear the oatmeal trickles out when me head is on the desk! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Unknown said...

I went over to Stina's new blog, and followed and wished her well. Thanks for the heads up so we can support her!

Cristin's book sounds great! I love unique ideas and this one is fascinating! Good luck and much success, Cristin! :-)

Nicole said...

Great interview!! I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list. And can't wait for WriteOnCon.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. Movie options, too. Congratulations! Love that cover, too.

Julie Musil said...

Wow, what a publishing story, and what a story story! Love this concept. Can't wait to read the book and see the movie :)

Julie Musil said...

Oh, and I'm tweeting this!

Linda Gray said...

I got overexcited just reading the description. :-) Fantastic. (and a big congratulations to Stina!)

PK HREZO said...

Oh glad I caught this! i just finished writing a time travel story and I know just what she means. I've gotten tangled up so many times my head was spinning. It's much harder than I ever expected and many times I've had to draw diagrams to keep myself on track with eras.
I will check this out! Big congrats!

Stephanie Garber said...

Great interview! I love your tip about how to keep a fast pace by making sure each scene serves multiple purposes!

And I think ALL OUR YESTERDAYS sounds amazing! I love anything with time travel I can't wait to read it!

Chenise Jones said...

This book looks absolutely amazing! And the cover's gorgeous!

Tammy Theriault said...

love the mother/ daughter relationship being such a cornerstone!

CK said...


Followed via GFC under the same name.
Email camille_oliveras@yahoo.com

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Thanks for the tip about Stina! I'll stop by right away! This book sounds FANTASTIC! And I LOVE the cover of it!! Looks right up my alley!

Jasmine Stairs said...

As Iv'e heard more about this book on the internet, I've gotten more and more interested. The love aspect is FASCINATING.

LynnRodz said...

Great interview! I'm not into dystopian, but I love time travel and I have to admit, the story sounds intriguing! By the way, I love the title and the cover. I'm sure if I was browsing in a bookstore, I would have picked up the book for those two reasons!

Natasha said...

Sounds like an amazing read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Natalie, Hi, Cristen,

What an amazing story... both of them!

Cristin, Congrats on you debut novel! What a thrill it must be to be published by Disney! AWESOME!

Sounds like an incredible read. I wish you ALL THE BEST!!!!!

Michael Di Gesu said...

On, Natalie, I will definitely tweet about this... Great story!

Jessica Lawson said...

Very cool interview! I loved hearing about how Cristin's mom factored into her writing journey and I love the agent story with Diana Fox!

Unknown said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read this book; I've only tried a few dystopians in the past so this should be interesting.

Ari said...

Aweosome interview! This book has been on my TBR list for a while, I want to read it so bad! It looks great!!! Thank you for the giveaway!
Followed via Bloglovin: Ariel Tam
Tweeted: https://twitter.com/ArielSmith24/status/366069620907585536

Neysa Kristanti said...

I'm really excited for All Out Yesterday, because the story itself sounds pretty good, and all those reviews on GR just made me want to read it even more!
It's lovely to read Kristin's story about becoming an author (Especially that printing her first book ever for her Mom and getting her agent. It's so inspiring!)
And love that her Mom is very supportive :)

Followed GFC : Neysa Kristanti
Tweeted : https://twitter.com/MNKbooklife/status/366936474467315712

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

I just started this one late last night! I love hoe The Terminator was cause for inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

deasuluna said...

I have been seeing so many amazing and raving reviews for this book I would love to read it. Great interview, I loved the inspiration for the book it's self and for your Mom being your number one supporter! :)

GFC Follower: Christina Torres

Vanessa K. said...

I want to read this really badly the cover is really pretty. yes i judge books by their covers. shame,
BlogLovin floower: Jacquline WIlde
Email: littlewizzo@gmail.com