Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024
  • 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.


Happy Monday Everyone! Hope you all survived the bitter cold and snow last week. Our company actually closed the office on Monday and told us about it the night before. We’ve never closed for snow in the 25 + years I worked there. It was fantastic!

I’ve got a lot to share with you today.


Nutshell Windsor and her co-editor Alana Garraigues are on a blog tour for their anthology, STORY SPROUTS: CBW-LA WRITING DAY ANTHOLOGY & EXERCISES. It sounds like a great book. Congrats, Nutshell & Alana!

Here’s a blurb:

What happens when linguistic lovers and tale tellers workshop together? Inspiration. Wonder. Discovery. Growth. Magic.
Brave and talented, the writers featured in this anthology took on the challenge of dedicating one day to the raw and creative process of writing.
A rare view into the building blocks of composition, Story Sprouts is made up of nearly 40 works of poetry and prose from 19 published and aspiring children's book authors.
This compilation includes all of the anthology writing exercises and prompts, along with tips, techniques and free online writing resources to help writers improve their craft.


Learn more about Story Sprouts at http://www.storysproutsanthology.com/
Join the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles at www.cbw-la.org

Today I’m excited to have Eleanor here for an ASK THE EXPERT interview. Eleanor is a 10h grader who reads a lot and you’ll see what else she’s up to book-wise too. I interviewed her sister, Magnolia, in December. Her mom was my critique partner until she sadly moved.

Hi Eleanor. Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read. Does your mom influence what you read?

Hi, my name is Eleanor. I'm fifteen years old (sophomore), and I go to Herron High School, which is really artsy and encourages lots of reading and drawing stuff. I like to read YA novels of many different kinds (I'm a sucker for romance) and two of my favorite authors are Libba Bray and Rainbow Rowell. My mom is one of the primary sources for what I read, because she's even more up to date on what's going on the YA writing community than I am, so it's kind of like having a guide to the good books.

2. Sounds like a great school for you. And I know how well your mom keeps up with YA books. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?

I learn a lot about good and/or popular books from my mom (I didn't even know about Twilight or the Hunger Games until she told me about them) but I also get a lot of good info from the Internet. Fan websites like Tumblr or fanfiction.net can sort of introduce you to other teenagers who like the same books as you do, and therefore can give good recommendations. I'm more likely to pick up a book or series if someone who has read something else I like recommends it online.

3. That’s so awesome you check out books on the Internet. I find out about many of mine from book review bloggers. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?

I'm reading a few different things right now. I'm on the third book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and on the side I'm working on Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk (which is super funny and quirky and awesome). I'm waiting on the conclusion to the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, which should be coming out in March.

4. I just read ALLEGIANT. Not sure why, but I never started reading Cassandra Clare’s books. Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library? How often do go to a bookstore? 

I buy the majority of my books. I don't go to the library often, but when I go on shopping sprees, they're for books, not clothes. My mom takes me to Half-Price books to browse. We even have a monthly budget just for book-shopping.

5. Wow! That’s so cool you pick book shopping over clothes shopping. And a better choice. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?

I occasionally visit LJ Smith and Cassandra Clare's blogs, as well the blogs of Daniel Waters (who wrote Generation Dead), Libba Bray, and Julie Halpern; sometimes even John Green's Tumblr blog. I like to keep track of what they're writing so I can watch for new books coming out, and I like to know more about the authors.

6. I’ve heard John Green has a great rapport with his fans. I really want to read one of his books this year. Has your teacher recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?

None of my teachers really recommend any blogs to me, and I think it's because not a lot of teachers at my school are very Internet savvy, but my English teacher will recommend books to ready anytime. He's a huge fan of classic literature.

7. Too bad your language arts teacher isn’t more Internet savvy and into the new YA books. It really helps get kids excited to keep reading like you do. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?

Mostly I just go to blogs to check for updates. So if an author keeps me posted on when new books are coming out, or if they plan on writing something new, or continuing a series, I'll be likely to go back often and check for status reports. I also like when I can purchase merchandise from the website (T-shirts or mouse pads or whatever). And I like it when authors post fanart or fan letters for the readers to see.

8. Checking the author’s website is a great way to keep up with what they’re writing. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

I don't think I've ever really had an author visit my school or anything -- I wish one would. Something I'd recommend to an author would be to let students ask questions. That way, you can be sure that nobody's bored, because kids are receiving answers they care about. It also involves the audience, which the audience likes.

Thanks for all the advice, Eleanor. I hope you get an author visit at your school one of these days.

Now, onto my giveaways. I’m going to be doing things a little differently this year. I’m getting less print ARCs and more e-ARCs. I want to promote these ARCs too so my giveaways of the e-ARCs will be e-book giveaways to keep my blog costs down. I hope you understand. And I’ll be offering multiple books with one winner winning the book of their choice so I can share more of the books I’m reading without blogging more.

So the blog posts don’t get too long, I’ll just be doing very short reviews telling you a bit about what I liked about these books. And I’ll provide a link to the Goodreads blurb rather than posting it.

The first two books are print books and open to US/Canada for a print book and e-book for International winner. I was so excited when I got THE ENCHANTER’S HEIR because Cinda Williams Chima is one of my favorite authors. Thanks to Disney for sending me this book.

You can read the blurb from Goodreads HERE, This is the fourth book in The Heir Chronicles, but is a total stand alone book. The story line takes a completely different turn with new characters.

I loved that this is an urban fantasy set in the industrial part of Cleveland. And the world building is fantastic with modern day wizards, sorcerers, enchanters, warriors, and sevants, magically damaged people who are the focus of this story and mistreated by the other groups. I always am drawn to underdog stories.

Jonah and Emma are both great characters, damaged and from completely different backgrounds. But they must work together to solve a mystery about a massacre that occurred years ago that could happen again. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Next I have a print ARC of FROZEN. Thanks to Penguin for this. You can read a blurb from Goodreads


This was co-written by Melissa and her husband Michael. I really enjoyed the mix of dystopian and magic. Nat basically hires Ryan to take on her on a quest and we get to see different parts of this pretty barren, frozen world. Funny that I read it right before it go so cold. Nat and Ryan are complex characters whose pasts we discover through the story. I found this to be fast paced and am looking forward to book 2 in the series.

Finally, I’m offering an e-book of INTO THE STILL BLUE, the third book in Veronica Rossi’s fantastic series. Or if you are behind in the series, you can win an e-book of wherever you are in the series. Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for proving me with an e-ARC. You can read the blurb from Goodreads HERE.

OMG, I love this series and this is a fantastic end to the series. Aria and Perry continue to come into their own as leaders. They face plenty of challenges and their worst enemy. It was fascinating watching Aria’s and Perry’s people, who had hated each other, forced to work together. I loved the love relationship between Aria and Perry and that they were a team. I really don’t like couples becoming mad at each other and estranged, in the last book in a serious. This was a total, total page turner that I loved, loved, loved. I can’t wait to read Veronica’s new series.

To enter the 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 about Eleanor’s interview and tell me what book you want through January 25th. If you’re from outside the US/Canada, please let me know this too. I’ll announce the winner on January 27th. 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.

Here’s what’s coming up:
On Wednesday I’m participating in debut author and friend Stina Lindenblatt’s blog hop to raise awareness about stalking in celebration of the release of her NA contemporary story, TELL ME WHEN. I hope you’ll stop by to read a more personal post than I usually write.

Next Monday, I’m interviewing Rosamund Hodge and giving away an ARC of CRUEL BEAUTY, her fantastic YA fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

And Wednesday next week I’m interviewing Stina Lindenblatt and giving away a copy of TELL ME WHEN, her contemporary NA story. Her characters are rich, complex people that I grew to love and even though I don’t read much contemporary stories, I read her book in two days.

The following Monday I’m interviewing MG debut author Rachel Searles and giving away an THE LOST PLANET. I loved the plot of this one. Chase wakes up on an unknown planet not knowing who he is and goes on an action packed space adventure to discover who he really is.

And don’t forget Casey’s Tip Tuesdays and Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Beth said...

What a great post! I especially loved Eleanor's interview. Based on her comments, I'm adding Josh Berk's book to my wish list. It sounds terrific! (And I would always choose book shopping over clothes shopping too.)

Stina said...

I always love your teen interviews, Natalie. I wonder how many high schools teachers actually read YA. I'm betting not as many as we would expect or hope--unless they are librarians. I bet even a lot of English teachers don't read them.

I can't wait for the final Cassandra Clare MI book to come out. It's been a loooooong wait.

Thanks, Eleanor and Natalie, for the great interview!

Jemi Fraser said...

Eleanor has very good taste in books! There are so many great ones out there! :)
I'd love to win any of the above - but I think Enchanter's Heir would be my first choice :)

Stephen Tremp said...

It's great to meet Eleanor! A monthly budget juts for buying books> Now that's a dedicated reader! And good luck to Nutschell and Alana too!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love interviews with students. It's so refreshing to get their take on things, especially if we happen to write MG or YA.

Karen Lange said...

Enjoyed the interview - it's interesting and fun to get another perspective like this. Staying in tune with readers is always a good thing. Looks like there are more great things coming up too!

Ellie said...

Oh wow. I wish my high school was that supportive in the arts. I remember sneak-reading Memoirs of a geisha in health class in the back, and I still got in trouble! lol. Guess I wasn't sneaky enough. And I totally chose book shopping over clothes shopping. :P
Thanks for the giveaway! I'm in the US

Barbara Watson said...

Love the insight into your YA reading, Eleanor. I have a son who's 15 also, but he skipped YA completely and reads adult fiction. He didn't like the constant focus on the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. :-)

Lydia Kang said...

I just love that you have book shopping sprees, not clothes shopping sprees! Great interview, you two. :)

Bish Denham said...

It's always nice to read about reading from the teen-age perspective. Go, Eleanor! Story Sprouts sounds like a great book to have. What writer doesn't like prompts and exercises?

As for book choices? I'm leaning towards The Enchanter's Heir.

Kristin Lenz said...

I'm with Eleanor - I love Libba Bray's books and just finished my second Rainbow Rowell book - she's moved straight to the top of my favorites list. No need to enter me in the giveaway today, Natalie - my to-read pile is out of control!

nutschell said...

Super thanks for the shout out Natalie!! Alana and I appreciate it :) So lovely to meet Eleanor and learn about her book picks--and what great picks they are! The Enchanter's Heir sounds very interesting!


Jessie Humphries said...

This post has way too much awesome, I don't even know what to comment about! Eleanor provided some very helpful advice on how to reach teen readers! Gosh, I would love to go visit her school one day.

Angela Brown said...

I loved the interview. Thank you to Eleanor for sharing her thoughts and getting my brain sparking on some things.

To Nutschell, many super Congrats on the anthology!!

And if chosen to win a book, I'd love an eARC of the second book in Veronica Roth's series. I read and enjoyed the first one but haven't had a chance to get to the second one like I thought I would.

Lisa Gail Green said...

Great interview! I LOVE hearing what Eleanor had to say and totally agree her taste. Libba Bray is my hero! :D

mshatch said...

Excellent interview and I'll be back for Stina's debut :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cool she finds books online and reads some blogs. It seems like most teens don't.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

How wonderful that Eleanor prefers book-shopping to clothes-shopping. If only every teenager was like that. And I'm surprised her teachers aren't more internet-savvy.

I'd love to read FROZEN. Glad you got a snow day last week!

Manju Howard said...

Thanks Eleanor for sharing your thoughts on YA novels. I hope most teachers understand the value of using the internet as a resource.
I would like to read Frozen on a warmer day. : )
Thanks for your blog post - Tweeting now.

Vivien said...

Book shopping over clothes shopping is my life!! I absolutely hate clothes shopping. I try to supplement it with book shopping as often as possible!!
GFC: Vivien

Into the Still Blue

kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

TerryLynnJohnson said...

great questions in this interview! Thanks for your answers, Eleanor! (Loved Eleanor and Park btw)

Into the Still Blue - been waiting sooooo long! Thanks for another super giveaway!

Nicole said...

Shopping sprees for books - love it! I do that too. ;)

Thanks to you both for a great interview.

S.P. Bowers said...

Hope you had fun on your day off work! My son was off school for two day.

I was never really able to get into Cassandra Clare's books. Just didn't like them.

Anonymous said...

I'd love Frozen. :) sharif(at)sharifwrites(dot)com

Great interview. Some of my students love my recs. It's great to encounter young people who are into books as much as me.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I don't think any authors visited my school either. It would have been awesome!

Heather said...

SO many great books to add to my to-read list! I'm so glad you ladies survived the crazy weather. You were in my thoughts!

Robin said...

Great interview with Elenor. I've fallen for Rainbow Rowell since meeting her at Yallfest (and then devouring her books) Attachements is waiting for me at the library RIGHT NOW! I love the book budget and that you find so many of your books through your mom. Growing up that's how I found them too. Also, your comment on the author visits and letting people ask questions, great suggestion.

Natalie, You know I'm a hard-core Chima fan, but since I already have that one, I'm going to FROZEN. Cruz was at Yallfest as well and on my read soon list.

Tina F. said...

Reading about Eleanor's interview was very inspiring. I'm a teenager as well, and working on my first novel, a YA high fantasy! It's awesome to know that there are plenty of book-loving teens out there, just like me. I'm also a huge fan of Cassandra Clare, like her, and am also a sucker for romance.

I would love a copy of The Enchanter Heir, but all of the books sound equally interesting. My email is tinafang99@yahoo.com and I have tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/tfang1289/status/423292113384525824

Fingers crossed!


Kelly Polark said...

I love Ask The Expert!!! Straight from the teen's mouth. Great Q&A!
Congrats to Nutshell and Alana too!!!

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview! I actually started reading John Green's books after I became addicted to his YouTube channel, years ago. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! And I LOVE the books you've reviewed--they sound right up my alley. Thanks so much for the giveaway! Cinda Williams Chima is a huge role model for me.

I also shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EpicEmmy/status/423628913722814464

Melanie Conklin said...

I love that she goes on shopping sprees for books, not clothes! I'd love to win Into the Still Blue, thank you!

Melanie dot Conklin at Mac dot com

CK said...

I just love how young people, nowadays, are into reading more and more. It shows so much promise, and Eleanor is just a good example of that. I find it awesome, too, that we're reading the same kinds of books.

I would love to win a copy of Into the Still Blue. I live in the Philippines. My email is camille_oliveras@yahoo.com

Thank you!

Unknown said...

I am soooo excited for Into the Still Blue. The first two books were great! I really appreciate this giveaway, thanks so much. I live in the US

email: mindyqindemars@gmail.com

shared on twitter: https://twitter.com/yabookshelp/status/424723795627106304

Jocelyn Rish said...

I don't know any teens, so I love your interviews with teen readers to get insight into how they pick books and learn more about authors. I featured these authors on my blog for YALLFest, so it was fun scrolling down and seeing so many covers I recognized. I haven't read Frozen yet, so I'd pick that one.

Danielle H. said...

Great to hear you love to read and would chose books over clothes. I'm sad to hear no authors have been invited to your school. I love hearing authors speak about their books and ideas. Questions for the student audiences are always a valuable part of the talk. I would love to win Frozen, if my name is drawn!

Jasmine Stairs said...

I have a book budget too! The main problem is sticking to it... (And yes I am a follower.)

prerna pickett said...

I can definitely relate with buying the majority of the books you read, and I love Rainbow Rowell too! I would love a copy of Into the Still Blue. Dying to finish the series.

Dwayne Johnston said...

Very good story...Keeps you interested. Really liked the whole series. Has enough romance and suspense in it. I really recommend it.

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