Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • 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
  • Alex Brown Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/9/2024
  • Leslie Zampetti Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 10/7/2024

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! I'm happy not to be at work today. We had our first layoffs start last Monday. It was sad to see our friends go and already there are messy, stressful cases to handle. But it'll be get better as I review things. And having a day off will definitely help me be more refreshed as I tackle my desk tomorrow. Once I figure out what's going on in my new cases, things will be better.


Crystal Collier is celebrating the release of her YA book in print version. Go HERE to help her celebrate.

And Charlie Holmberg has a story published in the anthology MY BLOODY VALENTINE. Here's a blurb of the anthology and Charlie's story:

My Bloody Valentine is a multi-genre story collection embracing the fact that love hurts. 
Blurb (Charlie's story"Salt and Water"):
Enslaved and brutalized for the healing properties in her tears, Chellis may find the key to freedom in the soft heart of one of her handlers. To find out more, go here:
Link to the Facebook release party tonight: https://www.facebook.com/events/623476677687751/?source=1
Link to the Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20662978-my-bloody-valentine---story-collection?from_search=true

Alex Cavanaugh's publisher has a sale going on of CASSAFIRE, a sci-fi space opera. You can buy it for $.99 through today. Go HERE for details.

And other news/contest reminders:

 IndieReCon, an online writer conference like WriteOnCon, that focuses on self-publishing, will be February 25th-27th. You can go HERE to find out more details soon. 

And Terrie Wolfe from AKA Literary Management will be doing a picture book contest at Sharon Mayhew's blog on February 10th. Five fiction and five nonfiction writers will win a critique and a 30 minute phone call with Terrie. There will be a MG and YA one in March and April too. Go HERE to find out details.

And one last piece of awesome news. Adventures in YA Publishing is doing a pitch + page contest for MG/YA/NA authors on February 15th. There will be book prizes and a critique by an agent. I'm honored that I'll be one of the judges. Go HERE for details.  

And the winner of THE LOST PLANET is Karen Lange!

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 thrilled to have debut author Ryan Graudin here to share about her YA fantasy, ALL THAT GLOWS that releases tomorrow. I have known about this book for ages and now I finally got to read it. I loved that this is an urban fantasy about the fae set in our time. And Ryan has created a really unique world, which is hard given the number of books about faeries. And I’m a sucker for the forbidden feelings between Emrys (such a cool name) and Prince Richard, who she was sworn to protect.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Hi Ryan! Happy Release Day!

Thanks! I’m so excited to be here! Literary Rambles was a really big help to me when I was a querying writer!

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

I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. I did not have a television. I played in the woods and reenacted epic stick sword fights with my brothers. At night I read books. Eventually reading books wasn’t enough, and I had to start writing down the stories of my own. It started at the tender age of eight and just kept going from there. I studied creative writing in high school and college and wrote every chance I got.

2. Sounds like you totally loved writing since you were a kid. Where did you get the idea for your story?

Most of my ideas are born from traveling (which is why I hop on a plane every chance I get!). The seeds for ALL THAT GLOWS were sown back when I was a teenager and made my first trip to London. I got to tour Buckingham Palace, ride the London Eye, meet the tower ravens… all things that eventually bloomed into Emrys’s story. The catalyst was actually a prompt for an anthology I was trying to get a short story published in. The editors were calling for stories about “modern, sexy” faeries. I started thinking about what it would look like if modern day royalty had faery godmothers, which led me to write chapter 2. The story pretty much tumbled out after that!

3. That’s an awesome way to come up with a story idea. And traveling can certainly help inspire story
ideas. I loved that this is an urban fantasy and that it is set in our time. What made you decide to set it now in our world and what tips do you have for others (including me) trying to write an urban fantasy?

The very first “image” of Emrys’s story that came to me was of her exasperatedly trying to protect Prince Richard as he partied in a very crowded night club. The story just came to me that way! I loved exploring how immortal creatures like Fae, who’ve seen so much over the years, interact with the modern age. I was also very careful to balance the mythic feel of Emrys’s narrative with modern detail (laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc). To give the story more of a timeless feel I tried to keep out references that would date the novel, such as Facebook or Tumblr or modern songs, etc. I think the key to setting urban fantasy in the modern world is not to be afraid to weave the two closely together. Make the details of the fantasy aspect just as tangible as real world details. Accenting both makes the reader believe they actually exist in the same realm.

4. That’s great advice on how to balance the two worlds and keep out the things that might date the story. I’ll try to watch for that. Your world building is fantastic and includes Banshees, Black Dogs, and Green Women. Share about your world building process and how you decided on these three magical beings.

Thanks! Because the novel is set in the British Isles I decided to base a lot of ALL THAT GLOWS’s mythology on actual folklore. Banshees come from the Celtic Irish tradition, where hearing their wail means impending death. In ATG they are spirits who are drawn to places of death (funerals, graveyards, etc) and can reap a mortal’s soul with their scream. Black Dogs are also omens of death in English folklore. The Green Women in ATG are based on the Baonan Sith of the Scottish Highlands, which are evil female spirits who appear to men clad in green, dance with them and lure them off into isolation before revealing their demon selves and devouring the men whole. There are other parts of Emrys’s story which are based in real lore and legend. There is a real superstition that if the ravens leave the Tower of London the crown will fall and the kingdom with it. Herne the Hunter is also said to be a spirit who is local to Windsor and its woods. I had a lot of fun trying to implement these legends into my worldbuilding process!

5. I love the myths that come from that part of the world. They really can make for fantastic world building. Name three things you love about Emrys. Do you see yourself in her at all?

She’s a fighter who doesn’t back down from unbearable odds. She wears layers of old queens’ and duchesses’ pilfered skirts. She isn’t afraid to cry.

There are a few pieces of Emrys that I see in myself. Her loyalty and desire to fight for those she loves being the biggest one. I’ve also always wanted to be a redhead. So there’s that.

6. Tell us about your road to a book contract.

It took me over 200 queries, 3 manuscripts and 1.5 years to land my first agent! I actually used Literary Rambles quite extensively as I was building my query lists and searching for the perfect fit. ALL THAT GLOWS (which at the time was known as LUMINANCE HOUR) caught the eye of Alyssa Henkin, who offered me representation in Spring 2011. Together we worked on revisions and went on submission in late July. Two weeks later, August 3, 2011, HarperTeen bought ALL THAT GLOWS and its sequel! Alyssa and I have since parted ways, but I’ll be forever grateful to her for helping me land my first publishing deal.

7. Wow! That’s such an inspiring story of not giving up. To me, it felt like a long time—over a year—between when I heard about your book sale and the release of your book. Share a bit about this timeline and how to handle the long wait.

You weren’t imagining it. It was a long time. From book sale to book shelf it was exactly two and a half years. I’m not going to lie, waiting that long was pretty torturous. The publishing industry is slooooow and it’s not uncommon for books to get pushed back to rearrange lists. I stayed sane by focusing on other projects. I started working on other novel ideas, which ended up paying off, since I have not one, but two books coming out this year.

8. Great idea to work on a new project while you wait. And awesome that you have another YA book, THE WALLED CITY, releasing in the Fall, 2014. Share a bit about it and what it’s been like planning for two book releases in one year.

THE WALLED CITY is one of the projects that I focused on to make the wait for ALL THAT GLOWS’s release bearable. I find it incredibly ironic that, though they were started nearly 2 years apart, they’re releasing within nine months of each other. THE WALLED CITY is a YA thriller that follows the journey of three teenagers who are trying to escape a lawless, walled city. There are opium dens, lost sisters, a boy with a scar and a secret past, ruthless drug lords and dumplings. It’s a project I love with my whole heart and more and I’m really excited for the world to meet it in November!

Planning two book releases in one year hasn’t been too terrible, since a lot of the big edits and things for ALL THAT GLOWS were finished over a year ago. It’s catching up with the next few years that will be challenging (2015 will be another guaranteed two book year for me).

9. Ooh, I can’t wait to read THE WALLED CITY. What are you working on now?

I just finished up major revisions for ALL THAT GLOWS’s sequel, and that’s in copyedits now. In between promo stuff for ALL THAT GLOWS I’m working on the first book in a very sekrit duology that Little, Brown bought when they purchased THE WALLED CITY. It isn’t related to THE WALLED CITY in any way. The first book should be out in Fall 2015!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Ryan. You can find Ryan at::

Website: ryangraudin.com

Ryan and her publisher Harper Teen generously offered an ARC of ALL THAT GLOWS for a giveaway. o 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 through February 22nd. I’ll announce the winner on February 24th. 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 but the winner would get an e-book or $5.00 Amazon gift card.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Wednesday I’m participating in PK Hzero’s Blog Tour with an interview and giveaway of BUTTERMAN (TIME) TRAVEL INC., a fantastic NA time travel story that I really, really enjoyed.

On Monday I’m interviewing Terry Johnson and giving away a copy of ICE DOGS, her upper MG adventure story about a girl and her sled dogs and a guy she helps getting lost in the wilderness. I read it in early January and loved it.

And Wednesday next week I’m interviewing debut author Gayle Rosengren and giving away a copy of her middle grade historical novel WHAT THE MOON SAID. It’s about a girl moving from Chicago to farmland Wisconsin during the Great Depression.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Donna K. Weaver said...

Congrats to Ryan. I love that name for a girl. Your cover's beautiful. I've added this to my to-read list.

Robyn Campbell said...

Hahaha, congrads Karen. So glad she won. Sorry about the layoffs Natalie. :( Hope your week is smoother than last. Congrads Ryan! Sounds like a wonderful read. Adding it to my TBR pile. Great cover, btw. Your road was filled with many queries. Glad you found your way.

Stina said...

I'm one of the judges, too, in the Adventures in YA contest. :)

Love the title and blurb for All That Glows and The Walled City sounds like my kind of read.

2 1/2 years is like forever, especially now in the era of ebooks, where authors are coming out with new books every few months. But at least now you've got lots of books coming out over the next year or so. :D

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yay, on the day off. We have more snow falling here and it was not fun to drive in to get hubs to his Van-pool this morning. Even anticipating the layoffs, like you were, it's still hard to have those circling pink birds land. It's also draining to left behind and have all sorts of cases dropped into your lap. Hang in there girl!

Ryan, how you came to be published is a story into itself. :-) I like the way you weave the local folklore into your story. It sounds like a good read for a winter's day.

Some great tips on not aging a story with too many references to the modern world. Made me stop and think. I only have one story I've written set in YA paranormal genre. It didn't start out that way. In fact I had a different idea all together but then I had this character that insisted I write it from her point of view. Lol! It was fun. I really should edit it.

Congrats on getting with Harper! Good publisher.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Barbara Watson said...

I love when stories begin from a real-life thing. Many do, but still, you know what I mean.

PK HREZO said...

What a great story! In every sense of the term!

Jessie Humphries said...

You have to take over other people's cases that were layed off?!!! That sounds extremely difficult, Natalie! I wish you tons of good luck with that :)
Yes, this sounds like a great read. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Bish Denham said...

Bummer about the layoffs. That's a sweet cover for your novel, Ryan. Congratulations!

Crystal Collier said...

Woot, woot! Here's to growing up without TV. Real adventures are so much better.

Natalie, enjoy your day off, and my heart goes out to you. I hate saying goodbye. (Even if it's not permanent.)

Patchi said...

All that Glows sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it :)

Michael G-G said...

Sorry about all the turmoil at work. Thanks to you for such an amazing blog here, with so much information and support for writers. This was a great interview with Ryan Graudin--and she's right: we Brits have some awesome folklore and legends!

Rosalyn said...

Good luck weathering the layoffs. And thanks for yet another terrific interview.

Beth said...

Ryan, your book sounds terrific - such a fresh and original idea. How great is it that you finished another book waiting for your first to be published!

Kristin Lenz said...

I don't read a lot of fantasy, but the description really drew me in! Maybe it's the blending of a fantasy world with our current real world. Laini Taylor did this is in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I loved it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There is a lot of myth to draw upon in England. Congrats on the book, Ryan.

Old Kitty said...

Awwww hope beautiful Emrys finds the power of love will conquer all and perhaps tame bad boy Richard too!! All the best Ryan!! Take care

Lydia Kang said...

So excited to read Ryan's ATG! I know I'm going to love it. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

All that Glows sounds spectacular - love the way the story emerged to Ryan! :)

Stephanie Garber said...

Great interview! I'm so excited to read ALL THAT GLOWS (and THE WALLED CITY it comes out). Congrats on your debut, Ryan!

And, Natalie, I'm so sorry about layoff's at work. I remember when something like that happened at my last job--it was a really difficult time for all of us that worked there.

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

Great interview! I want to know more about the black dogs...

And thank you for the shout out, Natalie!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Congrats Ryan! All those epic swordfights as a kid deprived of TV really paid off.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations, Ryan! That's a fantastic story about never giving up. Thanks for sharing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's right - the Ravens can't leave the Tower of London. And that's why they clip their wings so they can't. (I used to live there. London, not the Tower.)
Congratulations, Ryan.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Ryan. I enjoyed the interview and her book looks awesome. Fantastic books news, too.

Cynthia said...

Congratulations, Ryan, on your book! How inspiring it is to see that things fell into place for you after your 200 queries. It gives many of us struggling authors inspiration to know that there can indeed be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Nicole said...

Wow, that is quite the road to release! Congrats to Ryan!

Unknown said...

This book sounds so amazing! Thanks so much!

cleemckenzie said...

Hat's off to Alex as always. And great to find out about My Bloody Valentine.

Rosi said...

Wonderful interview. This sounds like a terrific book. Thanks for posting this and for the chance to win.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Wish I could travel more! It's so inspiring.
I love the cover

Erica said...

Love all the details about Emrys - she sounds great.

I am SO excited for All That Glows! I'm a follower.

Danielle H. said...

I know what you mean about the publishing industry being so slow. I think it seems worse because of all the instant things we have today from mail to food. Thanks for sharing your publishing journey with us. I hope to win your book! I will share on Facebook.

Carina Olsen said...

<3 I love this post. And the interview is amazing :D Thank you both so much for sharing! I do think All That Glows sounds like a great book. <3 And that cover is just so gorgeous.. Sigh.

Kiku said...

Bloglovin - Kristina Vallaste
Tweet: https://twitter.com/Deemotay/status/433248354114351106
kurri121 AT hotmail DOT com

Thanks! :)

Heather said...

I'm so excited for Crystal, and Alex, I love both of their books! And I'll be checking out the anthology and All That Glows.

Unknown said...

I, too, didn't have a TV as a child - at least for many years. Then, when we got a TV, we were allowed to watch for 30 min. per day on weekdays. (I still do not watch much TV - far preferring my books.) We spent out time outside, too. I remember playing all kinds of games that we'd dreamed up with toys created from sticks and stones. It's so amazing what the imagination can do. Thank you for a wonderful interview. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congratulations Ryan!!!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

What a great roundup of good stuff. Inspiring!

Theresa Milstein said...

How nice you're using this blog to promote a few authors in this post.

mshatch said...

Fantastic interview and All That Glows sounds like something I'd love! Congrats to Ryan :)

sjp said...

Great covers! Love all that glows!

Tina F. said...

I know everyone says to not judge a book by its cover but...I do. And this cover is breathtaking!
I shared this post on: https://twitter.com/tfang1289/status/433461420156403713
And my email address is tinafang99@yahoo.com

Natasha said...

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

Mary Preston said...

ALL THAT GLOWS does look amazing. Thank you for the wonderful post.


Clever Girl said...

So excited about this book! Thanks for the giveaway
BL Clever Girl

Llehn said...

I'd love to play please! Thanks.


Britt said...

Really want to read this one. Cover is so pretty and I love all things Fae. My email is brittersweet83@aol.com