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're having a great day.


Medeia Shariff just sold her third YA book to be published this year. She sold THE WINTER I LOST ALL MY PRETTY HAIR to Evernight Teen. Here's a blurb:

Tabby Karim has plans that include nabbing a role in the school play, making Michael hers, and keeping bigoted Heather at bay; but when a teacher’s lie and her father’s hastiness rob her of her beautiful hair, her dreams are dashed. She spearheads Operation Revenge, which proves satisfying until Tabby’s problems deepen.

Tyrean Martinson just published LIGHT REFLECTIONS, a collage of everyday poetry. Go HERE for more details.

The winner of my Favorites Giveaway Hop is Aimee Nelson who chose INTO THE STILL BLUE.

The winner of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY is Crystal Collier!

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 so thrilled to have Terry Johnson here to share about her new book ICE DOGS that released February 4, 2014. I have a really soft spot for Terry because she was the first debut author I interviewed when I began blogging here about three years ago and her debut book, DOGLSED DREAMS was released. ICE DOGS is a fantastic story about 14-year-old outdoor girl Vicky rescuing Chris, who just moved there from the city, and getting lost in the wilderness. I read this in those cold, snowy days in the beginning of January and really appreciated being indoors. But I loved reading about the adventure of being totally in nature away from civilization that Terry so vividly paints for us. And the relationship that develops between Vicky and Chris is so sweet and natural.

Here’s a description from Goodreads:

Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival, and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her.

Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.

Hi Terry. Welcome back!

1. For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a writer.

I work as a Conservation Officer in northern Ontario. Before that I worked as a backcountry park ranger in a wilderness park for twelve years and ran my team of eighteen sled dogs in the winter. I spend a lot of time outdoors! I started writing nonfiction articles for outdoor magazines before I wrote my first mg fiction, Dogsled Dreams in 2009. I’ve been writing fiction for young readers ever since.

2. And I know you tap into all your experiences in the outdoors in writing your stories. Of all Vicky’s dogs, Bean was my favorite. Did you have a dog like him? And I loved how the dogs have their own personalities. Share what personal experiences you drew on in developing them as characters and in showing Vicky’s relationship with them.

I love Bean too! Yes, he’s a lot like my old leader, Apollo. In real life – I got turned around one day in a
whiteout while running my dogs near Thunder Bay, Ontario. At a fork in the trail I thought we should go right, but Apollo looked back at me and clearly said, “DUDE! Are you sure you don’t mean left?” I took his word for it and we made it home. Ice Dogs is the story of “what if I didn’t have a really smart lead dog?”

For the rest of the dogs in the story, I borrowed different personality quirks from the dogs I’ve known over the years. In the story, Dorset loves her straw. In real life, one of my dogs had a party in her doghouse every time it was Fresh Straw Day, tossing straw in the air and rolling in it, grunting with pleasure.
It was important to me to show the close relationship between a musher and her dogs in the story, so I’m thrilled with this question. Thank you!

3. You did a really good job of showing the sweet relationship Vicky has with her dogs. Vicky’s dad had a huge influence on her. And you did a great job weaving what happened to him into the story vs. just telling us at beginning of the story. It is a great example of showing vs. telling. Do you have any tips on weaving things like that into our stories?

I never feel qualified to give writing tips because each book I write differently and I’m always amazed I finished it. But one thing I do each time is try to keep questions in the readers mind. Adding answers slowly throughout the story is one way of rewarding a reader.

4. That’s a great tip. I loved the natural development of Vicky’s and Chris’ relationship through their ordeal of being lost. Share a bit how you developed their relationship and any challenges you faced in writing it.

That was the fun part to write because their characters played against each other so well. Vicky was a little rougher in my first draft, and that was a challenge to try and address my crit partner’s concerns but still keep her true nature. But the biggest challenge came at the end of the story. What kind of relationship do they have? What do they each get out of it? What happens next? These are the questions I struggled to get right.

5. It seems like quite a while since I first heard that you sold ICE DOGS. What’s been the timeline since the sale of the book? 

It sold in fall 2011, and it was slated for release fall 2013. Normally it’s about two years from contract to release. The publisher has Ice Dogs in their fall 2013 catalogue. It was explained to me that it’s still considered a fall release, but just at the end of their season.

6. Yes, I guess it’s a typical publication schedule. It just feels long when you’re waiting to read a book. Vicky is 14. It’s an age we don’t see that often in books maybe because it’s hard to classify as MG or YA. But I think it’s a major year for kids that there should be stories about. Are you and your publisher marketing this as a MG or YA book and why?

You ask the most thoughtful questions that get straight to the core of things! I agree, that seems to be a tough age for the industry to know what to do with. Vicky’s age changed a few times in the revision process with my agent and then with my editor just for that reason. I seem to write along that tricky line between the two. The publisher decided it was upper MG, and to be honest, I didn’t hear why exactly. I do think my writing style has something to do with it. I think not just the age, but the tone of the story dictates the category.

7. I never thought about the tone also guiding the age range a book is marketed to, but that makes sense. How are you spreading the word about ICE DOGS? Has your approach to marketing changed at all since your debut and if so, how?

I hired Blue Slip Media and they’ve been fantastic. Since I work full time, I didn’t have much time to spend on researching where to promote. They work with my publicist at HMH who has also been super supportive. They’re a great team for the book. The only thing I did that I also did for my first book was contact dogsled race organizers and offer a copy of the book to the race. That’s a niche market that I know.

8. I think it’s a great idea to hire a company or book blog reviewer to set up a blog schedule. What are you working on now?

I’ve just started a fun MG tentatively called Sled Dog School which follows three friends on their adventures.
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Terry. You can find Terry at:

Website: www.terrylynnjohnson.com
Blog: http://terrylynnjohnson.blogspot.com
Twitter: @terrylynnj

Terry has generously offered a signed copy of ICE DOGS 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 through March 1st. I’ll announce the winner on March 3rd. 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. This is for US/Canada only.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find all the participating blogs HERE.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Wednesday 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.

Next Monday, I’m interviewing a college student who blogs and is an aspiring writer and giving away a copy of PANIC, a YA contemporary, ELUSION, a YA dystopian, or HALF BAD, a YA Urban fantasy, and THE SHADOW THRONE, the final book in THE FALSE PRINCE series by Jennifer Nielsen that I love.

The following Monday I’m interviewing Natalie Lloyd and giving away an ARC of A SNICKER OF MAGIC, a contemporary magical realism MG story I loved. The characters are so well developed and the setting is a vivid, small town set in Tennessee. This is one of my favorite reads of 2014.

And Wednesday that week I’m interviewing follower Kelly Polak and giving away ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK, her new MG contemporary story.

Friday that week I’ll be participating in the Lucky is Reading Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of new YA releases to choose from.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for the interesting interview! I'm going to look for Ice Dogs. This is one my daughter and I will both enjoy!

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the interview, and congratulations, Terry, on your book!

Reading this interview made me think of the time I met Libby Riddles when she gave a talk on an Alaskan cruise ship I was on. The life of a dogsled racer is certainly an exciting one!

Stina said...

Great interview. I agree about hiring outside help for promoting books. Otherwise, you're not reaching beyond your regular circle.

I just want to hug the dog on the cover. :)

Unknown said...

This story sounds so exciting and different, especially since Terry's a real musher. I've always loved animal stories and read all of James Herriott's novels when I was a kid. Wishing Terry much success! :)

Angela Brown said...

I really enjoyed the interview, Terry and Natalie. Thanks so much for sharing. And it's a plus knowing that the writing comes from a place of experience and knowledge. There's an extra depth that tends to leak into the writing because of it.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I've noticed this book around so I guess getting outside help has worked! What a gorgeous cover and I love the premise. Thanks for the great interview! Loved learning more about Terry and her journey!

Martina Boone said...

Great interview, Natalie. And Terry! I've been dying to read this book since I saw the beautiful cover--but I've also been lucky enough to have Terry leave me hanging on every word as she tells adventures based on her own experiences. Having heard those, I KNOW that ICE DOGS is going to be an amazing read. I've got it ordered and can't wait for reading time! :)

Danielle H. said...

I have to read this book! This is my favorite kind of story when I was growing up and it still is. I love strong girl characters who battle nature and share bonds with animals. I will share this on Facebook. Thank you for the giveaway!

Old Kitty said...

Sounds like a great adventure story and with a feisty young heroine and gorgeous dogs too! Yay! All the best Terry! take care

Bish Denham said...

I read Kazan the Wolf Dog, Call of the Wild, and the Silver Chief books as a kid so when I first heard about Dogsled Dreams I got excited. I wasn't disappoint. I've looking forward to Ice Dogs for a long time. So PLEASE, put my name in the hat! I have also tweeted about it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I remember when you sold rights to that book. Wow, such a long time ago.

Dog sled races are your niche - take advantage of them, Terry!

Christine Rains said...

Great interview and it sounds like a terrific story. So great you get to go on such fun adventures. I went to college in North Bay. I do miss the north!

Jemi Fraser said...

I love this book!! Terry's books are huge hits with my students too! All of my copies are always being read! :)

(I have my own copies so I'll let someone else win :))

Beth said...

Congratulations to Medeia - and to Terry! So exciting for both of them.

Nikki said...

This book has been on my radar for a while - I'd love to win a copy for my library!

Amber Lough said...

Congratulations! So exciting. This book is on my list!

Anonymous said...

I remember Dogsled Dreams! I've been meaning to read it and then lost sight of it. I can't believe it's been 3 years already.
Thank you so much for the interview and giveaway. I'm putting both books on my list. I don't want to forget again.


Barbara Watson said...

Ice Dogs has been getting a lot of pub on Twitter. Sounds like a great one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's funny about the dog and the straw. We always had dogs when I was growing up and they do indeed possess different personalities.
Congratulations, Terry!

Anonymous said...

I shared it on FB:

and twitter:

Rachna Chhabria said...

This book sounds so different from the usual MG books. I had first heard about Ice Dogs last year.

Stephen Tremp said...

I remember Terry and her bob sledding dogs. Best wishes to her and her books.

And Congrats! to Aimee and Crystal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this interview...and oh my, I love the photo! Have a hardcover and an e-copy of this title so no need to enter me in draw.

Love, love this book!

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to Medeia, Tyrean, and Terry! Sounds like you have a great lineup heading into spring.

Don't enter me in the giveaway since I recently won. Have a great week!

Jessie Humphries said...

I feel all cold just thinking about getting lost in a white-out! You have a really great background and it's fascinating to learn about...me being a girl from the Vegas desert and all. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Sounds like a fabulous story. What a unique vantage point to be able to write from.

Congrats to Medeia. That girl's on fire!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

I enjoyed Terry's first book, Dogsled Dreams (that I won from you, Natalie!). Great interview, Natalie and Terry. Have to agree that a character who is 14 is hard to classify as either MG or YA. Upper MG sounds right to me. But it does depend a lot on the voice.

Wow, Natalie, you have some great stuff coming up too.

cleemckenzie said...

What a great job she has. It must be quite an inspiration for her stories. Sorry she's had such a long wait for Ice Dogs to come out.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love how you got all of the dogs personalities. I'm so excited to read this book!

Jenni said...

Great interview! I have a soft spot for adventure stories. Looking forward to reading this!

Natasha said...

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

Unknown said...

This is such a stunning book. This is a lovely story line that I would let my 10-year-old daughter read, but she is a very advanced reader for her age. I would also read it with her. I am looking forward to that opportunity. I know both my children will love this book. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

mshatch said...

I am so looking forward to reading this!

Ann Finkelstein said...

Interesting interview. I just reserved a copy of Ice Dogs - on the off chance I don't win the contest. :-)

Wendy said...

I love a good dog story! The cover reminds me of our neighbors huskies and their haunting howls. Thanks for sharing this.

Valerie said...

I follow you via Bloglovin and GFC.
Valerie Theberge
Thanks for this giveaway!

Jennifer R said...

I've had Ice Dogs on my to-read list. Thanks for hosting a giveaway! I'm going to share on FB and Twitter.

Rosi said...

This one is on my TBR list. It sounds terrific. Thanks for a chance to win. I will be tweeting the link right now.

Kristin Lenz said...

So great to see Terry's book here! Save the giveaway for a new reader - Terry's one of my critique partners. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including me in your news. :)

I loved Terry's book. I'm glad she's working on something new.

PK HREZO said...

Aw, sounds great! And I love her writing advice!

Denise Covey said...

Congratulations to the winners! And doesn't that Ice Dog's cover look great!

Candace said...

I love that she incorporates some of her real life experiences, even if they are changed a bit. I think being a park ranger would be a lot of fun, though probably a bit scary being so isolated.

Mary Preston said...

This looks & sounds just so wonderful. Sweet cover.


Nicole said...

Ice Dogs sounds great! I love the concept.

Liz said...

Sounds like a great book and thanks for the advice on marketing and writing.