Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024
  • Miriam Cortinovis Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/6/2024
  • Jenniea Carter Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/8/2024
  • 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 6/24/2024

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 start to your week.


Stephen Tremp is releasing his new sci-fi book ESCALATION. ESCALATION: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop. Go HERE to find out more. Congrats, Stephen!

Jessie Humphries just revealed the cover of KILLING RUBY ROSE, her YA story about Ruby Rose who follows in her father's footsteps and tries to catch the bad guys. Go HERE to congratulate her and enter her contest.
And Martina Boone released the cover of her new YA story COMPULSION, set in the South about three
founding families of a town, one who is cursed and two who are granted magical powers that turn into compulsions. Go HERE to congratulate her and enter her contest.

Congrats to everyone on your fantastic news!

And the winner of my three book giveaway is Danielle H who chose PANIC.

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 and follower Christina Farley to share about GILDED, her YA contemporary fantasy that released March 1st. Christina does an amazing job making you feel like you were in Korea where this is set and with the Korean mythology which the story is based on. And I love Jae Hwa, who not only has to adjust from American LA culture to living in Korea, but also finds herself the target of a Korean demi-god. This is really a fantastic story and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she's next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There's also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae's heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae's been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she's always been looking for.

Hi Christina. Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I didn’t actually set off to become a writer. It was more of I was compelled to write about my adventures living overseas. I’ve always had an overly active imagination, which is fun to use in my teaching. So when I began writing those down, the process became an outlet for me to get all those stories out that were flying through my mind. The more I wrote, the more I realized I was hooked.

2. Awesome that you started writing as a result of your life overseas. I can see how that could lead to some fascinating stories. Where did you get the idea for your story?

GILDED is based on the myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa. You can watch my video here that goes into all the details: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL2Sn26fqrU

3. You did such a fantastic job in portraying Korean life. I really felt like I was there. And I read in your bio that you lived in Korea, so I’m guessing that helped. Do you think your ability to show us Korean culture came solely from living there or did you have to research it as well? And what tips do you have for the rest of us who want to write from a culture or country different than our own but can’t go live there?

Yes, I do believe that I couldn’t have written GILDED with the same mood and emotions without living there. There is something very real and vivid about sitting at a café and writing about the world moving right before your eyes.

I tend to be a more cinematic writer so I love to draw my readers into my stories using very specific details that they probably don’t even notice when they are reading the book, but those details bring a story to life. I’m sure atmosphere of GILDED could only have been captured from my standing on the streets of Seoul, smelling the air, listening to the sounds, and falling in love with the people.

Nearly every scene in all of the GILDED series books is set in places that I’ve actually been to. I think that’s what made it so fun to write.

4. I think it’s those little perfectly described details that made me love your setting so much.
Your story is based on the myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa. And you also weave in other Korean mythology into your story. What research did you do into this and what were some of the sources you found helpful?

I did quite a bit of research for the Spirit World scenes. I lived not far from Gyeongbok Palace and that became the inspiration for the setting of Haemosu’s palace. I took tedious notes of all the palaces in the region as well as visited all the museums Seoul had to offer. My little notebook for GILDED is full of drawings, lists, designs, and notes from my outings.

While living in Seoul, I taught at Seoul Foreign School and was able to interview experts on Korean history and mythology. Then just down the path was the back entrance to Yonsei University, one of the most prestigious universities in Korea, which also had great resources for me to use.

5. Good thing you decided to write while you lived there and could really study it all. Jae Hwa is such a great character. She’s American at heart and her reaction at first to what she finds herself faced with seemed really realistic. And I loved watching how her relationships with her Korean family and friends changed through the story. Share about how she developed as a character as you wrote Gilded.

I’m so glad you love Jae Hwa. It’s been fun to write these books from her point of view. I would like to say I did a whole character sketch of her, but that would be a lie. Her voice rang out to me loud and clear, and always had from the get-go. One thing that did help me was creating a collage of images that I cut out from magazines. I glued them onto a piece of paper and then posted it next to my writing computer. Here’s a vlog where I show how I did this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3chpYaMLYxg

6. Wow! That’s a great idea. I read that you were involved in the cover design of your book, which is really unusual for an author. Share about how you got involved in this and your cover design.

I was involved in the cover design for GILDED. My editor has been great about bringing me into this whole process of creating GILDED. It’s allowed me see how much effort goes into each step along the way. Basically my editor asked for ideas I had for the cover. It was so interesting how her thoughts and mine were nearly identical. For the full process, you can check this post here on it: http://onefourkidlit.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/behind-the-cover-of-gilded/

7. Not many authors get the input you did on your cover. And I know you had the same attention to the Korean aspects of your story in designing it. Your agent is Jeff Ourvan. How did he become your agent and what was your road to publication like?

GILDED would never be in the hands of my readers if not for my agent. I had just finished a massive revision on GILDED and it was time to look for an agent. I queried a bunch of agents, looking for those who I thought would ‘get’ a story set in Korea. Then I read Jeff’s bio and an interview he did. As soon as I read it, I knew he’d be the perfect agent for me. He has traveled extensively overseas and lived in Japan. Plus he loves fast-paced stories with a thriller bent.

It was within a few weeks after he asked for a partial and full that he offered representation. At that point I emailed the other agents who also had the full. In the end I had other agents offer representation, but after talking to Jeff on the phone, I knew he would be the right fit. And I was right!

8. I can see why you felt he was the right agent for your book. You are a part of OneFour Kid Lit and a few other debut groups. Share about what groups you’ve decided to join and how it’s helped you as you went through your year leading up to your debut.

Yes, I’m a part of some amazing writing groups. I would be totally lost without them! Not only do they offer great advice, but they provide that support when dealing with debut insanity.  If you’re a debut author, I highly recommend either joining a group or forming one of your own. It has made this whole debut experience so much richer for me. I also think those relationships are the best part of all.

9. Yeah, I’d definitely want to join one. You’re also part of the YA Chicks Kickin’ Tour, where you have a tour planned in Central Florida with four other authors. Tell us about how that got organized and what you’re planning to do.

The tour was inspired during a lunch that Amy Christine Parker, author of GATED, and I had. She lives in Tampa and became a close friend since we were both going through all of this debuting stuff together. We’d meet for lunch and chat. We were talking about how much fun it would be to do a tour of our own and decided to go for it. We teamed up with three other author friends to visit schools, libraries and bookstores.

I could probably do a whole post just on planning the tour and how we put it together! My biggest advice to anyone who is considering this is team up with someone that is flexible and gets how you work. I am so thankful to be working with Amy because, seriously, she is a not only an amazing person, but she’s professional, talented, and innovative.

Here’s the link for our tour’s website: www.yachicks.blogspot.com

10. That’s great you’re friends with another author that lives close to you going through debuting too. What other marketing plans do you have that you think other debut authors should consider?

I love teaching and talking to people about books so I can’t wait to get into classrooms to teach teens and adults the craft of writing. Ultimately a debut author should make a list of their strengths and build their whole marketing strategy around that. You can’t do everything and you don’t want to do everything. Focus on what you love and build from there. Your passion for that will show through in what you do.

11. What are you working on now?

I’m revising a possible book 3 in the GILDED series. It hasn’t been bought yet, but I just had to write the book so I did! I also started another project early last fall, but had to put it aside for revisions. I’m anxious to get back to it and see where the story will take me.

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

Website: ChristinaFarley.com
Twitter: @ChristinaFarley
YouTube: www.youtube.com/chocolateinspired
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChristinaFarleyAuthor
Tumblr: http://christinafarley.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/16173250-gilded
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gilded-The-Series-Book-One/dp/1477847014/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391539820&sr=8-1&keywords=gilded+by+christina+farley

Christina has generously offered a signed copy of GILDED 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 22nd. I’ll announce the winner on March 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.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I’m interviewing debut author Kristi Helvig and giving away an ARC of BURN OUT, her YA sci-fi story. It’s a great story set on Earth about Tora, who may be the only person on Earth, who really needs to leave and has to decide if she can trust the people who come knocking on her door.

Next Wednesday I’m interviewing Susan Quinn and giving away a copy of FAERY SWAP, her fantastic new MG fantasy I really enjoyed and THIRD DAUGHTER, her NA steampunk fantasy that sounds really good. Susan is a successful self-published author and she has lots of advice to share with you.

The Monday after that I’m interviewing debut author Elle Cosimano and giving away a copy of ELLE, her YA thriller that I’m really looking forward to reading.

Wednesday that week I’ve got a guest post by MG Buehrlen and giveaway of her YA novel THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE about a girl who has visions of living in times in history. It’s another one I’m hoping to read and MG blogs at YA Book Central, a fantastic blog that helps promote authors and their books.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Joni said...

This book was an adventure FILLED with Korean fantasy. I can't wait for the sequel… ^^
Awesome interview! I would love my own copy of the book- thanks for the giveaway!


Stephen Tremp said...

Thank out Natalie for the shout out! And goof luck to Christina and Gilded.

Bish Denham said...

I'm reading Gilded, now and liking it. Great interview! I like how Christina had cover design input. It doesn't look like so many YA books do, with a brooding or warrior female on the cover.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great interview. Loved the video explanation too. I started school in Korea--obviously this was a very long time ago and Seoul is different place. I'm so adding this book to my to-read list. I love that so many books are taking young readers to different, real places. Congrats!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm a sucker for any book that really envelopes you in the setting and makes you feel like you're there. And it sounds like this has a great story to boot! Thanks for introducing us to Christina and GILDED, Natalie!

Barbara Watson said...

So fun to hear more about your journey, Christina! Thanks for the interview, ladies.

Old Kitty said...

You don't mess with Ms Jae!! She sounds terrific! All the best Christina and yay for Stephen too! take care

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I need to tell my neighbor's daughter about her book - Nicole just came back from teaching a year in Korea. Immersion is the best way to research a location. Every major city in my books is one I visited or lived in.

Christine Rains said...

Great interview! What an amazing experience to live overseas. The book sounds fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the release of your novel, Christina. So interesting to learn that it is based on a Korean myth. Good luck!

cleemckenzie said...

I love being able to do the kind of research Christina mentioned. I learn so much by going to places, making notes, taking pictures and then trying to integrate what I've seen into a story! Congrats on the book. And another congrats to Stephen.

Meradeth Houston said...

Wonderful interview! I'm really looking forward to reading Gilded, though I know it's going to make me want to travel! :)

Robyn Campbell said...

Congrads, Christina. I hope to get Gilded for Ivy within a week or two. It sounds awesome.

Shout out to Stephen. What a great guy. He's everywhere today and that's as it should be.

Christina Farley said...

Thank you Natalie and Casey for having me on your blog. I loved your questions and sharing with you about my experiences. You both have been an inspiration to me as a writer and I can't wait to see where you go with your talents in the future!

Carina Olsen said...

Ohh, I love this interview. Thank you both so so much for sharing :D And I really love the cover for Gilded. It sounds like an amazing book. And I would love to win a copy of it. <3 Thank you so much for the chance :)

Karen Lange said...

Lots of good news! Thanks for sharing. :) Appreciate the intro to Christina too. It's so nice to learn about other writers.

I'll pass on the giveaway since I recently won. Thanks again for a great interview!

Angela Brown said...

I really enjoyed the interview, Natalie and Christina. It was wonderful getting a chance to discover a new-to-me author and to get some insider info on the process GILDED took to get published.

Vivien said...

This book sounds really fantastic!! Every writer has their own story and it's always fascinating to read them :)
GFC: Vivien

kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christina, I have seen your book all over with great reviews! Congratulations and enjoy the ride.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Gilded has been getting great publicity on the blogosphere. Congrats Christina! I am definitely intrigued.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Wow! There aren't too many YA novels set in Korea. How unusual! And how wonderful that her publisher let her help with the cover and the design of the book. Sounds like a great read too.

DMS said...

I have been hearing awesome things about Gilded, so it was great to learn more about the author. It does sound like she was able to set the scene in the book from her own experiences. Wishing Christina the best of luck. Thanks so much for the giveaway. :)

Carrie Butler said...

This sounds so different. I can't wait to read it! :D

Jenni said...

Loved the part about how you did your research, Christy! Huge congrats!

Llehn said...

It's about time someone wrote fiction with Korean myth.


pandas4vic said...

Thanks for introducing us to Christina and Gilded! I love reading stories set in other countries...so much for us to learn and get to know. Absolutely fascinating!

Rosi said...

Congratulations to Danielle. I loved the idea of making a collage to keep by the computer. That must be great especially for setting. The cover is gorgeous. Please let someone else win. My TBR pile is tottering.

Cynthia said...

GILDED sounds like an interesting book, and congratulations to Christina for getting this published !

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I am a public follower of yours on GFC as Carolsue. I hope this is how you want us to follow....
This looks like such a great book .... hope I win.
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Liz said...

Ooo.i love books with Asian settings. Looking forward to reading it.

Danielle H. said...

I can't wait to read this book! I am very intrigued by the Korean culture as I really don't know much about it. I have already shared on Facebook and am hoping to win. Maybe I will have something to talk to my Korean neighbor about afterwards!

Kiku said...

GFC & Bloglovin follower: Kristina Vallaste
kurri121 AT hotmail DOT com

Kel said...

It sounds like she really did find the perfect agent for this story. It's a shame her tour is only in Central Florida, though. Just a little further toward the snowy, frigid north next time. ;)

Email: bookedtiltuesday (at) gmail (dot) com

Emily R. King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily R. King said...

Love Jessie's cover. Can't wait to read it.

Awesome interview. This sounds like a unique YA with the Korean culture. I look forward to it just for that.

Tyrean Martinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrean Martinson said...

Loved this interview! I appreciate all the information about the novel writing process, and the group of YA authors. Jae Hwa sounds like a great character!
Thanks for sharing!

S.P. Bowers said...

I love stories based on myths from foreign cultures. And how fun to be able to write about the place you live. I would love to do that but then I'd have to move to Russia. I don't think my hubby would agree to that.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I've been seeing the cover of GILDED around the web and thought it looked great, but I didn't realize it was set in Korea. Since I've been obsessed with Korean dramas the past year, this sounds like a perfect read for me.

Mary Preston said...

I'd love to learn about Korean mythology. What a fabulous subject matter.


Robin said...

Great interview. Now that I know Christina lived in Korea when writing the novel I'm even more interested in reading it. Also, I have a weak spot for mythology, so this book is now on my TBR list.

Eric M. Collier said...

Finally, a book with a different mythology! I watch and read *a lot* of Japanese, Korean, and other Asian supernatural and horror flicks/books (subtitled and translated, unfortunately). The folklore of those cultures are awesome. Buying Guilded from my local independent bookstore today :)

Kelly Polark said...

Congrats to Christy! I love her beautiful author photo, too!!
Great interview, ladies!

Nicole said...

Congrats! This is going on my TBR and looks like an amazing read.

Stina said...

I'm so excited for Martina's cover!!!!

That is so cool that Christina lived in Korea. That will make a huge difference in the story telling, especially when it comes to setting and mood. And she couldn't have done better for that level of mythological research.

Anonymous said...

Great covers and yay for Christina. I can't wait to read my copy.

Natasha said...

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

Anonymous said...

I'm game for this!

PK HREZO said...

Wow Natalie how do you manage to read so many books?? You're a rockstar reader!
So many great covers up there!! Compulsion looks awesome.