Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • 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! Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and a great rest of your week. Anna Li and I went to a lake cottage for the day with friends for the holiday and had a fantastic time. And I planted all my flowers, something I always love. It's so important to focus on the good things in life.


Award-winning author, Maria Dismondy, who has shared some guest posts at Literary Rambles, is presenting two webinars this summer for the low price of $40 a class. Learn how to publish that book you have been thinking about writing for years or educate yourself on marketing the stellar book you've already published! Find out more and sign up here: http://www.mariadismondy.com/programs/



Travis Bow's novel THANE released on June 1st. Here's a blurb:  A passionate boy joins the rebel cause and throws himself into his training, learning everything from sword play and lock picking to disguise and deception... until betrayal destroys him, remaking him into a truly dangerous man.
"Bow's terrific debut... is like a runaway freight train, barreling forward and fun to read." -- Kirkus Reviews

And I have a few winners to announce.

The winner of SCAN is David King!

The winner of THE FALCONER is Vivien!

The winner of THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY is Emily Moore!

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 Sklar Dorset here to share about her YA fantasy THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS that released yesterday. Since I got behind in my reading, this is on my summer-to-be-read list as I love urban fantasies that deal with fairies.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?

When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.

Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.

Hi Skylar! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Hello, Internet world! ::waves wildy:: I am Skylar Dorset, I’m a lawyer turned law professor, I’m the oldest of three girls, I was born and raised in Rhode Island and did all of my schooling in Boston, I drink a lot of tea, and I spend too much time on Tumblr. I can’t remember I time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always been writing stories in my head. I didn’t finish my first story until college—before that, I just wrote a lot of beginnings—and then it took me another ten years before I wrote THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS and decided to try to publish it.

2. I didn’t know you are a lawyer. Me too. How cool! Where did you get the idea for your story?

One night I had a dream in which I saw a man I didn’t know walk into his house to find a blonde woman asleep on his couch. I sometimes have these dreams that feel to me more like pieces of someone else’s story that I’ve been dropped into. That’s how this dream felt, so I ended up spending a lot of time trying to figure out the story behind those two. That moment turned into the opening image of THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS.

3. What an awesome way to come up with a story. I love that your story deals with fairies and the Seelie Court. There have been a lot of books written about them. How did you make your story unique and what advice do you have about taking a story idea that’s been around and giving it a fresh spin?

I *hope* that I made them unique by making them *mine.* Deciding to set the story in the city I consider my home—so taking these supernatural elements and tethering to the real world in a very urban-fantasy way—helped to make them feel more like mine, like I was living every day with all of these things. So they stopped ever feeling like someone else’s to me. Another thing I did was I stopped reading in the genre once I decided to write in the genre. I wanted the ideas in my head to come from me and not to have become subconsciously absorbed, if that makes sense. To me, that’s the most important thing to do if you want to give something a fresh spin: I feel like you have to kind of quarantine yourself a bit. The other thing I did was make sure that it was the story I *really* wanted to tell. If a story is clawing its way to life inside of you, chances are it really is your story, not anybody else’s.

4. Those are great ideas on ways to make the story your own. Share a bit about Selkie, your main character, and what your process was in developing her character.

Selkie took me a while to find. I started her story many times without really getting a handle on her, and then decided to switch to first-person POV, which ended up being the real key to unlocking her. I think she’s a private person, not given to sharing a lot about herself easily, and it really helped to just get into her head instead of talking outside of her head. Selkie is just as sweet as she is stubborn, and she’s not so much shy as she is cautious. She knows what she cherishes in life, and she’s protective about that. And she’s serious and very funny at the same time.

5. I’ll have to try switching the POV if I get stuck in the future. I read that editing is one of your challenges craft-wise. And when you went on submission, you got an editor request for edits that really challenged you to rethink some of the story, including the climax. Share a bit about what you’ve learned about editing through this process. 

What I learned is that my editor is a genius! I am really bad at objectively judging my own work. I’m sure
that most people are, I doubt that that is an issue specific to me. And I think many people are really hard on themselves, but I’m mostly like, “Well, I think that’s perfect, all done.” And I know that’s not true, but at the same time I’m really bad at identifying what about it needs to be changed to make it better. I always feel like I wrote what I wanted and I’m not sure how to tweak it. My editor is so fabulous, because what she’ll do is say, “This is all fantastic, but I feel like if you ended that scene here instead of there, you could a, b, and c.” And then I’ll be like, “OH MY GOD THAT’S SO OBVIOUS WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT.” And then everything is a million times better!

6. I am so bad at judging my own work too. Your agent is Andrea Somberg. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?

When I decided to try to find an agent for this novel, I decided to be kind to myself about it. I braced myself for the many rejections that I knew would come and told myself not to let them get me down. Which is, of course, easier said than done. What I do when I want to maintain some kind of emotional distance is I get very organized and orderly. Something about a spreadsheet soothes me. So I queried a bunch of agents using my organized spreadsheet, and I felt like I really connected with Andrea. I felt like she really loved my book and got it and would be a great advocate for it. I spoke with some of her other clients, who all loved her, and so my decision was made. The submission process actually took a while and I ended up giving the book a major edit based on suggestions we got, but Andrew kept the whole thing upbeat and supportive and I loved having her as a teammate for the journey!

7. I’m organized too so I’ll have to try your technique. I know you are a member of a few debut author groups, including one on Tumblr. Share how you became a member of these groups and how they have helped you. And has being on Tumblr enabled you to reach out to other potential readers than you would on a regular blog?

The debut groups were the brain children of other brilliant people, who were nice enough to include me, and I am grateful for these brilliant people every day. It’s been nice to make friends with other debut authors who are going through the same things you are. I can ask them questions because I’m so incredibly confused and generally what I get in response can be, “I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THAT, EITHER,” so that I no longer feel so alone! And it automatically increases the number of people in your corner, cheerleading, building buzz for your books. And, as for Tumblr, it’s funny you mention it, since I included it in my description of myself. It took me a while to really understand Tumblr, and now I’ve realized that basically it’s a place for you to go and look at gifs of hot British actors, and I’m so pleased we invented the Internet, you guys. In all seriousness, aside from the aforementioned gifs, I learn so much on Tumblr and meet such great people. And with a regular blog, I think the build to understand who a person is is slower, because you have to populate it with so much stuff before people get a full picture of YOU. The ability to reblog the stuff that speaks to you really lets you build a more complete picture of you much more easily, and allows other people to find that more complete picture of you much more easily as well.

8. You’re making me want to check out Tumblr. What are you working on now?

I just finished up edits on THE BOY WITH THE HIDEN NAME, which is the sequel to THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS and will be out in December. And now I’m in the middle of an e-novella treat that will be inserted between the two books!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Skylar. You can find Skylar at too many online places:

Thanks for all your advice, Skylar.

Skylar has generously donated an ARC of THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS 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 June 14th. I’ll announce the winner on June 16th. 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 residents.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Wednesday I have a fantastic guest post with follower and debut author Jessie Humphries and her agent Sarah Davies. There's going to be a big giveaway, including a giveaway of KILLING RUBY ROSE, her YA mystery thriller, a t-shirt, a $20 Amazon Gift Card, and a query critique by Sarah Davies.

Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Bethany Neal and a ARC giveaway of MY LAST KISS, her YA ghost story/mystery. I loved it.

The following Monday I have an ASK THE EXPERT interview with a high school student and will be offering a number of MG and YA books for a giveaway to get you started on your summer reading.

The Wednesday after that I have a guest post by Pam Torres and a giveaway of her MG book IT’S NOT JUST A DOG.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Joni said...

There seems to be so many faerie books out there- but this one does seem to have a mood/feel all it's own. That cover is dragging me in a bit as well… Looking forward to checking this one out! ^^ Thank you for the giveaway!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I love that cover! I like Skylar's attitude about taking the legends and myths and making them entirely her own. THAT is how you write a great book based on mythology that others have written about, too.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love the sound of this book. For A CHANGE OF PLANS I was having trouble too until I shifted to first person. All the rest of the books are fine in third. That one just needed it.

Kristin Lenz said...

Congrats, Skylar! Thanks for sharing your story. Natalie - Tumblr intrigues me too, but it's so confusing I think I need a tutorial!

mshatch said...

I've found shifting to first person can help me get to know my characters better, too. Love the idea for this book :)

Kim Van Sickler said...

Skylar is a great author name for urban fantasy stories! I keep waiting for book ideas to come to me in my sleep. Sigh. Maybe I need to drink herbal tea before bed or meditate. Best of luck with the fun-sounding book, Skylar!

Jessica Lawson said...

Congratulations to Skylar! What a fun interview and great-sounding story. Sounds like Skylar has a wonderful relationship with her editor. Natalie, I'm so glad that you and Anna Li had a great time at the lake cottage!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I never get book ideas in my dreams. Sigh. I too shifted to first person Point of View for one manuscript and I feel the story is much better because of it.

Heather said...

I've got to read The Girl Who Never Was! The first paragraph of the description had me hooked!

Vivien said...

Ooo I hadn't heard much about The Girl Who Never Was until now. Sounds fantastic!! Congrats!!!
GFC: Vivien

kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

Beth said...

This book sounds so charming! Congratulations to Skylar on a great debut.

Michael G-G said...

Natalie, glad you were able to get away to the cottage. Thanks for the great review and interview with Skylar. I would love to be in the running for winning THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. (As Dianne S. said, the cover is amazing!)

Michael G-G said...

And here's my tweet: https://twitter.com/MGMafioso/status/473511294088519680

Barbara Watson said...

Sounds like a great read! And thank you for sharing your journey, Skylar. I especially liked the part about editing.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great interview! The Girl Who Never Was sounds like a fun and fascinating read! I enjoyed reading about Skylar's creative process. Thanks for sharing!

Old Kitty said...

Hi Skylar!! You have a lovely name! And by golly poor Selkie's got one hell of an adventure as well as a very complicated family and relationships!! I wish you both all the best!!! Take care

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't the Tumblr world yet either - one day!
Love the cover and the premise is so intriguing!!

Patchi said...

This sounds like a fun fantasy. I'm adding it to my TBR pile :)

cleemckenzie said...

Her titles are wonderful. I should hire her to help me out with mine. No Tumbler yet. I'm already buried in Soc.Med.

Stina said...


You've got to love brilliant editors. :D

Unknown said...

Hi Skylar!

My daughter's name is Skyler :) looove the premise Thank you for giving us a chance to win your book! And congrats to you on your debut book!!!

Unknown said...

& forgot to mention I will retweet this post :)

Leigh Covington said...

Maria's classes are exciting news. Thanks for sharing!
And CONGRATS to Skylar on the book. Sounds fantastic and the cover is awesome!

Krysten Lindsay Hager said...

I agree with you about the importance of focusing on the good things! Great interview!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Skylar! I absolutely love your cover, and the book sounds great!

Rosi said...

Thanks for a great interview. This book looks like a great one. I tried to Tweet about it, but every time I tried it said it looked like it was an automated message and it wouldn't post. 8-( This has been going on for a couple of months. If anyone knows how to overcome this, I would love to know. Anyway, the book looks terrific and I will be looking for it.

Angela Brown said...

The book's title is very intriguing and it sounds like one big adventure and drama rolled into a fantastic reading burrito. I enjoyed the interview, as always, Natalie :-)

S.P. Bowers said...

I love those titles! My current WIP is with beta readers, I've been working on it on and off for two years and STILL don't have a title.

Jeri Baird said...

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS sounds fantastic! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Karen Lange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Lange said...

Great interview. Thanks for the intro to Skylar. Thanks also for the news about the webinars. Sounds like they'll be very helpful.

I'll pass on the giveaway for now. Have a good week!

Danielle H. said...

Thanks for the interview! I especially loved how you think your editor is a genius. I know I miss things that others can find and I've learned to have an open mind to try to understand why someone makes a comment. I posted to Facebook! I can't wait to read your book.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS sounds like a great read. I love the premise (and the title for that matter).
Great interview.

Emma A. said...

This book sounds really interesting.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Mary Warth said...

Thanks for the great interview Skylar as a fellow Rhode Islander- congrats!!
I'm excited to read your book.

Anonymous said...

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS looks amazing. I'd love to read it. Congrats to all the winners mentioned.

Stephanie Garber said...

Congrats on your book release, Sklar! THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS sounds just like the kind of book I love! Can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

My gosh...so many great books to read! And loved the interview. Thanks for the thoughts on tumblr in particular. Still trying to get a handle on that one. Congrats on you book!