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! We're officially on summer break. Yay!

It's going to take me a bit to get to your blogs today. I have to take Anna Li to 7:15 am swim practice everyday until she gets her drivers license. Hopefully that's coming really soon.

First I have some winners to announce.

The winner of REBORN is Deb Marshall!

And the winner of THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is Krysten Hager!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your books. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I’m doing a summer fun giveaway of some middle grade and YA books that I hope you’ll enjoy and my last Ask The Expert Interview for this year. Details of the giveaway will be after the interview.

I’m excited to have Ann-Marie, an 11th grader here, to share about the books she likes to read and how she finds out about them.

Hi Ann-Marie! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

I’m almost 17 and I go to Northwest High School. I’ve been in choir for six years. In my spare time I like to paint, draw, read and browse YouTube. I used be into dystopian themed novels like Divergent and The Hunger Games. But now, I have a wider range in tastes.

Does the fact that your mom’s an aspiring author affect what you read?

Not really, because the kind of books my mom likes to write appeal to a younger audience. I tend to read things that are at a more mature level like Edgar Allan Poe.

2. I still like dystopian novels but have branched out in my tastes too. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?

Usually the books I read are through on self-discovery. I typically don’t read the popular books because they don’t appeal to me. But I hear about books from my friends, and if they sound interesting, I’ll give it a go.

3. That’s a great way to find out about books. What are you reading now?

I just finished The Fault in Our Stars and the Divergent series. Right now I’m in the middle of reading 1984. I’m also reading My Trip Abroad by Charlie Chaplin and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

4. I definitely want to read The Fault in Our Stars and am hoping to read it in audio version. What books are you waiting to be released?

Nothing right now.

5. Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library?

I rarely use library services. Either my mom buys hard copy books for me, I borrow them from friends or I get them online to read on my Kindle.

How often do go to a bookstore?

I like to visit bookstores to see what they have. My favorite is Schuler Books because they have a wide selection of all different kinds of books.

6. I’ve heard great things about Schuler Books. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?

No. I’m not really into the blogging world.

7. Has your teacher or mom recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?

My teachers talk about Sparknote.

8. My daughter uses them too. 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?

Being relatable is always a good thing. Having a user-friendly web site is important too--one without a billion things that require you to be “in the know” to know what it is. I like author bios, which helps you if you want to get to know the author or have to write a paper about them. Also, I like being able to contact the author. Let’s say, you’ve finished their book and you’re confused about something, I’d like to be able to contact the author to get an answer.

9. Those are great tips on author websites. Have any authors visited your school? 

We had authors visit in elementary school like Lisa Wheeler and Ann Purmell, and middle school with book signings and a chance to ask questions, but we haven’t had any in high school.

10. The author visits really dropped for my daughter too in middle school and high school. Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

It’s not interesting if the person drones on about the typical stuff. I like it when they give a little bit of backstory, like why they wrote the book, and if any of the characters are based on real people. I also like to know the deeper meaning behind a detail in the book—it could have a deep, beautiful meaning, but you won’t know unless you’re the person who wrote it or the author tells you about it.

Thanks for all your advice, Ann-Marie.
So I have some books I won and ARCs I received from Harper, Penguin, Random House, and Walden Pond to share with you today. Click on the titles to read a blurb from Goodreads.




So there will be five winners. 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 July 5th telling me your two top choices. I’ll announce the winner on July 7th. 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 I will pick at most one winner from Canada due to postage costs and any winner not from the US or Canada would win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Here’s what’s coming up:

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

Next Monday I have an interview with Lindsay Cummings and a giveaway of THE MURDER COMPLEX, her YA futurist thriller that I really enjoyed.

Next Wednesday I’m interviewing debut author and follower Jessica Lawson and a giveaway of her MG historical fiction book THE ACTUAL &TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER. This is a fun read and I loved Becky, the adventurous middle grader who has a great voice you can’t help loving.

Then I’ll be off until Wednesday, July 2nd when I have a guest post by Tara Dairman and an ARC giveaway of her MG contemporary novel ALL FOUR STARS.

The Monday after that I’ll be participating in the Just Couldn’t Put It Down Blog Hop. I’ll have lots of great choices for you.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Dianne K. Salerni said...

Ann-Marie sounds a lot like my daughters in her reading tastes and habits.

They also get their TBR list mostly from recommendations from friends.

Don't enter me in the giveaway. I have too many books to pack up and move out of my classroom in the next 2 weeks to be getting more in the mail right now! (Although I might make an exception when you're giving away the Becky Thatcher book!)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fun interview. Love those cover. I like going to book stores too, but since becoming an author they intimidate me. lol

Joni said...

Interesting interview-
And so many fun looking books! I would love OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY or CABINET OF CURIOSITIES- thanks for hosting the giveaway!

Old Kitty said...

Hi Ann Marie! Lovely to meet you! 1984 is one of my all time fave books - I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Take care

Karen Lange said...

Nice to meet you, Ann-Marie! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Natalie, thanks for hosting. Hope you are enjoying summer break so far. Swim practice, huh? Once upon a time I made that run too until my daughter got her license.

I'll pass on the giveaway for now. Have a wonderful week! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Most teens don't find books through blogging and similar sites, they find them through each other. That's an important marketing tip for YA writers.

MyPaperParadise said...


MyPaperParadise said...

Not sure if my mail is there: magda.borkowska98@gmail.com

Barbara Watson said...

Word of mouth is the best way to hear about a book, I think. Right from a tursted source.

Wanderville is on my reading list so I'd love to win that one.

Vivien said...

1984 is absolutely one of my favorites!! I also agree, word of mouth works better than almost anything else!
Cabinet of Curiosities.
GFC: Vivien

kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

Kim Van Sickler said...

Great hearing from Ann-Marie. She is a very poised and well read young lady. Natalie, I'll select Wanderville and Gilded.

Brenda said...

Hi Natalie, sounds like your Summer is off to a great start. Or maybe a busy but fun one. I always enjoy reading these interviews and find the books they choose interesting. I would like to select The Hero's Guide or Cabinet of Curiosities, both are on my reading list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like her school needs more authors visiting.

Suzanne Warr said...

Great interview--many thanks to our expert for sharing! My top two pics are the Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw, and Wanderville, since it was already on my To Read list. I've tweeted about the giveaway, and will keep my fingers crossed. :)

Happy MMGM!

cleemckenzie said...

Meeting readers in school is the best experience. I do this each year and always come away feeling hopeful about our future. Great to meet you here, Ann Marie.

jpetroroy said...

I'd love
1. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw
2. Wanderville.

Great series of interviews!

J Lenni Dorner said...

"I like author bios, which helps you if you want to get to know the author or have to write a paper about them." That is the best and most logical tip I have ever heard on this topic!
I would love if Ann-Marie (or perhaps a high-school English teacher) could expand on that. It's difficult to know what to put in an author bio. But realizing that someone, such as a student, may need certain author bio information in order to use a book for a report, that gives a better direction for writing the bio initially.
I feel like I'm having a lightbulb moment here.

Anonymous said...

Word of mouth is such a powerful for book promo.
Many thanks for this generous giveaway. If I get lucky, here are my choices:


Anonymous said...

I tweeted about it:

And shared on FB:


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I'm looking at Wanderville and The Cabinet of Curiosities. sharif(at)sharifwrites(dot)com

It's great to see young people going about finding books in different ways. I used my school library the most, followed by the public library, and many gems were found at the flea market. I wish I had gone to bookstores more.

Greg Pattridge said...

Loved the interview. I like that this young high school student is branching out and reading a wide variety of stories.

My two choices: Wanderville and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

S.P. Bowers said...

I only remember one author visit the whole of my schooling. I'm glad they have more now, even if they taper off in high school.

Put me down for Gilded or Ophelia and the marvelous boy

Nicole said...

Fun interview! It's great to hear the wide variety Ann-Marie is reading. I'd love any of those books you feature, but if I haaaad to choose, my top two would be Gilded and The Well's End.

Stina said...

I always love these posts from kid's and teen's pov. It's so easy to forget what our target audience is like when it comes to social media.

Leigh Covington said...

OOH! I'm really excited about those MG books! I'm always looking for something new and fun to put in my classroom! I'm writing these down! So glad you shared.

Rosi said...

Nice interview. Lots to glean from this. Thanks for the chance to win. I really like the sound of WANDERVILLE and OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY.

Emma A. said...

My top two choices are: GUILDED and THE WELLS END.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Mary Preston said...

Very interesting thank you.


I am INT


PK HREZO said...

I love hearing from teens like this. So helpful as an author to know what attracts them. I knew they weren't reading blogs. Sounds like classroom visits are truly beneficial. *makes note to visit a classroom*

holdenj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holdenj said...

Great post! I would be most interested in Gilded, followed by The Well's End. Thanks!

E.G. Moore said...

I love hearing from our audience, and making mental notes on what sort of marketing I should do when I finally get a novel or two published. :)

I would love to be in the drawing for THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES or GILDED. My email address for this drawing is emilygmoorewriter@yahoo.com

Julie Dao said...

WOW - I love all of those book covers! So gorgeous! Thank you to Ann-Marie for taking the time to answer these questions; it's always nice to hear from our target audience and find out what they're reading at the moment, and what they hope to read.

Danielle H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win The Hero's guide to Being an Outlaw and my second choice would be The Cabinet of Curiosities. I will share on Facebook.

Michael G-G said...

Happy summer break! Hope that Anna Li gets her driver's license soon ;-)

You really want us to choose among all these fabulous books?! Well, if I have to, I'll choose WELL'S END and THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Thanks you so much for being so generous.

I tweeted too: https://twitter.com/MGMafioso/status/478948668305731584

Kel said...

Thanks for sharing the book love with us!

Gilded and Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy.

bookedtiltuesday (at) gmail (dot) com

Jess said...

These are all great choices! I've won more than my share from your giveaways, but I'd choose OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY and WANDERVILLE

Wendy said...

Too many good choices is a good problem to have. I'm a MG lover so I guess it would the THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES or OPELIA & THE MARVELOUS BOY. Find me at wendy (at) wendygreenley (dot ) com.

Beth said...

Great giveaway, Natalie! My top two choices would be OPHELIA and THE HERO'S GUIDE.

Mary Warth said...

Thanks so much for the great interview and giveaway! My top two choices are THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES and WANDERVILLE. I had to ask my son to decide as they all look great!

Cherie Reich said...

What a fun interview! I loved being in choir in middle and high school.

Congrats to the winners of Reborn and The Girl Who Never Was!

My top two choices are GILDED and THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Congrats to the winners.
I enjoyed the interview, especially what makes a presentation more interesting at a school.

Ann Finkelstein said...

Interesting answers, Ann-Marie. All the books look great. If I have to name two top choices, maybe Hero's Guide and The Cabinet

Jeri Baird said...

My top two choices are:

I've already read GUILDED and enjoyed it.

Lori Norman said...

Thank you to Ann-Marie for sharing her reading experience, ideas, and insights!

Kristin Lenz said...

Fun to see Ann-Marie here. I know her mom. :)

DMS said...

What an excellent interview. It is always great to hear right from kids and teens about how they decide to read books and what authors can do to get them to their sites. Thanks to Ann-Marie for agreeing to be interviewed.

The giveaway is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing. :) I would love any of the books- but if I had to pick 2 they would be:

I am an old follower. I will be tweeting and sharing on Google+


DMS said...

Tweet: https://twitter.com/dmsfiles/status/480505119125946368

Margo Berendsen said...

I'd love to win any of these. I went through a stage where I avoided libraries too and bought most of my books, but now I have too many and use the library to keep my house from collapsing from too many books!