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PIPER MORGAN PLANS A PARTY through December 9th
THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES through December 23rd
COOKIE CUTTERS & SLED RUNNERS through December 23rd

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Elizabeth Bewley Agent Spotlight Interview on 1/10/18
Molly O'Neill Agent Spotlight Interview on 1/22/18

STEFANIE GAITHER INTERVIEW AND FALLS THE SHADOW GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope everyone is adjusting well to the start of school. We had a good first week. It's weird that I just went through my last first day of school with Anna Li since she'll be at college next year at this time. There's going to be a lot of lasts this year.

FOLLOWER NEWS

PK Hrezo's new YA time travel INDUCTION DAY recently was released. Here's a blurb:
What if saving 1500 lives from the past meant losing the one person you love in the present?
And here's a few links:
 
Today I’m excited to have debut author Stefanie Gaither here to share about her YA sci-fi thriller FALLS THE SHADOW that releases on September 16, 2014. I was immediately hooked from the first few pages where we learn about Cate and her replacement sister Violet. I found the whole concept of creating a replacement in case the first child dies very intriguing and I kept turning the pages wanting to learn more about Cate’s world.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

Hi Stefanie! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Hmm, let’s see…I’m a twenty something former small-business owner who, when a sophomore in college, decided she could become a published author. And I’m also very, very stubborn. So, a lot of bad poetry, four novels and 100+ rejections later, here I am!

But seriously, I’ve been filling notebooks with words since I was a teen, and devouring books since long before that. And running a business was fun, but writing is really the only thing I’ve ever consistently thought I could be happy doing for the rest of my life. So it’s what I kept doing, even on the bad days, until I got here.

2. Sounds like you’ve done a lot already in your life. Where did you get the idea for your story and the whole idea of replacement children?

I think it’s hard to pinpoint an exact place of origin for any idea. At least for me, it’s usually a collection of quotes and songs and other stories I’ve seen. And in the case of FALLS, I’ve always been interested in stories that center around family and loss (true story: almost everything I’ve ever written begins with a death). So I decided to combine these themes with my love of sci-fi, and then this book just…happened.

3. That’s cool how you combined the themes you love focusing on. Share about your world building and the considerations that went into creating your futuristic society.

Worldbuilding with this book was tough, because I knew I wanted it to be set in the near-future, and not in
a complete dystopian setting; I had to really work to keep the atmosphere balanced. I wanted it to remain eerily similar to our own world and grounded with things the reader could relate to, while at the same time having lots of neat sci-fish twists. So, Cate still goes to a normal school, still deals with bullies, still lives in a normal house on a normal street. But there are small things—the transportation, the weapons, the remnants of a war that’s taken place in the decades between now and then—that make it more futuristic, in addition to the cloning technology. I tried to keep even those futuristic touches from being too far-fetched, though, by basing almost all of them on technology that already exists in some form or fashion. Of course I took some liberties with it all, but it’s all grounded in actual theories and research I did while writing.

4. I did enjoy the combination of what felt normal with the new technology you created. Cate is a great character and very loyal to her sister Violet, even the replacement one. What was her character development like for you? Share a bit about her.

Kind of an interesting fact: when I first started thinking about writing a “clone book”, the main character was going to be a clone. That seemed like the natural choice, but when I started to brainstorm, I kept getting flashes of the story from an outside character’s perspective instead, and I began to wonder how a person (Cate) would deal with having this new replacement sister thrown into their life.

And I guess it was easier for me to relate to—and therefore write— Cate, since I experienced the loss of several family members at around the same age she did, and I also gained step-family members when I was a teen, who I guess you could say were would-be “replacements” for things I lost. Though none of them were possibly-murderous clones, as far as I know. But I’d definitely say my own experiences shaped Cate’s development probably more than any character I’ve written, even though I didn’t really set out to write a character like me at all.

5. I’ve had a lot of losses of family members too, so very sorry for your losses. It’s great you could turn the experience into your great story here. I know this wasn’t the first book you wrote. What had you learned from the prior manuscripts about the craft of writing that helping you in drafting FALLS THE SHADOW? Was the drafting process easier for FALLS THE SHADOW?

I’ve learned that I’m not a super fast drafter, and that’s okay. I move slowly and I edit as I go, which I hear so often is the “wrong way” to do it, because “all first drafts should be crap”. But I don’t like writing crap if I can help it, lol. I’m a perfectionist, and I’m more productive when working on a scene if I feel like everything that came before it is at least *close* to being decent. That way, there’s less work to do when I type “The End” for the first time. This is also part of the reason that I started working from an outline with FALLS, which I hadn’t done previously—less work on the backend; it makes getting that initial draft down a slower and more grueling process, but for me it’s less daunting than having to do ten rounds of edits once I “finish”.

6. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only really slow drafter. Sara Megibow is your agent. How awesome! Share how she became your agent and your road to publication.

Nelson Literary was the first place I queried with every book I wrote, including FALLS THE SHADOW; it had become a sort of tradition—a rejection from Nelson meant I was officially in the querying trenches again :) So when I received a response to FALLS’ query within a couple days, I was shocked to see it was a partial request, and then even more shocked when Sara wrote back the next day asking for a full. A week or two later, I got “the call”. I ended up with four offers of rep from some seriously amazing agents, but in the end, Sara was the one I personally connected with the most, so she’s who I went with. But yeah, I was a cold query—no references, no prior publishing credentials, none of that. I just wrote the best query and book that I could and let fate handle the rest.

7. What an awesome way to get an agent that gives us all hope. What’s something that’s surprised you about the year leading up to your debut book’s release?

There haven’t been too many surprises, since I’ve been trying to break into the publishing world for a few years and so I’ve read A LOT of books and blogs about how things work, and also because I’m fortunate enough to have an agent who is very communicative and good about letting me know what to expect in each part of this crazy journey. But it’s still surprising when my book shows up on someone’s blog as a featured title in say, a Waiting on Wednesday post. Or on a blog post about “Most Anticipated YA books”. It’s still weird to realize that complete strangers are excited about reading my book. And there’s no way they’re all my mom in disguise like I thought at first, because there is no way she has that many blogs and Goodreads accounts.

8. Those are cool surprises. I’ve read your advice to use the social media avenues you feel most comfortable with, not ones just because they were successful for someone else. What’re your favorite social media networks and what ways are you most excited about using to spread the word about your book release?

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with social media. I go through fits where I love Twitter and Tumblr, but a lot of the time they wear the introvert in me out; I admire authors who manage to both write books and write several witty tweets a day—and I love following them! But the social avenue I probably use most regularly is Pinterest; I loved creating visual inspiration boards for books like FALLS, and I’m looking forward to creating a board to pin photographs of it “in the wild” in different places, as I’ve seen some other authors do.

9. What are you working on now?

Lots of different stuff! Nothing real definite to talk about at the moment, though. (boo for boring answers like this, I know)

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

Website: www.stefaniegaither.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorstefaniegaither
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stefaniegaither
Tumblr: http://definitely-stefanie.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stefaniegaither/

Stefanie generously offered a copy of FALLS THE SHADOW 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 September 20th. I’ll announce the winner on September 22nd. 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:

On Monday I have a guest post by PJ Hoover and a giveaway of TUT, her MG story with mythological themes. I’m a huge fan of PJ’s and am excited to see how her books have been both traditionally published and self-published.

Next Wednesday I have a guest post by long time follower and debut author Joshua Bellin with a giveaway of SURVIVAL COLONY NINE, a YA sci-fi story.

And next Thursday I'm doing a Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway  Hop. I'll have lots of great book choices to choose from and will continue offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card if you don't like my choices. Look for this to post Thursday afternoon.

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Kendall Kulper and a giveaway of her YA historical fantasy SALT AND STORM. I really liked the 19th century setting and Avery is a great heroine.

The Monday after that I’ll be interviewing debut author Elissa Sussman with a giveaway of STRAY, her YA fairytale retelling. I really enjoyed her unique spin of fairy godmothers.

And don’t forget Casey’s Thursday Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!

98 comments:

  1. I'm one of those strangers excited to read this one! Love the premise & I think choosing Cate for the pov sounds brilliant!
    Natalie - glad the school year is off to a good start - hope you both enjoy this year :)

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  2. After many rejections, I bet that call from Nelson was a real surprise. Congrats, Stefanie.

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    1. It was definitely a surprise! That whole week of the offer was a blur. Thanks for the congrats!

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  3. *waves to Natalie* What a great story, Stefanie. Absolutely amazing. You definitely wanted Nelson to be your agency. Love it. The book sounds great. I hope to pick up a copy.

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    1. Yup, I couldn't imagine being with anyone but Nelson-- now or then. I hope you enjoy if you do grab a copy!

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  4. This book has such a cool premise. I'm adding it to my TBR list.

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  5. This is so going on my TBR list. Disappointed it's not an audiobook yet. I did check first. :D

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    1. Thanks Donna! Fingers crossed for an audio book in the future :)

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  6. Loved reading about you Stefanie! The books sounds really good. I love the "what if" process of coming up with a plot. Good luck!

    Hi Natalie! Hope all is well with you. There's the first day of college for Anna Li so you still have lots of firsts coming up.

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  7. What a great success story! Love that cover. It's so different and so exciting.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I agree-- my publisher did a great job with this cover.

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  8. Great story! Looks like an intriguing read.

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  9. Wow, this sounds like a killer book! Er, um, a really interesting story! lol Great interview, too. I always love getting insights into other writers process and how they develop their worlds and characters. Thanks for an awesome post, and happy MMGM!

    --Suzanne
    www.suzannewarr.com

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    1. A killer book indeed ;) Glad you enjoyed the interview!

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  10. Great story and that cover is killer!

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  11. Natalie, hope you enjoy Anna Li's senior year. And yes, it'll go fast. Remember, commencement means beginning, not ending.

    Great premise for a novel! Sounds like a must-read. And I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only slow writer. I've always had this horrible tendency to edit myself as I write and everyone keeps telling me, no, no! Don't do that! So it's great to hear of a successful author who writes that way. Stefanie, I laughed out loud at the line about your mom in disguise.

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    1. It's not that horrible of a tendency! I figure as long as you're writing and finishing stuff, to each their own :) So slow writers unite! We got this.

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  12. Such a great story!! I love reading the positivity (especially today). Utterly looking forward to this read!
    GFC: Vivien
    tweet:
    https://twitter.com/KellisAmberlee_/status/509063792731238400

    kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

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  13. Sounds like something to definitely read! :) Here's the tweet:
    https://twitter.com/eisen5585/status/509065620361453568
    Merci!

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  14. What a great concept! And I love the cover, too. Congratulations, Stefanie.

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    1. Thanks! I love it too; it fits the story inside so well.

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  15. Sounds like a cool story. Good to meet you.

    Natalie - thanks for your kind words today at Sia's.

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  16. Sounds so exciting! I'll be looking forward to reading this one. Thank you so much for featuring induction day here today Natalie.

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  17. I don't edit as I go but I'm still a slow writer.
    Congratulations, Stefanie!

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    1. Slow writers ftw! ;)

      Thanks for the congrats :)

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  18. Congrats, Stephanie! Your novel's premise is fascinating.

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    1. Thanks! I think it's pretty interesting, but I'm probably biased ;)

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  20. That cover totally freaks me out! I love creepy so this is a must read for me. My share: https://twitter.com/suekitty13/status/509140372082401280
    email: sueterendy at hotmail dot com

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    1. It is rather creepy, this is true. Hope you enjoy reading :)

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  21. Congrats to PK and Stefanie! I've been seeing Falls the Shadow all over the place. Sounds so intriguing!

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  22. Congrats to PK and Stefanie. I can't stop staring at Stefanie's cover! Phenomenal. Looking forward to reading the book.

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    1. Thank you! It took me a while to stop staring too. And when I got to see it in person...I *might* have cuddled and slept with it.

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  23. Congrats this book looks amazing.
    Brittanytodd02@gmail.com
    Brittersweet83@aol.com

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  24. Great interview as usual. The book looks terrific, but let someone else win. I still haven't gotten to the last book I won here!

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  25. This is just a wonderful premise, so imaginative and scary. I've seen the cover around the internet as well, I just love it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I follow your blog by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
    I also tweeted a link to this blog post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/509208206967447553
    and pinned as well: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/336573772125626125/
    Thanks again!

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  26. I love PK's cover.

    Stefanie's book definitely sounds intriguing. Thank you for the giveaway. sharif(at)sharifwrites(dot)com

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  28. I also think PK's cover looks fantastic! Stefanie's story sounds like a diabolical thriller! Great interview Natalie and Stefanie! Hope your daughter enjoys her senior year!

    Julie

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  29. Sounds interesting, can't wait to read it! "I just wrote the best query and book that I could and let fate handle the rest." Excellent advice! :D

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    1. It worked for me! :D Thanks and happy reading.

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  30. Congratulations!!!! This looks and sounds fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Great interview! Thanks, Natalie and Stefanie. I was working at Nelson Agency at that time and I remember how hugely excited Sara was when Stefanie joined her list. It was so exciting to watch authors and agents connect like that. :) Sara shares Stefanie’s excellent query letter here: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries-agent-sara-megibow-and-falls-the-shadow .

    Best wishes for your release next week, Stefanie!

    ~Anita Mumm

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    1. Anita!!! Hi! I still remember how hugely excited I was to see your name in my inbox, attached to a request :) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Hope life's been treating you well in your days since Nelson.

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  32. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! Wow! This is a must read for me. I can't wait! I have shared on Facebook.

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    1. Thanks for entering the giveaway and sharing and every thing-- and I hope you enjoy reading!

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  33. I noticed on the copy of your query letter--which is compelling by the way--that you mention your book is part of a series. I'm wondering if you had the series mapped out when you submitted your query and if you are currently working on it.

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    1. I didn't have it all mapped out; just a paragraph summary or so of how the other books might go-- though they've changed quite a bit after some edits we did to FALLS #1 (which was one reason I didn't get to invested in a detailed plotting of subsequent books)

      And I actually am working on a possible book two ATM :) but as for whether it ever reaches bookstore shelves... it'll depend on whether my publisher picks it up or not (it's kind of a complicated process!)

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  34. Great interview! I've been excited about this book ever since I first heard about--love clones and murder!

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    1. Thanks! I love murder too-- well, writing about it at least ;)

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  35. The premise sounds awesome. And I love the traditional way you got your agent!

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  36. Wow! Great premise! I'm super excited to read this one. And how wonderful to know that you really can make it to success out of a cold query!! I love that!!

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    1. You definitely can! I think almost all of Sara's clients came from queries, actually. She loves the slushpile :)

      Happy reading!

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  37. I cannot express how excited I got when I first saw this book on Goodreads. =) Awesome premise. Will share giveaway in my blog newsletter!

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    1. Aww, thanks Kira! I'm excited for you to read it :)

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  38. A wonderful post thank you & the cover is amazing.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  39. What a fascinating premise - I can't wait to read it. And that cover is pretty awesome!

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait for you to read it :)

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  40. Great story and an awesome cover!
    Share: https://www.facebook.com/valentina.bv.77/posts/710673009010302
    GFC: Valentina BV
    E-mail: bv_byby27@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks! I think it's pretty awesome as well :)

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  41. Stefanie is awesome. I love the premise and so want to get my hands on a copy right now!

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    1. Nicole is awesomer ;) thanks for stopping by and commenting pretty lady!

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  42. I love the premise of Falls the Shadow. Its something I would definitely want to read.

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  43. Oh, what an awesome plot! Congrats to Stephanie. I'll have to add this to my Nook.

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  44. Congrats, Stefanie! Your book sounds awesome!

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  45. Stefanie's book sounds so cool! I definitely want to read it. The interview was lots of fun- I always love hearing about authors.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    ~Jess
    tweeted https://twitter.com/dmsfiles/status/509860681965776896

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  46. Congrats to both PK and Stefanie!

    I've met Sara Megibow. She's a wonderful person and agent. Extremely funny too.

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  47. I really liked your post about STEFANIE GAITHER INTERVIEW AND FALLS THE SHADOW GIVEAWAY

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  48. Sounds like a really great one, also love the cover! Thanks for a chance to win it! :)
    *following via GFC: Sandra K
    *email: sandra.zg.13 @ gmail.com
    *twitter: https://twitter.com/_Sandra_R_/status/510703622024224769
    *Google+: https://plus.google.com/107598100375357110332/posts/5RGtb1fp9SN

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  49. Whoa on the premise of this book! Have a feeling it will fly on the shelves. Note to self---get for my library! Thinking this will pair well with The Adoration of Jenna Fox...

    Congrats on your book and enjoy this next leg of the journey!

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  50. LOVE that concept. I think I'm going to have to read that one. (Not sure how soon though...)

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  51. Nice to meet Stefanie! Wishing her all the best with the book. Hooray for PK too!

    I'll pass on the giveaway this time around. Thanks so much for a great interview!

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  52. I've heard so much about this book (and its query)!

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  53. What a great interview! Congrats, Stefanie! This is a really intriguing premise and your story about finding your agent was really inspiring.

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  54. Great interview. I must look into this book.

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  55. LOVE how her cold querying got her her dream agent!!

    Awesome concept and interview :)

    GFC Christina Kit.

    email subscriber ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    thank you :)

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  56. tweet: https://twitter.com/christinafiorio/status/513236758847557633

    GFC Christina Kit.

    email subscriber ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    thank you :)

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