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! In case you missed my post on Friday, I was interviewed at The Mitten, Michigan's SCBWI blog if you want to stop by. Thanks to everyone who left sweet messages for me.

Follower News 

Angela Brown's new MG FABLE RANGER: SUMMONS is being released. Here's a blurb:

Take care of what you wish for. You just might get it
Follow twelve-year-old Casey into a fairy tale mashed up world where she's been summoned to be their hero. But how can she when, in the land of Lorealia, damsels aren't exactly allowed to save the day?
Here are a few links:
Author page at the publisher site - http://dingbatpublishing.weebly.com/al-brown.html

Today I’m thrilled to have debut author Janet Taylor here to share about her new YA time travel book INTO THE DIM that releases in early March. I really enjoy historical fiction and this got a fantastic blurb from Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, so I’m super excited to read it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Hi Janet! Thanks so much for joining us.

Thank you so much for having me, Natalie! I’m a huge fan of Literary Rambles! I think it’s one of the very best writing sites out there. I read it all the time, and think it’s a truly great resource for writers. Any of you guys who are querying or readying to seek an agent need to scour this site!   

  1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
 It’s funny, because I see all these brilliant, talented new authors with their MFAs in literature and creative writing. And then there’s me, with a degree in biology, which is about far as you can get from the writing world. But I think it goes to show that--with a little skill and a lot of hard work—anyone can become an author.
As for me: The day after our youngest went to college, I just walked into the living room and said to my husband, “You know what? I think I’m going to write a book.”
His response? “Well, of course you are. What can I do to help?” (Yeah, I got a good one!)

  1. I don't think you're alone in coming to writing from another unrelated career. Where did you get the idea for your story?
I’ve always been a total history nerd. At first, I thought I wanted to write straight historical fiction. I quickly learned, however, that my “voice” was a bit too YA and a lot too modern. (My maturity level and tendency to use words like ‘dude’ and ‘freaking’ didn’t really lend itself to a lot of high-brow, queenly fiction.) So, I got to thinking…What are my two favorite things in the world? Travelling and history. I combined those two loves and ended up with…Time Travel!

  1. INTO THE DIM is a time travel novel set in 12th century England. What research did you do to get the time period right? Some of your reviews said you did a really good job with this.
Oh, I’d been reading about and studying that time period for years. It’s my favorite. Knights and fair maidens. Kings and Queens who held the lives of entire populations in the palm of their hands. That kind of power has always been fascinating to me. Plus…it’s sexy as hell!
Also, I was fortunate enough to get to travel to a lot of the places where the events in Into The Dim take place. I even got to spend the night at Fontevrauld Abbey, where Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II are buried. That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

  1. That's so cool that you got to travel where your book is set and stay at the Abby! Share a bit about Hope as a character and her growth through the story as she had to confront her fears.
 Though I love all those fantastic, badass female characters out there, I knew from day
one that Hope would not be one of them. Oh man…from the very beginning, she was just a mess. A phobia-ridden klutz, her only superpower was her brain. As the story progresses, she’s forced to endure some of her worst nightmares, which—in the end—definitely make her stronger.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: “Hope is never going to reach badass status.”

  1. Hope sounds like a character we can relate to since she has more weaknesses like us. Your agent is Mollie Glick. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?
 I’d been querying off and on for nearly two years when I signed with Mollie, shortly after ‘winning’ #pitchwars in 2013. She’d always been on the very top of my list, and the day I signed with her was one of the best days of my life.
Not only does Mollie know the business of publishing inside and out, she’s also an incredible editor. We both worked our butts off for about six months. 

It. Was. Grueling. It was also totally worth it. Two weeks after going on sub, we sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt at auction. Boom.

I adore Mollie! She’s funny and ferocious and so, SO smart. If you’re interested in querying her…you should know two things.   
1)      Mollie is a mama tiger when it comes to taking care of her clients. You always feel safe knowing she’s got your back.
2)      ‘Mollie don’t gush.’ If you want an agent who will constantly tell you how great you are…she’s not for you. But if you want to work with a talented, savvy agent who will help you become the best writer you can be, and who will make sure you get the best of everything…She is your girl.

  1. Thanks for giving us the inside scoop on Mollie. You are part of the Sweet Sixteens, a 2016 debut group. How did you find out about the group and join? How has it helped you go through the time leading up to your debut?

Oh!! In all honesty, I would not have kept my sanity without my Sweet Sixteens. Shortly after I signed with HMH, I saw a Tweet, calling for 2016 authors, and joining the group remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Surrounding yourself with a peer group of fellow debut authors is absolutely essential. They’re the only ones who can completely understand what you’re going through. We’re a very close-knit group. We cheer for each other, support and console one another. And lots of times, we just have fun and act like complete and utter dingdongs! But I could not…would not go through this without them. They are some of my very, VERY best friends in the world, now, and I love them with my whole heart!

  1. How are you planning to spread the word about your book? Are you doing any events that you might not have thought about but saw other debut authors doing?

Aw dude! My folks at Houghton Mifflin have been amazing! They work so hard doing all that publicity and marketing…sending me to a whole slew of Teen Festivals and Conferences. Of course, as an author in this day and age, I also make sure to keep up my side with Twitter, FB, Instagram, and doing fun interviews like this! :D

  1. That's awesome how supportive your publisher is. What are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing up edits on Book II of ‘The Dim Series’! I won’t tell you where Hope and the gang are going next…But here’s a hint…It ‘gleams’ and it’s going to be quite (ahem) ‘shocking.’ *wink*

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Janet. You can find Janet at:
            HMH WEBSITE FOR ITD: http://www.hmhbooks.com/intothedim/
            MY WEBSITE: http://janetbtaylor.com/
            FACEBOOK: Author: https://www.facebook.com/JanetBTaylor.author/?ref=hl
                                    Personal: https://www.facebook.com/janet.b.taylor.96
            TUMBLR: http://janet-b-taylor.tumblr.com/

Janet is generously offering an ARC of INTO THE DIM for a giveaway.  To enter, all you need to do is be a follower and leave a comment through February 27h. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter Facebook, or your blog, let me know in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is for U.S. and Canada.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday I have a guest post by debut author Kim Savage and a giveaway of her YA thriller AFTER THE WOODS.

The following Monday I have a guest post by debut author Melanie Conklin and her agent Peter Knapp and a giveaway of her MG contemporary COUNTING TIME.
Friday that week I'm participating in the Lucky Is Reading Book Giveaway Hop.

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Janet Summer Johnson and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.

Wednesday that week I have an Agent Spotlight Interview with agent Patricia Nelson and a query critique giveaway.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Beth said...

This book sounds wonderful! Congratulations to Janet.

Andrea Mack said...

Always so interesting to hear about how a book comes to be! Thanks for the interview!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Hope sounds very relatable. Congrats to Janet.

Greg Pattridge said...

Wonderful interview. This book sounds quite intriguing, but let someone else win as my stack of books to read is nearing the ceiling.

Maranda Hymes said...

I've been wanting to read this book. I don't often read time-travel fiction but it just sounds so good! :D

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Great interview. I love the idea of time travel, and I like the sound of Hope. (To be honest, sometimes I get tired of "badass" protagonists.) Hope does sound more relatable. How lovely that Janet has such a supportive agent and publisher, and the Sweet Sixteens sound like a great group.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love the sound of this one - and I know several students who will love it too. Thanks for the rec! :)

Kristin Lenz said...

Into the Dim sounds great! How wonderful that you were able to combine your favorites - history and time travel - and enjoy the research process.

Congrats to Angela Brown on her new MG, too!

And thanks again, Natalie, for being interviewed for the SCBWI-MI blog. It was fun to see such a great response and read all the nice comments for you.

Bish Denham said...

I would definitely look forward to reading about a heroine who isn't perfect. Into the Dim sounds like a great book! Congratulations, Janet!

Brenda said...

Into the Dim sounds lovely, so neat that you got to visit the settings you included in the book. I like the mix of historical and time travel. Congratulations on its release. Have a wonderful week Natalie.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats to Angela! That's great news about her book.

As to having a degree in biology, I think that would be fantastic for a writer. I love the idea of time travel, so this book sounds great to me.

Suzanne Warr said...

This sounds like a lovely, lovely book and a fresh change in the perspective of the protagonist. I'm fond of kick butt heroine's, myself, but suspect it would be super fun to read a story about a girl who was just a girl.

Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway! Fingers crossed!

Patchi said...

*raises hand for the biologists in the room poll*

This sounds like a great story and I'm so glad the MC isn't all badass (I'm tired of hanging out with those girls). One more novel for my TBR list :)

Kiki Hamilton said...

Great interview, like always Natalie! Congrats to Janet! INTO THE DIM sounds like a fun read!

Unknown said...

I followed you through GFC (Alice Lionel) and INTO THE DIM looks incredible! My email is alicelionel19(at)gmail(dot)com.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

I've been hoping to score an ARC of this since I first heard of it. What a great premise! Congratulations, Janet. And thanks, Natalie, for the chance to win.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Janet! I love reading books from authors that don't come from writing backgrounds. And that's great about your agent. Another congrats to Angela! I'm excited for her book.

Rosalyn said...

So excited for this book! And Janet is a wonderful cheerleader for other authors, too.

Stephen Tremp said...

I do love Time Travel plots especially when someone can change a traumatic event. Or kill Hitler. Best wishes to Janet Taylor and Into The Dim!

Tammy Theriault said...

Into the Dim sounds fantastic!! I love a time traveling historic books and have read several already. Good luck!!

Penny said...

I'm crazy about Outlander, so Into the Dim is right up my alley. Great post. Thank you!

Kirsti Call said...

This book looks really intriguing!

Candice Conner said...

You had me at Outlander for teens. And Eleanor of Aquitaine my favorite monarch. I'd love a chance to win Into the Dim! Camarley2001@yahoo.com

Candice Conner said...

I tweeted and added to my goodreads TBR!

Rosi said...

Thanks for an interesting interview and for telling me about the book. I will definitely check it out. No drawing for me. I'm still packing.

Danielle H. said...

I love when characters have a time pressure to accomplish a task and add romance and mystery and this sounds so exciting. Thanks for the post and chance to win a copy! I posted to my blog:http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/139434949092/literary-rambles-janet-b-taylor-interview-and

S.P. Bowers said...

Hope sounds like someone I could get along with. Bada@@ characters intimidate me. And, yeah, Outlander for teens? I'm in.

DMS said...

Wonderful to meet Janet! I enjoyed learning about her path to publication. Awesome that her publishing company is helping her get the word out. :) Into the Dim sounds interesting! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to meet Janet. Appreciate the intro, Natalie! The stay at the Abbey sounds very cool.

I'll pass on the giveaway this week. Will hop over to check out your post. :)

Anonymous said...

This one's on my list!

Crystal Collier said...

Yay for another Pitch Wars winner! *high five* I absolutely adore the story concept and the time period. (And I'm super jealous of Janet's travels. Seriously jealous.)

M Pax said...

How cool to stay in an abbey. And major congrats to the uber-talented, Angela Brown!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to Angela for her MG book coming out soon! And a big congrats also to Janet! I love the cover of Into the Dim. The book sounds awesome!

Unknown said...

Congrats to Janet and Angela! Another awesome post :-)

Anonymous said...

I've met writers from all sorts of backgrounds. The description is amazing.

Holly Letson said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

Shared: https://www.facebook.com/KinomiyaMichiru/posts/10154036266358825

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview, especially the insights into Janet's path to publication and Mollie Glick. The lettering on the cover is very cool! Wishing Janet much success!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I agree with everyone here. The book does sound intriguing. All the luck with the book, Janet! And lucky you to find Mollie! We all need someone to believe in us.

Natasha said...

Great interview!
This one sounds like a great read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com