Here are my current Giveaway Contests

April Showers Giveaway Hop through April 20th

These Feathered Flames through April 24th

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Agent Peter Knapp and Author Daniel Aleman Guest Post and Query Critique and Indivisible Giveaway on 5/5/2021

Tina Dubois Query Critique and How to Save a Queendom Giveaway on 5/10/2021

Joyce Sweeney Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/14/2021

Michelle Hauck Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/19/2021

Agent Maura Kye-Cassella and Author Sam Subity Guest Post and Query Critique and The Last Shadow Warrior Giveaway on 5/24/2021

Agent Janna Bonisowksi and Author Casie Bazey Guest Post and Query Critique and Not Our Summer Giveaway on 6/2/2021

Katherine Wessbecher Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/7/2021

Allison Hellegers Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/26/2021

Agent Chloe Seager and Author Brianna Bourne Guest Post with query critique and You and Me at the End of the World Giveaway on 9/20/21

Agent Spotlight Updates

All agent spotlights and interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated again in 2023.


Happy Monday Everyone! First I've got news to share. Literary Rambles made Writers' Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers again!

I'm honored to be included with so many other fantastic blogs. As I take over the agent spotlights and am realizing the work needed to keep them updated, this award and hearing from you all how much these spotlights help in your agent searches inspire me on. And I'm glad Writers' Digest also recognizes the value of all these debut author interviews and guest posts where valuable advice is shared.

Today I'm excited to share a guest post with agent Jennifer Unter and debut author Tobie Easton to celebrate the release of Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy EMERGE.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia's entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn't the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn't realize the danger he's in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.

Now here's Jennifer and Tobie!

Tobie's Questions to Jennifer:

1.         There is a lot of advice online from authors about what to do during THE CALL with an agent, but I’d love to hear about it from an agent’s point of view.  Once you already love the writing, what are you looking for during THE CALL?

-                     I’m not looking for a type of writer, but I am looking for compatibility.  I have a certain way of submitting, as does every agent, and I want to be sure that the author understands it and is on the same page as me.  Some authors have a list of questions for me, some just want to chat about the process, but either way, I would encourage authors to use the phone call as an opportunity to get to know the agent.

2.         So much work goes into the publishing process!  What are some behind the scenes things you do both during submission and after a book has sold that an author might not see or might only hear about much later?

-           During submission, I’m talking up the book with the editors to whom I’m submitting.  After a
book sells, I do a lot of work on domestic and foreign sub-rights.  I meet with audio publishers, film agents, my foreign co-agents and am in constant contact with them both pre and post-pub.  I usually don’t discuss any of that with the author unless and until there is a bite on a subrights sale. 

3.         Once a book sells, so much is in the hands of the publisher.  What are some inventive things you’ve seen authors do for themselves that have helped sales and/or their careers?

-           Some of my authors make great swag for their book and not just bookmarks, but something that is meaningful to the book, like jewelry or a key-chain or the like.  Then they use that swag in a give-away with the book and readers eat it up!  I also find that authors who visit schools and libraries get their books listed on state/school lists which is so helpful, sales-wise.

4.         After so many years of experience, what are some factors you find important for a strong author-agent relationship?

-           I hope for an open dialogue between me and my author.  Authors can get disappointed by many things in the publishing process and I want them to come to me with their problems so that we can discuss them and then go to the publisher together to try to get any issues resolved. 

Jennifer’s Questions to Tobie:

1.        What are you looking to hear when you speak to an agent for the first time?  What attracts a writer to someone who will be their advocate?

I think the first thing writers need on a call with an agent is clarity toward the beginning of the call.  I’ve heard so many stories about writers who thought an agent was calling to offer representation when in fact the agent wanted to discuss a Revise and Resubmit or to offer the writer general advice.  While both of those are still awesome steps, they can be disappointing if a writer thinks she’s about to get an offer of representation.  So it’s great if agents do what you did, which is tell the author right upfront why they’re calling. 

Provided it is an offer of representation, a lot of writers are waiting to hear what the agent thinks of the manuscript and what changes the agent has in mind; this lets writers know if the agent really got the book and connected to it the way we’ve been hoping someone would throughout the whole query process.  It’s also really important for writers to think long term: Is this an agent who is interested in representing future projects  and who can offer career guidance?  Does the agent represent the different genres the writer writes?  Those are important things to consider, as are the agent’s track record, experience, and excitement.  I loved that during our call, when I mentioned I was in my twenties, you said, “So many books ahead!” and you sounded so genuinely excited! It made me realize we were on the same page about wanting to work together on both Emerge and future books!

2.      How do you choose an agent to query?  Is it word-of-mouth, searching the Internet, talking to other writers?

I’m sure for some people, recommendations can come from other writers, but I was very new to publishing, so I did all my research online.  I read every agent interview I could (Literary Rambles was SO helpful, which is why I was excited to do this post!).  I also looked up agents judging writing contests (because I knew they were actively acquiring) and agents who posted on Twitter about what they were seeking.  I found you in an interview you’d done for Writer’s Digest—I’m so glad I read that interview and decided to submit!

3.      Once you have an agent, what are author’s expectations for what the agent will be doing for them?

Writers who have read about the process are expecting to work with an agent on their manuscript, then go on submissions once it’s as polished as possible.  We also know a good agent will stand up for our interests in contract negotiations and explain any publishing legalese we aren’t familiar with.  Other than that general idea, the process is often murky to us (especially since each agent does things a little differently).  That’s why I really appreciated that you explained how many editors we were submitting to at a time, who they were, and approximately how long before you’d check in with them.  It’s also why I still email you questions about film rights, foreign rights, and other specific areas that are somewhat mysterious to debut authors.  Good agents are invaluable because they really see the whole picture and have the experience and the skills to advocate for the author.

Thanks for all the advice, Jennifer and Tobie! You can find Tobie at:
Pre-order/Buy links:
Mysterious Galaxy:

And you can find Jennifer at:

Tobie's publisher has generously offered an e-book of EMERGE for a giveaway and Jennifer is offering a  query critique. 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 May 7th. If you do not want to be included in the query critique giveaway, please let me know in the comments. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. Both giveaways are international.

Here's what's coming up:

On Saturday I'm participating in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop.

Next Monday I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday next week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday that week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Hope to see you on Saturday!


  1. Fantastic interviews! I like seeing both sides. Great advice about offering different sorts of swag during giveaways. I had personalized dice for one of mine and readers loved it!

  2. Jennifer, thank you for talking about the call and what you do behind the scenes. It is an exciting but challenging process, and this information is calming. Thanks!

  3. It's great to meet Jennifer and Tobie! Appreciate the insight and advice. Wishing them both well.

    Natalie, congratulations on making the list! That is exciting. Your blog is a great resource for writers. I'll pass on the giveaway this time around. Have a great week! :)

  4. Congrats on the Writer's Digest honor, Natalie!

    I enjoyed reading both sides of the process from Jennifer and Tobie.

    1. I liked reading about all the things agents do. I'll look for EMERGE.

  5. Congrats on making the list. It's not easy to do.

    Getting into schools makes a difference, but sometimes getting into them in the first place is difficult. I've visited far more schools outside of NC. For some reason, they're just not open to author visits here.

  6. Congratulations on making the WD list! You deserve the recognition.

    Great interview. Reading both sides of the partnership is very helpful. I hope there are many more of these in the works.

  7. Congrats on making the list!

    Great interview. And great giveaways too! I tweeted about the giveaway.

  8. How great that you made the list~ very, very well-deserved!! You put so much work into this blog and I'm constantly recommending it, especially to querying writers.

    Loved this interview~ it's always nice to see advice from both sides of "the call."! Thanks, ladies!

  9. Your blog rocks! Congratulations on making it into Best Websites for Authors. You deserve to be there.

  10. Thankyou Jennifer and Tobie for this wonderful interview. I was under the impression that agents always call to offer representation, but I have been reading on a few blogs that some agents have called for Revise and Resubmit. Its always nice to get an agent's call :)

  11. Congratulations Natalie on making it to the Writers' Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers again!

  12. Congrats on the 101 Best and thanks for posting this. As one of those people who wants to know everything before I get started on something new, it's helpful to see how it worked out for others. I'd be interested to know more about how a school visit works if anyone knows any resources on that.

  13. I'd definitely need an agent who explained things to me. Congratulations, Tobie.
    And big congratulations to you, Natalie!!

  14. Congratulations on making the list! Well earned! And thank you for the insightful interview as always.

  15. Congratulations Natalie and the Literary Rambles team! Such an awesome blog. And thanks to Jennifer and Tobie for the fabulous interview!

  16. Congratulations on being named one of the 101 Best Blogs for Writers! But then all of us who have followed you for years have always known you're the best. Great interview and EMERGE sounds fantastic. Thanks for the chance to win a query critique.

  17. I'm not at the point where I'm looking for an agent yet, but this is still useful advice to hear.

  18. Sounds like a terrific book.
    And congrats to you and Casey for the honour!

  19. Love the idea for Emerge. I don't need a query critique right now.

  20. Congrats to Literary Rambles! That's awesome to be in the top websites for writers.

    I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds like a great read.

  21. So fun to hear both sides!

    Congrats Literary Rambles! You deserve it.

  22. Great post, Jennifer, Tobie, and Literary Rambles!

  23. Great interview! And congratulations on being named to the WD 101 Best Websites for Writers! I think everyone who reads this site would agree that it's well deserved! valbodden(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. It was great reading about communications, expectations, and relationships between the author and agent.

  25. Long time lurker here. Wow, I love the new format with the two-way interview. Interesting perspective I hadn't ever really thought about before.

  26. Thanks for the great post today. The cover of your book is gorgeous. I had to share on tumblr:
    I would love to win a copy of the book, but do not have a query ready right now.

  27. Great questions and interview. Looking forward to reading!

  28. First of all, congratulations, Natalie, that Literary Rambles made Writers' Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers. Again! I'm fairly new to reading your blog and it's been so helpful. Really interesting the way this blog was formatted with agent/author asking questions of the other. (I shared on twitter.) Thanks for a chance to win the book or a critique!

  29. Oooh, a mermaid story! Thank you for the great interview.

  30. Thanks for a very useful and interesting interview, Natalie. Please don't put my name in the drawing. Just too busy at this time.

  31. Congratulations on being named one of Writers' Digest 101 Best Websites! Thank you for entering me in the query critique giveaway; my email address is

  32. Congrats on making the Writer's Digest List! Great interview. Thanks for the query offer, Jennifer. I am definitely interested. Best wishes to you all.

  33. Thanks for all the information! :D

  34. Great interview questions! Thanks to Jennifer and Tobie for sharing your experience. I look forward to reading EMERGE.

  35. Great interview! My email is

  36. I couldn't agree more with Reader's Digest. Years ago, when I first started writing, I came here all the time to look up agents and pour over their every word so I'd know what appealed to them. This site helped me so much. In fact, now I can hardly believe I know one of the site owners and she visits my blog!! Yes, I'm fan-girling, Natalie!!

    Thanks for the great interview and wishing Tobie much success! :)

    1. Shoot! I totally meant Writer's Digest... Not enough coffee...

  37. Thanks for the great interview! :)

  38. Very helpful and inspiring interviews, thank you!

  39. Great post! I love the switch of the agent interviewing the writer! Thanks!

  40. Great information! Thanks for sharing.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Always nice to hear how a successful relationship develops. The publishing industry can be rough.

  43. Great post, thanks! (

  44. Congrats on the Writers Digest list, and thanks for everything you do!