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! I want to let you know that I'm at follower Karen Lange's blog, Write Now, today talking about blogging. Hope you'll stop by and say hi.


I have some fantastic news. Follower Jen Petroy-Roy sold her MG contemporary debut. Here's the blurb from PW Children's Bookshelf:

Jean Feiwel at Feiwel and Friends has bought P.S. I Miss You, an epistolary middle grade debut by teen librarian Jen Petro-Roy. The story follows Evie, whose beloved teenage sister disappears after getting pregnant. Evie has to unravel the mystery of where her sister is and what happened to her, while navigating her first crush on a girl, her complicated relationship with her religious parents, and universal growing pains. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Brianne Johnson of Writers House brokered the two-book, six-figure deal, in a three-house auction, for North American English rights. 

Congrats, Jen! And look for Jen on the blog in 2017!

Today I’m thrilled to have debut author Elizabeth Briggs here to share about her YA science fiction FUTURE SHOCK that sounds really good. And it’s got mystery and time travel too—two other genres I love. Elizabeth is a hybrid author like some of you, having self- published her adult series, Chasing the Dream.

Here’s a blurb of FUTURE SHOCK from Goodreads:

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life--or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can't say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she'll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for joining us. 

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

I always wanted to be a writer, but I had a lot of first chapters and wasn’t able to finish a book until I did NaNoWriMo many years ago. After that I wrote more novels and kept trying to hone my craft with each one. I got my agent with my third book (which didn’t sell), self-published my fifth book (MORE THAN MUSIC), and then sold my fourth book (FUTURE SHOCK) after that.
2. How cool that NaNo helped you start completing your stories. How did you get the idea for your story?

Agent Kate Testerman of KT Literary had a contest on her website where you had to answer the question, “If you could travel in time for 24 hours, where would you go and why?” My answer was that I would go to the future to see what would happen to myself and to the world. But then I wondered, what would happen if I saw something horrible? Would I be able to change it? Funny enough, Kate became my agent a short while later with a different book, so I guess it was fate!

3. That is such an awesome story of how you got your idea. I never heard of anyone getting their story inspiration that way. You have a lot going on in this book—science fiction, mystery, and time travel. What were some of the challenges in incorporating all these elements into your story and how did you overcome them?

The hardest part was getting the time travel right while also balancing the mystery elements such as clues and foreshadowing. I had to create a lot of very detailed timelines and outlines in order to make sure it all made sense!
4. It sounds complicated. A number of reviews of FUTURE SHOCK commented on the fast pace of the story. Share your tips on making a story a page turner like yours.

My goal when writing any book is to make readers stay up all night reading it, and I try to keep that
in mind at all times. I make sure every single scene is moving the plot or the characters forward, and cut out all the boring stuff. I also try to end each chapter with a hook that makes them say, “okay, just one more chapter before bed…”
5. You also write for adults. What are differences you found in writing a YA verses an adult novel?

For me, the main difference is with the issues and challenges the characters face due to their age. Young Adult is more focused on, “I’m no longer a kid but not quite an adult, now what?” whereas New Adult is, “I’ve just become an adult, now what?” Both NA and YA focus on a time of transition and change, where characters are starting to figure out who they want to be for the rest of their lives—which is why I love writing both!

 6. Your agent is Kate Testerman. That is so amazingly cool since you got your story idea from her website. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like for FUTURE SHOCK?

I queried Kate in late 2011 with a different YA sci-fi novel and signed with her in early 2012. Unfortunately, that book never sold, although it came close a few times. We were on submission with FUTURE SHOCK for many months, but most publishers told us they weren’t looking for YA sci-fi. I self-published MORE THAN MUSIC during that time and was ready to give up on FUTURE SHOCK ever selling, but Kate wanted to try again one more time – and it sold a month later to Albert Whitman & Co in a two book deal.
7. You’re a hybrid author and have self-published your adult series. What made you decide to self-publish it? Was your agent involved in this decision and project?

I was really interested in the freedom, control, and higher royalties that come from self-publishing, even though I also wanted to pursue traditional publication. I decided to try self-publishing an adult romance novel because the romance market sells almost entirely in ebooks, so you don’t really need a publisher to reach a large number of readers. My agent wasn’t involved in the process, but has been completely supportive of my decision to self-publish some of my books, and now she represents the foreign, film, and audio rights on them.
8. That's great you picked a genre that worked really well for self-publishing. What advice do you have for other hybrid authors?

First, if you’re considering going the hybrid route (as either a self-published author or a traditionally published one), go for it. I think being a hybrid author is the best long-term strategy for authors, especially with how quickly publishing changes all the time now. It gives you freedom and control along with publisher support, allows you to do marketing you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, and helps you to reach a much wider audience.

Second, if you’re already a hybrid author, find ways to use your traditionally published books to market your self-published books, and vice versa. For example, it’s much easier to get into events (panels, signings, etc) with a traditionally published book, but during the event you can often hand out swag for your self-published books too. On the other side, you can put links and excerpts of your traditionally published books in the backmatter of all your self-published books. You can also schedule price promotions for your self-published books in conjunction with your traditionally published books’ releases. For example, I’ve made MORE THAN MUSIC free during FUTURE SHOCK’s release in the hopes of bringing in a lot of new readers to both series.

9. That's all such good, practical advice. What have you learned from marketing your adult series that is helping you in marketing your new YA one? Are there ways you’re marketing these two books differently?

One thing I learned from marketing my adult books is the importance of building a newsletter early. I started one before MORE THAN MUSIC came out and had a whopping 2 subscribers (my husband and my mom). Two years later and I have about 5000 subscribers now. While many of them are only interested in my romance novels, I know some of them will pick up my YA too – and I’m really glad I started building that list early.

I use many of the same marketing tactics for all my books, but there are some differences. Since my adult books sell mostly in ebooks I focus a lot on Facebook ads, newsletter building, and price promotions. My YA books have a much larger print audience so I’m doing more in-person events and also reaching out directly to libraries.

 10. What are you working on now?

I just finished FUTURE THREAT, the sequel to FUTURE SHOCK, which features an all new time travel mystery and some of the characters from the first book. Now I’m working on the final book in my NA series, MORE THAN DISTANCE, which I hope to have out later this year.
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Elizabeth. You can find Elizabeth at:

Elizabeth has generously offered an ARC of FUTURE SHOCK 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 April 16th. 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, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is for U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

On Wednesday I have an agent spotlight interview with Elana Roth Parker and a query critique giveaway. 

Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Lindsay Eager and a giveaway of her MG magical realism HOURS OF THE BEES.

On Friday that week I'll be participating in the Showers of Books Giveaway Hop!

The following Monday I have a guest post by debut author Dee Romito and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE BFF BUCKET LIST.

Wednesday that week I'm participating in NY Times bestseller  author Lauren Oliver's blog tour and interviewing her (Pinch me! I'm so excited!) for her new MG THE SCREAMING STATUE with a giveaway of the first book in this series.

The following Monday I have a guest post with debut author Tobie Easton and her agent Jennifer Unter and a critique giveaway by Jennifer and a giveaway of EMERGE, Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


S.A. Larsenッ said...

Major congratulations to Jen! Woot!!!

Hi Elizabeth! It's great to meet you. Love (and appreciate) your persistence with this story. Good for you!

mshatch said...

well. I love time travel stories and I love scifi so this sounds like a book I would love. Congrats Elizabeth!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think hybrid authors are in the best possible place. Their traditionally published books give their self-pubbed books clout.

Kristin Lenz said...

Congrats to Jen on the publishing deal! Cheers!

Elizabeth - I love how you got the idea for your story, and then Kate ended up as your agent. Good marketing advice too. Best of luck!

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth! It was great to hear her story. I appreciate her advice and insight.

Thanks for the intro, Natalie, and also for the shout out. It's a pleasure having you visit my blog. I'll pass on the giveaway this time around. Have a great week!

Greg Pattridge said...

Loved Elizabeth's thoughts on writing. Keep moving that plot forward with every scene! I'll pass on the giveaway as my stack to read has gotten dangerously high. Thanks for the great interview.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations, Elizabeth! It's awesome that NaNoWriMo helped you. And as a hybrid author myself, I completely agree with her. Excellent advice!

Bish Denham said...

Here's to Jen! And Congratulations to Elizabeth. Hiding an eidetic memory would be hard. But add time travel and mystery? sounds like a great book.

Bish Denham said...

Here's to Jen! And Congratulations to Elizabeth. Hiding an eidetic memory would be hard. But add time travel and mystery? sounds like a great book.

Brenda said...

Would be so difficult not to look at your future, given the opportunity. Nice interview, I love a plot that keeps you reading long after you should be in bed. Congratulations on the release of Future Shock.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot of newsletter subscribers. Wish I'd started one early in my career.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on the debut and on being already on the next book.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on the debut and on being already on the next book.

Cynthia said...

Congratulations to both Jen and Elena on their good news.

I love time travel books. I imagine it'd be impossible to put a time traveler in the future who won't be a teeny bit curious about what their own future is.

Joanne R. Fritz said...

What a fun interview. I've always loved reading time travel, though it's devilishly hard to write. :) And I'm intrigued by the protagonist's eidetic memory.

Jemi Fraser said...

Both books sound great - congrats to Jen & Elizabeth!
Totally agree with the Now What? part of the stories!

Natasha said...

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

Rachna Chhabria said...

Love the cover of Elizabeth's book Future Shock.
Congrats to Jen on her book deal.

erin said...

looks and sounds awesome!!! Thanks for sharin :)

Unknown said...

How awesome! Thanks for the chance

Suzanne Warr said...

Future Shock sounds really fun, and I love Elizabeth's great advice and thoughts on the industry. Thanks so much for this fabulous interview!

Romance Book Haven said...

Congratulations Elizabeth! Future Shock sounds thrilling!

Michael G-G said...

I enjoyed reading Elizabeth's thoughts on being a hybrid author and about marketing. And how cool that Kate Testerman became her agent, after inspiring the time-travel idea via blog contest!

Danielle H. said...

I want to read this book! It sounds so good. I shared on tumblr: http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/142344819902/literary-rambles-elizabeth-briggs-interview-and

jpetroroy said...

What a striking cover!

Sydney said...

Congrats!! I've been waiting for this book for quite some time. Time travel can be a hit or a miss for me, and Future Shock sounds like it will be a great read. Great interview!
xinyi1467 at gmail

Julie said...

This book sounds awesome!!

Julie said...

This book sounds awesome!!

Unknown said...

Wow! I love the title, love the blurb, and love the cover! Time travel is hard to do well, but this one seems logical and gripping. Wishing Elizabeth much success!

Cherie Reich said...

I need to read this book. I enjoyed the interview. Congrats, Elizabeth!

Chelly Writes said...

Thanks for the interview. The book sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I've seen Elizabeth around and didn't know she was a hybrid author. Her book looks wonderful.

richard cambridge said...

Thanks for this interview. Very helpful—didn't know the term "hybrid author."Love the title and look forward to the read.