Here's a blurb from Goodreads:
Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.
In this story perfect for readers of the Lockwood & Co and Wildwood series, Sarah Jean Horwitz takes readers on a thrilling journey through a magical wooded fairyland and steampunk streets where terrifying automata cats lurk in the shadows and a mad scientist’s newest mechanical invention might be more menace than miracle.
Now here's Sarah!
When the Stars Align
As I brainstormed ideas for this blog post, I texted my friend and critique partner, John, and asked him what he thought I should write about. We’re both fans of Literary Rambles – John introduced me to the site way back when – and I wanted to do a good job.
“Write about your awesome friend and his highly marketable novel!” John joked. Grinning emojis were exchanged. We settled down to more serious ideas.
Today, I’m going to talk about my awesome friend John and his highly marketable novel.
First, a little about me. My own journey to publication was fairly straightforward. Using the agent profiles on Literary Rambles as a jumping off point, I made what I call the Spreadsheet of Crazy – a giant list of middle grade agents, their contact info, submissions guidelines, any connections we had, recent interview comments about their manuscript wish lists…this list had everything. I started querying my middle grade fantasy novel, Carmer and Grit, in May of 2015. I kept track of when I submitted to an agent, their typical response time, which version of my query I’d sent (I had two), and any feedback or requests I received.
But by the end of June, I had two offers of representation, and in July I signed with Victoria Marini, who was then with Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. After a few edits with Victoria, the book went on submission in mid-September and sold in late October to Algonquin Young Readers. All in all, I had an incredibly smooth ride – especially for my first ever attempt at a novel – and I’m thankful for it every day.
But back to my awesome friend, John. This post is, after all, about John.
John wrote his first novel five years ago. He queried about thirty agents, didn’t receive any offers, and put the book on the back burner. Now, John has a second novel under his belt, and he’s patiently waiting for feedback from a few friends before querying it. Well…pretty patiently. In one of those all-too-familiar fits of, “I must do something or I will go crazy!” that I’m sure many authors can relate to, John dashed off a few queries for Novel #1 – a novel he gave up on as a lost cause and hasn’t looked at in years.
A few days later, he got a full manuscript request. Because the world is bananas.
I don’t know if John’s request will lead to an offer, but I do know that his experiences – and the experiences of so many other authors I’ve talked to – have taught me that luck and timing play a far larger role in the publishing process than any of us might like to admit. Yes, it’s important to revise your manuscript, and then revise again. Yes, it’s important to write and rewrite your query letter until it’s as clear, concise, and eye-catching as you can make it. It’s important to do your homework on agents and query thoughtfully.
Thanks for all your advice, Sarah. You can find Sarah at:
The Wingsnatchers on:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wingsnatchers-sarah-jean-horwitz/1124596049?ean=9781616206635
Sarah and her publisher have generously offered a copy of THE WINGSNATCHERS 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 May 4th. 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. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This is for U.S.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find the participating blogs on her blog.
Here's what's coming up:
Wednesday, April 26th I have an agent spotlight interview with Lauren Spieller and a query critique giveaway
Wednesday, May 3rd I have my IWSG post and a guest post by debut author Allison Hymas and her agent Laura Abramo and a giveaway of Allison's MG mystery UNDER LOCK AND KEY
Friday, May 5th I'm participating in the May I Suggest Book Giveaway Hop
Monday, May 8th I've got a guest post by debut author Laurie Forest and a giveaway of her YA fantasy THE BLACK WITCH
Wednesday, May 10th I've got an agent spotlight interview with Lorin Oberweger and a query critique giveaway
Monday, May 15th I've got a guest post by debut author Erin Beaty and her agent Valerie Noble with a query critique giveaway by Valerie and a giveaway of Erin's YA fantasy THE TRAITOR'S KISS
Hope to see you on Wednesday!