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 am excited to have debut author Karina Yan Glaser here with her agent Ginger Clark to share about Karina's MG contemporary THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141st STREET. It sounds like a great story with five memorable siblings trying to save their home. Before I get to their guest post, I have Follower News to share.

Follower News

I have two followers to shout out about today. Yay!

Stephanie Haight and Stephanie Robinson's new MG FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY is being released. Here's a blurb: The next case in the DMS files opens on October 23rd! Follow along with Fairday and friends as the mystery unwinds in the Talking Library. Anything's possible! 
A quote from the book: "Truth lies betwixt the lines."
Here are the book links:

And Donna Weaver just released her new adult book SWING VOTE. Here's a blurb: Marc survived
an IED, but will his heart survive McKenzie?
And here's some links:

Do you have good news to share? It can be a book for any age or genre except erotica, and I'll be glad to shout out for you. Just send me an email at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com with a two-sentence blurb, your cover, and a few links. Please note this is for followers who visit on a regular basis and comment, so that I know that you have been here. No requirement that you stop by all the time, but you do need to be a regular follower. 

Now onto my guest post today!

Here's a blurb of THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141st STREET from Goodreads:

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

Now here's Karina and Ginger!

Karina: Natalie, thank you so much for having us on your blog! I love Literary Rambles; what a great resource for writers!

Today we’d like to talk to you about the submission process: when an agent sends out a manuscript to editors. When Ginger took me on as her client a little over two years ago, I went through one round of revisions with her before we were ready to go on submission. Ginger put together a list of editors she wanted to submit to, and she sent me the list asking for my thoughts and asked whether anyone on the list was my sworn enemy. I have no enemies (that I know of!), so I gave her the green light. She replied saying that she would send The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street out to them, then added this note at the end:

So now it's time to find a hobby that takes you away from the computer! May I suggest:
Rabbit grooming.
Learning a musical instrument.

ANYTHING that takes you away from the computer.

Do you remember that, Ginger?

Ginger: Yes, I do. I usually tell all my clients when their book goes out on submission to take up some kind of interest or hobby that vacates them from the computer. Archery is often a suggestion! I know an archer and she is driven and organized, and I attribute that partially to the archery. Rabbit grooming was a specialized suggestion for you, because of Izzy (Karina’s rabbit, who I have met several times and adore.)

Karina: I didn’t take up archery or rabbit grooming, but I did do a lot of baking and knitting immediately after Ginger submitted the manuscript. I also did some more writing, and I twiddled my thumbs and only checked my email every two minutes.

Three weeks later, we got one response: a new editor who had just started acquiring had liked it, but

her boss was not one-hundred percent sold. The new editor offered to provide some comments for a “revise and resubmit”. While Ginger and I sat on that for a few days, we got another response. A “no” from another editor.

I remember sitting in the basement of a coffee shop when I got that email. That coffee shop was actually one of the main places where I wrote The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, while my kids were in preschool. I felt pretty terrible about myself—it’s never fun to get a rejection—but I think it was an hour later when we received a pre-empt offer from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers (HMH). I’ll let Ginger tell you what a pre-empt means.

Ginger: Before I do, it was a real whiplash moment to receive a rejection on VANDERBEEKERS and then 60 minutes later get an email from Ann Rider, an editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, saying “I really like this book” and not have the email continue “but I can’t offer on it.” I was thinking as I read the email “Oh great another rejection on this book I love, this day is going WELL.” No, instead she laid out her offer, and included a second, higher offer that was a pre-emptive offer. A pre-emptive offer is what an editor makes when she doesn’t want the agent to take the book to auction. The offer has to be high enough for the agent and author to decide they want to take it, rather than risking going to auction (and not getting an offer as high as that pre-empt). There’s the “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” argument behind it. You can potentially be leaving behind a lot more money from the open bidding situation that develops in an auction. But, maybe you don’t want that risk.

Figuring out what the best decision here is why an author needs an agent. I can usually figure out if going to auction is going to lead to more money than an attempted pre-empt. I can also use the threat of an impending auction to raise the pre-emptive offer a bit.

Karina: See why I’m so glad to have Ginger as my agent? While her brain immediately went into business and strategy overdrive, my brain was going haywire after finding out that someone actually wanted to buy my story! My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding so hard. I don’t remember feeling that excited/nervous/scared ever. But Ginger knew just what to do. She contacted the other editors who hadn’t responded and many of them agreed to read the manuscript overnight to see if they were interested. By the next day, another publishing house wanted a chance at The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. I had a chance to talk to Ann Rider from HMH on the phone, and once I spoke to her I knew she was the editor for me. Ginger did some more negotiation, and we ended up taking the pre-empt offer.

Ginger: Interestingly, that second editor who wanted the book has now left the business. That happens a lot at a certain level of publishing. But I’m very glad we wound up with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They have treated Karina very well and the book is clearly beloved by the whole staff there.

Karina: It’s been nearly two years since the submission process, and I couldn’t be more happy to be with HMH. The whole team there is amazing and super smart and kind, and Ann is the perfect editor for me and this book. The author-editor-agent relationship is so unique, and I feel so lucky to be working with two of the best people in the industry.

Ginger: I am so honored to have worked on this book. It’s the kind of book that 8 to 12 year old Ginger would have devoured in one sitting. I grew up an only child in the suburbs, and I dreamed of having a lot of siblings AND living in the city. The Vanderbeekers are the kind of warm, loud family that readers will love. Also, there’s a rabbit who is clearly a genius and a cat who is a real jerk. The pet characters have just as vivid personalities as the kids and their parents and their neighbors do.

Karina: Aw, thank you Ginger! And thank you for having us on your blog, Natalie. This was so much fun! 

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Karina and Ginger.

You can find Karina at:
Twitter: @KarinaYanGlaser

And you can find Ginger Clark at:
Twitter: @Ginger_Clark

Karina is generously offering a copy of THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141st STREET for a giveaway and Ginger is offering a query critique 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 October 28th. If you do not want to be included in the 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. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. and the critique giveaway is international.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, October 23rd I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with agent Molly O'Neill

Monday, October 30th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with agent Quressa Robinson

Wednesday, November 1st I have a guest post by author Dusti Bowling and a giveaway of her MG contemporary INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, and my IWSG post

Monday, November 6th I have an interview with debut author Jodi Kendall and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE UNLIKELY STORY OF A PIG IN THE CITY

Hope to see you on Monday!


Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Karina! I love hearing authors' stories, and I especially like hearing about agents with a sense of humor. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to Donna, Jess, and Stephanie!
Sounds like that high offer was a real blessing. And Karina didn't even have to take up rabbit grooming.

Danielle H. said...

I have this book on my must read list. Congratulations on your publication. I enjoyed the interview and interaction between writer and agent and learned so much. I'm so happy you had an agent's help--I know I'd feel the same as you and be uncertain what decision to make on my own. Please don not include me in a query letter critique. I shared this on tumblr: http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/166465255897/ginger-clark-and-karina-yan-glaser-guest-post-w

Brenda said...

Sounds like another wonderful MG story. Lovely interview and congratulations to Karina.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats to Jess, Stephanie, and Donna on new releases!

I like the idea of taking up a new hobby instead of obsessing about your book. I need to take up chasing dust bunnies.

Greg Pattridge said...

I have this high on my list of books to read. Thanks for the insights into the business end of book offers. Fascinating and helpful.

Dorine White said...

First off, I love the idea of a Talking Library and I'm totally interested in finding out more. Second, thank you for the interview. I love insights into author's and agent's.

Suzanne Warr said...

The Vanderbeekers sound like an adorable family--and so do their pets! I kinda want to meet that rabbit. :) I've tweeted about the giveaway, and would love to win the book, but can't use the query critique.

Thanks for the lovely interview, and happy MMGM!

Unknown said...

I always love these little inside glimpses of a world I hope to be a part of one day- :D

Megan said...

Sounds like just the type of book I would have read when I was a kid! I've retweeted the giveaway as well on my Twitter profile @thatsort. Thanks!

Jemi Fraser said...

So much good news today! YAY for Donna, Jess, Stephanie & Karina!
Love the insider peeks into the offering/auction action!

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

This book sounds really fun to read, and I was definitely interested by this post. Thanks so much!

Leslie S. Rose said...

I was nail biting reading the post. Hooray, Karina and congratulations. I'd love to be considered for the giveaways.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this journey to publication! Looking forward to reading the book! I'd love to be considered for the giveaways and have also retweeted @christineszeryk. Thanks!

Mary Holm said...

Thanks for the interview Karina, Ginger and Natalie. It's always inspiring to hear about someone's dream coming true.

I tweeted about this interview here:


Chelly Writes said...

Love these stories. Thanks for sharing and congrats. The book sounds fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, the critique! lellington @ ncrl.org

Heather said...

What a wonderful interview and how much do I love that list of things to do as a hobby while on sub????!!!!! THIS MUCH.
I would love a critique and would love a book too!! Possible to enter both?
I Tweeted about it. https://twitter.com/HMCWrites/status/920331164841402374

Twitter: @HMCWrites

jannuss said...

Enjoyed the article. Would love to be entered into the contest for the book and critique. Thank you. jnussbaum903@gmail.com

Shanah Salter said...

I loved reading this success story and can't wait to read this book! Would love to be considered for the book and critique. Thank you!

Roxanne Lambie said...

I bought VANDERBEEKERS this past weekend for my 10yo, but I’ll be enjoying it too!
Great interview. :)

Michael G-G said...

Great interview all around.
I would love to be entered for either of the prizes!

Chrys Fey said...

Congrats to Donna, Jess and Stephanie!

I love that archery is Ginger's suggestion. I've done a little archery but want to get into it even more.

Carl Scott said...

What a great sounding story, it kind of takes me back to some old classics like The Five Little Peppers and The Boxcar Children. I'd love to have a copy, thanks for the chance to win one. A critique wouldn't really work for me so I'll pass on that.
I've tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/920415064762359808 and shared it on Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110534035050076883640. Heck, I even pinned an image on Pinterest - why not?: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772143246139/ Thanks again! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Pat Hatt said...

Congrats to all!

Animals sure can have plenty of personality too.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow! What a great story. I loved hearing the process. Ginger sounds like a real catch! Congratulations on your book, Karina!!!

DMS said...

Congrats to Karina and Donna! Loved the interview with Karina and Ginger. Thanks for sharing and for giving a shout out to Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library. :)
~Stephanie and Jess

Rosi said...

I have been hearing a lot about this book and can't wait to read it. This is a very informative post. Thanks!

mary said...

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street sound so intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading about a family with 5 kids! Also, I loved the details of your submission policy.

Karen Lange said...

These books sound interesting. Appreciate the info and interview, Natalie. I'll pass on the giveaway this time. Have a great weekend!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Congratulations to Karina. It sounds like a fabulous book, and Ginger Clark sounds like a wonderful agent. A very informative interview.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Also congratulations to Stephanie Haight and Stephanie Robinson and to Donna Weaver. Very glad for them! Their books look great, too.

Benjamin Thernstrom said...

I enjoyed reading this article and can't wait for the book! Please consider me for the critique. I posted information on this opportunity on my facebook page. My email address is amythernstrom at gmail.

Ruth C. said...

I never knew that it was possible to get a publisher to increase their pre-emptive offer. (I'd settle for ANY kind of offer!) Thanks for the helpful information.

Angie said...

This was such an informative interview! I would love a query critique from Ginger. I tweeted about this post. :)

K. said...

This was a great interview! Thanks so much! And I'd love a query critique from Ginger. :D

Music City Romance Writers said...

This book sounds so good! Adding it to my list!

Email: cweaksblog@gmail.com
Tweet: https://twitter.com/charissaweaks/status/923284059400343553

Donna K. Weaver said...

Thanks for the shout out--and congrats to Karina.

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141st STREET sounds super. I'm going to look it up on Amazon. Thanks Ginger for telling us what a pre-empt offer is.

Cipher said...

Sounds super great! Can't wait to read!

Claire said...

I love this. I've read far too many rambles from far too long ago. (at least this one is more current! :) ) Thank you you Natalie for this fantastic resource for us aspiring authors. And thank you Karina and Ginger for such an illuminating interview about the business.

An incorrigible child at heart, I'm always up for a read that sounds as charming as The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. Sign me up please! I followed a few weeks ago. And a chance at a query critique from Ginger Clark? um yes please

Thank you again!

Claire said...

And! Posted/ Mentioned/ Shared (Facebook)

Claire said...


Liza said...

This post offered a lot of insight on the submission process. Thanks to Ginger and Karina for sharing their experiences. Natalie, thank you for all the work you put into this blog to help other writers.