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  • Savannah Brooks Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/19/2022

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  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

JENNIFER CAMICCIA AND STACEY GLICK GUEST POST AND THE MEMORY KEEPER AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author Jennifer Camiccia and her agent Stacey Glick here to share about her debut MG contemporary THE MEMORY KEEPER. It sounds like a real page turner that will pull at your heart.

FOLLOWER NEWS

Before I get to Jennifer's and Stacey's guest post, I have Follower News! Lynda Young writing as Elle
Cardy is releasing a debut YA fantasy WIELDER'S PRIZE. Here's a blurb and some links:
Jasmine’s whole life is a lie. When she’s snatched, she learns how much of a lie it has been. Not only can she wield, but she’s a danger to everyone if she can’t control her magic. And worse: there’s another out-of-control wielder on the high seas who wants her dead.

Wielder's Prize Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kaZKSV
Elle Cardy Website: https://www.ellecardy.com/

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Amy Cloud at Aladdin has bought North American rights to Jennifer Camiccia's middle grade debut, The Memory Keeper. When 12-year-old Lulu Carter develops a photographic memory at the same time her beloved Gram begins to lose hers, she blames herself. Lulu becomes obsessed with a finding that posits that memory loss can be attributed to an unaddressed trauma, and goes about excavating her grandmother's personal history in order to try to save her. Publication is set for fall 2019; Stacey Glick at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.

Now here's Jennifer and Stacey!


Jen’s questions to Stacey:

You represent such a wide variety of work. How do you decide what projects to work on?

I have to be drawn to a project in some personal way first, and then think about it professionally and the marketability of it. I don’t have a formula but consider new projects individually and if something can keep my attention for an extended period of time and I find myself thinking about it later, then I know it’s a project I want to consider taking on.

     What’s your favorite thing about being a literary agent? 

I love being an agent because it enables me to work creatively on books that delight and inspire me in some way. To be able to work on so many projects that readers of all ages get so much from makes me feel so satisfied and grateful for the work I do and the books I help to put out into the world. I also feel very fortunate that I can do so much of what I do from home giving me the flexibility to raise my family and maintain my agenting career in perfect (or often imperfect!) harmony.

      What do you look for in middle grade or YA projects?         

I love books that feel different in some way. Because my girls are currently ages 10-14, I look for things that I think they would like. I’m drawn to realistic contemporary stories that show kids going through a challenging situation and persevering to overcome their challenges. I also like a setting that acts as a character, a place that feels like an important part of the story. 

In a query, what grabs your attention enough to make you request the whole manuscript?

I like queries that are personalized in some way so I know the author has researched me and
my books. I also look for a pitch that feels fresh and unique, that is clear and concise (think flap copy), is well written and well-paced, and that reveals characters and a plot that feel inviting, compelling, and accessible. I also like humor, especially when interwoven in serious stories, to lighten it up while still addressing those darker issues that all humans face.

What books made the most impact on you as a young reader? 
             
I loved anything by Judy Blume and Roald Dahl, but there was a book that really resonated with me called Somebody Else’s Kids by a wonderful teacher named Torey Hayden. It’s actually nonfiction about a group of very different troubled kids Torey taught and how they all bond together over the course of one year. It’s interesting because I still love nonfiction that reads like fiction and really enjoy stories about people, kids and adults, overcoming adversity and discovering their best true selves. 


Stacey’s questions to Jen:
           
When did you first decide you wanted to become a writer?
           
I’ve been making up stories in my imagination since before I could read. They were movies in my mind that I’d press pause on whenever I was busy doing other things, and then start again when I had a free moment. I guess you could call it daydreaming with purpose. So, in a way, I’ve always been a writer.

How do you come up with your book ideas?

Sometimes they’re inspired by something I’ve seen in a movie or even a real life event. Often, I write the first chapter to see if the idea is something I can sustain and have an affinity for. It’s the ideas that won’t go away that I usually pursue.

What does your writing process entail?

It’s feast or famine with me. When I have an idea, I write everyday until I’m finished. But then I’ll usually take a break and recharge by reading and binging television shows. I find I write better if I take a little time off now and then.

How do you create your query letter or sales pitch?

I used to write them after I was finished with a book. But, lately, I’ve tried to write the pitch before I start. This really helps keep me focused on what exactly I hope to accomplish while writing the actual book. Then, when I’m finished, I can tweak the pitch to reflect whatever minor—or not so minor—changes I’ve made. I try to start the pitch off with the hook that will capture attention, and then I bring out the points of the story that my main character experiences. I leave out side stories or minor characters so the pitch is streamlined and, hopefully, uncluttered.

Best advice for finding an agent?

Research (basically stalk) agents to find out the kinds of stories they’re looking for. Follow them
on twitter, read books by their authors to get a sense of what resonates with them. Also, put yourself out there with writing contests. Placing in the finals in a writing contest is what brought me to my wonderful agent’s attention. Sometimes, that can be just enough to help you stand out from the hundreds of queries agents get each month.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Jennifer and Stacey: You can find Jennifer at:

Jen’s social media links:
Preorder links:

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Jennifer generously is offering a hardback of THE MEMORY KEEPER and Stacey 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 November 2nd.  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 or follow me on Twitter, 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 and the query critique giveaway are International.

Here's what's coming up:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 15th I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 21st I have an interview with debut author Katie Zhao and a giveaway of her MG fantasy THE DRAGON WARRIOR

Monday, October 28th, I've got an agent spotlight interview with Jessica Reino and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, November 6th I have an interview with debut author Kimberly Gabriel and a giveaway of her YA mystery EVERY STOLEN BREATH and my IWSG post

Hope to see you tomorrow!

35 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great interviews! I totally agree about writing better after refilling the creative well with good television or books. Congratulations, Jen!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Thanks so much for including my book in the follower news!!

Congrats to Jen too!

lostinimaginaryworlds.blogspot.com said...

Thanks so much again for your posts, so helpful for struggling writers, even on this side of the pond 🌹

Greg Pattridge said...

I really enjoyed this interview format. Stacey's connection to settings and Jen's suggestion to place your writing in contests stayed with me the most. Thanks!

Randomly Reading said...

Thanks for the great interview. And the books sounds great, too. Ms. Yingling also reviewed this book today and now I am really looking forward to reading it. Thanks.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! Jen's story sounds great - I've been trying to write my query/synopsis first as well. So far, so good :)
Looking forward to Lynda/Elle's book too!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats to Elle and Jen. Now that I'm a grandparent, I love hearing about stories that are about the love grandchildren have for their grandparents.

Danielle H. said...

Thanks for the interview--the query advice is invaluable. Please only include my name for a copy of this exciting book. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/188346516787/jennifer-camiccia-and-stacey-glick-guest-post-and

Brenda said...

The Memory Keeper sounds very interesting, especially since it delves into memory loss and photgraphic memory. Will keep an out for it. Have a lovely week.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats to Elle!
And, Congrats to Jen - the Memory Keeper sounds heart-warming.

K. Mullane said...

I really like the premise of The Memory Keeper and that it includes a relationship between the mc and her grandmother. Congratulations on the deal!

Patricia T. said...

What a great interview with author interviewing agent. Great advice to "stalk" the agents you're interested in -- sounds like it paid off! So much good advice for authors. The Memory Keeper sounds like a thrilling read. I am also interested in her journey into memory loss (trauma -- not surprised) and photographic memory. Haven't seen this approach anywhere. This book is going to the top of my list!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

That's a great idea of Jen's, to write the pitch before starting to write the novel. I'd love to read this book, but I'm way behind on my TBR stack so please let someone else win it. Also, don't include me in the query critique, since I now have an agent!

Alice Anner said...

I love handwritten letters like this one, it's so wonderful attached to my previous memories. Now I don't see it anymore. For me, I often read books about the lost ways click here

Vercingetorix said...

I always find it educational to see how every agent looks for different characteristics in the books they choose to represent. As much as we writers are looking for the step-by-step recipe to gain representation and then publication, there is no single path to success. And Natalie, I'm not following you on Twitter. Can't believe I didn't think about that before.

Heather said...

This book sounds amazing! Looking forward to reading. Thank you also for the chance at a query critique: heathermcappsauthor@gmail.com

Carol Denton said...

Thank you for the interview. Congratulation, Jen! I look forward to reading your book!

Tonja Drecker said...

Congrats, Elle and Jen! I love the cover, and it sounds like a wonderful read.

sherry fundin said...

congrats and i enjoyed the interview. i do enjoy learning more about authors and not just their book
sherry @ fundinmental

Ilona Bray said...

Sounds like a fabulous debut! And I agree with the earlier commenter, I would have picked this book up just based on its enticing cover.

Rosi said...

The book sounds terrific. What an interesting idea to write one's query before writing the book! Thansk for an interesting post.

Angie Quantrell said...

This books sounds like a great read! Love the double interview. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Congrats! I shared on Twitter and follow you on Twitter, Natalie. :) angelecolline at yahoo dot com

Lauri Meyers said...

Thank you for sharing your insights!

Debra Branigan said...

I love the cover of the book and it sounds great. Congratulations to the authors on the new release. Thanks for sharing all the information and the interview. I shared at https://twitter.com/BraniganDebra/status/1184192757646147589?s=20. Thank you also for the chance at a query critique: dbranigan27 at gmail dot com.

Emily M. Bailey said...

I was a daydream/story builder as a kid too. I love the idea that writing starts all the way back then. Great interviews. Thank you! Congratulations on the books release! I can't wait to read it:) And thank you for the critique opp too. emilym.bailey3 at gmail dot com

Angela Brown said...

Loved the interview and the advice shared!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a great double interview! YES, I would LOVE to be entered for a query critique.

Jay Linden said...

Gorgeous cover art and lots of helpful tips from agent and author. Always encouraging to read these agent - author interviews. Thanks for the entry into the query critique - as I'm following from New Zealand I'll need to search out my own copy of Memory Keeper.

Melanie B said...

Thanks for the interviews! I don't want to be included in the critique giveaway, also mentioned on twitter! https://twitter.com/MelAnnB14/status/1184550576392146947

melanie_brac@yahoo.com

Christi M. said...

This sounds like such an interesting idea for a middle grade book. Great interviews too!

Damyanti Biswas said...

I love Roald Dahl & Judy Blume too!

1flexymomma said...

Great interview. I've been trying to write the pitch earlier in the process of my writing too. It's a valuable outline to keep the story focused on those key elements. Stacy mentioned having daughters and I look forward to querying her since my chapter-book series examines sibling dynamics from the perspective of two spirited sisters. azylstra.StayBack@gmail.com

Manju Howard said...

Jen, Thanks for sharing your processes. THE MEMORY KEEPER sounds like a perfect mentor text for my WIP. And I'm drawn to your concept, since both my father and FIL are experiencing memory loss.
Stacey, Thanks for sharing your interests and advice. I connected with "setting that acts as a character."
I shared your post on Twitter - https://twitter.com/ManjuBeth/status/1189142312938627073

emaginette said...

Congrats to Lee. She works so hard she amazes me. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Rinda Beach said...

Congratulations to all these authors. It takes so much to publish a book, let alone YA/MG. I'd love The Dragon Warrior. She's calling me!