Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Monica Rodriguez Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/8/2022
  • Agent/Author Marlo Berliner and Refe Tuma Guest Post With Frances and the Monster and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/15/2022
  • Lynette Novak Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/17/2022
  • Sarah Fink Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/12/2022
  • Jazmia Young Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/21/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • 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.

Guest Post: Agent Adria Goetz and Author G.Z. Schmidt and No Ordinary Thing and Query Critique Giveaway

 Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author G.Z. Schmidt and her agent Adria Goetz here to share about G.Z.'s MG time travel No Ordinary Thing. It sounds like a fun time travel story, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Twelve-year-old Adam is whisked away from his imperfect but quiet life with the arrival of a stranger and a magical promise in this time travel mystery.

Time traveling is no ordinary thing, but that’s what awaits 12-year-old Adam when he finds a snow globe that allows him to journey into the past. The snow globe whisks Adam from his home and introduces him to a succession of unusual characters along the way. Strangely, each individual seems to have a past that is interwoven with Adam’s own.

100 years ago in the streets of New York City, the famous magician and candlemaker extraordinaire Elbert the Excellent hopes to dazzle the world with his magic, but instead stumbles upon a mysterious entity known as “the time touch.”

As the two storylines unravel, they reveal a single thread that ties Adam and Elbert’s pasts together. At the center of their histories lies an abandoned candle factory, a factory that claimed multiple lives in a tragic fire years ago… one that Adam might be able to prevent.

Follower News

Before I get to my guest post, I have some follower news to share.

A. Kidd has released a MG fantasy The Healing Star. Here's a blurb and few links: 
Stars with healing powers are falling from the sky. Feisty fourth-grader Julia’s best friend in the entire universe is her grandmother, but then Grammu catches the disappearing disease and little by little, she’s turning invisible. If Julia can catch a falling star, then her wish to save Grammu will come true. All Julia needs to do now is find the legendary ladder to the stars…

To purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733899200

For signed copies, email A.Kiddwrites@gmail.com

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/A.Kiddwrites/

Lisa Richman has a MG contemporary Tavi Tails The Diary of a Dog. Here is a blurb and a few links:

Tavi Tails - The Diary of a Dog explores the world through the eyes of a dog. Tavi’s mom, a teacher, comes home from school, distraught over a student’s suicide. Tavi knew then that his job was to share everything he learned, hoping that no matter how sad they might be, humans will pick to stay. He helps people laugh and think, and offers a unique perspective on family, loyalty, and love.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Tavi-Tails-Through-Master-Trainer/dp/057866822X/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=tavi+tails&qid=1587485535&sr=8-4

G.Z. Schmidt and Adria Goetz Guest Post

Now here's G.Z. and Adria!

Agent: Adria Goetz Answers
  1. What draws you to a manuscript in the query inbox? For me, I need to fall in love with the
    concept first, in order to make it to the pages. The concept needs to feel exciting and distinctive to me. When I read your query, for example, I saw "time traveling snow globe", and a "dual timeline", and I was instantly hooked. And then I opened up the pages and was drawn in by the mysterious tone and atmosphere of your writing, and the fluid sentence-level writing that is so gripping as a reader. So in order for me to make it to the pages, I really need to see a strong concept that feels exciting and irresistible.  

  2. What's your turnaround time for submissions? I try to respond to all initial queries within two weeks. If I request a full manuscipt or additional submission materials, it will take me longer, but I typically give the writer a timeframe so they can anticipate when they'll receive a response from me, and when they can follow up if they haven't heard back. 
  3. Is there anything (story, genre, trope) you're particularly hungry for these days? I'm particularly looking to build up my adult fiction list right now, in the following categories: thrillers, romantic comedies, and women's fiction. On the kid lit side of things, I'm hungry for more submissions from picture book author/illustrators, and graphic novelists. 
  4. I noticed you recently ventured into the world of adult books. What are the key differences you look for in adult fiction vs children's fiction? Yes! I'm excited. I think the main difference is that I'm much more picky about the adult books I work on. With kid lit, I'm open to a lot of different types of genres and formats, but with adult fiction, I'm very narrowly looking to represent thrillers, romantic comedies, and book club-type women's fiction. 
  5. Lastly, if you were in the book No Ordinary Thing, which piece of the time touch would you have: the snow globe, the pendulum, or the music box? Am I boring if I say the snow globe? Who *wouldn't* want a time-traveling snow globe? Have you noticed that so many time travel movies and shows go back to the same historical events? It seems that every time travel show explores the JFK assasination, for example. I think that's part of the reason that No Ordinary Thing stuck out to me so much—because it felt so unique.  I  love history, and I have an active imagination, so I love imagining where and when I would go if I could time travel. Just for fun, I keep a list of very specific times and places I would want to travel back in time to if I could, and what I would want to do. For example: I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I'd love to go back to the 1800s and see how densely covered in trees it was. I'd also want to see the tall ships coming into our local port, and I'd want to ride on a train! I live in an old Victorian farmhouse that was built in 1890—I'd love to see the land it sits on before it was built, and maybe befriend the people who built the house.
Author: G.Z. Schmidt Answers

1. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind NO ORDINARY THING?

No Ordinary Thing was inspired partly from Louis Sachar's book Holes, which I loved as a kid. I enjoy books with multiple viewpoints, mixed timelines, flashbacks, and other detailed things that you can only really capture in text, as opposed to other media like TV shows and movies. As a result, the book has two main characters, set 100 years apart, and you get to see how their stories unravel and intertwine together.

2. Do you have a favorite time travel book, movie, or show?

I'd say Umbrella Academy is my currently favorite time travel show. It's different from your standard time travel in the sense there are multiple parallel universes, and going back in time CAN change things, as opposed to the Grandfather Paradox. I think TV/film captures the essence of time travel particularly well, because you see visually all the little changes: fonts, hairstyles, dresses. 

3. If you could travel back in time, where and when would you go?

This is a hard question. Probably the 1920s and meet F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein in Paris, where I have them critique my latest manuscript. (Yes, just like Midnight in Paris!)

4. What has been your favorite part of the publication process so far?

My favorite is the cover reveal. Middle grade covers can be especially whimsical and detailed, and I love seeing the book come to life through the art.  

Thanks for all your advice G.Z. and Adria! You can find G.Z. at:

Author Website: https://gzwrites.com
Buy Links for NO ORDINARY THING: AmazonIndieBoundBarnes & Noble

Giveaway Details

G.Z. has generously offered a hardback of No Ordinary Thing and Adra has offered a query critique for

a giveaway. 
To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by October 31st. 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 the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the critique query is international.

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

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, October 21st I have an agent spotlight interview with Melanie Castillo and a query critique giveaway

Monday, October 26th I have an interview with debut author Lily LaMotte and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Measuring Up

Wednesday, November 3rd I have an interview with debut author Chole Gong and a giveaway of her YA fantasy These Violent Delights and my IWSG post

Monday, November 9th I have an interview with debut author Sheila Averbuch and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Friend Me

Tuesday, November 10th I'm participating in the Super Stocking Giveaway Hop

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


  1. Always much to read here Natalie, thanks for keeping us up to date.
    Enjoy this new week.


  2. A time-traveling snow globe is a really cool concept! My son enjoyed reading "Holes" and I can imagine that book being a great inspiration for writers.

  3. Fun interview. I like the concept of the snow globe.

  4. Snow Globe - that is unique.
    The Umbrella Academy is certainly nutty!

  5. Great post with info to share, Natalie. Can't wait to read your interview of Liky LaMotte next week!

  6. I love time travel and would love to experience it for just a week or so. I think I would thoroughly enjoy this book. I think using a snow globe is a unique concept. Thanks for the post and the give a way.

  7. I enjoyed your interesting guest posts with Adria and G.Z. I always like to hear what an agent is looking for and what grabbed her attention in G.Z.'s book. Would enjoy time traveling using a snow globe. Since I live in Ohio where we had a lot of Native Americans, I would enjoy time traveling back to that time period. Use to day dream about it as a child as I searched for arrow heads in the field behind my childhood home and along the Olentangy River.

  8. I'd be hooked by the snow globe concept, too! Thanks for a helpful interview. (And props to any author willing to take on the complexities of time travel, yikes.)

  9. This book sounds amazing! I really like the time-traveling snowglobe premise. So cool that she was inspired by Holes, one of my favorite middle grades. I had to smile when she mentioned Midnight in Paris, a great film about being a writer. Thanks for another wonderful interview, Natalie!
    Congrats, G.Z. and Adria!

  10. I have this book on my TBR--thanks for the interview and chance to win a copy. Please do not enter me in the critique chance. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/632425860381769728/guest-post-agent-adria-goetz-and-author-gz

  11. Great interview! Great info! Congratulations to Adria and G.Z.!

  12. Really fun concept -- Congrats G.Z.!

  13. Great post, Natalie! This book sounds very intriguing, can't wait to read it. Adria has been my dream agent for some time now and I would love a critique with her before querying. I am now following you on Twitter as well. Thank you again for these wonderful interviews, Natalie!

  14. All of these sound good. Cute books for kids, and a good time to share them. I love GZ's hair. Twere I 40 years younger...

  15. I do love a good time travel story.

  16. This does sound like an interesting book, especially the snow globe for the time travel and the dueling timelines. Have a lovely week Natalie.

  17. Another fun and engrossing interview with insights into the path to publication. The book sounds great and yes the snow globe hook also got me. Thanks for featuring Adria and G.Z. on MMGM today.

  18. What a wonderful guest post! No Ordinary Thing sounds like an excellent book—it's always amazing to see authors grapple with the mind-boggling complex of time travel and make it simple for readers. I also loved hearing Ms. Goetz's top places to time travel! Also, The Healing Star by A. Kidd sounds great as well! I'll pass on the giveaways, but thanks for the great post!

  19. Wonderful article and quite helpful. I am nuts over snowglobes and have two completed (for now) middle grades. I would live to win either. Thank you!

  20. I would love to be enter into the critique. I have a book similar to this that I loved critiqued. nataliecohn80@gmail.com

  21. I'm a sucker for time travel stories! There are definitely places in time I'd love to visit. Great interviews this week! Thanks for the chance to win. I'm sharing on Twitter now. :)

  22. That cover is lovely! Thanks for sharing this interview!

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  24. Great interviews! Adria sounds like an amazing agent and I'd love to be entered in the critique giveaway. Thanks! PS I just followed you on twitter!

  25. Great interview Adria sounds like a fantastic agent, please include me in the critique giveaway. I have shared this on twitter.

  26. Thank you for another great set of interviews, Natalie. I have a collection of snowglobes, love time travel, and can't wait to read this book!

  27. Love the snow globe concept. Adria seems like she would be wonderful to work with. Thank you for the great interview and the chance to win the critique!

  28. Holes is such a great mentor text, and a time-traveling snow globe? Outstanding. Can't wait to read this book!

  29. Beautiful book cover! I love the idea of traveling back in time for a book critique a la Midnight in Paris!

  30. Enjoyed the post, would love to only get the book!

  31. Retweeted post as well :) Thanks, Natalie!

  32. I do love a good time travel story, and this this one sounds very good. Please put my name in the hat for the book but not the query critique. Thanks for a fun post.

  33. Wow, so much good news and information. Congrats to A. Kidd and Lisa Richman! Great news!

    Thank you, Adria, for the great interview and information about what you are looking for. I love hearing from agents!

    Thank you and congratulations, G.Z. Schmidt! I can't wait to read about a time travel snow globe! Such a fun concept! Best wishes!

    I will share this on Twitter. :)

  34. I have got to learn to read faster. There is so many good books I need to be reading.

  35. I enjoyed getting to know Adria Goetz and G.Z. Schmidt better through the wonderful interviews. Thank you both for the giveaway opportunities! I would love to win the query critique!

  36. What a cool idea! I would love to be entered for the critique. I also tweeted it. (dng431 (at) mocs.utc.edu)

  37. I love time travel books! The first book I really fell in love with as a kid was a time travel book and I still have it. :) Looking forward to reading this one! And of course, I'd love to be entered for a critique.

  38. You Q & A with G.Z. was very helpful. I would love to enter for the query critique, please. I will also post on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Thanks for the info and the opportunity.

  39. Love the idea of a time traveling snowglobe and historical fiction through a fun lens.

  40. Thank you for all you do, these interviews are so helpful when you start the querying process!

  41. Time travel stories are fun. Congrats to G.Z.!

  42. No Ordinary Thing sounds amazing! It was partly inspired by HOLES? One of my favorite books... Can't wait to read this one.

  43. This sounds fabulous! I also love Holes- so that intrigues me. I would love a time traveling snow globe. Fun! :) Best of luck to GZ! ~Jess

  44. Thanks for all the great content! (And the chance to win...) Really enjoyed this interview.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Congrats on your book!
    A snow globe for time travel. What a great concept. I wish this book were around when my daughter was young. Since she collected snow globes and loves to read, it would have been perfect for her. I'm sure today's kids will love it.
    I'd be happy to win a copy or the critique with Adria.

  47. Well, this got me thinking what other workouts are good for those of us who find ourselves on the road or have limited equipment options. Guest Post