CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Pam Gruber Query Critique through March 6th


Let's Get Lucky Giveaway Hop through March 16th

Pride and Premeditation through March 20th

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Caryn Wiseman and Merriam Sarcia Saunders Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/15/2021

Jennifer Herrington Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/17/2021

Emily Fortney Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/14/2021

Agent Spotlight Updates

All agent spotlights and interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated again in 2023.

Debut Author Interview: Caroline Gertler and Many Points of Me Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Caroline Gertler here to share about her MG contemporary Many Points of Me. It sounds like a fantastic story with characters you can relate to that deals with issues of grief, friendship, and family.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

When Georgia finds a secret sketch her late father—a famed artist—left behind, the discovery leads her down a path that may reshape everything holding her family and friends together. Caroline Gertler’s poignant debut is a character-driven story about friendship, family, grief, and creativity. Both literary and pitch-perfect for tweens, Many Points of Me is Rebecca Stead meets From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was a famous artist. His most-well-known paintings were a series of asterisms—patterns of stars—that he created. One represented a bird; one, himself; and one, Georgia’s mother. There was supposed to be a fourth, but Georgia’s father died before he could paint it. Georgia’s mother and her best friend, Theo, are certain that the last asterism would’ve been of Georgia, but Georgia isn’t so sure. She isn’t sure about anything anymore—including whether Theo is still her best friend.

Then Georgia finds a sketch her father made of her. One with pencil points marked on the back—just like those in the asterism paintings. Could this finally be the proof that the last painting would have been of her? Georgia’s quest to prove her theory takes her around her Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was almost a second home to Georgia, since she had visited favorite artists and paintings there constantly with her father. But the sketch leads right back to where she’s always belonged—with the people who love her, no matter what.

Caroline Gertler’s debut novel explores friendships, grief, and self-identity with deep heart and a deft, delicate hand. Georgia’s world is filled with fully drawn characters that readers will easily identify with. This page-turning and thought-provoking read is for art lovers and mystery readers, as well as for fans of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Finding Orion.

Follower News

Before I get to my interview with Caroline, I have Follower News to share with you.

J.Q. Rose's memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, was recently released. Here's a blurb and a few

links:

In 1975, Ted and Janet transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, to make their dream of building a blooming business in the floral industry come true. Laugh with them. Cry with them, but most of all watch them grow as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting and dig deep to discover what it takes to root a thriving business.

Pre-order Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arranging-a-dream

Pre-order Nook BN.com https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arranging-a-dream-jq-rose/1138258568?ean=2940164728984
Pre-order SW https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1054054
Pre-order amazon page https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NDZNYQJ
Paperback at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Dream-J-Q-Rose/dp/0228615542/
http://www.jqrose.com/


Chrys Fey a new book release, A Fighting Chance, in her Disaster Crimes series. She is also offering a free ebook short story, The Disaster Curse. Here's a blurb and a few links:

A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.

Amanda is scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*

Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

And Melanie Steele at The Writer's Soul is offering a free weekly five-minute meditation series and accompanying journal prompts for writers to help them get in touch with what matters, nurture their writer-self, and let their light shine. Here is the link: Monday Meditations for the Writer's Soul.  

Interview With Caroline Gertler

Hi Caroline! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I grew up in New York City, the third of four children—a good position in sibling order to become an observer of the world. My favorite time as a reader was the middle grade years, eight to twelve.

In college, I got my first internship in publishing, for incredible children’s book editor Christy Ottaviano. I learned so much from her, and that’s when I decided it was the field for me. I did an MA in art history, and worked in children’s publishing for six years. The whole time, I was writing, and learning the craft. I left publishing when my first daughter was born, and now, eleven years later, my first book is being published.

 2. That's awesome that you were able to get an internship in college. Where did you get the idea for Many Points of Me?


The initial spark of the idea came from wondering what it would be like to be the child of a famous artist who died young, and there being some sort of art-related mystery for that child to uncover—something about her father’s art that only she could understand. A gift from him through time. I also wanted to write a bit of a love letter to the Met, which feels like a second home to me.

3. It sounds like Georgia and the other characters in your story are really developed, memorable characters that will pull at readers’ heart strings. Not all authors get this right. Share your process of portraying characters so vividly. Was there a character that you found especially challenging to bring to life and why?

Thank you—I do hope I got it right! There’s always the gap between what lives in my head, and what the reader gets on the page. I wish I could point to a process of how I develop characters; I’ve never been one for character-development tools, it’s a more organic process that comes from getting to know them in drafting and revising. I think Harper was the most challenging—I wanted her to be more than a stereotype of a spoiled rich girl.

4. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Many Points of Me? What was the revision process like for you?

It took a long time! The first spark of an idea came to me in the summer of 2014, and I think I finished a first draft in two years. I was super slow, raising young children, not very disciplined, and writing by the seat of my pants. But I was determined to revise and make it work. The book reached its final form as you have it now in early 2020.

The revision process was fascinating. I marvel at where the book started, and what it’s become, and all the different iterations it went through. There are only a few details and scenes that remain the same (in fact, there’s one scene that comes from an earlier manuscript I wrote and never revised).

I especially loved revising as I got further along in the process, when my agent or editor would give a suggestion, and it was like a jigsaw puzzle, changing one thing here or there to make things fit correctly. Early on in the writing process, there are SO many choices to make, and I have a hard time with that. It’s like closing doors on different paths you could take, and hoping you choose the right one. I’m not great at plotting/planning/logical thinking in the early stages, but as the story and characters became more defined in the later stages, I loved the feeling of “knowing” what edits to make.

5. I'm a slow writer of a first draft too and love revising more. Your story deals with issues of friendship and grief. How did you weave these issues into the story so that it sounded like a natural part of the story and didn’t get preachy?

I approached the friendship story from what feels like a less-explored angle, to me: I wrote from the point-of-view of the friend who’s doing the growing apart, rather than the one who’s being left behind. So I hope that keeps it fresh, and not preachy. Georgia might seem selfish at first in her actions, but she kind of needs to be in order to process her grief and figure out who she is and what she needs. And in the end, her best friend, who is like family, is there for her.

 6. You have a MA in art history and give tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. How did you draw on this when developing Georgia’s quest to find out more about her father and his art? 

A lot of the art knowledge was in my head and ready to share in the book. Originally there was a sort of heist scene, where Georgia tries to break-in to get her competition entry back, and then goes on the run from the security guards at the Met, sneaking through the corridors that are only used by staff. That scene was so fun to write, and important to me for a long time, but toward the final draft before submitting to editors, I was finally ready to take it out to make the book work better.

 7. Your agent is Sara Crowe. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?

I’ve known Sara since my days as an associate editor at Wendy Lamb Books. I always liked her as a person, and admired her submissions and her authors. When I left publishing eleven years ago, I had in my mind a list of agents I’d want to be represented by when I was ready with a manuscript to submit, and Sara’s always been at the top of that list. She was the first person I submitted this project to when I felt it was ready. But it took some time before I actually signed with her. We then spent a few months revising, making the book much stronger. And I was over the moon excited by the offer from Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow Books—my dream editor/publisher.

8. That's great that you already knew Sara from when you were an editor. How are you planning to promote your book given the pandemic? Will your marketing plan change as it becomes safer to do more in-person events later in 2021?

Social media is invaluable these days in terms of providing support, and a strong community of readers and writers. I’m awed by the teachers and librarians on twitter who are such enthusiastic champions of middle grade literature. I’m spending time connecting with new people, and doing some virtual events, including a virtual launch on January 27th. I’m up for doing virtual school visits—so please feel free to reach out to me! And I hope to be able to do in-person events in the not-too-distant future.

9. What are you working on now?

Another middle grade novel is in the works!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Caroline. You can find Caroline at www.carolinegertler.com. On Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmgertler. And on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinegertler/


Giveaway Details

Caroline has generously offered a hardback of Many Points of Me 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 January 23rd. 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. This giveaway is U.S. 

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


Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Saturday, January 16th I'm participating in the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop

Monday, January 18th I have a guest post by debut author Dana Swift and her agent Amy Brewer and a query critique giveaway and book giveaway of Dana's YA fantasy Cast in Firelight 

Wednesday, January 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Tricia Skinner and query critique giveaway

Monday, January 25th I have an interview with debut author Chrystal Giles and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Take Back the Block

Wednesday, January 27th I have an interview with author Gita Trelease and a giveaway of Everything That Burns as part of her blog tour

 Hope to see you on Saturday!


46 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Caroline. I like revisions more as well.

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  2. Congratulations to Caroline, Many Points of Me sounds wonderful. Have a lovely week Natalie.

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  3. I must say, the comparison to Rebecca Stead and E. L. Konigsburg (as well as the blurb by Rebecca Stead) is very convincing! It's interesting that this book explores what it's like for characters who are actually distancing themselves from friends—I agree that we rarely see that side of things in books. I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great review!

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    1. I meant interview, not review. Sigh. Also, I went ahead and ordered a copy of this book for myself so others could win the giveaway copy! Thanks again for bringing this book to my attention!

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  4. I think of revision as a puzzle too--revising is my favorite part of writing. Getting myself to sit down and focus, starting a story, is the hardest part for me. I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for the interview! I follow Natalie on Twitter as dhammelef.

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  5. Congratulations to Caroline. I love the book cover and the synopsis of the story. Friendship. My 11 year old granddaughter started her first day in her new school this morning. She knows noone there and came from a school of 75 sixth graders to this one with 200 sixth graders. Making friends is her top priority. I shared the post today on my FB author page. Thanks, Natalie, for mentioning my new release in the Followers News.

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  6. Thank you so much for adding my books to your Follower News!

    Congratulations to Caroline! I love the cover of her book.

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  7. Marketing is so different now, although it will shift back to in-person very soon. Fortunately schools were used to author visits via Skype already.

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  8. Good interview--the book sounds intriguing. Love the spotlighted books, too. Janet's was excellent. I haven't yet read Chrys' but can't wait.

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  9. This sounds like such a heartfelt book--and character-driven stories are my favorite. Right up my alley! Congrats! P.S. I love revision, too. :)

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  10. I've had the privilege of reading MANY PONTS OF ME already, in an ARC. And it was so gorgeous I preordered a hardcover for myself!(So please let someone else win the giveaway.) Yay, Caroline! Loved getting to know you a little better. Thanks for this interview, Natalie.

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  11. Many Points of Me sounds delightful! I'm especially intrigued by the artistic background and underlying theme, since that's not something we see a lot. Congrats to Caroline on her book's upcoming release! Great interview, too. I'd like to enter the giveaway, I follow Natalie on twitter, and my email is spartan_writer(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  12. This sounds like an intriguing read! I love a tad of mystery surrounding Georgia's father and his last painting. And I love the Met. Enjoyed the interview and the process Caroline went through. It really struck me that the real learning. occurs for writers in the multiple revisions.

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  13. I loved this book - and the art lessons that come with it!!

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  14. I love the plot of this new story. It has all the elements of a great contemporary read. Thanks for the insightful interview and for featuring on Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

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  15. I'm the same when it comes to writing slowly and preferring revisions. There's something about tinkering with already written words that is the best.

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  16. This book looks good. I loved visiting the Met when I lived in New York. Thanks for sharing it, plus the interview.

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  17. I loved the interview! I struggle too with putting the ideas in my head into words on paper. I also think it's interesting to see how authors create their characters! Everyone seems to do it differently, but they always seem to work out well. Thank you for the wonderful interview! (also, I am ok not participating in the giveaway--I'll let someone else win!)

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  18. So excited for this book. Thank you for a chance to win a copy. Congratulations πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸΎπŸŽŠ!!!

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  19. What a wonderful premise! Sounds like a lovely book!

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  20. Great interview. I think the students in my daughter's fifth grade class would love to share a copy of your book. Love the subject matter.

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  21. Another book I must read. Need to get busy. Congratulations.

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  22. This book sounds amazing. I love anything about art history, and I like how the paintings is tied to the loss of her dad. Another great interview, Natalie!

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  23. Great post Natalie. Good luck to Caroline on her debut book. It appears to be a wonderful read.
    Hope all is well.
    Yvonne.

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  24. This book truly sounds lovely! I would love to enter the giveaway. Toria0602@yahoo.com

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  25. I can't wait to read this book. It's so exciting to see middle grade books coming onto the reading scene. Congratulations, Caroline! Thanks for sharing with us, Natalie. I tweeted this post. :) angelecolline at yahoo dot com

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  26. Congrats on your release. I'm always looking for new authors to read, this sounds sounds like something I would enjoy! Continued writing to you and thanks for the opportunity! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

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  27. Lots of great reads out. Congrats to the wonderful authors and a hello to the, just as wonderful, host:)

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  28. I read Arranging a Dream and LOVED it.
    Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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  29. Love the idea that she wrote from the POV of the friend to keep it real. carlakkessler@outlook.com

    I tweeted this (I already follow you and your blog :))

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  30. I love the idea of this story. Thanks for another interesting interview and for a chance to win a copy.

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  31. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome book! Shared to twitter and following your blog!

    Shared: https://twitter.com/craftychicky58/status/1349494229970640901
    Email: melanie_brac (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  32. I really enjoyed your interview, Natalie and Caroline. Coming from a family with lots of artists, I'm sure this would be a great read! btw, Natalie, my "Voyagers" editor asked me to interview an author who has a book coming out. Your wonderful interviews inspired me, and I appreciate that!

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  33. Thank you for this interview. The book sounds compelling, and I look forward to reading it. I posted about this on Twitter.

    Sarah Meade

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  34. I saw Chris's book over on Alex's blog. Looks interesting!

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  35. Congrats to all on the new releases!

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  36. The cover of Many Points of Me is purrfect. Sounds like all the stars were aligned on this book.

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  37. Congrats to Caroline. It's great to root a book in something that you love because it makes the characters that much more authentic.

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  38. Wishing you a weekend as special as you are.

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  39. So many wonderful books coming out, Natalie! I wish all the authors much success with their new releases.

    The interview with Caroline and her book Many Points of Me is truly interesting. Character driven stories are the best. Readers can really connect to them. Thanks for sharing this with your followers, Natalie!

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  40. Oh Natalie, I forgot to mention that I shared this post on twitter and facebook. All best to you!

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  41. I love learning about new middle grades books!
    dedezoomsalot at yahoo dot com

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  42. I'd love to get this book, it looks like a good read! chayala14@gmail.com

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  43. Congratulations. I have seen the cover of this book literally almost everywhere. So it's nice to get an inside peek. Now I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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  44. I love the cover and can't wait to read the book! Thank you for the giveaway!

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