Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Kristin Ostby Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/11/21
  • Agent Melissa Nasson/Author Alex Perry Guest Post + Query Critique & Book Giveaway on 10/18/21
  • Ginger Clark Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/25/21
  • Danielle Chiotti Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 11/15/21

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 Allison Hellegers and Debut Author Sam Taylor and We Are the Fire and Query Critique Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Sam Taylor and her agent Allison Hellegers here to share about Sam’s debut YA We Are the Fire. It sounds like a story with fantastic world building and a unique magic system. I’m excited to read it.

Here’s a burb from Goodreads:

As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor's explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus.

In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.

Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.

When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.

Now here’s Sam and Allison!

Sam’s Story


My journey to traditional publishing is anything but traditional, because I signed with my literary agent (and for a different book!) after I had my book deal for WE ARE THE FIRE.

I’d tried querying WAtF with agents and while there’d been some interest, I didn’t receive any offers of representation. But I still believed in this book and wanted to give it another chance—and my critique partners and beta readers had loved it. I thought, “Readers enjoy this book, maybe readers can help me get it published.” And they did! I posted WAtF to the Swoon Reads website, where readers could rate and comment on manuscripts… and stories with positive reviews could grab the attention of an editor. Mine did, and Emily Settle, an editor with Swoon Reads (and its parent imprint, Feiwel & Friends) reach out to me saying Swoon Reads wanted to publish my book!

So I had that book deal I’d been chasing for years, but I knew I still wanted an agent partner: someone experienced in the business side of publishing, who knew contracts, markets, and the right questions to ask to ensure that my books received the best support. When I had another manuscript ready, I was back to querying… and it was thanks to my Swoon Reads contacts that I finally found and signed with my (amazing!!) agent, Alli Hellegers.

A few months after joining the Swoon Reads team, one of my fellow authors mentioned that a longtime

friend of hers, who’d been in publishing for 17 years at the time, had decided to become a literary agent (and with Stimola Literary Studio, no less). Though Alli was still a couple months away from officially opening to queries, any of us Swoon Reads authors were invited to query her in advance.

Yes, please! I’m a big believer in taking any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how unusual, because you never know where it might lead. I queried Alli with my new manuscript, an Icelandic historical fantasy packed with witches and Viking-age magic. Turns out Alli adores Iceland as well (yes!!!) and quickly asked for the full. A few weeks later, she made that unicorn offer I’d chased for years: agent representation.

Though Alli is new to agenting, because she’s been in the industry for so long, she has the experience I’d been looking for: she’s well-versed in the market, she has both US and foreign connections, and She. Knows. Contracts. While I can craft entirely new worlds from a blank page, with magical characters and wild adventures, pouring through a 20+ page contract full of legalese is overwhelming. There, I wanted someone who knew what they’re doing.

And even though my partnership with Alli began with a different book, she’s still been amazingly helpful when it comes to WE ARE THE FIRE, joining in conversations with my team at Swoon Reads, especially when it comes to the all-important marketing and publicity. That’s a good agent! I’m beyond lucky to have Alli on my team.

Alli’s Story

Thanks, Sam for those comments! It was such a pleasure to get Sam’s YA novel, WICKED IS THE WITCH, previous to opening up widely to submissions in North America. Most of my background in publishing has been in foreign sales, having worked in rights for the majority of my publishing career. Scandinavia was one of the markets I sold in directly for my previous job, Rights People, and I had the opportunity to travel to all countries there, including Iceland. I fell in love with the country, the nature, and the magic of the landscape. On top of that, I’ve always had a love for all things witchy, so it felt like Sam’s story was made just for me (and also for that younger version of myself). She was one of the first clients I signed, and it’s been such a pleasure to represent someone so creative, hard-working, and focused on always growing as a writer. I could read her fantasy worldbuilding, including her descriptions of baked goods from said world, all day!  


Although I’ve been working in rights for 20 years, I didn’t make the switch to agenting authors directly till I joined Stimola Literary Studio in August 2019. While I adored getting to know the foreign market and helping to launch so many author’s careers around the globe, I also was so drawn to representing authors myself. I had been working on behalf of UK, foreign, and Australian agents and publishers to sell rights back to North American editors, so I was fortunate to know the landscape before I made the switch. Rosemary Stimola (who I knew since my job as a literary scout) happened to be an agent whose career and perspective I greatly admired, and I was over the moon when she asked me to join the Studio. I’m also delighted to be helping other Studio clients with foreign rights as part of my new role.

So far, I’ve been selling mostly middle grade and YA novels, and I’m taking on a few picture books and also adult fiction and non-fiction. It would probably be easier if I specialized in one thing, but my passions are broad, and I love to fall for projects that I’m not expecting to arrive in my inbox. I’m a big fan of voice-driven, boundary-pushing fiction that can fit in multiple categories and cross age-groups, but I still need to have a vision for how it will fit in the current marketplace. I’m drawn to things that are joyful and offer meaning, but I don’t stray from darker storylines and genres. So, twisty mysteries, thrillers, and horror are fine – but the writing has to evoke multiple feelings and emotions, including humor and/or joy in order to appeal. As a very visual person, I always enjoy unique storytelling structures, graphic novels, and novels in verse, as they tend to work well for my way of processing story. And with so much competition to devices these days, I’m excited to help find creative ways to captivate children, including my own videogame obsessed eight-year-old boy.

Overall, I strive to have a nurturing and transparent relationship with my clients. I can provide both editorial and/or big picture notes, depending on client and need, and it would be a big joy to also sell my own client’s works widely around the globe. Mostly, I’m looking to help good people make good books, and if I can help propel diverse and #ownvoices creators, then it’s just all the more rewarding!

Sam on Instagram: @jsamtaylorauthor

Sam on Twitter: @jsamtaylor

Sam’s Website: www.samtaylorwrites.com

Buy WE ARE THE FIRE!

Alli on Twitter: @allidhellegers

Stimola Literary Studio: www.stimolaliterarystudio.com

Giveaway Details

Sam’s publisher has generously offered a hardback of We Are the Fire and Allison 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 March 6th. 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. and the query critique giveaway is international. 

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Tuesday, March 2nd I’m participating in the Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 3rd I have an interview with debut author Tirzah Price here to share about her YA historical mystery Pride and Premeditation and my IWSG post

Monday, March 8th I have an interview with author Donna Galanti and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Unicorn Island

Monday, March 15th I have a guest post by debut author Merriam Sarcia Saunders and her agent Caryn Wiseman with a query critique giveaway by Caryn and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Trouble with a Tiny t by Merriman

Wednesday, March 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jennifer Herrington and a query critique giveaway

Monday, March 22nd I have an interview with debut author Christina Li and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Clues to the Universe

Wednesday, March 24th I have an interview with publisher Maria Dismondy of Cardinal Rule Press

Monday, March 29th I have an interview with debut author Jessica Olsen and a giveaway of her YA fantasy Sing Me Forgotten

Hope to see you Tuesday, March 2nd!

 

 

Agent Spotlight: Pam Gruber Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Pam Gruber here. She is a literary agent at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Hi­ Pam! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Pam:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

I joined IGLA as a literary agent in May of 2020, because there’s nothing like a pandemic to make you reexamine your priorities! I realized that my favorite part of the publishing business is working directly with authors and artists, helping them to shape not only their stories, but also their careers. Since then, I’ve been eagerly building my list of clients and revising their manuscripts to submit later this year, as well as connecting with editors to ensure I can get each project into the right hands when the time comes. Before becoming an agent, I worked in editorial for over 12 years, most recently as the Editorial Director at Rebel Girls, and as a Senior Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

I chose to join IGLA because of its incredible collaborative spirit. Any author working with one agent gets the brainpower and support of the entire team when it comes to making the right editorial contacts, devising submission lists, and strategizing the best deal terms. We have strong relationships in subrights and film as well, and always think about an author’s career holistically, not just one book at a time. 

More formally, the IGLA list includes all kinds of fiction — both commercial and literary — topical nonfiction, social issues, pop culture, cookbooks, design, middle grade and young adult books, and anything that captures our interest. We have more bestselling authors than ever before, both in the U.S. and abroad, and the numbers continue to climb.

At the end of the day, our agency relies on one simple and timeless fact: a great story always sells. Good writing never gets old. The technology may change, but we're ready to embrace all emerging formats, as long as it contains a story that stops us in our tracks. That is why we are thriving, and that's why we find new and delightful success in a sea of changes.

We have a unique perspective, because we're just a tiny bit unorthodox. We all work like mad, because we love what we do. You won't find anyone punching a clock or adhering to fancy dress codes here, but you will find consummate professionalism that stems from true respect and unrelenting drive.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

In these categories, I’m primarily looking for young adult and middle grade fiction with literary voices that explore deeper themes within the package of a more commercial hook. I like authors who know that what a book is “about” is different from a book’s plot. Genre-wise, I’m particularly interested in light fantasy, speculative fiction, books with a touch of horror, magical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. I would also love to see more realistic middle grade and YA graphic novels (think The Plain Janes, Spinning, or This One Summer). And I’m always looking out for fresh perspectives and representation that reflects the diversity of our world.

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

I look for voices that are gripping from page one, whether they make me break out in a smile or give me goosebumps (from the evocative writing, not fear). I love messy female protagonists, innovative twists on old tropes, and getting swept away by fully realized worlds—be they portraits of the next town over or an imagined universe unlike our own.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

Although I would represent picture book projects from a client who also works in other categories, I’m not actively seeking authors who exclusively write picture book texts.

I’m also not the best fit for prescriptive non-fiction, anthologies, poetry, potty humor, paranormal, hard sci-fi or high fantasy, or Christian fiction.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

I look for authors who are passionate about what they do, with a strong sense of their own narrative voice and clear grasp of what it is they want to say with their work. I also love when writers have a lot of ideas and the wherewithal to carry those ideas to completion. I’m not just in it for one book -- my goal is to build long-term relationships that will grow along with an author’s career. In terms of working style, I’ve always found open and honest communication is key, and I strive for that sort of back-and-forth with both clients and publishers to ensure the best collaborations for everyone.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

Absolutely. Because of my background as an editor, I know first-hand what it takes to get through a publisher’s acquisitions meeting. I typically provide editorial feedback to clients before we go on submission, and while I try to stay out of the way once an author has an editor, I’m there as a resource in case a client needs help understanding any editorial notes or publisher feedback once a book is in process.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

Authors can query me by sending their query letter and the first ten pages of their manuscript in the body of an email to pam.queries@irenegoodman.com. Query letters would ideally include a short description of the book, a couple of comp titles (similar books in the category based on the subject, tone, or voice), and a brief author bio.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

I strongly prefer when all text is included as part of the body of the email, not as attachments. There is one exception – for graphic novel queries that include illustrations, sample pages can be sent as an attachment or link.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

I try to respond within four to six weeks, although it can take longer when I’m really overloaded with queries.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

I am open to representing previously self-published or small press authors, particularly for new work that may have more mainstream appeal. The key thing for these authors to know, however, is that the traditional publishing process is a lot more collaborative than they may be used to. The writer needs to be willing to trust the professionals at these bigger houses and relinquish a bit of control over the packaging of their work. Keep in mind that everyone has the same goal – to get your book into the hands of as many readers as possible!

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

With so many new avenues for publishing, having an agent is more important than ever. Authors deserve to have an experienced and reputable advocate to help them navigate the ever-evolving publishing ecosystem, to protect their rights to their work, and ensure they get the best deal possible in any given offer situation.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I’m thrilled to represent Tracy Banghart, Emily C. Bernstein, Kitty Curran, Monica Sanz, and Katy Upperman. As an editor, I was lucky enough to work with folks such as Christiane M. Andrews, Jen Calonita, Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, Emily Lloyd-Jones, Kass Morgan, and Sarah Watson, among others.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

N/A 

Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

Please send queries to pam.queries@irenegoodman.com

For additional info, writers can visit irenegoodman.com/pam-gruber and manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/pam-gruber/

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

Don’t worry too much about what’s trendy in a certain category. For one thing, by the time your manuscript is acquired and published, years will have gone by and trends change quickly. Instead, write the story that you’re most passionate about! That passion and personal connection is timeless, and it’s what will resonate with readers above all else.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Pam.

­Pam is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment through March 6th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

 

 

 

Wish Big Giveaway Hop

 


Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I think this is a great month to “Wish Big” and try to have hope that we can all get vaccinated soon and hopefully get back to a safer and more normal life. And here in Michigan, the weather should be getting warmer in a month or two. I’ve got a lot of exciting newly releases MG and YA book choices this month to help you get through this month.

 

FYI I am starting to participate in two book giveaway blog hops every month so that I can feature more books that you'll hopefully want to read. You can enter my other giveaway by clicking on the link in the Current Giveaways at the top of the blog. 

 

Here are the newly released MG and YA books I'm offering in this giveaway hop. You can also choose another book in the series by these authors. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads. Here are your choices:






















If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.



Giveaway Details

 One lucky entrant selected by the entry form will receive a book of their choice listed above or a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Open to entrants internationally as long as Book Depository ships to you for free, 13 years and older. Open for entry from 2/016 – 2/28/2021 at 11:59 pm EST. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email to claim this prize or a new winner will be selected.

Please note that you must be a blog follower and leave a blog comment to enter the contest. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, February 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Pam Gruber and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 22th I have a guest post by debut author Sam Taylor and her agent Allison Hellegers and a giveaway of Sam’s YA fantasy We Are the Fire and a query critique giveaway by Allison

Tuesday, March 2nd I’m participating in the Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 3rd I have an interview with debut author Tirzah Price here to share about her YA historical mystery Pride and Premeditation

Monday, March 8th I have an interview with author Donna Galanti and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Unicorn Island

Monday, March 15th I have a guest post by debut author Merriam Sarcia Saunders and her agent Caryn Wiseman with a query critique giveaway by Caryn and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Trouble with a Tiny t by Merriman

Tuesday, March 16th I'm participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jennifer Herrington and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you tomorrow!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

 

 

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Debut Author Interview: Emily Victoria and This Golden Flame Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Emily Victoria here to share about her YA fantasy This Golden Flame. It sounds like a real page turner with fantastic world building that makes me excited to read it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

Hi Emily! Thanks so much for joining us.

Thank you for having me!

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

I’m one of those people who has been writing for as long as I can remember. That being said, I seriously started thinking about pursuing writing as a career during university. Though I didn’t take writing as a degree, that was when I really started trying to write more diligently and to understand the industry.

2. It’s great that you’ve written for so long. Where did you get the idea for This Golden Flame?

I knew I wanted to write a book roughly based in Ancient Greece and then I had the idea for these two characters, one human and one not, who had to work together to escape and who had to learn to trust each other despite their differences. That was really when This Golden Flame was born. Even after many edits it’s still those two characters, Karis and Alix, who form the heart of the story.

3. Readers have said that your story is a real page turner that they couldn’t put down. Tell us about your plotting process and how you added tension to your story.

I’m definitely a plotter all the way, from the very first draft. Typically, I first brainstorm the big moments that my plot will turn around. These are moments like the inciting incident, the midpoint, and the climax, for example. I like deciding these moments first to make sure that I have something to drive my writing and plot and character development towards. After that I’ll grab a stack of cue cards and fill in the holes, making sure that all of the scenes are working towards those big moments.

4. It also sounds like your world building was really fantastic. How did you develop the world that Karis lives in?

Worldbuilding is one of my favorite elements of writing (if not my favorite element). With this world in particular I did a lot of research on Ancient Greece, and then I added my fantastical elements on top of that. When planning a new world, I tend to do a lot of freestyle brainstorming where I just take a notebook and write down all of the cool things that I could put in my world. Once I think I have enough to work with I’ll start refining until I have a world that I feel really breathes on the page.

5. That’s a great idea to brainstorm idea. It’s interesting that you did not create a love triangle (like other readers, I’m glad of this), or much romance at all in your story. Instead, your focus was on family. It’s uncommon to not have a big romance between the main character and another character in YA fantasies. What made you change the focus in your story? Did it make it harder to get an agent or a publishing contract?

Karis is aroace, just like me. So from the very inception of this story, I knew that there wouldn’t be a


central romance to this story. Instead, I chose to focus on friendship and family, because those relationships fit the character and fit me.

I will admit that at first I was worried that a young adult fantasy that didn’t center a romance wouldn’t find a home. I was so glad that didn’t turn out to be true. I would love to see even more of this in YA fantasy, because family and friendships are so central to teens.

6. I’m glad that it didn’t turn out to be true too. How long did it take you to write your first draft and then the revisions you felt your story needed before you started querying? What did you learn from the process?

This Golden Flame actually wasn’t the book I queried with. I wrote it while I was already agented. And it was definitely the fastest I had ever written a book. I don’t remember the exact timeline, but I think I took around 4-5 months to plan and write the first draft, and around the same to do revisions before it went on submission. Through that process I learned how important it was to take the chance and write the story you love.

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

Rebecca became my agent through querying. After reading my query, she requested to see the book and then she asked if she could set up a call with me. She is honestly just so amazing and it’s been wonderful working with her. We didn’t end up selling the original novel that I queried with, but that allowed me to write This Golden Flame, which is truly the story of my heart, and it found its home at Inkyard.

8. I saw that you did a preorder campaign where readers could enter by preordering your book or asking their local library to order it. I’ve seen other debut authors do a similar preorder campaign. It sounds brilliant to me with the two ways to enter. How has your preorder campaign gone?

I’ve been really happy with it so far. It was wonderful being able to return to the world of This Golden Flame for a short story, especially since it’s from the point of view of a side character. And it’s just been so heartwarming seeing all of the submissions from people who have bought or requested my book. I hope that they all enjoy the story.

9. How are you marketing This Golden Flame in light of the pandemic? What advice do you have for other aspiring writers and authors releasing books on promoting their books?

Marketing during a pandemic has certainly been interesting. But then again, as this is my debut novel, I don’t really have anything to compare it to. I do love that more events, book launches, etc have moved online. It means that I can participate in things that perhaps I wouldn’t have had the chance to during other times.

As for advice for other aspiring writers on promoting books, I would say to focus on those marketing initiatives that personally make you excited. There’s no guarantee of what will move the needle, so to speak, so do what makes you happy. For me, I really wanted to do a preorder campaign and get some book swag designed for example, so that’s what I focused on.

10. What are working on now?

My next book is titled Silver in the Mist (which is unrelated to my debut, despite the fact that they both have a metal in their name). It’s about a spy who lives on a divided continent with dying magic. She is sent to the neighboring country to capture a magical caster and bring her back, but things do not go as planned.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Emily. You can find Emily at www.avictoriantale.com or at @avictoriantale on Instagram and Twitter.

Giveaway Details

Emily has generously offered a hardback of This Golden Flame 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 February 27th. 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. and Canada

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Tuesday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, February 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Pam Gruber and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 22th I have a guest post by debut author Sam Taylor and her agent Allison Hellegers and a giveaway of Sam’s YA fantasy We Are the Fire and a query critique giveaway by Allison

Tuesday, March 2nd I’m participating in the Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 3rd I have an interview with debut author Tirzah Price here to share about her YA historical mystery Pride and Premeditation

Monday, March 8th I have an interview with author Donna Galanti and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Unicorn Island

Monday, March 15th I have a guest post by debut author Merriam Sarcia Saunders and her agent Caryn Wiseman with a query critique giveaway by Caryn and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Trouble with a Tiny t by Merriman

Tuesday, March 16th I'm participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jennifer Herrington and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you tomorrow!

 

 

Agent Spotlight: Abigail Frank Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Abigail Frank here. She is an associate literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Hi­ Abigail! Thanks so much for joining us.

 About Abigail:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

I worked a couple of different jobs in my first years after college, but always knew that I ultimately wanted a career in books. So, in 2017, I moved to New York for a summer internship at Writers House and started at Greenburger Associates right after.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

Greenburger is a mid-sized agency that represents all genres of books (no screenplays though!). We are hands-on with our clients, making sure everyone’s best work reaches the right editors, and handling the other rights to clients’ projects – audio, film, foreign, etc. It’s honestly such a great team. I can’t recommend my colleagues highly enough! Check us out at our website: www.greenburger.com

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I represent anything for young readers – board books to YA – and take on adult projects very selectively. I am always most drawn to fresh narrative structures, strong voices, and memorable characters.

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

Right now, I’m especially excited to work on funny, smart chapter books and contemporary YA romance.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

I’m not particularly looking for high fantasy or science fiction, at the moment, or anything that feels like traditional crime fiction.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

I wanted to be an agent because I am committed to advocating for artists, and that still motivates me! Especially for artists whose perspectives commercial publishing has long excluded. I want to help my clients navigate the publishing world so they can create books that they are proud of, and so that they can build lasting careers. Part editing, part business managing, part cheerleading. And ultimately, I care deeply about creating enlightening and inspiring and fun stories for all young readers.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

I am. The process depends on the project, of course, but I usually start with larger, overall notes and, once the big pieces are in place, move to small, in-line edits. I never want to be just assigning tasks – the process of developing a project is very much a collaborative one. The artist knows their work best, so my job is to help them make that work the strongest it can be.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

Please send me (afrank@sjga.com) your query letter with your full manuscript attached or pasted into the body of your email. If you’re a visual artist, I like to see links to online portfolios, if available. I’m not a stickler for format, but I care about seeing a brief description of the work and a brief bio.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

I much prefer shorter query letters. That said, I receive a lot of queries without bios. I know that people are excited to share their projects (I’m excited to read them!) but I work closely with my authors so what I often find most valuable in query letters is the author/illustrator bio.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

Truly the one thing that I dislike about my job is that I haven’t figured out a way to respond to every query! I am so grateful that people send me their work, and I adore looking through all of it, but I just am unable to respond personally to each one. But I also don’t want to leave people hanging. So, my general timeline is: I will get back to you within 4-6 weeks if I think your work might be a good fit for my list. And I prefer people just send me their full manuscripts, though if they send partials, the same timeline applies.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

Yes, for sure. I just recommend that they include their publishing history in their query letter.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

I think it is just that much more important that an agent can pair a project with the right editor and publishing team. Having someone who really understands your vision, who can be passionate in their championing of your work, is just so important, and will continue to be so amidst all the changes mentioned here.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

My most recent sales include a hilarious debut YA novel by Cristina Fernandez and stunning picture books by Pam Fong.

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

I try to keep my manuscript wish list up to date. Check it out! https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/abigail-frank/

Links and Contact Info:

15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

afrank@sjga.com

www.greenburger.com

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

Just the usual – read (including titles that have come out recently), research the agents you’re submitting to as much as possible (e.g. reading interviews like this one!), and, if you can, work on developing a community of writers so that you have people who can read your work before you start querying. Otherwise -- and I know this can be frustrating – keep in mind that this is a subjective industry and that your work can have incredible value even if agents aren’t jumping at it right away. Happy writing!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Abigail.

­Abigail is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment through February 27th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com

Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.