Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Agent/Author Claire Friedman & M.K. Lobb Guest Post w/Seven Faceless Saints Giveaway on 2/1/2023
  • Lori Steel Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/6/2023
  • Bethany Funk Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/23/2023
  • Agent/Author Lizz Nagle & J.A. Nielsen Guest Post w/The Claiming and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/6/2023
  • Kristen Terrette Agent Spotlight Interiew and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/20/2023

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.

February Favorites Giveaway Hop-Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card

 



Happy Thursday Everyone! Today I'm thrilled to be participating in the February Favorites Giveaway Hop hosted by 
The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It. I hope you're having a good winter. We're having a surprisingly mild winter in Ann Arbor. It's usually bitter cold and snowy in January and  February. This year it's been in the 30s and raining instead of snowing. I've been enjoying taking my dog out for walks. 


She turned 10 in January and is now older than me.

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card

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 2/02 – 2/23/2023 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. 


Upcoming Interviews and Guest Posts

Monday, February 6 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 13 I have a guest post by Shawn Peters and a giveaway of book 1 or book 2 in his The Unforgettable Logan Foster series

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

Monday, February 20 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, March 1 I have an interview with debut author Jenna Voris and a giveaway of her YA sci-fi Made of Stars and my IWSG Post

Thursday, March 2 I’m participating in the For the Love of Reading Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 6 I have an agent/author guest post by Lizz Nagle and J.A. Nielsen and a giveaway of J.A.’s YA fantasy The Claiming and a query critique giveaway by Lizz

Hope to see you on Monday!

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

Writing Flawed Characters by Agent/Author Claire Friedman and M.K. Lobb and Seven Faceless Saints Giveaway and IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author M.K. Lobb and her agent Claire Friedman here to share about M.K.’s debut YA fantasy Seven Faceless Saints. I’m excited to read it because it sounds like a fascinating world and there’s a murder mystery to solve.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit… and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.

Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

Discover what’s lurking in the shadows in this dark fantasy debut with a murder-mystery twist, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco.

 


Before I get to M.K. and Claire’s guest post I have my IWSG Post.

Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts this month are: Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

Optional Question: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

I'll skip the optional question because I have no experience with covers yet. Here's a progress report on what I'm working on. First, I'm updating all my agent spotlights about every three years, which means that they are being updated this year. I've already completed 67 of 200+ agent spotlights and agent spotlight interviews.

I'm also working on my revisions to the manuscript I just completed. I'm working on chapters 17 and 19 now. There are 46 chapters, so I'm making good progress. I edit heavily as I submit my chapters to my critique group and after I get their feedback. I'm finding that this is making my revisions go much faster.

What about you? What's your experience with covers? 

Writing Flawed Characters by M.K. Lobb and Claire Friedman

M.K. Lobb: I feel like if there’s one thing I know for sure about Claire, it’s that she’s always down for me to write a book with a character who’s just an absolute mess. Or, in the case of Seven Faceless Saints, two of them! Of course, every well-written character needs to have some type of flaw in order to come across as realistic and relatable, but I really like to take things to the next level. Is this something you specifically look for when you’re reading queries, or are you just drawn to these characters?

Claire Friedman: To quote Marie Kondo, “I love mess!” And of course, nobody writes a morally questionable, endlessly fascinating disaster like M.K. At the end of the day, perfect characters are boring! It’s the flaws (whether big or small) that keep things interesting. I do have a bit of a darker side when it comes to my taste – I get tons of flak for consistently suggesting horror movies for family movie night – but I always look for the same complexity of character (or “flaws”) whether I’m reading a dark fantasy or a romantic comedy. Bring on the messiness!

MKL: You know I can definitely do that! In Seven Faceless Saints, Damian is the leader of the city’s security force. He is quite literally working for the story’s main oppressors. Add the fact that he murdered a bunch of people during his time at war, accidentally got his best friend killed, let Roz think he was dead for three years, and has a list of daddy issues a mile long… Yeah, he’s got a few issues. That said, Roz tends to be pointed to as the more “unlikeable” one because she’s angry, blunt, and determined to take charge. I think that when it comes to messy characters, people are more forgiving of actions than behaviours. Actions can be explained and understood, while behaviours are hard to get around, especially when you’re in a character’s head.

CF: Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever drawn the behavior vs. action comparison before, but it’s certainly an intriguing one. I wonder if readers are more willing to forgive Damian because we relate to his internal monologue and understand his tortured relationship with his past – whereas Roz is less apologetic and has more of a “take me or leave me” attitude. That said, I do also see a certain amount of sexism at play here. Male characters seem to get away with murder (sometimes literally!), while female characters can’t step a toe out of line without being labelled as “unlikable.” Personally, I love an “unlikable” character, so I’m #TeamRoz all the way!

MKL: It’s funny you say that—I often wonder what would happen if the roles in my book were switched, since people seem to judge female characters more harshly. Would Roz be considered weak where Damian is a “soft boy?” Would Damian be seen as your attractive, morally grey love interest where Roz is overbearing and aggravating? It’s interesting to think about. It does feel like there’s still more room for male characters to be flawed on an inherent level.

CF: I would absolutely agree. “Relatable,” seems to be publishing’s latest code word for “likable” – ex. Roz is a complicated character, and is therefore “unrelatable.” It’s ridiculous! I’ve never had an editor tell me a male character is “unrelatable” – but it happens all the time with my female ones. I think editors and readers are starting to push back against these expectations, but it’s still a topic that’s very much in conversation.

MKL: You know, when it comes to relatability, I wonder if making a character too relatable can be a negative thing. I’ve heard it said that most people don’t like to see their own flaws reflected back at them. I honestly don’t know if that’s true or not—I tend to love characters who remind me of myself, even if it’s in a negative way! There’s something about seeing people with similar flaws go through trials and come out on top (assuming the book doesn’t end miserably). Do you find the same? Or do you prefer to follow characters who are totally different from you?

CF: As someone who has no flaws, this is a hard one for me to answer – but I’ll do my best. Honestly, I’m not sure I favor either direction! It’s always fun to recognize yourself on the page, but I also tend to read for escapism. While I don’t actively choose books based on my own personality, I will say that I’ve read books that have changed my outlook on certain behaviors. I’m quite stubborn – which is a good trait for an agent and a bad trait for most other social situations! – and after reading BOOK LOVERS, I immediately called my partner to apologize for being such a steamroller. Growth!

MKL: Ha, I related to the main character in that book so much as well! In the same vein, I feel like there’s a trend of readers being interested in more “unlikeable” or morally grey characters. Obviously I’m on board, but I feel like the messier a character is, the trickier they are to write. You have to balance all those flaws with some key elements that still make people want to root for them. For me, this means 1) giving them a motive readers can understand, 2) showing they’re capable of forming meaningful connections, and 3) shedding light on their moral framework. For example, your character might know full well that what they’re doing is wrong, but what they’re hoping to gain is more important. Can the reader emphasize, even if they disagree with the action/behaviour? That’s what you’re hoping to build. Of course, it’s also reality that nothing is going to be for everyone! Do you have any go-to suggestions when it comes to character work like this?

CF: This is such good advice for building a morally grey character! I completely agree – the idea is to balance the good with the bad. There’s a famous screenwriting book called SAVE THE CAT that (to massively paraphrase) suggests you have your hero “save the cat” to win the audience over. The same principle goes for “unlikable” characters. What’s their cat? What keeps the reader invested, even when the character is at their worst? Where’s the humanity behind their actions? And most importantly: what makes them fun to read?

Thanks for sharing all your advice, M.K. and Claire! You can find M.K. at:

Twitter

Instagram

Tiktok

Website

Buy Links

Giveaway Details

M.K. is generously offering an ARC of Seven Faceless Saints 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 18th. 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 or M.K. on her social media sites, 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 book giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Upcoming Interviews and Guest Posts

Tomorrow, February 2 I’m participating in the February Favorites Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 6 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 13 I have a guest post by Shawn Peters and a giveaway of book 1 or book 2 in his The Unforgettable Logan Foster series

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

Monday, February 20 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, March 1 I have an interview with debut author Jenna Voris and a giveaway of her YA sci-fi Made of Stars and my IWSG Post

Thursday, March 2 I’m participating in the For the Love of Reading Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 6 I have an agent/author guest post by Lizz Nagle and J.A. Nielsen and a giveaway of J.A.’s YA fantasy The Claiming and a query critique giveaway by Lizz

Hope to see you tomorrow!

 

 

Debut Author Interview: Megan Reyes and Heroes of Havensong: Dragonboy Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m super excited to have debut author Megan Reyes here to share about her MG fantasy, Heroes of Havensong: Dragonboy. I’m looking forward to reading it because it sounds like a fast-paced story with a unique magical system.

Here’s a blurb from Megan’s website:

This timeless fantasy debut follows four children—a boy-turned-dragon, his reluctant dragon rider, a runaway witch, and a young soldier—bound together by the Fates themselves to save their world—and magic itself—from being destroyed. 

Blue, River, Wren, and Shenli all grew up on different sides of a war they didn’t start. Their land has been torn apart over centuries of conflict, with humans taught to fear all things magical, dragons driven to near extinction, and magic under attack. But an ancient prophecy has put the four of them on a collision course with destiny—and with each other—in a mission to heal the fractured realm once known as Haven.  

All of them must follow the threads of Fate, leaving behind the lives and homes they know to discover the truth about the seemingly endless war—and the truth about themselves. As the barriers between them begin to crumble, can they unravel the lies they’ve been taught to believe in order to restore the balance between humans, dragons, and magic before it’s too late?

Follower News

Before I get to Megan's interview, I have Follower News to share. Cathrina Constantine has a new YA release, Defy the Stars. Here's a blurb: Sage possesses a forceful energy for good and evil.Crew's untapped powers are growing stronger by the day. Survival will demand they rely on each other. And here's a buy link: bit.ly/defyingthestars 


Interview with Megan Reyes

Hi Megan! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

I’m so thrilled to be here! Thank you for having me. A little about me: I am a mom of four boys and married to the greatest guy ever. We live in Northern California, where I grew up. Other than reading and writing, I enjoy painting, drawing, going on walks, and collecting dragon and fox figurines.

I’ve been creating stories my whole life. When I was a kid I imagined far-away worlds in my head, drew comic books, then later I shifted into full-page stories. Eventually, I decided to try writing novels, which I’ve been doing for 13 years now. Dragonboy was the 5th book I wrote when I got my literary agent. I’ve learned a lot on my journey, especially the importance of studying story craft and finding the right editors and critique partners.

2. That’s great that you’ve been writing since you were a kid, Where did you get your idea for Heroes of Havensong: Dragonboy?

One single sentence popped into my head: “Every twenty-five years, the king was eaten by a dragon”. This ended up being the first line in Dragonboy, almost word for word! With that single sentence, a ton of questions flooded my mind. What kind of kingdom would allow their kings to be eaten, and why? Who else lives in this world? Why are the dragons eating kings? From there, my characters came to life, as did the land of Haven. It became clear that this was a story that would be told from the points of view of 4 kids—coming from 4 different parts of Haven.

About Your Writing Process

3. What a great first line. I read on your website that you are a total plotter. Share about your plotting process and why plotting in general and how you do it works for you.

I am very much a plotter! Whenever I get a new story idea, I grab a new notebook and jot down all my ideas. So everything starts out as a jumbled mess. But once I get a sense of the main characters and the world they live in, then I start to focus in on plot points. With all of these notes, I’m able to write out a list of what happens—this list eventually becomes the chapters of the book. All of this produces a solid outline of the story. So by the time I sit down to actually write the book, I have a good sense of where the story is headed.

I think plotting works for me for a few reasons. One, I’m a naturally fairly organized person. Two, I tend to write stories with big sweeping worlds with big casts of characters. I like to have a sense of where my characters are headed—as in, how the entire series is going to end. From there, it’s a matter a going step by step (chapter by chapter) in order to get them there. Being a plotter allows me to hold all of this information in my head. But I will say, even with my love of plotting, when I sit down to write, I am very much open to making changes. In fact, my characters constantly surprise me and take me in directions I didn’t see coming. And that can be really fun.

4.  It sounds like you’ve figured out a good balance between plotting and being open to new directions that your story can take. You have four fairly major characters-- Blue, River, Wren, and Shenli—in your story. How did you create them as unique characters with their own character ARCs?

Yes, I have four main characters, each with their own point-of-view chapters. Honestly, this took a lot of work! I came up with a detailed backstory for each. They are all very different kiddos. They come from four different lands and have unique personalities and quirks. The most challenging thing is making sure they each have strong character arcs—including their own internal journey as well as external journey—which really does feel like I’m writing four books at once.

5. What was a challenge you faced in writing this book pre- or post-getting your agent? How did you overcome it?

I think the biggest challenge was how long revisions took. I went through at least ten rounds of revisions from first draft to final draft (the draft that made it to publication) over a period of four years. My editor, Liesa Abrams, is fantastic and she really helped me dig into the details of world-building as well as the emotional character journeys. When you’re writing a fantasy series, there are a lot of foundational things established in book one, so I really wanted to get all the details right. What helped persevere was imagining holding the final copy of my book and imagining how proud I would feel. All those rounds of revisions really were worth it!

Your Road to Publication

6. Joanna Volpe is your agent. How did she become your agent, and what was your road to publication like?

Joanna is fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better agent! But it was a long road. It took 10 years, 5 novels, and over 200 query rejections before my Dragonboy manuscript landed with Jo. Luckily for me, she loved it. She doesn’t take on very many new clients so her belief in my story was (and is) a major confidence boost. She discovered my story through my query letter. Along with the letter was a short writing sample—maybe the first ten pages. She then asked for the full manuscript and about a month later, she offered representation. That phone call was honestly one of the best moments of my life and I am grateful on a daily basis that I’m her client.

7. What was something that surprised you about getting an agent or the process of getting your book published?

It’s surprising how long everything takes. From book deal (that is, getting an offer from my editor) to publication was just over 2 years.

Also, I was surprised by how many people it takes to make a book and get it out into the world. First, there’s all the work with your editor to shape the manuscript. There are also copyeditors and proofreaders who help clean up the writing on a line-by-line basis. Then there’s a whole team of people at the publisher who design the cover and pitch your book to booksellers (marketing and publicity) and, in my case (because it’s a kidlit book), teachers and librarians. My book is absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing Labyrinth Road team at Random House Children’s.

Promoting Your Book

8.  Did you do a pre-order campaign or something to celebrate your cover reveal? If so, what did you do? Were you happy with the response?

I did a cover reveal with the blog: From the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. That was a lot of fun. My pre-order campaign is connected to my local bookstore, A Seat at the Table Books. Anyone who orders from them will receive a signed copy of the book, a bookmark, 2 exclusive stickers (a fox and a dragon—art by me) and a postcard with a world map of the Land of Haven. I’ve been really happy with the pre-orders!

9. How are you planning to market your book? What advice do you have for other authors getting ready to release their debut book?

My marketing was/is done on social media, and it’s been super low key. Really, I don’t ever want to seem like someone who’s being pushy to sell books. So for me, social media is all about making connections with authors and readers. I want to share my life as well as support other authors. And also talk about my book from time to time. There are other authors who take a more active/assertive approach by launching a street team, holding giveaways, etc, but that’s just not really my style. I don’t have the energy to go “all out” on social media. And that’s okay. You have to find what works for you.

10. I like your advice to find what works for you. What are you working on now?

I am currently wrapping up edits for book 2 of the Heroes of Havensong series and I’m really excited about it. There will be a lot of favorite characters returning as well as some fun new ones. I hope readers will enjoy the continued adventure with Blue, River, Wren, and Shenli.

Thanks for all your advice, Megan. You can find Megan at:

Twitter: @MReyesWrites

Instagram: @MReyesWrites

Facebook: Facebook.com/MReyesWrites

Website: meganreyes.com

You can preorder **signed** copies of my book (plus get exclusive book swag) at my amazing local bookstore:

https://aseatatthetablebooks.org/item/ymASTSSKIbYnzxuyJGXC-Q

Or anywhere books are sold:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/695558/heroes-of-havensong-dragonboy-by-megan-reyes/

Giveaway Details

Megan’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of giveaway of Heroes of Havensong: Dragonboy 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 4th. 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 or Megan on her social media sites, 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 book giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

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

Upcoming Interviews and Guest Posts

Wednesday, February 1 I have an agent/debut author guest post with Claire Friedman and M.K. Lobb and a giveaway of M.K.’s YA fantasy/mystery Seven Faceless Saints

Thursday, February 2 I’m participating in the February Favorites Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 6 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 13 I have a guest post by Shawn Peters and a giveaway of book 1 or book 2 in his The Unforgettable Logan Foster series

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

Monday, February 20 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Wednesday, February 1!

 

Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop- $10 Amazon Gift Card

 


Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope you're having a good start to the new year. Mine has been fantastic and full of really good changes in my life. I hope you're having a super start to 2023 too.

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

 I'm offering a $10 gift card to Amazon for this giveaway.

 Giveaway Details

One lucky entrant selected by the entry form will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Open to entrants internationally as long The Book Depository ships to you for free, 13 years and older. Open for entry from 1/16 – 1/31/2023 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 Guest Posts

Today I also have an agent spotlight interview with Kortney Price and a query critique giveaway  

Monday, January 23 I have an interview with debut author Megan Reyes and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Heroes of Havensong

Wednesday, February 1 I have an agent/debut author guest post with Claire Friedman and M.K. Lobb and a giveaway of M.K.’s YA fantasy/mystery Seven Faceless Saints

Monday, February 6 I have an agent spotlight interview with Lori Steel and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Monday!

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.

Literary Agent Interview: Kortney Price Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Kortney Price here. She is a literary agent at Belcastro Agency.

Hi­ Kortney! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Kortney:

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

When I started out, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the publishing industry. All I knew was that I had to be here. I applied to every internship I could and landed a spot at an agency. The minute I stepped virtual foot in the query box, I knew I was absolutely on the right track. Who doesn’t love a bookish treasure hunt? The more I learned about agenting and how I could help authors reach their dreams, the more I knew this was exactly what I wanted/needed to be doing.

I’ve been an agent for about three years and I’ve been meticulously building my small list of ridiculously talented authors throughout that time. My first ever sale as a full-fledged agent (Just Wild Enough by Marta Magellan) came out last year and is repping Latinx women in STEM and doing well! I’m excited to be building my list up even more this year and getting even more stories into the hands of young readers.

About the Agency:

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

I work with the spectacularly talented people at Belcastro Agency. Something you won’t find on our website is that we are a collaborative bunch and so are always sharing. Whether it be advice, feedback or forwarding submissions that might be a better fit for a teammate, there’s a constant communication within the group. I love the amount of wisdom and experience that allows us to bring to advocating for and advising our authors.

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 work with picture book, MG, YA and adult stories. Picture books that shatter me tend to be my favorites…Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting still makes me want to cry after all these years. In MG, my tastes tend to be all over the map. In YA, I tend toward either the light rom-com or the spooky, dark stories. I could go into SO much detail on this, but you can find a pretty comprehensive list on my MSWL: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/kortney-price/  

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

Anything that has a super solid character arc is always awesome to see. I’m really looking for mysteries, survival stories and contemporary in both MG and YA right now.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

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

Inside of the categories/genres I list on my wish list, there are a couple of things that I’m just not super drawn to. Dreamscapes, angels/demons and traditional vampires aren’t things I find myself connecting with often. Books about terminal illnesses or cancer aren’t generally my cup of tea.

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 think my philosophy as an agent stems from my time working with children with disabilities. I grew up working at a summer camp for these incredible individuals, but some people in my life would openly say they weren’t comfortable with “those people.” As an agent, I aim to represent books that give readers a place to learn about the “other” and where they can grow in understanding and empathy.

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 love working on edits! However, I try to keep the number of passes to around three, with each edit round focusing in on smaller and smaller details. Typically it’s something like global edits first, then line edits and finally a small round that is more of a polish.

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?

You can query me through my query manager. I’m really looking for a query that draws me into a story. The best advice I have for this is to read blurbs on the back covers of books and craft your query in a similar fashion. I also love it when an author gives me all the quick stats in the first paragraph of the letter. A pretty good formula is “Title is a Category, Genre story complete at Wordcount.

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

I don’t really have anything that will cause me to automatically reject a query. If you submit to me and then realize there’s a formatting issue or that you misspelled my name, don’t fret for a second. One thing I do dislike is a query letter written from the POV of the main character in the story. It’s a cute idea! But I think I connect more when I feel like I can hear the voice of the author in their letter.

Response Time:

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

I’m a relatively slow reader when it comes to response times. I want to make sure that every query and manuscript gets equal consideration, so I do tend to take a bit longer to respond. The actual timeline will vary, but I respond to everything I receive and so if you haven’t heard, I promise I’ll respond as soon as I can.

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?

Absolutely! Someone who has been through the publishing process whether that be through self-publishing, a small press or a larger publisher, brings great experience and an understanding of the industry that I admire and look for.

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 that we see agent roles shifting constantly, but at its core the job is always staying the same. We’re advocates for authors, and I don’t see that ever changing.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

The magnificent: Tiffany Elmer, Shay Fan, Natasha Khan and Marta Magellan

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

NA

Links and Contact Info:

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

Query Manager: https://querymanager.com/query/kortneyprice

MSWL: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/kortney-price/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kortney_price

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kortney8821/

Website: www.belcastroagency.com

Additional Advice:

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

The thing I always want to leave authors with is that I’m rooting for them! This industry is so tough sometimes and it can be hard to have hope. We will all get a thousand no’s, but it only takes one yes to get that much closer to your dream coming true.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kortney.

­Kortney 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 January 28th. 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.