Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

New Agent Spotlight Alert: Isabel Lineberry

Today I have a new agent spotlight a new agent spotlight for Isabel Lineberry. She’s a junior agent at Pérez Literary & Entertainment Ltd.


About Isabel:

Born to two bibliophiles, Isabel could not have grown up to be anything else. She was born and raised in the Southwest United States but always knew she wanted to move to the UK. In high school she set her sights on a job in the publishing industry and hasn’t blinked since.

 

Isabel graduated in 2021 from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with dual degrees in English Literature and Business Entrepreneurship. Just a few months later she was in

thesis on Tamora Pierce and is a fan of Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler and Samantha Shannon.

 

At PLE, Isabel looks after foreign rights and audio rights inquiries, assists the Managing Director and is building a client list of her own focused on YA, New Adult and Romance of all kinds. When not working, Isabel can usually be found reading or wandering a bookstore. Some of her favorite books include The Hunger Games, Pride and Prejudice and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Isabel’s Wishlist:

I represent YA and New Adult and am particularly interested in Contemporary Romance, Romantasy and Fantasy. I am always attracted to the character and voice first, so give me romantic tension that has me giggling, a villain who is as charming as they are evil or a group of characters who have me watching their conversations as if it’s a tennis match.

 

More specifically, I am looking for:

 

Romance –– For YA, give me updated Meg Cabot or John Green. Those were favorites of mine when I was a teenager but I want new takes––LGBT characters, diverse backgrounds, complex character development and a deepdive into what it means to be a teenager in the current world. Give me relatability that doesn’t sacrifice a character’s unique traits. I’m looking for the middle ground between the manic pixie dream girl and the buttoned-up character who just needs to take off their glasses.

 

In New Adult, I am a big fan of authors like Elle Kennedy, C. W. Farnsworth, Elsie Silver and Morgan Elizabeth. BookTok romances are the perfect escapism for readers of all ages but especially for college students and young professionals like myself. My all-time favorite tropes are Grumpy/Sunshine, Fall First/Fall Harder and all the Spice! I am not a fan of cheating storylines, accidental pregnancy, step-sibling romance or unnecessary miscommunication tropes.

 

Romantasy –– Give me a romance with sufficient fantasy worldbuilding. The romantic plot should be the main event but the worldbuilding needs to be able to stand up to scrutiny. The reader should accept the customs and specifics of your fantasy without too much confusion. Recent titles I’ve loved include Fourth Wing and League of Gentleman Witches.

As for the romance, I love tropes (especially: Enemies to Lovers, Who Hurt You?), morally grey characters and kick-ass heroines. I love training montages and dueling as foreplay. Show me spice during high-pressure situations, quick kisses stolen in battlefields, and fantastic banter. I would also love a return to the paranormal romances that dominated the 2010s. Send me the 2020s twist on Twilight, Beautiful Creatures, Shiver or Vampire Academy. I am most definitely on the hunt for Romantasy and paranormal romance featuring queer and underrepresented voices.

 

Fantasy –– The worldbuilding absolutely must be believable and purposeful. Fantasy should be a mirror held up to the real world, offering a differing perspective that allows us to examine something about ourselves or our lives in a new light. I have a masters degree in Fantasy from the University of Glasgow so I can be a bit of a stickler when it comes to this! The magic/training/military school trope has been nearly exhausted, so be creative with the setting. My favorite fantasy author is Tamora Pierce––I would love a “girl has to pretend to be a boy to get her knighthood” storyline that Pierce couldn’t do in the 80s such as LGBT representation (although Alanna was definitely gender fluid and Kel was 100% ace), a deeper dive into the social and political implications (no white saviorism!) and more spice. Some of my other favorite fantasy novels include Howl’s Moving Castle, Good Omens, Kindred and Golden Compass. I don’t want Tolkien-esque hard worldbuilding with 100k+ quests; instead focus on the pacing and how it can grab the reader. I want a fantasy plot that compels me to keep reading even if it’s past my bedtime! I adore fairytale retellings, dark fantasy, alternate histories and historical fantasy, and the occasional steampunk/dystopia.

 

How to submit

 

PLE only accepts submissions via QueryManager

 

https://querymanager.com/query/IsabelLineberry

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or email 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.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel

Monday, July 29th I have an agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway

Thursday, August 1st I’m participating in the Apple a Day Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, August 7th I have an interview with co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and a giveaway of their YA My Salty Mary

Monday, August 12th I have an agent spotlight interview with Erica McGrath and a query critique giveaway

Friday, August 16th I’m participating in the Old School Giveaway Hop

Monday, August 19th I have an interview with author Julie Abe and a giveaway of her MG Tessa Miyata Is So Unlucky

I hope to see you on Monday!

 

 

Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope you’re having a good summer. I’m having a good week. Yesterday was my birthday, and I had dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. Later this week, I’m going to the Art Fair with my daughter. It’s an annual tradition. Then I’m going to visit with my aunt and cousins who are traveling in Michigan. So it’s a busy, fun week. I’m grateful. 

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card 

I am offering a book of your choice that is $20 or less on Amazon or The Book Depository. I’m looking forward to seeing what books everyone is looking forward to reading. If you don’t have a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. 

Giveaway Details

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 July 31st telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops 


Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel 

Monday, July 29th I have an agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway 

Thursday, August 1st I’m participating in the Apple a Day Giveaway Hop 

Wednesday, August 7th I have an interview with co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and a giveaway of their YA My Salty Mary 

Monday, August 12th I have an agent spotlight interview with Erica McGrath and a query critique giveaway 

Friday, August 16th I’m participating in the Old School Giveaway Hop 

Monday, August 19th I have an interview with author Julie Abe and a giveaway of her MG Tessa Miyata Is So Unlucky


I hope to see you on Monday!

And here’s 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: Rebecca Williamson Interview and Query Critique Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have agent Rebecca Williamson here. She’s an agent at Sheldon Fogelman Agency.

Guest Post Alert

Before I get to Rebecca’s interview, I want to let you know that I shared a guest post on Anne R. Allen’s blog . . . with Ruth Harris yesterday, Sunday, 7/7/2024 that could help you in your search for an agent. My topic is Tips on Finding the Right Agent and My Secret Way to Discover Agents You Don't Know About. Here’s the link to it. I hope you'll stop by, read my post, and leave a comment.

Hi­ Rebecca! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Rebecca:

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

After graduating from the State University of New York at Geneseo, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the virtual Columbia Publishing Course. I completed some amazing internships and other freelance opportunities within publishing houses, literary agencies, and book-to-film scouting firms. Working at a literary agency was the best path for me because I wanted to advocate for an author throughout their entire career while being able to work on both creative and more business-oriented tasks. I started at Sheldon Fogelman Agency as an assistant in June 2023, and I was grateful to be allowed to accept clients when my boss felt like I was ready. Currently, I am an assistant agent. Aside from working with authors, I help monitor the shared submissions inbox and the agency’s foreign rights deals, among other tasks. My boss and the rest of the team are very supportive, and I’m very happy to be at Sheldon Fogelman Agency.

 

About the Agency: 

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

Sheldon Fogelman Agency began in 1975 as the first agency to primarily specialize in children’s books by representing both authors and illustrators. The agency is committed to helping clients throughout their entire careers, not just the books that they create. As our website states, “we firmly believe stories have the ability to change lives and are proud to help our clients publish the kinds of stories that linger long after young readers turn the last page.” 

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 accept manuscripts from picture books through young adult. I am open to all genres, less so horror (it’s sometimes a bit too much for me). Mainly, I’d love to see stories that sucker punch me with emotions, whether it’s laughter, tears, and/or something else. I’m most drawn to complex characters with clear arcs. 

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

I’m very open to seeing anything, but some specifics I’d really like to see are YA contemporary romance and/or YA rom-coms (yes, I do think that they are different), YA cozy fantasies, and girls in sports (with a soft spot for dance, gymnastics, and soccer). My MSWL includes more information. I am always seeking submissions by writes from diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. 

What She Isn’t Looking For: 

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

I’m not the best fit for horror, novels in verse, animals or inanimate objects as protagonists in middle grade or young adult, board books, wordless picture books, or picture books based on early learning concepts. Even though I’m not the best fit for these things, I do think that there can be exceptions. You never know what books you can fall in love with. 

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 chose publishing because it gave me the opportunity to work with creative professionals who value the written word like I do. As cliché as it is, my love for children’s books began when I was a young reader. I’d check out giant stacks of middle grade and young adult books from my library. Despite getting older, I never wanted to stop reading children’s books. There’s always more that I can learn from them, which means that children who are reading these books also gain so much knowledge. As an agent, I want to represent children’s stories that create new ideas, perspectives, and magical experiences for young readers like so many books did for me. 

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 definitely consider myself an editorial agent. I try to be as communicative during the process as possible. I usually provide an edit letter, but I am also always open to a phone call or video chat to discuss things further. Generally, I will go through a couple of rounds of revisions if necessary before I submit to editors, but it depends on the manuscript. I tend to focus more on big picture stuff, like ensuring the worldbuilding makes sense, fixing any unfinished plot threads, or figuring out if the characters have completed some kind of arc. Ultimately, I want an author to see their vision come to life, and I hope that my feedback guides them to it. 

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? 

Sheldon Fogelman Agency has clear submission guidelines on our website (http://www.sheldonfogelmanagency.com/submit.html), but all submissions go to one inbox email: submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com. You can choose to address your submission to the agency as a whole or a specific agent you think might be a good fit. We are a collaborative agency and try to discuss as many submissions as possible. 

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

I will always read through every submission. However, some things I dislike are when a query and manuscript doesn’t follow our agency guidelines for submissions. I also dislike when manuscripts are only comped to big bestselling series or older books like Percy Jackson, Chronicles of Narnia, Shadow and Bone, etc. I’d love to see more focused and modern comps. 

Response Time: 

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

As previously mentioned, Sheldon Fogelman Agency has a shared submissions inbox. Per agency guidelines, if an author doesn’t hear a response within approximately six weeks, the author can usually consider it a pass. If we are interested, we will reach out to the author to request more information or materials. 

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? 

Sheldon Fogelman Agency is open to clients who have previously self-published or been published by smaller presses; however, we prefer to see new manuscripts that are unpublished and not part of an already published series. While sales numbers and reviews of previously published books are helpful, the manuscript is what will ultimately sway our decision.

Clients:

12. Who are some of the authors you represent?

Rowan Brown and Jess Creaden

Interviews and Guest Posts:

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

My MSWL Page: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/rebecca-williamson/

Links and Contact Info:

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

Please email all queries to submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com once you’ve checked the guidelines on our website: http://www.sheldonfogelmanagency.com/submit.html.

Additional Advice:

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

There are so many pieces of advice that I could give, but I want to tell authors to focus on themselves. I once heard somewhere that “publishing is a marathon, not a sprint,” and I think that’s true. While nos can be discouraging, it’s important to remember publishing is subjective. The right fit for one agent may not be the right fit for someone else, and the same is true after you’ve found an agent and are beginning to submit to editors. In the marathon that is publishing, try to find the people/fellow writers who will support you, and always take the time to practice whatever kind of self-care you prefer when you need it.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Rebecca.

Giveaway Details

­Rebecca 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 July 20th. If your email 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 follow me on Twitter or 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 email 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.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Tuesday, July 16th I’m participating in the Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop 

Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel 

Monday, July 29th I have an agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway 

Thursday, August 1st I’m participating in the Apple a Day Giveaway Hop 

Wednesday, August 7th I have an interview with co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and a giveaway of their YA My Salty Mary 

Monday, August 12th I have an agent spotlight interview with Erica McGrath and a query critique giveaway 

Friday, August 16th I’m participating in the Old School Giveaway Hop 

Monday, August 19th I have an interview with author Julie Abe and a giveaway of her MG Tessa Miyata Is So Unlucky 

I hope to see you on Tuesday, July 16th!

My Guest Post at Anne Allen's Blog Is Today: Tips on Finding the Right Agent and My Secret Way to Find Agents You Don't Know About

I Have a Guest Post Today

Happy Sunday Everyone! Today,  I'm sharing a guest post on Anne R. Allen's Blog . . . With Ruth Harris on Finding the Right Agent and My Secret Way to Find Agents You Don't Know About. Here's the link:

https://annerallen.com/2024/07/tips-on-finding-the-right-agent/ 

I hope you'll stop by and say hi! 

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Tomorrow I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Williamson and a query critique giveaway

Tuesday, July 16th I’m participating in the Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop 

Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel 

Monday, July 29th I have an agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway 

Thursday, August 1st I’m participating in the Apple a Day Giveaway Hop 

Wednesday, August 7th I have an interview with co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and a giveaway of their YA My Salty Mary 

Monday, August 12th I have an agent spotlight interview with Erica McGrath and a query critique giveaway 

Friday, August 16th I’m participating in the Old School Giveaway Hop 

Monday, August 19th I have an interview with author Julie Abe and a giveaway of her MG Tessa Miyata Is So Unlucky  

I hope to see you at Anne Allen's blog!


On Writing a Mult-Genre Story and Finding the Right Agent: Interview With Debut Author Amber Chen and Of Jade and Dragons Giveaway and my IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Amber Chen here to share about her YA silkpunk fantasy Of Jade and Dragons. I’m really excited to read her book because it combines silkpunk, fantasy, and mystery and has a strong main character interested in science.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune.

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own.

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?

 


Before I get to June’s interview 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: JS Pailly, Rebecca Douglass, Pat Garcia, Louise-Fundy Blue, and me!

Optional Question: What are your favorite writing processing (e.g. Word, Scrivener, yWriter, Dabble), writing apps, software, and tools? Why do you recommend them? And which one is your all time favorite that you cannot live without and use daily or at least whenever you write?

Exciting Upcoming Agent Critique Opportunity for You

Before I answer the question, I want to be sure that you know of an upcoming agent spotlight interview with an amazing critique giveaway coming up on July 29th. I have an agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley that day. She is offering a very generous critique giveaway of a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call to discuss your project. I hope those of you who write kidlit stories and are looking for an agent will enter the giveaway contest, and you'll all tell your friends who are kidlit writers about this opportunity.

Guest Post at Anne R. Allen’s blog on 7/7/2024

I also want to let you know that I’ll be sharing a guest post on Anne R. Allen’s blog . . . with Ruth Harris next Sunday, 7/7/2024 that could help you in your search for an agent. My topic is Tips on Finding the Right Agent and My Secret Way to Discover Agents You Don't Know About. I’ll post a link to the guest post when it goes live on 7/7. I hope you'll stop by, read my post, and leave a comment.

Now here’s my answer to this month’s question. I keep it simple and just use Word and Grammarly. I have the upgraded version of Grammarly through my job as a writer, which I can open and check anything I write.

Alex has asked that we all start linking our IWSG posts on the IWSG Facebook page so that we can all see who has posted on IWSG dayt.

Interview With Amber Chen

Hi Amber! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Hello! I’m Amber Chen, a Singaporean-Chinese author of SFF and contemporary fiction, and Of Jade and Dragons is my debut YA fantasy.

I’ve always been a book lover, but I didn’t think of writing my own stories until I was in university. While binging TV dramas (I watch a lot of these) in between lectures and tutorials, I realised that 1) there were so many unsatisfying plot points and endings out there and 2) there was a finite supply of content for me to indulge in, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start writing my own stories.

2. Where did you get the idea for Of Jade and Dragon?

I really like reading up on history, and one of my hobbies is speculating about the lives and times of historical figures and filling in the gaps in historical records, so that’s what happened with Of Jade and Dragons. OJAD was inspired by the story of the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty and the woman he loved the most, Harjol, and there are plenty of easter eggs in the book that draw from real historical events during the transitional period from the late Ming to early Qing Dynasty of China.

Of Jade and Dragons was also inspired by the classic Chinese tale, The Butterfly Lovers. In that story, the FMC, Zhu Yingtai, disguises as a boy in order to study at a boys-only academy, because only boys were allowed to receive an education during that time period, and she managed to do all this because she had a supportive father who was willing to indulge her and support her dream. I loved that father-daughter dynamic, and it was what inspired Ying’s relationship with her father in OJAD!

Your Writing Process and Writing a Story That Combines Genres

3. Combining genres when writing a story can make it really interesting. Here you’ve combined three genres: fantasy, mystery, and silkpunk. First, explain what silkpunk is and talk about how you decided to combine these genres and the challenges you faced in doing so when writing your manuscript.

Silkpunk is a term that was crafted by the author Ken Liu for his Dandelion Dynasty series, to represent a “specific technology and literary aesthetic” that draws from the history and culture of East Asia and the Pacific islands. As a member of the punk family, it also encompasses the key themes of rebellion, anti-authoritarianism and a struggle for freedom.

OJAD began as a historical re-imagining, but I thought it would be interesting to invent a Chinese-inspired world that is tech-focused, given that most Chinese fantasies tend to be more magical in nature. That was how the idea for using silkpunk as the basis for the worldbuilding for the book came about. I think one of the main challenges in combining genres was trying to find ways to incorporate relevant technology with the main mystery plotline in a way that made sense for the world and the characters, without them feeling like two very disparate aspects of the story.   

4. I can see how combining them would have been challenging. Share about your world-building process and how you combined this with the true historical events and individuals you based your story on.

The world in OJAD is heavily inspired by Qing Dynasty China, so if you watch plenty of Chinese historical dramas then many of these elements such as the architecture, food, culture, would probably feel very familiar! Aspects like the hierarchical structure, the politics and the way the military is organised also take reference from the way things were in China during the 1600s. In order to create the fantasy world that OJAD is set in, what I did was to use the real historical elements as a frame, and then to layer on the fantastical (technological?) elements on top of that, so that everything feels like a world that could have realistically existed!

5. I love that Ying dreams of being an engineer in a male-dominated profession. Was it easy or hard to develop her as a compelling, strong main character as you’ve done? Why?

I think Ying’s character arc came quite naturally to me, because a lot of her experiences as a girl trying to establish herself in a male-dominated profession resonate very much with my own. The idea of empowering girls to not only take on but also excel in traditionally masculine fields, like engineering, is an important theme in OJAD, and a theme that is particularly close to my heart. When I crafted Ying, one thing that I made sure to keep in mind was to always keep her personal beliefs and motivations as a priority, and have that guide her actions as she navigates the world around her. 

Your Journey to Publication

6. Laura Crockett is your current agent, but not your first. Share about your journey to find an agent that was right for you. What advice do you have for writers in a similar situation as yours?

Laura is actually my third agent! I queried for about nine months before I got an offer of representation from my first agent, Anne Perry. Anne was absolutely fantastic and we went on to sell OJAD at auction only two months after sending it on sub, which I am incredibly thankful for. Sadly, Anne decided to leave agenting to return to the editorial side of the business, and I transferred to my second agent in the same agency who then went on to represent me in negotiating the contract for my debut book. I eventually decided to make the hard decision to part ways with my second agent and plunge back into the query trenches because I felt that the future books I wanted to write might not be a good fit with that agent’s list, and subsequently I went on to sign with Laura J

I think switching agents midway through your writing career is more common than people might imagine, and this could happen for a variety of reasons, like agents leaving the business, agents not being the right fit in terms of working style, agents not representing certain genres you want to write in, etc. It was quite scary being confronted with the possibility of having to jump into the query trenches again, but after I managed to get over that mental barrier, my second experience with querying actually went a lot better than I expected. For fellow writers that find themselves wondering whether or not they should switch agents, I’d say go for it! Having an agent that is a good fit for your body of work is incredibly important!

7. I agree with you authors sometimes have to switch agents. You went on submission and sold your book on auction two months later. What was the experience like for you?

It was incredibly exciting! But also nerve-wracking. You always hear about how slow publishing timelines are and how long it can take to get responses, so I was very lucky to have spent a relatively short time on sub. When my agent notified me about the first offer, I was already over the moon. I honestly did not expect there to be as much interest in my book as there turned out to be, and I’m super grateful to all the editors for seeing the potential in OJAD! I also really appreciated getting the opportunity to speak with all the offering editors to find out more about their vision for the book (they were all fantastic), because it really helped to spark plenty of new ideas for the book and also helped me get a sense of who might be a better fit for me to work with on this debut journey!    

Promoting Your Book

8. It’s interesting how talking to the editors gave you new ideas for your story. How are you planning to market your book and reach out to readers in the U.S. when you live in Singapore?

I’ve always been very sad about being half a world away from plenty of fun bookish things happening in the US! That said, I’m grateful that there are now plenty of opportunities for virtual events and social media is so prolific that there are many ways to interact with readers all across the world, so these will be my main avenues for book marketing and publicity. My publicity team has been very busy helping me to link up with bookstores, book bloggers, podcasters etc. to get word about the book out there, so thank you to them for doing all the hard work! I would love to get the chance to travel to meet readers overseas one day though!      

9. That’s great there are so many online ways you can connect to readers, bookstores, and bloggers. You’re also a contributing member of Path to Publication. Tell us about this group, how you joined it, and how it can help writers on their journey to getting published.

Path2Pub was a blog that was started by my very talented friend Lucia, who has been so passionate about helping fellow authors by gathering and sharing as much publishing wisdom as she can. She approached me and a few other authors who were all at different stages of the publication journey and invited us to become contributors to Path2Pub, and we worked together to maintain a regular updating schedule for the blog where we’d take turns to write posts about different aspects of publishing and our reflections on these topics. Path2Pub also features many interviews with agents and editors, which I love to read because I find these interviews shed a lot of light onto the opaque world of publishing! We’ve stopped updating the site as a group now, but Lucia’s still maintaining the blog with interviews with publishing personnel whenever she can, so I’d highly recommend everyone to check it out because it helps demystify the world of publishing J      

10. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on edits for Book 2 of the Fall of the Dragon duology, so hopefully we are on track for publication one year after Of Jade and Dragons is released J

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Amber. You can find Amber at ambercwrites.com, and @amberwrites88 on Instagram, X and TikTok.

Giveaway Details

Amber’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of Of Jade and Dragons 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 July 13th. If your email 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 follow Amber 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.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, July 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Williamson and a query critique giveaway

Tuesday, July 16th I’m participating in the Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop

Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel

Monday, July 29th I have any agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday!

 

Sparkle Time Giveaway Hop

 


Happy July Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Holly Jolly Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope you're looking forward to July. I've got my birthday, a fun outing to the Ann Arbor Art Festival with my daughter and a trip to visit family in July that I'm excited for. I'm also reading A LOT these days, which I always enjoy. 

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


I’ve got a lot of exciting newly released MG and YA book choices this month that you might like. You can also choose another book in the series by these authors or a book of your choice. 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

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 July 15th telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.


If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments, and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only, and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Wednesday, July 3rd I have an interview with debut author Amber Chen and a giveaway of her YA mystery fantasy Of Jade and Dragons and my IWSG post

Monday, July 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Williamson and a query critique giveaway

Tuesday, July 16th I’m participating in the Sip Sip Hooray Giveaway Hop

Monday, July 22nd I have an interview with author Sally Pla and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Invisible Isabel

Monday, July 29th I have any agent spotlight interview with Sheila Fernley and a full picture book or three-chapter MG or YA critique and a one-hour Zoom call giveaway

I hope to see you on Wednesday!

And here's 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.