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Results 1 - 25 of 49
1. New Literary Agent Alert: Abby Saul of Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Abby Saul of Browne & Miller Literary Associates) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

abby-saul-literary0agent

 

About Abby: Abby joined Browne & Miller Literary Associates in 2013 after spending five years on the production and digital publishing side of the industry, first at John Wiley & Sons and then at Sourcebooks. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College. A zealous reader who loves her iPad and recognizes that ebooks are the future, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers.

(How to be a literary agent’s dream client.)

She is seeking: Abby’s looking for great and engrossing writing, no matter what the genre. Her top picks from the current Browne & Miller agency wishlist: (1) Complex, literary-leaning psychological thriller/crime novel. We love a dark story really well told—think Tana French or Gillian Flynn (or, for the TV junkies, True Detective, Top of the Lake, or The Fall). (2) Gothic novel, contemporary or historical—anything that takes a cue from Rebecca, Victoria Holt, or The Thirteenth Tale but offers a fresh twist. (3) Substantive women’s historical fiction with romantic overtones—love American, English, and French history, but we are definitely open to other settings and time periods. Check out Abby’s manuscript wishlist online.

About Browne & Miller Literary Associates: Founded in 1971 by the late Jane Jordan Browne, Browne & Miller Literary Associates is Chicago’s premier literary agency and specializes in full-service representation of a select clientele. Our tastes are varied and eclectic and we value exceptional writing and very fine storytelling above all else. This agency has sold thousands of books over the past 40+ years with a heavy emphasis on commercial fiction. Our roster includes several New York Times bestselling authors and numerous prize- and award-winning writers. Follow us on Twitter: Danielle Egan-Miller, President (@Daninoel25); Joanna MacKenzie, Agent (@joannamackenzie); Abby Saul, Associate Agent (@BookySaul); Agency (@BrowneandMiller)

(Excellent Tips on Writing a Query Letter.)

How to submit: Query Abby at mail [at] browneandmiller.com. Please send only a query letter copied in the body of your email and addressed to Abby. If she is interested in your idea, she will contact you about seeing more material (which will typically include a detailed synopsis plus the first five chapters for fiction and, for non-fiction, a full proposal plus the first three chapters).

2015-GLA-smallThe biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

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2. New Literary Agent Alert: Melissa Edwards of The Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Melissa Edwards of The Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.45.41 AM

 

About Melissa: Melissa is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School. She is a member in good standing of the New York State bar. While Melissa began her career as a commercial litigation attorney, she always maintained aspirations to work in publishing. At present, Melissa handles foreign rights for Aaron Priest and is actively reading to develop her own list.

(Listen to agents define what makes a writer an ideal client.)

Melissa is seeking: Melissa’s taste ranges in genre from classic Victorian literature to hard-boiled crime dramas. She is interested in reading international thrillers with likeable and arresting protagonists, lighthearted women’s fiction and YA, female-driven (possibly small-town) suspense, and completely immersive fantasy. Ultimately, Melissa is looking for a book that will keep her glued to the couch all day and night, and continue to occupy her thoughts for weeks later.

How to submit: Submit a one-page query letter via e-mail that describes your work and your background to queryedwards [at] aaronpriest.com. Do not send an attachment, but if interested, you can paste into the body of the email the first chapter of your manuscript.

(Can writers query multiple agents at the same agency?)

 

2015-GLA-smallThe biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

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3. New Literary Agent Alert: Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Patricia Nelson of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

Patricia-Nelson-296x300

 

About Patricia: Before becoming an agent at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press. Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing. Follow Patricia on Twitter at @patricianels.

(Just starting out as a writer? See a collection of great writing advice for beginners.)

She is seeking: Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. On the adult side, she is interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the New Adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For YA, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. In general, Patricia loves stories with complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships – along with writing that makes her feel completely pulled into these characters’ lives and worlds.

How to contact: Please send a query letter by email to: Patricia [at] MarsalLyonLiteraryAgency.com and write “QUERY” in the subject line of the email. Please note that the agency now accepts electronic submissions only. In all submissions, please include a contact phone number as well as your email address. “If we are interested in your work, we will call or email you. If not, we will respond via email. Our response time is generally 1-4 weeks for queries and 4-8 weeks for sample pages and manuscripts. We welcome unsolicited materials and look forward to reading your work.”

(When can you refer to yourself as “a writer”? The answer is NOW, and here’s why.)

 

2015-GLA-small

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

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4. New Literary Agent Alert: Cassie Hanjian of Waxman Leavell Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Cassie Hanjian of Waxman Leavell Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

Cassie_Hanijan_literary-agent

 

About Cassie: Prior to joining Waxman Leavell as an acquiring agent this year, Cassie held positions at the Park Literary Group, where she specialized in author support and foreign rights, and at Aram Fox, Inc. as an international literary scout for publishers based outside the United States. She holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from the University of South Florida, a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute and an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University. Follow her on Twitter: @Cjhanjian

Cassie is seeking: page-turning New Adult novels, plot-driven commercial and upmarket women’s fiction, historical fiction, psychological suspense, cozy mysteries and contemporary romance. In nonfiction, she’s looking for projects in the categories of parenting, mind/body/spirit, inspirational memoir, narrative nonfiction focusing on food-related topics and a limited number of accessible cookbooks. Cassie does not accept submissions in the following categories: science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children’s, literary fiction, poetry, and screenplays.

How to submit: Send a query letter only to cassiesubmit [at] waxmanleavell.com. Do not send attachments, though for fiction, you may include five to 10 pages of your manuscript in the body of the email.

2015-GLA-smallThe biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

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5. New Literary Agent Alert: Linda Scalissi of 3 Seas Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Linda Scalissi of 3 Seas Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

linda-scalissi-literary-agent

About Linda: Linda Scalissi is excited to join 3 Seas Literary as their newest agent. Not only has reading been a lifetime passion, but she has a strong background in professional proofreading, editing and sales. She’s looking forward to receiving submissions and building strong, long-term relationships with her clients. She resides with her husband, two dogs and four rescue goldfish.

(Learn how to start your novel strong.)

She is seeking: Linda is interested in representing authors of women’s fiction, thrillers, young adult, mysteries and romance.

How to submit: E-queries only: queries [at] threeseaslit.com. No attachments; paste everything into the email.  The subject line should begin as follows: “QUERY FOR LINDA: (The title of the manuscript or any short message you would like to relay to us should follow.)” Please email the first chapter and synopsis along with a query letter. Also, be sure to include the genre and the number of words in your manuscript, as well as pertinent writing experience in your query letter.

(Can writers query multiple agents at the same agency?)

 

2015-GLA-smallThe biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
6. New Literary Agent Alert: Rebecca Scherer of Jane Rotrosen Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Rebecca Scherer of Jane Rotrosen Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

rebecca-scherer-literary-agent

 

About Rebecca: Unable to narrow her focus to just one subject, Rebecca Scherer earned her BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in Political Science, English Lit, and German language. After several years at the agency, Rebecca now has daily opportunities to put her wide range of interests to use as she actively builds her client list. Find her on Twitter: @RebeccaLScherer.

She is seeking: women’s fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, romance, upmarket fiction at the cross between commercial and literary

How to contact: Contact her via e-mail: rscherer [at] janerotrosen.com. Put “Query: [Title]” in the subject line. Send a query letter, brief synopsis (1-2) pages, and the first three chapters. Please paste the letter and synopsis in the body of the email, though the chapters can either be pasted or attached.

2015-GLA-smallThe biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
7. Agent Andrea Hurst Seeks Women’s Fiction, Romance, YA, Memoir and More

This alert from established literary agent Andrea Hurst (Andrea Hurts & Associates): “I am reopening my submissions this summer to unsolicited queries from June 1 – September 1, 2014.” This is a great opportunity for writers everywhere who are writing genres & categories that Andrea accepts. She is not always open to submissions, and wanted writers to know. More info below.

(How NOT to start your story. Read advice from agents.)

 

andrea-hurst-literary-agent

 

She is seeking: “I am looking for upmarket, book club women’s fiction, commercial women’s fiction/romance (contemporary or historical), young adult fiction, and most areas of nonfiction (authors with a substantial platform who have already developed a solid, highly polished proposal – this includes memoirs, health/wellness, business, self-help/personal growth, memoir, cookbooks, pet books, spirituality). As of 2014, we are now accepting middle grade contemporary fiction as well.”

How to submit: Submit by Sept. 1, 2014. No attachments. Absolutely no phone calls or regular mail contact, please. E-query andrea [at] andreahurst.com.

(Do writers need an outside edit before querying agents?)

Learn more about Andrea: http://www.andreahurst.com/literary-management/about/andrea-hurst/

 

2014-guide-to-literary-agents

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
8. New Literary Agent Alert: Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

whitley-abell-literary-agent

 

About Whitley: Whitley Abell joined Inklings Literary Agency in 2013. Before joining Inklings, she completed successful internships with Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency. She is based in St. Louis, MO, where she daylights as a production manager for several medical and S & T journals. She graduated in 2011 BA in English and Creative Writing, and again in 2012 with a MAT in Secondary English Education, which basically means she can tell you anything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards.

(What does it mean when an agent says “This isn’t right for me”?)

She is seeking: Whitley is primarily interested in Young Adult, Middle Grade, and select Upmarket Women’s fiction. She likes characters who are relatable yet flawed, hooks that offer new points of view and exciting adventures, vibrant settings that become active characters in their own right, and a story that sticks with the reader long after turning the last page, be it contemporary or historical, realistic or supernatural, tragic or quirky.

She loves mythology and literary re-imaginings, heartbreaking contemporary novels, historical suspense, and craving cute romantic comedies for YA through adult (ex: Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Morrill, Stephanie Perkins).

She is not interested in vampires, werewolves, angels, zombies, dystopian societies, steampunk, or epic fantasy. Please no paranormal / fantasy for adults.

How to contact: Type “Query for Whitley: [Book Title]” plus the title of your novel in the e-mail subject line, then please send the following pasted into the body of the e-mail to query(at)inklingsliterary(dot)com. The query should include the title, genre, and word count of your project, your story pitch, and a brief bio including any publishing credits. Under the query, paste a brief (1-2 pages) synopsis, and the first 10 pages of your manuscript.

(The one big reason some blogs succeed and most fail.)

 

2014-guide-to-literary-agents

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
9. New Literary Agent Alert: Stacy Testa of Writers House

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Stacy Testa of Writers House) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

agent-satcy-testa

About Stacy: Stacy joined Writers House in 2011 as an assistant to senior agent Susan Ginsburg and has been actively building her own client list since 2013. Previously, she interned at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Whimsy Literary. Stacy graduated cum laude with a BA in English from Princeton University. Follow her on Twitter: @stacy_testa.

(If an agent rejects you, are they open to reviewing your revised submission?)

She is seeking: Stacy is looking for literary fiction and upmarket commercial women’s fiction, particularly character-driven stories with an international setting, historical bent, or focus on a unique subculture. She also represents realistic young adult (no dystopian or paranormal, please!). For nonfiction, she is particularly interested in young “millennial” voices with a great sense of humor and a strong platform, startling and unique memoirs, and voice-driven narratives about little-known historical moments.

How to submit: Please submit your query, including the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email (no attachments), to stesta [at] writershouse.com. Please do not query multiple Writers House agents simultaneously.

 

2014-guide-to-literary-agents

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
10. How I Got My Literary Agent: Stephanie Wahlstrom

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Stephanie Wahlstrom, author of THE ACCIDENTAL SOCIALITE. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

(What query letter mistakes will sink your submission chances?)

 

 stephanie-wahlstrom-author-writer       accidental-socialite-cover-wahlstrom

Stephanie Wahlstrom grew up in Edmonton, Canada. A significant amount of her
time was spent making up and acting out stories. She graduated from the University
of Alberta with an English and Sociology degree and I also have a Bachelor of
Motion Picture Arts (that’s a fancy term for Film School) from Red Deer College.
Later, she went back home to write “My Green House,” a factual TV series.
Her debut novel is THE ACCIDENTAL SOCIALITE (Swoon Romance),
humorous women’s fiction. Find her on Twitter.

 

I MADE A RESOLUTION

On January 1st 2013 I made a resolution: I was going to get published by the end of the year. At this point I hadn’t even properly edited The Accidental Socialite, never mind looked into agents or what the publishing process entailed. I polished my ms and started sending it out in February, which was probably too soon as I ended up doing more severe edits after the first round of feedback. I had a few requests, but it was always “I like it, you have a great voice, but I’m not passionate enough to offer representation.” Every. Single. Time.  Then I heard of the PitchMadness contest by Brenda Drake. The request window for agents opened on my birthday and I took it as a sign.

And then I was rejected a further 25 times. It was the end of June when I started to think about self-publishing.  I absolutely could not fail at this goal, and although it wasn’t the way I wanted to go, self-publishing was looking like the only option. I had myself a little cry for my publishing dream that never was, put my big girl pants on and started researching cover designers.

Deep down, I knew I didn’t really want to self publish, so I threw out a Hail Mary at the beginning of July and tried one last contest: PitchMas.

PITCH-MAS

This time the requests weren’t from agents, but from publishers.

I sent the ms out on Thursday night, and by 5am on Friday I had an e-mail with an intent to offer from a publisher. I was supposed to meet my boyfriend in France for a weekend away in six hours, so I quickly let everyone who had the ms know what the deal was. I felt terrible because it didn’t give the publishers who had received the ms the night before any time, but I didn’t know what else to do. The plane landed in Cannes and I totally ignored the “Don’t turn on your phone until you are safely inside the terminal building” (or whatever the equivalent in French was) and turned on my phone to find an offer from publisher two. I’d already told the woman next to me my life story, so I updated her on this development and she very kindly pretended to care and promised to buy the book.

By the end of the day I had two very different offers for multi-book deals from publishers and did not know what to do with myself … so on Monday I went to the Manolo Blahnik sale to celebrate my almost book deal and bought a pair of nude patent Mary Janes for 80% off. I was winning at life that week.

In late 2012 I’d taken a course with Curtis Brown Creative on writing for children taught by agent Stephanie Thwaites and writer Tony Bradman.  I e-mailed Stephanie asking for a cheeky bit of advice because I really felt I needed the help of an agent to choose/negotiate the best deal possible.

(How successful writers are using the Internet and social-media to sell more books.)

SEEKING THE HELP OF AN AGENT

To my surprise, Stephanie actually asked to read The Accidental Socialite, so I sent it to her and in a few days she started talking about what “we” could do. I got stupid excited and awkwardly asked if she was my agent, because it would be really cool if she was, or not, you know, playing it cool over here and not like the girl in the corner at prom who finally got asked to dance, and by the most popular boy at school no less. FYI Stephanie isn’t a boy and there wasn’t dancing involved – or at least not on her part – I spent most of the whole month of July and August doing happy dances. Anyway. She said yes and fund me a co-agent in New York at ICM Partners (was Lyndsay Hemphill, now Tina Wexler).

I was all like, EMERGAHD! I have the same agent as Winnie The Pooh! Not only had my dream come true, I’d hit the jackpot when it came to agents with Stephanie and Tina. I sat down with Stephanie and she talked about my career… implying I was going to have one.  This was real!!!

Stephanie worked her magic and in the end I actually had three offers from publishers. Then it was decision time. The first publisher who had shown interest was super passionate about The Accidental Socialite and seemed to really get it which I think is the most important thing you can find when you work creatively with anyone. I felt really comfortable with Georgia McBride and Stephanie agreed, which is how The Accidental Socialite ended up with Swoon Romance in North America. Happy dance!

 

The 90 Days to Your Novel 2-Pack is an inspiring
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Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

 

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11. Susan Whitfield

Award-winning, multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is the author of five published mysteries and Killer Recipes, a real cookbook with mysterious names featuring recipes from mystery writers across the country. Her first women’s fiction novel, Slightly Cracked, was published in 2012.

Please tell everyone a little about yourself, Susan.

SusanWhitfieldSusan: A life-long native of North Carolina, I’ve lived in both the eastern and western parts of the state. I taught high school English for thirteen years before moving in high school administration for the remainder of my career. I retired and began my second career, writing. I have five published mystery novels: Genesis Beach, set along NC’s Crystal Coast;  Just North of Luck, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hell Swamp, set along Black River in Pender County, Sin Creek in Wilmington, and Sticking Point in Beaufort. I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, and North Carolina Writers Network. My husband and I live in Wayne County just a few miles from our two sons and their families.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

slightlycrackedSusan: I’ve been writing the Logan Hunter Mysteries, publishing the first novel back in 2007. As much as I have loved Logan, I knew as an author I wanted to write other stories and perhaps other genres. When I wrote Slightly Cracked, women’s fiction, I knew I wanted to write more in that genre, so I ended the Logan Hunter Mysteries with Sticking Point, published in February of this year. I think I left Logan in a good place after putting her through some horrible ordeals in Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, and especially Sin Creek. While I did enjoy the series, I also have a fondness for stand-alones like Slightly Cracked. I am currently trying my hand at historical fiction. More on that later.

What’s the hook for the book?

Susan: Tying this into the last question, in Sticking Point, Logan investigates the death of a fifteen-year-old bully whose death was ruled natural causes.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

sticking pointSusan: In Sticking Point, Logan must work with another investigator whom she thinks she despises. They are uncomfortable and it shows, but as the investigations rolls along, they begin to understand and appreciate how the tragic past has affected each of them. My favorite character in this book is the bed and breakfast owner, a British lady with strict rules and secrets of her own, but the novel moves from a mystery into a love story that I’m quite proud to have written.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Susan: I hate outlines so I start without one and then at some point I reach a roadblock and build an outline to get me straightened out. As much as I hate them, I have to admit they’ve fixed a multitude of problems for me.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

Susan: I call my own writing “elementary” because I don’t use big words. It’s just easy everyday writing. I prefer first person but I wrote the women’s fiction in third person because it’s important for the reader to get into the heads of four characters.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Susan: I grew up in North Carolina and have lived here all my life. It makes sense to set the books here. While I don’t exaggerate my Southern background, I try to use local and regional dialects and showcase different areas of the state. Setting is almost always a feature in my books.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Susan: 

“Sin Creek by Susan Whitfield, is an eye-opener and a heart-breaker, but with the sweetest redeeming ending.

Having had a long-standing friendship with a detective, when reading Sin Creek, I felt a sense of déjà vu about events I know to be true. These foul crimes do exist and are proliferating all over the world, both promoted by and brought to law enforcement attention by the Internet. Whitfield portrays the underpinnings of one man’s vile world of pornography with researched accuracy.

Though this story is fiction, the very same types of exploitation continue to happen and escalate. If you never understood how lewd and dangerous the world of porn is, read Sin Creek. It’s fiction but true to life. It’ll make you shudder.”

What are your current projects?

Susan: I am currently writing an historical mystery, titled Sprig of Broom, about an ancestor who was a Knight of the Bath. This is by far the most challenging project I’ve ever done because I’m traveling back to medieval times. Research is on-going and I want to represent my ancestor as accurately as possible while filling in the gaps with fiction that seems to be true. It’s a slow process and I anticipate a lengthy amount of time before it’s complete.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Susan:  I blog at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com
My web site is www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
I’m also on Facebook and a member of Booktown at www.booktown.ning.

Thanks for joining us today, Susan.

Susan: Thank you for the interview.

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12. Literary Agent Spotlight: Lana Popovic of Chalberg & Sussman

This week’s agent spotlight is not a new agent, but rather an established one who has just made an agency move and is actively seeking clients. Get to know Lana Popovic of Chalberg & Sussman (info below) and see if she is a good fit for you work. Good luck!

(What query letter mistakes will sink your submission chances?)

 

lana-popovic-literary-agent
About Lana: Lana Popovic holds a B.A. with honors from Yale University, a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property, and an M.A. with highest honors from the Emerson College Publishing and Writing program. Prior to joining Chalberg & Sussman, Lana worked at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, where she built a list of Young Adult and adult literary authors while managing foreign rights for the agency.

With an abiding love for dark, edgy themes and shamelessly nerdy fare—Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon are two of her great loves—Lana is looking for a broad spectrum of Young Adult and Middle Grade projects, from contemporary realism to speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and historical. For the adult market, Lana is interested in literary thrillers, horror, fantasy, sophisticated erotica and romance, and select nonfiction. An avid traveler, she has a particular fondness for stories set in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, although she also loves reading deep and original stories about American subcultures. You can follow her on Twitter at @LanaPopovicLit. She will be a panelist at the Boston Book Festival this year, and also the AWP 2015 conference.

(Writing non-fiction? Hear submission advice from literary agents.)

She is seeking:

  1. Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction: Contemporary/realistic, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical, horror, sci-fi
  2. Adult Fiction: Literary thrillers, sci-fi, horror, romance, erotica, women’s literary fiction
  3. Adult Nonfiction: Pop culture, blog-to-book, literary memoir

How to contact: To query Lana, please e-mail lana [at] chalbergsussman.com with the first ten pages of the manuscript included in the body of the e-mail. Lana accepts queries by e-mail only.

2015-GLA-small

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
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13. New Literary Agent Alert: Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

brent-taylor-literary-agent

 

About Brent: Prior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc., he completed numerous internships in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. Find Brent on Twitter.

(How many literary agents should a writer send their work to?)

He is seeking: “My tastes are eclectic, but all of my favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing. I am seeking smart, fun, and exciting books for readers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select mystery/crime and women’s fiction. Middle Grade: for younger readers I am on the hunt for a humorous, intelligent fantasy; a scare-the-pants-off-me ghost or haunting story; fast-paced literary writing similar in style to Jerry Spinelli and Cynthia Lord. I have soft spots for larger-than-life characters and atmospheric setting (creepy and/or quirky). Young Adult: I’m always looking for genre-bending books that can be an exciting puzzlement when thinking about how precisely to market; specifically mystery and crime for teens, the grittier the better; high-concept contemporary stories with addicting romantic tension. I’m a sucker for themes of finding your place in the world, new beginnings, and summer-before-college stories. New Adult: my tastes in New Adult tend to be more darkly skewed but I would love a well-executed story that shares the same excitement, wonder, and invigoration of books like LOSING IT. Although I appreciate any story that’s told well in great language, in New Adult I’m more concerned with being entertained and gripped by the edge of my seat than in being stimulated. Adult: I would love a psychological suspense based on actual events, i.e. CARTWHEEL by Jennifer Dubois which fictionalized the Amanda Knox trial and hooked me from beginning to end. Alternatively, I’d love high-concept women’s fiction; either an exquisitely told story huge in size and scope, or a less ambitious novel that simply warms my heart.”

How to submit:  Send your query letter and first ten pages pasted in the body of the message to brent [at] triadaus.com.

(Should You Sign With a New Literary Agent? Know the Pros and Cons.)

 

2015-GLA-small

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

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14. 17th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Women’s/Upmarket Fiction

Welcome to the 17th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing women’s fiction, this 17th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.)

 

 

WHY YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED

After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.

HOW TO SUBMIT

E-mail entries to dearluckyagent17@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

Your query letter, as well as the first 150-200 words of your unpublished, completed book-length work of adult women’s fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social-media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your official e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/of5zgqz. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino at the end of your mention(s) if using Twitter. If we’re friends on FB, tag me in the mention. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks. (Please note that simply tweeting me does not count. You have to include the contest URL with your mention; that’s the point. And if you use Twitter, put my handle @chucksambuchino at the middle or the end, not at the very beginning of the tweet.)

Here is a sample tweet you can use (feel free to tweak): New FREE contest for writers of women’s fiction http://tinyurl.com/of5zgqz Judged by agent @PaulaSMunier - via @chucksambuchino

WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?

Women’s fiction (also called upmarket fiction when dealing with women’s stories). If you’re wondering what falls into this genre specifically, this is how our agent judge explains it: “These are stories that revolve around women, women’s roles as mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, caregivers, friends, community leaders, etc., and a woman’s place at home, at work, and in society at large. They are for the most part domestic dramas. What separates them from love stories is that the heroine’s relationships with her friends and family are as important if not more important to the storyline as her love relationship. These stories explore women’s relationships—with each other, with men and children, with the world, and with herself. The themes are those that strike a chord with women: love, family, friendship, sisterhood, motherhood, self-actualization, and what it means to be a woman in the world, past, present, and future.”

CONTEST DETAILS

  1. This contest will be live through the end of Oct. 17, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within approximately three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book as well as your one-page query. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  3. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
  4. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
  5. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)

PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

MEET YOUR (AWESOME) AGENT JUDGE!

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.37.35 AMScreen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.39.18 AMPaula Munier, Senior Literary Agent & Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary, has created and marketed exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as WGBH, Fidelity, and Disney. A writer and editor before becoming an agent in 2012, she’s always looking for good crime fiction, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, high-concept YA and SF/Fantasy fiction, as well as nonfiction. She’s written several books, including Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene and Fixing Freddie.

 

PAULA’S FORTHCOMING FICTION SALES

THE REGISTRY TRILOGY (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
By Shannon Stoker
The Registry, The Collection, and The Alliance
The exciting trilogy set in a United States in which girls are breeders and the prettiest girls go to the highest bidders – and  telling the story of the one beautiful young woman who refuses to play by those rules.

ORPHAN # 8 (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
By Kim van Alkemade
Coming in 2015
An orphan, subjected to experimental X-ray treatments at the orphanage, escapes to make a new life for herself, only to face her tormentor years later, inspired by the real-life Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Manhattan.

CHRISTMAS CHOCOLAT (Kensington)
By Kate Defrise
Coming in 2015
Armed with nothing but insecurities, rivalries, and their mother’s recipe for Belgian chocolate mousse, siblings make their way from around the world to the family estate in Pennsylvania — where their father, the memory of their mother, and long-held family secrets all collide on Christmas Eve.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.39.30 AM Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.39.44 AM Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.39.56 AM

BEELINE TO MURDER: A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery (Kensington)
By Meera Lester
Coming in 2015
Inspired by the author’s real-life Henny Penny Farmette homestead and blog, the first in a new series featuring a former San Francisco Bay Area police detective, who leaves the force and retreats to the country only to find herself caught in a black swarm of blackmail and betrayal — a veritable beeline to murder.

SNIPER (Skyhorse)
By Vaughn Hardacker
A Boston homicide detective’s investigation of a sniper attack on Boston Common draws the former Marine sniper into a cat-and-mouse game with the killer that takes him from the streets of Boston to a remote island off the coast of Maine for a final deadly showdown.

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.40.10 AM Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.40.26 AM Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.40.51 AM

 

 

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15. Lisa de Nikolits, author of West of Wawa, launches her blog tour


& book giveaway contest!

Remember those car trips of your childhood? Trapped in a vehicle with people (also known as siblings) who wouldn't stop talking or kicking your seat or flicking your ear? Eating cold lunches at picnic tables and greasy fried food at questionable diners? Feeling if you didn't escape the Midwest flatness (or the mountains or the shoreline) you would go crazy? Would you voluntarily take that same trip today?

West of Wawa is about taking that seemingly endless car trip except instead of family you're traveling with a revolving cast of complete strangers and instead of a few days the trip last for weeks. Loveless and jobless, Benny thinks maybe she'll find what she's looking for on a bus trip across Canada. Her adventure—like life—is a mixture of humor, horror, the unexpected, and boredom that readers won't soon forget.

Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Inanna Publications
ISBN-10: 1926708245
ISBN-13: 978-1926708249
Twitter Hashtag: #WestOfWawa

West of Wawa is available online at Amazon and Indigo as well as at your local bookstores.



Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of West of Wawa, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, March 1 at 11:59 PM PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #WestOfWawa, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post on the following day Friday, March 2. Good luck!

About the Author:

Originally from South Africa, Lisa has been a Canadian citizen since 2003—although she still retains a lilting voice that causes fellow Canadians to ask, "You aren't from Canada, eh?" With a Bachelor's of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy, Lisa has also lived and worked in the United States, Australia, and Great Britain.

Lisa thought she was on her way to fame and fortune when the South African edition of Cosmopolitan bought two of her poems in 1986. Sadly, the road to being a published writer was not as easy as she hoped! Throughout her writing career, Lisa has tried her hand at everything from children's picture books to short stories to novellas to feature magazine articles. Her first novel The Hungry Mirror, which won an IPPY Gold Medal for Women's Fiction in 2011, was inspired by her work as art director for magazines including Vogue and Marie Claire. Lisa is now working on her next novel Between the Cracks She Fell.

Find the Author Online:

A

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16. Overlook Readers Roundup: Women's History Month

It is widely believed that March is the cruelest month, boasting thirty-one days of wet and chilly weather, not one of them a holiday. Arguably its one redeeming factor may be the opportunity given to society to celebrate one of its most outstanding, intelligent, and beautiful groups of the population—women, of course. Since its official U.S. origination in 1981, Women’s History Month has been

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17. THE FOREVER MARRIAGE by Ann Bauer Arrives

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ann Bauer's upcoming novel THE FOREVER MARRIAGE in our office.  The compelling and irreverent story about an unfaithful widow coming to terms with the death of a husband she never really loved sparked stellar early reviews, and has media and bloggers clamoring to get their hands on a copy. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly has said, "With

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18. What Editors Have Bought Recently - Women's Fic and Literary

STATUS: It's BEA time! Oh crazy schedule

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? Nothing at the moment.

Obviously I'm not just talking to children's editors while in New York. So here's a little snippet of what editors have been buying in the adult realm:

1) Literary novels with some sort of magical element (i.e The Night Circus)
2) Multi-cultural literary novels by non-American writers
3) Voice-driven literary novels that shed light on the contemporary modern landscape for protagonists in their 20s or 30s.


In women's fiction and romance
1) contemporary stories with small town settings
2) southern contemporary women's fix
3) looking or romantic comedies in romance (haven't heard that desire in a while!)

Off to the Javits Center!

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19. Interview with A. R. Tally, Author of David’s Song & Giveaway

ar

A. R. Talley (April R Talley) received her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass media communications from the University of Akron, in Akron, Ohio. Previous to the completion of her degree, she was employed by Osmond Productions working on the production staff of The Donny and Marie Show and several other shows produced at Osmond Studios in Orem, Utah. She later worked as vice president and part owner of a dance and sportswear clothing boutique. She has been married for over thirty years, the mother of seven children, and grandmother to six. Now, she keeps herself busy caring for the two children she still has at home, volunteering for her church, reading and writing.  David’s Song is her debut novel and the first of a trilogy. You can follow April on her blog – talleyar.blogspot.com, or on twitter – A.R. Talley@ARTalley13, or on Facebook – ARTalley7 

Thank you for joining us today, April. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

 Well, as the bio said, I am a wife and mother and grandmother…although I don’t think I’m old enough to be the latter. I was born in the month of April, that’s how I got my name.  My mother was very original – good thing I was not a boy.  I live in Ohio with my husband and two of my children who are still in school. I am relatively new to the writing game.  I started writing about 5 years ago. I wish that someone would have told me when I was much younger that I could write down all those stories I had floating around in my head, because I LOVE doing it.  I also love music and reading. I play the piano.  I also enjoy poking around in the garden, decorating, and traveling (especially cruises because I can sit on the deck of a ship and read…best of both worlds!)

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

 Like I said above, I started writing about 5 years ago. And I guess you could say that the bug bit hard. In the last 5 years I have completed 4 novels and have the beginnings of 2 more.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?davids song

 I don’t consider David’s Song a YA novel, but I have written one.  I wrote it after finishing the David’s Song Trilogy.  And I decided to write in the YA genre for two reasons. 1. I enjoy reading YA fiction. And 2. I really like teenagers.  I think they are  interesting and fun to be around. 

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

 My favorite part of writing for the YA group is also the most challenging part – and that is getting the language right. Teens and Young Adults speak very differently than I did when I was that age.  I found myself asking my teenagers and college age kids if I was getting right.  When I did, it was fun to play with the language.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

 By latest book, I assume you mean David’s Song.  This book is about a young woman, Annie, who while in college meets and falls in love with two men. One breaks her heart and the other marries her.  Several years later, while on a get away with old college roommates, Annie meets up with David, the boy who broke her heart. At this time, she’s having some marital difficulties and is feeling insecure and vulnerable.  David feeling a spark of old feelings, courts and attempts to woo Annie away from her troubled marriage.  The story culminates as Annie is faced with the choice of her marriage – or a chance at lost love.  You’ll have to read the book to find out which she chooses.

What inspired you to write it?

 I was inspired to write the story after meeting up with a man who I had a crush on in college.  We were nothing more than casual friends at the time.  But I started wondering what would have happened if things had worked out differently.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

 Readers can purchase a print or ebook copy online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon (look for it under the author name of A.R. Talley), or at Authorhouse.com.

What is up next for you?

 Up next is getting the second book of the trilogy printed.  It’s titled Jeremy’s Promise, and readers can actually get a sneak peek at the end of David’s Song.  I’m hoping to release Jeremy’s Promise this fall. 

Do you have anything else to add?

 Just want to thank you for this chance to share a little bit about me and my work.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

Thank you for spending time with us today, April. We wish you much success.

 

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD OR PAYPAL CASH. ENDS 5/12/13. CLICK HERE.

davids-tour


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20. A Southern Place by Elaine Drennon Little

Southern PlaceHello readers! I have another WOW! Women On Writing blog tour to participate in today. If you missed yesterday’s review and giveaway of BEYOND BELIEF: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions, go to it now!

Today, I am hosting Elaine Drennon Little, and her novel from WiDo Publishing, A Southern Place. This is a terrific,  heart-wrenching novel–it’s being billed as a southern saga.

Read my review and then enter to win a copy of the book through the Rafflecopter form below! This is the last stop of the tour AND the last chance to win. Plus, check on the entry form for a special FRIDAY THE 13th entry!! (Insert scary music here. . .)

Elaine Drennon Little introduces readers to a dysfunctional family full of misunderstood souls in her debut novel, A Southern Place. The pages of Little’s novel are filled with characters readers will feel like they could reach out and hug—that’s how much detail and work this talented author put into her first book. It’s a character-driven ride, mostly through the late 1950’s South, focusing on hard-working, proud individuals who can’t catch a break.

Little chose to tell the story through the eyes of five characters, and this is where the strength in the book lies. When the novel opens with Mojo, the youngest of the cast, beaten almost to death and in the hospital in the late 1980s, the sheriff reveals how awful her background is and how she really hasn’t got anybody left in the world. Readers will be forming an opinion on Mojo’s family before finishing that beginning section; but as the author spends the majority of the book in the point of view of Mojo’s mother, uncle, and father (whom she doesn’t know), opinions will soon change. That’s the beauty of Little’s first novel—she drives home the point that appearances are not always the truth; life is seldom what it seems. No one knows what happens behind closed doors.

Once Little flashes back to the past to the late 1950s, readers meet Phil (Mojo’s daddy, even though it’s a huge secret), a rich kid whose learning disabilities are an embarrassment to his successful and powerful father. Calvin, Mojo’s uncle, works on Phil’s daddy’s plantation, and is well-respected—that is until a farming accident leaves him with a hook instead of a hand. Then, there’s Delores, Calvin’s younger sister and Mojo’s mama. She, like Mojo, is a good, kind woman who just wants to take care of her family and do the right thing. She’s willing to take just about any job she can and lend an ear to any poor soul. This is how she gets together with Phil, starting a short and passionate affair. ElaineDrennonLittle

Once all the pieces of the plot are in motion, Little alternates point of view between the three main characters, showing readers how one choice can lead to a life full of heartache. Sometimes, though, the characters’ misfortune isn’t a result of their own choices, like when Cal is involved in the farming accident. If readers are a fan of Les Miserables, they may be reminded a bit of this classic novel while reading A Southern Place. Not because it takes place in 19th century France, but because these Georgian 20th century characters are down on their luck and often wind up in poverty and sickness.

Little grew up on a farm in southern Georgia, where much of her novel is set. She taught music for 27 years in public school and graduated with an MFA in 2008. She currently lives in northern Georgia with her husband, and she blogs at http:// elainedrennonlittle.wordpress.com/.

When the novel ends, readers have a real understanding of how the beginning could happen—just how did young, innocent Mojo wind up beaten to a pulp in the hospital? Little brings the plot full circle and even ends with a bit of hope. This Southern saga is sure to leave readers wanting more from Little soon.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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21. New Literary Agent Alert: Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary

Reminder: New literary agents

(with this spotlight featuring Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

claire-anderson-wheeler-agent

 
About Claire: Claire Anderson-Wheeler is the newest agent to join the team at
Regal Literary Management

. Prior to that she worked at Anderson Literary Management in New York, and at Christine Green Authors’ Agent in London, UK. She holds an LLB from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK. Claire is Irish, was born in DC, and grew up in Dublin, Geneva, and Brussels. For more on Claire’s tastes, you can read an online interview here.

She is seeking: YA with a strong voice (realistic or high-concept), works of narrative non-fiction and pop culture/pop psychology, literary fiction, and commercial women’s fiction driven by strong contemporary issues.

How to submit: Please email your query letter, attaching a full synopsis (i.e. please include spoilers) and the first three chapters as MS Word documents. Thanks!

What could be better than one guide on crafting
fiction from wise agent Donald Maass? Two books!
We bundle them together at a discount in our shop

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:Word Counts Explained: How Long Should a Book Be?
  • Notes to the First-Time Novelist
  • .
  • NEW Literary Agent Seeking Clients: Sara D’Emic of Talcott Notch
  • .
  • Your Novel’s Missing Ingredient? It Could be YOU
  • .
  • Sell More Books by Building Your Author Platform
  • .
  • Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter
  • or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to write a query letter.

     

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    22. Inside These Walls by Rebecca Coleman (Review, Interview and Giveaway)

    From the moment you open Inside These Walls by Rebecca Coleman, you're transported to the world of a women’s prison and introduced to Clara Mattingly who is serving a life sentence for murder. Rebecca’s writing is superb, and Clara is instantly a likeable and sympathetic character, whom you will cheer for, even though she’s also a cold-blooded killer.

    Rebecca isn’t tricking the reader into liking Clara. It’s obvious that there’s more to the story than just murder—that Clara has the proverbial skeletons in her closet. After twenty-five years behind bars, she’s choosing to forget the past and stay focused on her present, which in prison means keeping her head down and staying out of trouble.

    The problem is Clara’s famous, and so other inmates love to pick on her, which often results in serious injuries. Her crime, along with her boyfriend Ricky, was made into a movie. Hollywood turned their story into an almost Charles Manson type of drama, where Ricky led Clara and his other friends into a 24-hour crime spree that resulted in several murders.

    Clara lives her prison life helping her blind cellmate and working on Braille textbooks, while remembering her life as an artist and her love for ballet before the night that changed her life forever. You'll keep turning pages because of the author’s set-up, trying to discover how did this bright, young, talented girl follow her boyfriend and murder people?

    Rebecca reveals the true story once an unexpected visitor appears to see Clara in prison, and her heart immediately yearns for love and freedom. At the same time, a reporter writing a book about Ricky asks Clara for information, even though she has never before granted an interview. Because of the visitor, Clara decides it’s time to reveal the truth; and as the book progresses to the end, you discover the circumstances leading up to the crime.

    Themes in this book include religion—Clara is Catholic and does follow her faith in prison, including going to confession and taking communion; forgiveness; self-preservation; abuse; independence and freedom; friendship; loyalty; love; truth and more.This is the perfect book club choice, as readers will debate Clara’s crimes, her confessions, her circumstances and even the ending. On Rebecca’s website (http://www.rebeccacoleman.net), book clubs can sign up for a possible Skype or phone visit from the author.

    Inside These Walls is one of those novels that will keep you up past your bedtime because you want to discover the secrets Clara has kept and what landed her in one of the worst places imaginable—prison. Here are a few words straight from Rebecca about her novel and writing career: 

    WOW: What made you want to write about a woman in prison--and then in a high-profile case?

    Rebecca: Once the story started taking shape, it became more interesting to make it a high-profile case because it would make sense why someone would want to interview Clara for a book. But as to why I wrote it in the first place--the only truthful answer is. . .because it's the story that showed up in my head! I never start out with a specific topic in mind--I want to write about an emotion, and then I find a story that gives a structure and a progressive arc to that emotion. With Inside These Walls, it was about the feeling of being given a second chance at something very, very important and how far a person would go not to squander that chance. And what could challenge that more than being in prison?

    WOW: Thanks for explaining how the story took shape. It's always interesting to hear from successful authors how their brain works. How did you get your agent, Stephany Evans (in other words--meet at conference, slush pile, etc)?

    Rebecca: I sent her a query letter by e-mail, but it was an unusually nervy move for me. Normally I'd go to an agency's website, look to see who the newest agents were, and query them, thinking they were still building their lists and would be more open to a new, untested writer. I'd gotten stacks and stacks of rejections. Then my first book, The Kingdom of Childhood, became a semifinalist in Amazon's ABNA contest, and that gave me the courage to query higher up the food chain. I have to say, Stephany is the perfect agent for me. She is conscientious and tenacious and attentive. I ended up feeling glad for all the rejection because in the end it gave me the opportunity to work with Stephany.

    WOW: The advice we all hear is that finding the perfect agent should fit like finding the perfect spouse or mate. We're so happy that has happened for you. What's up next?

    Rebecca: Thanks for asking! I'm working on a new story that features a character my readers have seen before--that's all I can say.

    WOW: Now, that's a teaser. I can't wait to find out about that! How do you balance writing and marketing?

    Rebecca: It's a serious challenge! You have to schedule the business part, so the creative aspect doesn't eat all your time. It's easiest for me to spend the first hour of a work day dealing with Twitter and e-mail, then set myself free to write for the rest of the day. It's tough because writing asks you to lock yourself in a room with your imaginary friends, and marketing requires you to go out there and take risks with real people. A lot of writers write specifically because they don't want to do that.

    WOW: Very true! What's one piece of advice you would give to new writers?

    Rebecca: Don't be a diva. To succeed in this business, you need to be able to take criticism, be enjoyable to work with, be flexible, and make many more friends than enemies. If you can do all that and be true to yourself as a writer, then nothing can hold you back.

    WOW: Thank you for that wonderful advice. Please keep WOW! readers informed on your next book. We'd love to hear about it. 

    Readers, don't forget, you can enter to win a copy of this wonderful book, Inside These Walls, by entering the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!  

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    0 Comments on Inside These Walls by Rebecca Coleman (Review, Interview and Giveaway) as of 2/27/2014 9:54:00 PM
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    23. New Literary Agent Alert: Holly Lorincz of MacGregor Literary

    Reminder: New literary agents

    (with this spotlight featuring Holly Lorincz of MacGregor Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.




    holly-lorincz-literary-agent

     

    About Holly: Agent Holly Lorincz spent her youth mainlining salmon, venison and books while sitting, shivering, on a dock on the Columbia River. She’s never recovered from her book addiction, moving instead to making and distributing her literary drug of choice. Holly has a degree in Journalism as well as a MAT focused in writing and literature. She was the editor of the literary magazine Perceptions, and then became a high school and college instructor. During that fifteen year run, she was named Teacher of the Year in Oregon, won two national awards from the National Federation of Schools, coached her high school speech team to two State Championships and nine individual Champions, began an editing service, and published various short works.

    (How much money can you expect from selling your first book?)

    After an extended illness, Holly has redefined herself, now living the dream of every college graduate with an English degree: she’s published a novel, her editing service is thriving, and she is a full time MacGregor Literary

    agent. Residing on the Oregon coast with her son, Holly works out of the MacGregor Literary office one block from the Pacific, huddled next to the heater and coffee pot. She is well aware of the shifting role of a literary agent. While seeking traditional publishers for her authors, she also closely works with clients on alternative publishing options, career development, marketing plans, and media training.

    She is seeking: “I am currently only accepting general market submissions in these areas: historical romance, literary or classic westerns, political or conspiracy thrillers, women’s fiction, or literary fiction.”

    (Hate writing synopses? Here are nuts & bolts pointers for you.)

    How to contact: Please note that while MacGregor Literary, as a whole, is closed to submissions (as per their website), Holly confirmed to me personally that she is open to new queries & clients. In order to submit, authors can email queries to holly [at] macgregorliterary.com. Please include the genre in the subject line.

     

    2014-guide-to-literary-agents

    The biggest literary agent database anywhere
    is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
    most recent updated edition online at a discount

    Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:Interview With Agent Laura Dail, Who Reps Fiction and Nonfiction.
  • 5 Tips For Writing a First Draft.
  • How Debut Author James Markert Found Agent Dan Lazar.
  • Advice via Author Elisa Lorello. First tip: Ask “What Would Aaron Sorkin Do?” 
  • Sell More Books by Building Your Writer Platform.
  • Why You Should Reach Out to Successful Authors For Advice.
  • Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter
  • or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to write a query letter.

     

    Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
    Create Your Writer Platform

    Order the book from WD at a discount

    .

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    24. Creating Your Own Flourish List

    Now that I’ve outed myself as the secret author of books by Elizabeth Ruston, I can freely talk about one of the concepts in the book Love Proof.

    We writers always hear “Write what you know!” Well, I’ve known many of the things I wrote about in Love Proof, including the life of a striving law student, the beginning uncertain years of practicing law, the sometimes disgusting personalities of some of the lawyers you have to deal with, and yes, even the unexpected excitement of accidentally falling in love with your opposing counsel. Yeah, that happens.

    But I’ve also known the kind of poverty Sarah Henley experiences in the book. And that was really interesting for me to write about, because I know I still have some vestiges of that poverty mentality deep inside my brain. And I have to actively make choices to move myself past that way of thinking.

    One of the things Sarah does in the book to deal with her own poverty mentality is to create a Flourish List. It’s an idea that came to me a few years ago, and something I tried for myself before ever putting it into my fiction.

    The name comes from both definitions of flourish: “an extraneous florid embellishment” (or as Sarah puts it, “something I want, but don’t actually need”), and “a period of thriving.”

    I don’t know about you, but at times I am MUCH too stingy with myself. I call it frugality, but sometimes it’s just being harsh for no great reason. Perfect example from last night: I was down to maybe the last half-squeeze on my toothpaste tube, and I could have forced out that last little bit, but I decided to make a grand gesture of actually throwing it away–that’s right, without it being fully empty (call the frugality police, go ahead)–and treated myself to a brand new tube. I’ve had to give myself that same permission with bars of soap that have already broken into multiple parts that I have to gather together in a little pile in my palm just to work up a decent sud. Lately, out they go, fresh bar, and if I feel guilty, I know it will pass.

    So where did this new radical attitude come from? A few summers ago while I was backpacking in a beautiful section of the South San Juan mountain range in Colorado, I had an afternoon to myself when I sat out in a meadow, my faithful backpacking dog at my side, while my husband took off to fish. And as Bear and I sat there looking at the small white butterflies flitting over the meadow flowers, the thought occurred to me that those butterflies were not strictly necessary. Not in their dainty, pretty form. They could have been ugly and still done the job. Or they could have left their work to the yellow and brown butterflies–why do we need the extra? But having pretty white butterflies is a form of nature’s flourish.

    And that led to the companion idea that if flourish is allowed in nature, wouldn’t it be all right to have some of it in my own life?

    So right then and there I pulled out pen and paper and started making my Flourish List. Spent an hour writing down all the things I’d wanted for years and years, but never allowed myself to have. I’m not talking about extravagances like a private jet or a personal chef, I’m talking about small pleasures like new, pretty sheets (even though the current ones were still in perfectly good shape); new long underwear that fit better; a new bra; high-quality lotion from one of the bath and body shops; fancy bubble bath. The most expensive item on my list was a pillow-top mattress to replace the plain old Costco mattress we’d been sleeping on for the past twenty years.

    I gave myself the chance to write down everything, large or small, just to see it all on paper. And you know what? It wasn’t that much. I had maybe fifteen items. Then, still sitting out in that meadow, I did a tally of what I thought it would all cost. I knew the mattress would probably be very expensive, so I estimated high (no internet connection out there in the wilderness, otherwise I could have researched actual numbers). I think I ended up estimating about $3,000 for the whole list. And that sounded pretty expensive to me. So I just put the list away and promised myself I’d start buying some of the cheaper items when we got home.

    And I did. New underwear. Vanilla lotions and bubble baths. New sheets. And finally, a few months later, a pillow-top mattress, on sale, less than $400. By the time I checked off the last item on my list last fall, I had spent less than $1,000. That might still sound like a lot, but in the greater scheme I felt like it was too small an amount to have denied myself all those little pleasures all those many years. Especially if I had bought myself one of those items every year–I know I never would have noticed the cost.

    So that’s my suggestion for today: Create your own Flourish List, just like Sarah and I have, and give yourself the pleasure of writing down every small or large thing you want for yourself right now. All the little treats. Maybe they’re not so little–maybe this is the year you need a new car or some other big-ticket item. But that’s a “Need” list. This is your Flourish List–everything you want but don’t necessarily need.

    And then? Treat yourself. Choose one item every week or every month, and give it to yourself. And if you feel strange about replacing something you don’t like with something you know you will, then remember to pass on that other item to someone else who might love it more than you did. I’ve done that with clothes, kitchenware, books: it feels so good to take everything you don’t want and give it to a thrift store where someone else can be happy to have found it, and found it so cheaply. Maybe there’s someone out there with a Flourish List that includes a pair of boots like the ones that have just been gathering dust in your closet. Stop hoarding them. Move them on to their new, appreciative owner.

    And by doing that, you make room in your own life for things you’ll appreciate and enjoy. It’s hard to invite abundance when you’re chock full of clutter. Make some room. Make your list. And then start treating yourself the way you deserve by no longer withholding those little items that you know will make you smile.

    I felt pretty great throwing out that nearly-empty tube of toothpaste last night. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. But I didn’t really realize that until I sat in a meadow and enjoyed the simple sight of some unnecessary butterflies.

    0 Comments on Creating Your Own Flourish List as of 4/13/2014 2:17:00 PM
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    25. New Literary Agent Alert: Michelle Richter of Foreword Literary

    Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Michelle Richter of Foreword Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

     

    michelle-richter-literary-agent

     

    About Michelle: Michelle Richter was formerly an editor at St. Martin’s Press. Michelle has a degree in Economics with a minor in Russian from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and left a career in finance for publishing. She joined St. Martin’s Press’ editorial department in 2006 after obtaining a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. Richter says: “What I’ve most loved as an editor is discovering new authors, helping them make their writing stronger, and finding just the right audience for them. Now I’m excited to bring the skills I developed over eight years at St. Martin’s Press to my new role at Foreword Literary. I’ve been impressed by how the Foreword Literary team capitalizes on the myriad opportunities to find writers and reach readers, whether through traditional publishing channels or in the evolving digital landscape, and I’m thrilled to be joining this dynamic, energetic agency.” Find her on Twitter at @michrichter1.

    (Can you re-query an agent after she’s rejected you in the past?)

    She is seeking: Michelle is primarily seeking fiction, specifically book club reads, literary fiction, well-crafted women’s commercial fiction, thrillers, and mysteries. For nonfiction, she’s interested in fashion, film, television, science, medicine, sociology/social trends, and economics for trade audiences.

    How to submit: To query Michelle, please send your query letter, a 1-2 page plot synopsis, and the first twenty pages of your manuscript to querymichelle [at] forewordliterary.com as an attached Word document. Please allow up to eight weeks response time.

    (Are you writing middle grade, edgy paranormal, women’s fiction or sci-fi? Read about agents seeking your query.)

     

    2014-guide-to-literary-agents

    The biggest literary agent database anywhere
    is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
    most recent updated edition online at a discount.

     

    Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

     

    Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
    Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
    promote yourself and your books through social
    media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
    and more.
    Order the book from WD at a discount.

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