Cover Reveal! Riptide by Lindsey Schiebe

Lindsey Schiebe

Lindsey Schiebe

The launch of a new book is the greatest thing, but when it’s the debut book from a new author, it’s especially sweet. That’s why I’m THRILLED (yes, it deserves all caps) to be part of the cover reveal for author Lindsey Schiebe‘s first young adult novel Riptide.

Here’s the description of the book:

17-year-old Grace is fully aware her best friend Ford has a crush on her, but she refuses to acknowledge it. Surfing with him is the only time she forgets about her abusive father, stifling mother, and the pressure to be impossibly perfect. She’s not willing to risk their lifelong friendship to find out if it could be something more.

No matter how tempting it may be.

All Grace wants is to graduate, get out of the house, and make the UC San Diego surf team. The problem? She’s never had the guts to sign up for a competition, the only way she’ll ever get noticed by the UC scouts. Until that is, Ford does it for her.

Now she has one summer to train. One summer to prove she’s good enough– to the scouts, to her parents, and most of all, to herself. As the training grows more intense, the violence at home escalates, and the romance reaches a point of no return.

Grace is about to gain everything she’s ever wanted… or lose the only things that have ever mattered.

As the tagline says: One summer… Endless possibilities.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But check it out this awesome cover:


I love the eye-catching design, the vivid colors, and the way the image lets me imagine all kinds of stories for this surfing girl.

I can’t wait to read Riptide, which is scheduled for release in May, 2013, from Flux. Congratulations, Lindsey!

You can find Lindsey — who has tried surfing, bouldering and other outdoor sports but has since traded her hiking books for family dinners and theatrical bedtime stories — at her blog and on Twitter, @LindseyScheibe.

What do you think of the cover?

Book categorization: Protagonist’s age or story’s theme?

The Fault in our Stars

I’ve been mulling over this post for a while, ever since I read Salon‘s Laura Miller praising two young adult novels, John Green‘s The Fault in Our Stars and Meg Rosoff‘s There Is No Dog. Not that I have any objection to her praise. On the contrary, what concerned me is the reason for their classification as young adult.

Miller describes the books as “smarter, better-written and more emotionally complex than most adult fiction.” High praise indeed, and very much deserved, but when Miller asked, “Why should you, an adult, bother with a novel intended for an audience aged 14 to 18?” it made me wonder: Were these stories really written just for that audience?

Books for children and teens are, of course, categorized by the age group of their audience. Picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle grade, upper middle grade, young adult — these all guide kids to books that are appropriate for their age. I have no complaint with the categories. It’s good for parents and children to be able to quickly identify which books are right for them.

But what does give me pause is the reason books get slotted into one of these categories. Too often it’s based on the age of the protagonist. If the protagonist is 10, the book is considered middle grade; 13-14, upper middle grade or younger young adult; 17, squarely in young adult.

But is that really the best way?

The Fault in Our Stars and There Is No Dog, as Miller says, “ask questions as difficult as those posed by any serious writer: Why do we suffer, why must we die, and what meaning can be found in any of it?”

These are very adult themes. So again, what makes us assume they were “intended for an audience aged 14 to 18?”

There Is No DogWell, Green’s protagonist, Hazel, who’s dying of thyroid cancer, is 16, and Rosoff’s protagonist, Bob, the creator of the world, is a teenage boy.

Now, I don’t personally know these authors and haven’t posed the question to them. But as a writer who shares every writer’s goal — to create the best story possible — I’ve got another theory of why these books were written with protagonists these ages: It worked for the story.

Green is writing about the tragedy of cancer and our yearning for life. If he had written Hazel as a 30-year-old, or 50-year-old, the tragedy wouldn’t be as poignant as it is for a 16-year-old. Not to say that a 30- or 50-year-old with cancer isn’t tragic, but their stories would be different and would answer different questions.

Rosoff’s Bob isn’t a call out to teenage boys saying, hey, what would you do if you created the world? It’s a humorous look at how ridiculous the world can be — even when it’s ruled by so-called adults — and how it might be if a teenage boy was at the controls.

These books weren’t written to entertain teens. They were written to tell the most powerful, funny and touching versions of their stories. And to do that, the authors chose an age for their protagonist that worked best for their tale.

Miller says the books “are not afraid to respond to these questions unflinchingly. … I can think of a dozen acclaimed contemporary adult novelists who blunder through this territory…”

While I love her praise, what she’s missing — and anyone who thinks of books about children or teens as only for that audience are missing — is that sometimes, to really look at ourselves and our world, we should look at it through the eyes of those younger than us, not as jaded as us, the eyes of those who can see us and our world more clearly than we can.

Should Lord of the Flies be classified as a middle-grade because it’s about a group of 13-year-olds? Should Ender’s Game be given to early readers because its protagonist starts the book at age 6? Is it even appropriate for middle grade, as Ender grows to age 9?

Ender's Game

I read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game as a teenager. Back then, there was no “young adult” classification and Ender’s Game was considered an adult book. My father gave it to me to read and I felt quite proud reading my first adult novel. Now the book can be found in young adult shelves, but if booksellers, librarians and marketers went by the age of the protagonist, it would be available to readers who are much younger. And it shouldn’t be! This is not a book for kids — it’s a look at society, what we’re willing to sacrifice, and how that affects the children we use. An adult theme if ever I’ve seen one.

No, books shouldn’t be judged by the age of their protagonist. They should be judged by what they have to say. Appropriateness for an audience shouldn’t be judged by the characters, but by the situations they’re in, the book’s theme even.

And there’s another reason that books shouldn’t be shelved based on the age of their protagonist: It limits the audience. A friend of mine told me recently that she recommended The Fault In Our Stars to an avid reader of adult novels, but the reader turned up her nose because the book is “young adult.” To her credit, my friend told the reader to try Green’s novel anyway — the reader did and loved it.

So, I ask all agents, editors, marketers, booksellers and librarians: Don’t judge a book by its protagonist’s age; judge it by the story. Spread the word to all appropriate readers based on theme and you just might find a new audience.

Author Recommendations

For my last post in Random Acts of Publicity Week, I’m sending out some love to my author friends:

Jaqueline Kelly‘s debut novel, The Evolution of Capurnia Tate, won the 2010 Newbury Award. The book tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who takes an interest in nature as she learns what’s it means to be a girl in the turn of the century.

Bethany Hegedus is the author of two middle-grade books, Between Us Baxters and Truth With a Capital T, about girls, secrets and family.

Jenny Moss‘ first book, Winnie’s War, is a historical middle-grade novel and won the Bank Streets Children’s Books of the Year award. She has also published two more novels, both young adult: the fantasy adventure Shadow and the romance Taking Off.

Jennifer Zeigler‘s three young adult novels are Alpha Dog, How NOT To Be Popular and the most recent, Sass & Serendity, a tribute to, you guessed it… Her How NOT To be Popular is being developed as a movie.

PJ Hoover recently published her first young adult novel, Solstice, this year, but prior to that, she wrote the Forgotten Worlds Trilogy for middle-grade readers,

Jessica Lee Anderson‘s young adult novel Calli is the latest in a line of five books. Jessica’s other work are the novels Border Crossing and Trudy and the non-fiction books What Is a Living Thing? and Presidential Pets.

Kari Ann Holt, or K.A. Holt as her reader fans might know her, has two books: the outerspace adventure Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel and the zombie haiku novel Brains For Lunch.

Gwen Cooper is the only author of adult books on my list. Her first novel is Diary of a South Beach Party Girl, and her second, Homer’s Odyssey, about Gwen’s amazing eye-less cat, is a New York Times bestseller.

Great writers. Great books. Check them out.

Book Recommendation: Dreaming Anastasia

Dreaming AnastasiaI interviewed author Joy Preble back when her first novel, Dreaming Anastasia, was released, but I didn’t read the book until recently — and I’m glad I did. Today, it’s my entry for Random Acts of Publicity Week.

The young adult book blends history with the paranormal, telling the story of Anne Michaelson. Her dreams are the key to rescue the legendary Russian princess Anastasia Romanov, who has been magically imprisoned since her family’s tragic murder.

Anne gets help from Ethan Kozinsky, who might look like a very handsome 18-year-old, but that age only applied the year Anastasia went missing. Mixed up in the same magic that’s keeping her a prisoner, Ethan has been searching the world for decades to find the prophecied girl who will be able to break the curse — Anne.

The story is told in the overlapping points of view of Anne and Ethan, as well as through letters written by Anastasia. And Joy weaved in lots of other drama, such as Anne and her parents still grieving about the recent death of her older brother David.

The characters are well-developed and interesting, and the plot is a thrilling mix of magic, history and action.

A second book in the series, Haunted, was published in February. I can’t wait to read it.

Is this one your favorite books?

Book Recommendation: The Death Catchers

For today’s entry in Random Acts of Publicity Week, I’m recommending another book I picked up at the Texas Library Association conference, the young adult novel The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler.

The Death Catchers book coverInitially, I must admit, I wasn’t too interested in the book. The cover looked to me like the novel was a Hunger Games clone, and although I love Hunger Games, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read another one just like it.

But something on the back cover caught my eye: “One part Arthurian legend, one part paranormal and one part quirky literary novel, this unique adventure has something for every reader.” That intrigued me, and I’m glad it did.

The book is written in first-person. In fact, the story is told through a paper written by our heroine Lizzy Mortimer to her English teacher, Mrs. Tweedy (more on that later). And it’s the voice of Lizzy that sucked me in and didn’t let go. Light, fun and with lots of spunk, Lizzy’s voice is strong from the first sentence to the last, and it serves the story well.

The other characters are great too, from Lizzy’s eccentric grandmother Bizzy who gets around on a walker-stool called Dixie, her mother who’s determined to find the right book to make everyone a reader, and her best friend Jodi who wears bizarre clothes and shortens every phrase.

Interestingly for writers, the book could also be considered part writing course. As it’s Lizzy’s writing project, every chapter heading is about some aspect of writing — conflict, transitions, etc. — and Lizzy quickly tells us how that applies to her story.

The story mixes teenage insecurity, first love and magic in a well blended flow that keeps readers interested. If you haven’t picked it up yet, give The Death Catchers a try.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Book Recommendation: Hourglass

As I continue to participate in Random Acts of Publicity Week, I’m recommending Hourglass, the debut novel of Myra McEntire.

Myra McEntire's HourglassI picked up an ARC (advanced review copy, in case you’re wondering) of Hourglass from Egmont’s booth at the Texas Library Association convention this year. It was described by the lady who handed it to me as her “favorite” of their coming line — although she did say all Egmont’s books were great.

Hourglass appealed to me quickly. First, the cover art is really intriguing, as you can see for yourself on the right. Awesome, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you want to know more? It did for me.

Plus, the Egmont lady told me something about the book that immediately made me want to read it — but I won’t spill it here, because it’s not on the jacket cover, at least on the ARC, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for readers. Suffice to say, there’s some cool stuff going on.

What I can share is that the young adult novel is about 17-year-old Emerson Cole who sees things that aren’t there, like swooning Southern belles and long-forgotten soldiers. She wants them to go away, but whatever she does, she can’t. Then her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called Hourglass to help. But meeting Michael Weaver might change more than her future.

Myra’s writing does a great job of pulling you right into the story. It’s told in first person, and I wrote about the first paragraph, which beautifully sets up the tone for the book and draws readers in.

If there was one criticism of the book for me, it was that the story is filled with too many beautiful people. Everyone seems to be gorgeous — the heroine doesn’t think she is, but then guys can’t seem to take their eyes, and hands, off her — which made me feel slightly flumpy reading the book in my pajamas with cereal running down my chin. But how bad can a world of gorgeous people be?

I definitely recommend Hourglass and look forward to more books from Myra.

Have you read this novel? What do you think? Any books you recommend?

Writing Young Adult Fiction by Deborah Halverson

Staying on the topic of revising, I talked to someone who knows a lot about making children’s literary the best. Deborah Halverson has been on both sides of the desk, working as an editor for Harcourt for 10 years and later as an author of two teen novels, Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth, both published by Delacorte/Random House. She also founded the website where she helps other writers take their work to the next level.

Deborah Halverson

Deborah Halverson

Today, she’s launching her newest book, Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, in which she poured all her experience and knowledge. (Check back soon for a review.)

Deborah chatted with us about editing, writing and switching genres.

You’ve been on both sides of the desk as an editor and as an author. How do the jobs differ?

I’ve always seen editing and writing as two very different jobs—creating versus trouble-shooting. What surprises me is their chief commonality: both require firm decision-making. You can’t be mamby-pamby with the elements and characters in your manuscript if you’re going to finish the darn thing and polish it up for submission. You have to conceive, implement, and then look at the page and decide yay or nay and then move on. I believe lack of decisiveness is a big factor in writer’s block.

An editor must be equally decisive. She’s got more work on her desk than hours in the day, and if she can’t make dozens of decisions every day (read this submission or that contracted manuscript? Reject or offer a contract? Ask for more revision or accept the draft you’ve got? Is this the problem with the plot or that? Position the book this way or that?), she’s as stalled as any writer suffering the terrible W.B. And obviously, a stalled editor ain’t a good thing.

Do you find it easy to edit your own work, or is it easier to edit someone else’s? Why?

Objectivity is impossible to maintain when you’re writing a novel. It is essential for editing one. Thus it’s easier to edit someone else’s manuscript than my own. I self-edit my manuscripts to a point where I feel that I’ve spotted all the weaknesses I’m ever going to spot, and then I bring in an editor friend to give it the once over. This all happens before I submit to my agent. And since my agent has an editorial background, she’ll throw in her 2 cents, too. And yay for that! Whatever makes the story stronger.

Interestingly, sometimes an editor in a publishing house can read through a single manuscript and its revisions so many times that she feels too close herself and decides to bring in a fresh set of eyes. When that happens, she’ll step over to the office next door and ask her colleague to take a look to make sure all the issues have been resolved. And then copyeditors and even proofreaders might pick up on something because they are coming in fresh! It’s all in service of the story, the author, and the reader.

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies book coverYou started out writing novels and have now turned your experience into the non-fiction instructional book Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. How different was it to write this book compared to your novels?

I discovered that I really, really enjoy writing nonfiction. That wasn’t a total surprise since I very much enjoy writing my writing advice posts on my website, but the extent of my joy in the genre was eye opening. My challenge with this book wasn’t inventing characters and plotlines out of nowhere as it is when I write novels, it was trying to word potentially dry material in an accessible and engaging way. I loved finding creative and even funny ways to come at the material. Loved it!

My litmus test was my editor at Wiley. If I could cause her to send me an email out of the blue that said, “Ha! Just read X. Funny, Halverson” then I knew I scored. She and my copyeditor have awesome senses of humor and so writing this book was a joy all around. I hope that comes through for readers.

What was your biggest challenge writing your For Dummies book? And what pleases you the most about it?

Getting it done! The delivery dates for the WYAFFD chapters were tighter than I’d ever operated under before, so just meeting the deadlines was a challenge. 358 pages in 5 months. Phew! I had to put a lot of my life on hold to complete it. Luckily, my editor and copyeditor were not only funny but speedy, so we got into a productive groove and pulled it off. The positive energy buoyed me as I worked into the night and through the weekends.

I’m very proud of the book and what it offers writers, but most of all I’m pleased about the take-away factor. That is, I believe writers of all levels will take from the book solid, tangible techniques that they can apply to their writing immediately and see obvious results. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me, but application to one’s manuscript was very important to me from the get-go.

What’s your favorite piece of advice that you’ve learned for YA writers?

Writers of teen and tween fiction must cultivate a youthful narrative voice. Whether their writing first person, third, or omniscient, they need to respect and reflect the sensibility of their young readers. I devote an entire chapter to creating a youthful narrative voice in WYAFFD, but you can get the quick down-low from this free Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies printable Cheat Sheet.

Thanks, Deborah! Great information.

To celebrate the launch of WYAFFD, Deborah is giving away free chapter critiques and a grand prize of a full manuscript critique. So get over to and enter.

Self-publishing and ebooks

Going into the Austin SCBWI chapter’s annual conference this weekend — it was great, by the way — I was curious to find out how middle-grade novels are selling in ebooks, as that’s what I write. I’ve seen lots of articles in the Publishers Lunch enewsletter saying that ebook sales are rocketing in adult books and even taking off in young adult, but I suspected that middle-grade was behind. According to Egmont‘s Elizabeth Law, I was right. She said they’re not seeing noticeable ebook sales in middle grade.

Anathema book cover

Megg Jensen's self-published YA novel Anathema

Even though MG is slower to this technology, it’s great to see ebooks being embraced so quickly. As I wrote in January, sales of ereaders were stellar for the Christmas season, with many places selling out. Although I still love — LOVE — physical books, whether a book is printed on paper or eink, it’s still a story. And if this new technology is enticing more readers to stories, that can only be good.

The new technology also is changing the publishing landscape. With ebooks, it’s easier than ever — and less expensive — to self-publish books. Author J.A. Konrath has written about this extensively on his A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog. He had gone the traditional route before he started publishing his books on his own as ebooks, but he gives good arguments of why that doesn’t matter. YA author Amanda Hocking is an example, selling more than 185,000 ebook copies of her self-published novels.

Now, I’m not saying all writers should stop submitting to agents and editors of traditional publishing houses and go it alone. There are definite advantages to being signed by an agent and getting your work published by someone else. Let’s face it, most writers are not so great at the business end. And throwing an ebook on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever doesn’t automatically mean it will sell; there’s marketing, publicity … oh, and the book should be good (editors are invaluable) or repeat sales won’t be much.

But the advent of ebooks has made it easier for writers to take the publishing of their work into their own hands, and blogs and social networking make it easier to build publicity.

YA author Megg Jensen is trying just that with her novel Anathema. And so far, it looks like she’s off to a great start. The book launched on Tuesday, and as of Wednesday, she had already sold 50 copies. She’s hosting a contest right now where people can guess how many books she will have sold by March 11, and the main prize? An ereader. Now that’s what I call promoting future business.

What do you think? Would you be willing to read a book if it’s self-published, either in print or as an ebook?

Write On!

Book recommendation

I don’t write book reviews — I’m not a fast reader — but when I find a book that I really love, I like to write it. Today’s book recommendation is for Gayle Forman‘s young adult novel If I Stay.

If I Stay book coverI discovered this book when Gayle was a speaker at the Teen Book Con in Houston last year. When I go to writers’ events, I try to support the industry by buying a few of the speakers’ books, and If I Stay was one of the novels I picked up that day.

The book’s premise intrigued me immediately: After being in a car accident with her parents and young brother, a teenager falls into a coma. But her spirit stands outside her body, and as she watches her family, friends, doctors and nurses try to keep her alive, she considers if it’s worth it.

You could say I’m drawn to the dark, and this book was no exception.

But what also touched me was the way Gayle talked about it. She said that when we’re writing, we shouldn’t worry about the market or whether a book will sell when we’re done. We should follow our heart and write the story we want to tell. That’s what she did with this novel, putting her whole heart into the writing, and that’s what made me want to read it.

If I Stay pulled me in from the first few pages, and I couldn’t put it down. I finished the book in less than a week, which is fast for me — the only time I get to read is while I’m brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed.

It’s a touching and beautifully written novel that has a lot of heart.

I highly recommend it.

What book did you read recently that you’d like to recommend?

Write On!

Interview with new agent Bree Ogden

Manuscript update: Terrible! Yesterday was the first day I have worked on my new book in two weeks. I’ve been busy with But, who am I kidding, I’ve also been just a little — ok a lot — intimidated by this story. My first two novels are plot-driven adventures, but this is a quiet tale, character-driven. I wrote 3,000 words and felt great, like the book was flying out of my, until I realized that I was just rushing toward the major plot points and missing all the character. So, I jumped into Disc Dish, made an excuse that I was too busy to write, and got miserable. So, Tuesday night, I stayed up late and did research. I found the character, or more of him. And, as I really am busy with Disc Dish, on Wednesday night, I set my alarm for 4am and dragged myself out of bed at 5 to write. I did that this morning too, and I feel better. Still intimidated, but better that at least I’m moving forward.

More on that next week, when I resolve to also get back to reading all the blogs in my Google Reader and posting regularly to DayByDayWriter.

Today, though, we have a special treat.

Literary agent Bree Ogden

Bree Ogden

In my last post, I wrote that Martin Literary Management has a new associate agent, Bree Ogden. I emailed Bree and asked if she’d like to answer a few questions so we could get to know her a little better, and she graciously said yes. Here are her answers:

Please tell us a little about your background with books and publishing.

Actually my trained background is in journalism. I have a lot of experience in publishing from a journalism angle. I was very involved in the publication of my university’s newspaper, and later, I was involved in the publication of the magazine and newspapers I worked on during my masters. But for the past 7 months, I have been immersed in the books and publishing world while training under Sharlene Martin at MLM.

In your bio on the Martin Literary Management website, you say your 16 nieces and nephews inspired you to represent children books. First, wow, you must have a big family. 🙂 Second, what about them made you want to handle children’s books?

I feel like I should send you a picture of them, or an audio clip of their cute little voices. I’m telling you, these are the most perfect children on this earth. I want them to become wise, intelligent, independent, imaginative, creative free thinkers as they grow up. It’s my belief that books have a strong influence on those characteristics. So I represent children’s books because I want to be a small part of what inspires children.

What were your favorite books when you were growing up?

The Berenstain Bears. Loved those! I loved LOVED books about dinosaurs. Any dinosaur book I could get my hands on was a favorite. A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban…such a great one. Also, The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl. Oh! And those books about the weird crazy school…Sideways Stories From Wayside School. (This is a nice trip down memory lane.) As I got a little bit older, I really enjoyed dystopian books. I loved The Giver by Lois Lowry and Anthem by Ayn Rand.

And what are some of the books you have read recently?

I just finished Wuthering Heights for the third time. I’ve been reading Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman (best pop culture journalist ever). And I am continually making my way through The Walking Dead graphic novel series. Next up on my reading list is Sterling’s Illustrated Classics. Check them out. They have turned classics like Dorian Gray, The Trial, and Crime and Punishment into graphic novels. That’s epic in my mind.

On to agenting, what do you like best about the job so far? And what do you dislike the most?

My job is pretty awesome. What I like best about it is being surrounded by talent every second of the day. Of course, I can’t take on every writer that queries me, but I am profoundly stunned at the amazing queries I get. I love working with my clients. I have a great set of clients who are so dedicated to what they do. It’s incredible. I dislike having to turn down a query. That’s no fun at all. But I love the fact that every day I wake up, and I have no idea what awesome possibilities are waiting for me.

What kind of an agent are you? Do you work with your clients on an editorial basis?

I would say that I am a very involved agent. Of course, I make editorial suggestions, but mostly, I won’t take something on unless I love it. Which means there isn’t much editorial work for me to be doing. But I am the agent that my client needs me to be. Agenting is different with every client.

Communication-wise, do you prefer phone or email, and how often do you like to be in touch with clients?

Email is so great. But I do love a good phone conversation. Sometimes you just need to hash stuff out on the phone and not deal with the back and forth waiting of email. I have a client in Ireland currently, and it has been a different experience working solely through email. I like to be in touch with my clients pretty often when we first get the ball rolling. It is very important to always be on the same page.

What do you look for in a query letter and what turns you off?

I like a good creative query letter. I work with creative genres, so show me that you are creative through your letter…without trying too hard. That’s never good for anyone. I hate when the writer will tell me everything BUT the plot of the book. Sometimes they beat around that bush like it’s on fire…and I’m left wondering what the heck the premise is?

And same for a manuscript? What are your pet peeves, what do you love and what would make you stop reading?

Well…obviously bad writing would make me stop reading. If I can tell that the story is moving too slowly or isn’t going anywhere, I’ll stop. Also, character development is very important. I’ll stop reading if there is poor character development. And just like any book, I love a manuscript that won’t let me put it down. I love it when I can tell that the writer knows exactly what the premise or agenda of the book is, and I can see it in the writing.

Are there any particular styles (commercial or more literary) or genres you prefer?

Well, I rep Graphic Novels, Children’s and YA novels. So those are the genres I prefer. As far as styles…I like darker plots…think Dexter. Especially in graphic novels. I am quite obsessed with Grimm’s Fairy Tales, so if a writer could pull that sort of style off, I would love that too. I love highly unique books. Books like the Fancy Nancy series. My 3-year-old niece actually used the word “posh” because of a Fancy Nancy book. And, of course, supernatural elements always make for a fun read. Caveat: I do not like vampires and I do not like werewolves.

And finally, what advice would you have for a writer who’s trying to find an agent?

Do your due diligence. Make sure you are sending your query to an agent who reps your genre. Learn about the agency. Know their policies. And make sure your project is ready to be read. Sharlene Martin, owner of Martin Literary Management, co-wrote a fantastic book with author Anthony Flacco entitled ‘Publish Your Nonfiction Book.’ Granted, it is geared toward nonfiction writers, but it gives fabulous tips on how to score an agent and fabulous stories of horrifying faux pas.

Thanks so much, Bree. Great answers.

You can find out more about Bree at her blog, This Literary Life (love the title), and on Twitter.

So, Day By Day Writers, if you think Bree will be a good fit for you and your book, polish up your query letter, get creative, and send it her way.

Write On!