Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Agents Like Us - Roseanne Wells

Agents Like Us asks agents all their deep, dark agenting secrets. This week, Roseanne Wells of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is here!

She's actively looking for young adult, middle grade, sci-fi, fantasy, and detective novels. You can find her submission guidelines here, and tweeting under @RivetingRosie.

Roseanne's answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes her like you in the comments!

Roseanne on Agenting

  • When writers query me, I really wish they were finished with their work. I have a lot of writers who think they are done, and then write me two weeks later with another query or revision. Revise all you want, let it rest, and when you are really ready, trust yourself. Be brave, and don't touch it while it's out on submission.
  • My favorite part about being an agent is the clients and the work and the people and the books and the yeses and the contracts and my agency ... wait, you said one fave? 
  • Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is a character who does something. It seems simple, but I want to connect to someone's story, to find a kindred spirit and follow them on their journey.
  • Whenever I make a book deal, I have to remember to breathe! And then there's a happy dance. And then a happy phone call. And more happy dancing. 
  • I really wish I saw more unique contemporary like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS or beautiful and heartbreaking fantasy like GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and Francesca Lia Block or kickass ladies like Tamora Pierce's Alanna in the slush.
Roseanne on Clients
  • My ideal client would be a writing cyborg who wrote all day and night. Kidding! I look for clients who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work as a partnership. I also look for clients that have done their research, that want to be part of the reading community and reach out to their fans, that are serious about their writing but can also have fun and laugh at themselves. And who like cat videos.
  • What I love most about my current clientele is they are passionate about their work, wickedly talented, and nice people. What more could I ask for?
  • What I want most for any client is to be successful as they define it for themselves.

Roseanne on Life

  • If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be an editor, or a dancer, or a Shakespeare scholar, or a book reviewer. But I'm sticking with agent; it's my favorite.
  • My favorite (non-client) book is really hard to choose. You ask hard questions! One of the most reliably comforting books is a collection of Hafiz poetry, interpreted by Daniel Ladinsky. It's a wonderful way to reflect on the day or the week, to gain perspective, to remember it's only life, no big deal! It's a favorite among many.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of mice, though it's not a secret. 
  • My secret boyfriend is Hugh Jackman. Thoughtful, intelligent, kind hearted. Oh, and is ridiculously hot. Also, Feminist Ryan Gosling. Shhh, don't tell Jackman. 
  • I have a total girlcrush on Ellen Degeneres. She. Is. Awesome. Also Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, who is my modern cooking muse.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I cook or bake. I like to have lots of space, so I try to save my more elaborate projects when I know I no one will be home.
  • My favorite drink is bourbon neat, or Hendrick's and tonic.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Agents Like Us - Shannon Hassan

Agents Like Us asks agents all their deep, dark agenting secrets. This week, Shannon Hassan of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency is here!

She's actively looking for literary and commercial fiction, young adult, and middle grade. You can find her submission guidelines here, her PM page there, and tweeting under @ShannonHassan.

Shannon's answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes her like you in the comments!

Shannon on Agenting

  • When writers query me, I really wish to fall in love with the concept.
  • My favorite part about being an agent is everything! I like contributing to the creative process as much as negotiating the deal.
  • Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is memorable characters, a great story, writing from the heart instead of writing to fit a trend.
  • Whenever I make a book deal, I run down to my husband’s office and shout words like “advance” and “pre-empt” and “imprint” as he stares at me (he’s not in publishing).
  • I’d like to find a literary/commercial crossover novel that would make Amy Einhorn swoon in the slush.

Shannon on Clients
  • My ideal client would be an exceptional writer, committed, willing to take criticism, a pleasure to work with.
  • What I love most about my current clientele is their incredible talent and enthusiasm.
  • What I want most for any client is happiness and success, in their own eyes.

Shannon on Life

  • If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be sad! I have done other things before becoming an agent (attorney, editor) and this is really what I love to do.
  • My favorite (non-client) book is impossible to pick a “favorite” as I am such an eclectic reader! A recent book that I enjoyed for its original voice was Swamplandia! And I recently read Harry Potter with my twins, what a joy to revisit that series.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of confined spaces. I love the wide openness of the West.
  • My secret boyfriend is Ryan Gosling.
  • I have a total girlcrush on Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Sometimes, when I have time alone, I like to do yoga, hike or bike.
  • My favorite drink is margarita on the rocks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

For Your TBR Pile - Crash Into You

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

To be published: November 26th

Thanks Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley for the eARC. In exchange, I've written this unbiased review.

From GoodReadsThe girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Overall Review: After reading all three books from the Pushing The Limit series, this was definitely my favorite. Katie McGarry can write the best opposites-attract romances, and Isaiah and Rachel were perfectly mismatched.

Rating: 4 stars.

Writing: Although all Katie's books are dual POV, I think Crash Into You was executed the best. Isaiah and Rachel had clear, distinct voices that leapt off the page. There was a nice blend of internal (Isaiah's trust issues and Rachel's anxiety) and external (owning a debt, socioeconomics, family) issues driving (ha!) the story forward. And, I just love car books! Can YA authors write more of these, please?

Characters: Really great romances match up characters who need certain traits from each other in order to overcome their (internal and external) obstacles, and Isaiah and Rachel were a great match. You have the guy from the wrong side of the tracks with a heart of gold matched with a tomboy society princess who would love nothing more than spend all day in the garage working on her car.

I really loved Isaiah's struggle to let go of control and trust the people in his life. This was addressed not just his relationship with Rachel, but with his mother and social worker too. With romances full of heroes who rush in to save the princess, it was refreshing to read a story where the girl absolutely refused to allow the boy to do that--and for the boy to have the realization that his intensions may not always be best!

Rachel was a great character. I loved how her anxiety issues were presented and how it added to the stakes of her story. However, as strong as it started, I wished the storyline continued through to the end and extended outside of just presenting in front of large groups of people. YA definitely needs more spotlights on anxiety disorders and I was so excited to see Katie tackle this topic!

Recommended For: Pushing the Limit fans will not be disappointed! If you're new to the PTL series but liked Simone Elkeles or Jennifer Armentrout, you will really like Katie McGarry's books.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

For Your TBR Pile - Jennifer Laam The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam

To be published: October 22nd

Thanks St. Martins, Jennifer Laam, and NetGalley for the eARC. In exchange, I've written this unbiased review.

From GoodReadsA compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter—smuggled out of Russia before the revolution—continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences.

Jennifer Laam seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte. Veronica is an aspiring historian living in present-day Los Angeles when she meets a mysterious man who may be heir to the Russian throne. As she sets about investigating the legitimacy of his claim through a winding path of romance and deception, the ghosts of her own past begin to haunt her. Lena, a servant in the imperial Russian court of 1902, is approached by the desperate Empress Alexandra. After conceiving four daughters, the Empress is determined to sire a son and believes Lena can help her. Once elevated to the Romanov’s treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie. Charlotte, a former ballerina living in World War II occupied Paris, receives a surprise visit from a German officer. Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officer’s interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. Then as Veronica's passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar is thrilling from its first intense moments until its final, unexpected conclusion.

Overall Review: Admittedly, I went into this read knowing I was out of my comfort zone. It was the first non-YA read of the year for me, as well as the very first historical--much less Russian historical--I've ever read. Jennifer Laam's book did not let me down. She weaved her three main characters' stories together seamlessly and I totally did not see this ending happening at all. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar was an awesome twisty-turny ride through the Romanov family tree.

Rating: 5 stars.

Writing: The prose was beautiful and definitely written from an author who not only knows her Russian history, but loves it as well. The story didn't read like a history book and didn't overwhelm me (coming into the read with little-to-no Russian knowledge). Jennifer made it easy for me as a reader to sink into the story and enjoy the ride through the different time periods with three different characters.

Characters: I went back a few times trying to decide which of the three characters I enjoyed most. While Lena was the oldest character (a servant from the imperial Russian court in 1902), I had a harder time connecting with her in the very beginning but fell in love with her strength and loyalty toward the end. Charlotte, a ballerina and mother trying to escape Paris during WWII, was my favorite character and won me over with her feistiness and bravery. And Veronica, a Russian history professor, rounded out the story with a wonderful and swoony romance with the man she thinks may be the true heir to the Russian throne.

Recommended For: anyone who has a love for historicals or a secret Romanov obsession. Anyone looking to read a modern day What If to a secret left behind in history books.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's Up Wednesday - 10.2.13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up.

You can participate by going to Jaime's blog here. Or Erin's blog there.

Yay! It's Wednesday!

What I'm Reading

I'm reading Katie McGarry's CRASH INTO YOU which is a companion novel to PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO that features Isaiah, who is quickly becoming my favorite character of the series. 

Contemporary companions are tricky because it's rare I feel emotionally invested to know what happens after the first story is over. The best thing about Katie's books are that her companions completely stand alone so even though I know a lot of the characters, they are told in a really fresh way.

What I'm Writing

I started my second draft this week and am really, really happy with how the story is shaping up. This is such a weird part of the process because it's less about hitting word count and just shaping what's in front of you. It's probably my favorite part.

Also, I'm still so in love with this story.

What Else I've Been Up To

I went to see Simone Elkeles yesterday at a signing here in Philly and she was so fun and entertaining. She talked a lot about the cover models for her Perfect Chemistry series and how she shoots her own promotional videos for her books. Wild Cards looks really good and I can't wait to dive into this one.

My TBR pile is getting ridiculous. I also picked up Jessica Martinez's The Space Between Us and Marissa Meyer's Cinder this week. I also have a bunch of stuff I was just approved for on NetGalley so I am super excited to dive into some reading this week!

What Inspires Me Right Now

My BFF gave me this card for my birthday and it's one of my favorite things ever.

Do you get it? (Because you are!)

Have an awesome week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Agents Like Us - Katie Shea Boutillier

Agents Like Us asks agents all their deep, dark agenting secrets. This week, Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency is here! Make sure you congratulate Katie on her recent wedding and take note of her new name when querying her.

She's actively looking for women's fiction, YA, literary fiction, and memoir. You can find her submission guidelines here, and tweeting under @AgentShea.

Katie's answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes her like you in the comments!

Katie on Agenting

  • When writers query me, I really wish the story line and character descriptions make an immediate personal connection to me.
  • My favorite part about being an agent is making dreams come true.
  • Rules and trends aside, what I really look for in a story is something that I can picture being a trailer for a blockbuster movie.
  • Whenever I make a book deal, I do the running man in the office.
  • I really wish I saw more out-of-the-box, forward thinking story ideas in the slush.

Katie on Clients
  • My ideal client would be one who is open to guidance, full of creative ideas, and who will never give up.
  • What I love most about my current clientele is that they all show a deep understanding of the importance of life through their writing.
  • What I want most for any client is for them to be happy.

Katie on Life
  • If I weren't an agent, I'd probably be an editor or writer.
  • My favorite (non-client) book is THE COLOR PURPLE.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of closed spaces.
  • My secret boyfriend is my dachshund, Frankie Beans.
  • I have a total girlcrush on Blake Lively.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I vacuum rigorously.
  • My favorite drink is Blue Nun Riesling.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...