• Agent Observations,  Craft of Writing,  Updates

    Exclamation Points! Oh My!

    What’s on Spotify: #Throwback Thursday – Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds So I thought today would be a good today to talk a bit about exclamation points. In recent submissions and requested material I’ve been seeing a LOT of them. Overused. One of the first craft and grammar rules I picked up was to watch the use of exclamation points. It’s one of the first signs of first draft or beginning writer syndromes. As I type up my thoughts at the same time I am texting with friends for plans tonight, and noticed something. We’re using lots of exclamation points to convey our excitement because we’re texting…

  • Agent Observations,  Updates

    Before You Hit Send v.6

      Follow-up on the last post about Magical Realism. Editor Kelly Jensen had this awesome POST describing what MR is and some excellent YA titles that represent the genre.   I received an email from one of my readers asking for a post on what New Adult is. Let me first start with what it is not. New Adult is not: Erotic romance with characters just out of high school or entering college. (Some may challenge me on this) For the moment, it is not any other genre or category but contemporary. (But with NA growing and selling well that may change) What New Adult is: It’s a gray area, really, still being defined. But the…

  • Agent Observations

    Before You Hit Send v.5

    This morning I’m listening to sound of silence as all the kiddos in the house, mine and my niece, are still asleep after my brother took them to the pool for five hours yesterday. It’s wonderful. Today, I’m going to address a more in depth look at what defines Magical Realism. I’ve noticed a vast amount of agents and editors asking for Magical Realism. I’m one of them. But when I started thinking about it, I became confused. My initial thought was Magical Realism is like Practical Magic or the Craft or Harry Potter. Boy was I wrong. And I wonder if it’s a label we’ve tagged to these books, but…

  • Agent Observations

    Before You Hit Send v.4

    I’m working to the soundtrack of munchkins coloring in the background. Today, I am going to address a few issues I am seeing in the Inbox: Genre and Target Age. While the internet has a plethora of sources that discuss genre, I still see dozens of queries with the genre or the targeted age mislabeled. Genre is more of a bookstore label. It’s what easily lets the reader, bookseller, the editor identify how to categorize your story, how to sell it, how to help you find similar stories that are of the same taste. YA is technically a genre of children’s literature, but with the success of Young Adult in…

  • Agent Observations

    Before You Hit Send v.3

    What’s on iTunes: I Don’t Want To Be by Gavin Degraw As I work through some queries (I love that I have thirty million tabs open on Internet Explorer), I thought I would post in the continuing series Before You Hit Send. Today I’m going to talk about 3rd Person POV. There’s a lot of dialogue out in cyberspace between what is more acceptable, what is published more, what works better for what genre. Today I’m focusing on Young Adult. I have read my fair share of 1st Person POV in YA. The idea is that 1st person works best for YA because of the immediacy it creates that lends…

  • Agent Observations

    Before You Hit Send

    (Originally posted on Blogger 7/8/2013) While I’ve been dwindling with ideas for my Steampunk posts, I thought about a new post series. I’ve been very busy the last month with the extraordinary opportunity to serve as an Agency Intern for the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Right now this means primarily looking over queries and filing them. But I see so many common mistakes and thought I would share those sorts of things so you guys in the trenches (and trust me as a querying author, I’m right there in the trenches with you) can make your query stand out. Today’s topic is Word Count. There are dozens upon hundreds of websites that…

  • Agent Observations

    Before You Hit Send

    (Originally posted on 8/18/2013) So as I crank a little Imagine Dragon’s It’s Time, I feel it’s time to post some things I’ve seen in the Query Box recently, those troubling trends that as a polished author you should fix before, you know, you hit send. A trend that is still making me cringe, despite numerous debates from other established agents and editors who have mentioned the downside, is the dreaded PROLOGUE. Now let me first say, that as an author, I once had the despised prologue opening my first manuscript. I learned quickly that it just wasn’t necessary. I will tell you the reasons so you can learn from mistakes, because as…