Posts Tagged ‘gated’

This is technically the third installment of How I Met My Client, since these posts were inspired by one of our Knight Agency newsletters where I talked about the story of meeting Lynn Flewelling for the first time and had her share the story from her perspective as well.  Not long ago, Christie Golden kicked off the theme here on my blog.  Today I’m very excited to talk about How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker and to have her talk about how she met her agent (spoiler alert: me)!

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How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker

I met Amy when I came out to talk with her writers group and subsequently when I attended a meeting of her critique group out here in Florida (where you may or may not know I work from a home office after spending 15 years in Manhattan). Her critique group shared work, and I was impressed with Amy’s writing, particularly her ability to make an impact with her sentences. She had a natural sense of when to use one word sentences or a one sentence paragraph, a natural way with flow and immediacy that really impressed me. But her first idea wasn’t one that I thought would fly.

As Amy mentions in her blog post below, we kept in touch. One day, as I remember it, I asked what she was working on currently. When she told me, I got goosebumps. The story she laid out was about a girl who’d grown up in a cult. The End Times were coming, according to their prophet, and Lyla can’t bring herself to do some of the things he says must be done, like killing others who would threaten their way of life. And as Lyla starts to discover pieces that don’t fit with what the prophet tells them is true, she has reason to fear for her own survival. If Lyla is wrong about the prophet, she might doom herself and everyone she loves, but if she’s right…

You see, chills. I asked her to send it to me when she finished, already dying to read it.

My e-mail archive doesn’t go back far enough for me to check and be sure, but I believe I began reading the complete on a Wednesday night and that by mid-day Thursday I e-mailed Amy asking whether she wanted to meet Friday for coffee to discuss. See, I was halfway through and already knew I had something special here. I strongly suspected that I would take this on, but I had to finish first, just in case things fell apart at the end. I was so enamored, though, that I knew that even if we hit that worst-case scenario, we could discuss revisions and brainstorm fixes and I’d ask for a revise and resubmit. Well, I’m happy to say that things did not fall apart and I absolutely fell in love with the novel. (Although I did, of course, have some thoughts on how to make it even stronger.)

We met for coffee that Friday and discussed the book, at the time called THE SILO, and by the time the ice was melting in our drinks (latte for me, black tea lemonade for Amy), I had a new client and Amy had an agent.

Next came the revision and the submissions and the waiting, which is always the worst part of the job. However, in this case my enthusiasm for the book was so contagious we received some really quick reads and almost instant interest. One auction later, we’d sold the book and a sequel to Random House Children’s Books, where they came to be called GATED and ASTRAY. Plus, Amy’s got a third suspenseful YA novel, SMASH & GRAB coming July 19th.

I’m so pleased at the way it’s all worked out!

And now, here’s our story from Amy’s perspective:

How I Met My Agent

By Amy Christine Parker

Have you ever met someone and just known that you were meant to meet them? I am a pretty pragmatic person, but the moment I was introduced to Lucienne that’s exactly how I felt. In my gut I knew she would play some part in my writer’s journey. I had no premonition that she would one day be my agent—that seemed like way too much to hope for at the time given where I was in terms of skill—but I did feel like our paths crossing was not accidental.

I was fairly new to writing and was attending a local writers group. All I knew about publishing I had literally Googled. Green doesn’t even begin to describe me! But, I had an overwhelming desire to write and to one day see my work on book shelves. Getting the chance to meet a real live agent—in Florida no less—was a dream come true!

Lucienne had been invited to my writers group by one of the other members. I was so nervous I could barely think straight, but Lucienne was warm and engaging. It was easy to feel comfortable around her. She read some of our work, made comments then shared some of her own writing. I was blown away by what she brought to read and by the advice she gave. That night I left feeling inspired to work harder than ever to hone my craft.

Afterwards, I began following Lucienne on social media and regularly read this blog, commenting when I enjoyed something she said or wrote. Because we live relatively close to each other, she visited my writers group several more times. Gradually, we became friends. What impressed me most was how passionate she is about agenting, her clients, and books. She loves what she does and it shows. The more I got to know her, the more I became convinced that I would be very, very fortunate to have her one day offer me representation.

When it came time to query my first novel, she was at the top of my list. That first novel wasn’t ready for publication and was rejected by every agent I queried including Lucienne, but she took the time to let me know that she thought I had potential. She even offered to look at my next novel when it was ready. Seven months later it was and I queried her first, exclusively. I knew I’d benefit from waiting to query anyone else until she weighed in. Luckily for me, she made an offer! I’ve never said yes to someone so fast in my entire life (not even my husband, but don’t tell him that).

We’ve worked together for about four years now and she’s closed deals for the book she offered on and three more since. I couldn’t be happier. I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have met her the way I did. Most writers never have the opportunity to get to know their prospective agents so thoroughly before they agree to representation. I am thankful to work with her and to be able to call her my friend.

Awesomely exciting day today, because of two new releases (well, paperback reissues of wonderful hardcover originals) and a new vlog from Amy Christine Parker and I, this one on writers’ block.

New releases!

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These are the first two novels in Molly Cochran’s wonderful YA series featuring Katy Ainsworth.  I love the way the author combines contemporary, historical, myth, magic, suspense, mayhem…all of my favorite things whipped up into a witches’ brew.  Check out these great quotes:

Praise for Legacy:

“Will satisfy readers hungry for a little paranormal excitement and romance in a post-Twilight world… a quick, entertaining read.”—Kirkus

“an exciting and well-written tale of contemporary witchcraft and romance…should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.” —Publishers Weekly

“The well conceived history and culture of Katy’s magical world make this first title unique … The teasing epilogue promises a sequel, and readers will be ready for it.” —Booklist

“A fast-paced, electrifying read! My heart throbbed for the tender romance trapped in a world of boarding-school backstabbing. With a courageous yet achingly human heroine, Molly Cochran made me believe in magic!”–Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of the SHADE trilogy

“An amazing debut crackling with magic and mystery!”–Shannon Delany, author of 13 to Life

“Wonderful book. Eerie and suspenseful, with a romance you root for all the way through.”–Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars

Praise for Poison:

“POISON is a strong story, filled with empathetic characters, in amazing circumstances. This Young Adult novel is a wonderful read not only for teens but adults as well.” —Fresh Fiction

“The introduction of Arthurian legend is intriguing, and the last few chapters are real nail-biters.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Cochran revisits Arthurian legend while continuing the adventures of powerful, young witch Katy Ainsworth. . . . Fans will be poised for the next installment.”—Booklist

“Fans of Arthurian legend will appreciate this alternative view of the infamous Morgan le Fay.”—School Library Journal

Best of all, if you like these, you can get more of Katy and her friends in Molly’s novella Wishes and in the third Katy novel, SEDUCTION, which releases in December of this year!

Let’s quickly talk about some other awesome books that have recently been released in lower priced formats:

goldencity_100dpi THE GOLDEN CITY by J. Kathleen Cheney – award-winning epic fantasy debut! (Sequel, SEAT OF MAGIC, coming July 1st!)

Gated_hires_pback GATED by Amy Christine Parker (with a brand new cover!)- a young adult thriller about a girl who lives in a cult and begins to doubt all she’s learned just as the “end times” come upon them (next book, ASTRAY, is coming August 26th!)

thieves' quarry THIEVES’ QUARRY by D.B. Jackson – second in the author’s wonderful “tri-corn punk” historical fantasy series (after THIEFTAKER and before A PLUNDER OF SOULS, coming July 8th!)

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for!  Amy Christine Parker and I vlog about how to deal with writers’ block.  Warning for the feint of heart – there may be a moment wherein you actually see my navel.  You’ll have to check out the vlog if you want to know more.

A huge WHOO HOO and shout out to:

Wild Things Chloe Neill, whose latest Chicagoland Vampires novel WILD THINGS is on Amazon’s list of Best Books of the Month for February!

spirit and dustgated Rosemary Clement-Moore and Amy Christine Parker for being named to ALA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers for their novels SPIRIT AND DUST  and GATED respectively!

LEGACY Molly Cochran, whose young adult novel LEGACY is currently specially priced for Kindle at just $1.99!

Quick quotes:

“Cochran’s first title for young adults is a rip-roaring adventure featuring half-witch Katy Jessevar, newly exiled to boarding school when her widowed father takes up with a cutthroat businesswoman…. The well-conceived history and culture of Katy’s magical world make this first title unique in the panoply of series featuring a half-mortal, half-magic character. Other interesting features are Cochran’s emphasis on nature’s role in magic, a definite pro-environment and anti–big business slant, and her inclusion of characters of color. The teasing epilogue promises a sequel, and readers will be ready for it.” – Booklist

“Cochran’s first book for teens will satisfy readers hungry for a little paranormal excitement and romance in a post-Twilight world…a quick, entertaining read.”–Kirkus

“In her YA debut, bestselling adult author Cochran (the Forever King trilogy) presents an exciting and well-written tale of contemporary witchcraft and romance…should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller”–Publishers Weekly

“The unsettling and unique plot details and well-drawn secondary characters make this novel stand out from others in the genre.” —School Library Journal

princeofshadows_lores Rachel Caine, who is currently on tour for her latest novel PRINCE OF SHADOWS, an intriguing retelling of Romeo & Juliet from the point of view of Benvolio.  She talks about it here with The Huffington Post and here with USA Today!

And last, but not least, Amy Christine Parker and I share our literary heartthrobs this week with the YA Rebels!

First, a welcome to my newest client, Marie Langager! You can find out about her journey and how we came to be working together in a fun post over on her blog.

Next, Amy Christine Parker, the author of debut YA thriller GATED is over at Random Buzzers answering questions, so fire away!

Over on Chuck Wendig’s blog, Ramez Naam is talking about his sf thriller CRUX, which releases in just days.  If you’ve read NEXUS, you’re going to want to check out CRUX.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?  An amazing novel that had Scott Harrison (author of Archangel) calling him, “the only serious successor to Michael Crichton working in the future history genre today.”

I’m blogging over at Magical Words with a hopefully pithy post on safety and suspense called “Wherein No One is Safe.”  I hope you’ll check it out and leave a comment.  One of my favorite things about Magical Words is the discussion that always seems to come along with the articles.  Often just as intriguing, if not more so!

In other news, today is a big, BIG day for new releases.  I’m incredibly excited to wish happy book birthdays to Chloe Neill for BITING BAD, the latest novel in her New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, to Rachel Caine for TERMINATED, her stunning conclusion to the Revivalist series, to Amy Christine Parker for her debut YA thriller GATED and to Susan Krinard for her awesome new paranormal romance DAYSIDER.  (Also, in case you missed it, MIST, the first novel in Sue’s urban fantasy series, came out just last month!)

biting bad BITING BAD by Chloe Neill (NAL)

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

Reviews

“I absolutely loved this book from start to finish; this is the installment that I have been waiting for. . . . Chicagoland Vampires are better than ever!” – Rabid Reads

“These books are wonderful entertainment; and if you are looking for a vampiric role-model, you couldn’t do any better than Merit of House Cadogan. Chicago is lucky to have her.” — #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Charlaine Harris

“[H]eart-pounding danger, high-stakes drama and excitement as Merit, Ethan and crew take on a treacherous new enemy!” — RT Book Reviews
Terminated TERMINATED by Rachel Caine (Roc Books)

Bryn Davis has survived Pharmadene’s attempts to destroy her, but in doing so, she was forced to receive the military upgrade of her nanites … which makes her even more dangerous than before, even to her own side. But she’s not running from her enemies — she’s running toward them. It’s time to terminate the oncoming corporate zombie apocalypse for good … even if it means terminating herself along with it.

Reviews

“The action-packed conclusion to this inventive interpretation of the zombie mythology is sure to please urban fantasy and sci-fi fans alike. There are plenty of bad guys, fights and surprises to keep readers on their toes as Bryon and friends slip from safe house to safe house in an attempt to stay alive long enough to discover what is really going on. The character development is outstanding, especially Bryon and Patrick as they struggle with their past and more importantly, immediate issues. What could have been a heartbreaking finish ends instead on a high note that is certain to please Caine’s fans.” —MonstersAndCritics.com

“We have zombies filled with nanobots that rapidly heal the body and a giant evil pharmaceutical company. Add in some ex-military types, ex-spies, highly connected and very resourceful paranoid types, and a psychotic villain and this is one action packed, exhilarating read.” —Badass Book Reviews

“From heart pounding action to characters you can really get behind and a fantastic finish to the Revivalist series, TERMINATED is one book you won’t want to miss!” —A Book Obsession (5 Stars)

gated updated GATED by Amy Christine Parker (Random House Children’s)

She thought the evil lived outside the walls. She was wrong.

Amy Christine Parker’s deliciously chilling prose creates a fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.

In the Community, life seems perfect. Lyla Hamilton believes she is one of the chosen. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited her family to join the Community and escape the evil in the world. They’ve thrived under his strict, charismatic leadership.

Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader. Will is her Intended. The end of the world is near.

Pioneer has visions of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must prepare to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the Silo, the underground shelter where the Community will wait out the apocalypse.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but a chance encounter with an unchosen boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community–everything. She needs time to figure out the truth. But with Pioneer’s deadline for the end of days fast approaching, time is the one thing she doesn’t have.

Reviews

“Parker doesn’t pull punches, indicating a level of brutality that will appropriately disturb even as it successfully conveys Lyla’s complete entrapment in the Community. Compelling and not that distant from real-world cults that have ended in tragedy.” — Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2013

“Parker skillfully explores the mindset and inner workings of an apocalyptic cult, steadily building toward the inevitable moment of truth…As for the apocalypse itself, Parker keeps things suitably ambiguous, resulting in a complex, intriguing tale rooted in real-world events.” — Publishers Weekly, June 10, 2013

“Parker is a seriously talented writer. She has that rare talent for getting inside your head and making you look at things in a certain way. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.” —Escape into Words, July 16, 2013

“Gated is unlike any other YA book out there.  It isn’t afraid to push the limits, or to go as far as it needs to go to stay honest.  Gated is a candid look at the inside of a cult, an unflinching reflection on today’s society, and of course, a masterful thriller.”— Pretty Deadly Reviews

daysider DAYSIDER by Susan Krinard (Harlequin Nocturne)

Human/vampire relations are in turmoil in a stunning new series by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Krinard

Tensions between human and vampire factions are escalating. Peace hangs in the balance. And like two ill-fated stars, Alexia Fox and Damon are destined to collide. She’s a seductive human operative on a mission to infiltrate an illegal vampire colony. He’s a vampire and represents everything she loathes—and all that she desires. Their attraction is scorching, immediate…and could explode like the fragile truce they’ve both been fighting independently to preserve. Now the world’s last hope hinges on their ability to work together. As enemies they are doomed, but as allies they just might save the world.

Reviews

“A complicated and fascinating mythology makes Daysider a fun read. Its fast-paced excitement will keep readers’ attention from beginning to end.” –Romantic Times (4 1/2 Stars)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book! …Susan somehow managed to combine heart stopping action and edge of your seat suspense with enough romance to keep diehard Paranormal Romance fans happy while still making Urban Fantasy lovers want more.” – Literal Addiction

Killing MoonShadowed SunWhile we’re on the subject of “Best of” lists, holiday book recommendations, et. al., iO9 has come out with their Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2012 list.  Fabulously (and unsurprisingly to those who’ve read and loved her), N.K. Jemisin’s Dreamblood series, THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN, made the list!

nexusIn other news, SF Squeecast, Episode 19 squees about some amazing authors, among them, Ramez Naam, whose debut sf thriller NEXUS you might have heard me talk about just a bit.

risktaker_smKira Sinclair has entered The Next Big Thing blog hop, and I’m pleased to present her post at The Writing Playground about her new book THE RISK-TAKER and what’s inspired her to write about a reckless POW who just wants to forget and the journalist (and girl who got away) who wants him to do anything but.

IceyBooks is doing an exclusive cover reveal today on Amy Christine Parker’s incredible debut (coming in August from Random House Children’s Books), GATED.  Since it’s about an apocalyptic cult, it’s entirely appropriate that today’s the day.  Assuming the world doesn’t actually end, I can HIGHLY recommend that you check this one out!

FangtabulousAnd a reminder that FANGTABULOUS, the fourth book in my Vamped series that began with VAMPED, REVAMPED and FANGTASTIC, is coming out in just a couple of weeks (though it may be shipping a little early!).  I may be a little biased, but I think this is a great young adult series for those who might like their tongue firmly implanted in cheek.  Or a little bark with their bite.  Kirkus Reviews gave FANGTABULOUS this amazing review, “Another amusing romp in the series, this installment also sees its hardy heroine beginning to mature, adding further dimension to her character.  Reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, Gina never fails to deliver the goods.”  I think this might be the best present ever!  (The review, I mean, though if you take it as referring to the books, well, I certainly won’t protest.)  Buy early and often!

Okay, now really and truly signing off (temporarily) for the holidays.