The query letter for my middle-grade novel, The Elephant Tree, was featured on Amy Trueblood’s Quite the Query this week. Most writers agree that writing a succinct summary of an entire book in a one-page query letter is hard work. Whole blogs (my favorite of course being Query Shark!) are devoted to the fine art of writing queries that will catch an agent’s eye. But the thing I love about Quite the Query is that it shares real queries that landed an offer of representation.
And if you’d like to read more about my journey to signing with the lovely Jennie Dunham of Dunham Lit, check out my “Getting the Call” story on The Winged Pen.
Thanks for having me, Amy! And if you’re currently in the query trenches, hang in there. I know how tough it is (did you see the part where I queried FOUR manuscripts before I got an agent). Don’t lose hope. If you keep doing the work, you’ll find your way!
I’ve been lucky to have many mentors–teachers, friends, other writers–guide me on my writing journey. So I’m always delighted when I can give back to the writing community in some way. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I will be a mentor for both TeenPit and Pitch Wars this year. I’m particularly thrilled about TeenPit because helping kids goes right back to the heart of why I write in the first place. Best of luck to everyone who enters these two amazing contests–I can’t wait to meet my mentees and give them the same love and support that I have received over the years.
This month, I blogged about writing emotion over at the Author Accelerator Resource Library. It posted while I was nestled in the Smokey Mountains for the Madcap Writing Cross Culturally Workshop, which was absolutely amazing.
This month, I blogged over at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors about what Hamilton taught me about story. Part fan-girl tribute, part analysis of what makes Hamilton so compelling, this post is worth a read even if you aren’t obsessed with Hamilton.
At the very end of September, I got the email I’d been dreaming of since I first started querying in July of 2014. The next day, I had The Call. In October, I signed with Jennie Dunham of Dunham Lit and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Read all about The Call on The Winged Pen as I talk with my pal Kristi Wientge about all the juicy details.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a spooky Halloween children’s story for my daughter and her friends as part of a Halloween slumber party. Now, I’m pleased to announce that it appears in the July 2016 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk on Smashwords. It’s a fun little lower-middle grade adventure about girls who wake up in a land made of candy and have to battle evil Lord Licorice and foil his plans to build a licorice army. Check it out!
This week, I blogged over at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors about some of the fabulous middle grade books I read over the holiday. I didn’t mention all the great YA I read, but let it be known that I visited with both Grisha and Raven Boys over the two week break as well. This week it’s back to work, but I miss my cozy reading holiday!
This week, I’m over at From the Mixed-Up Files talking with debut author Lisa Lewis Tyre about tackling tough topics with middle-grade readers. Her middle-grade novel, Last in a Long Line of Rebels is stunning. Check it out!
As the amazing Elissa Cruz moves on to new adventures, four contributors to From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors have stepped up to fill her big beautiful shoes and lead the blog. I’m pleased to announce that I am one of those four. I’m both honored to take on a bigger role and excited to do even more to spread the word about middle-grade books and readers.
This month, my middle-grade fantasy, QUEST FOR THE KALEVALA, was chosen by middle-grade author Juliana Brandt for Pitch Wars. What does this mean? For the next two months, Juliana and I will work together on revisions so that I can present my work to a panel of all-star agents in November. I’m thrilled, honored, excited, and rolling up my sleeves, ready to get to work!